Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Corruption Before Security

George, George, George... tsk! tsk! The security of our ports is more important than whether or not your cronies get to cash in (hat tip to Jamison)! This one is going to get awfully ugly before it's over. Actually, if even Bill "Rubberstamp" Frist is against it, it already is ugly.

6 comments:

stelmodad said...

Now while the post 9/11 xenophobe in me says "bad Arab, bad Arab..." I think I'd better not pander to that tendency and think about the bigger picture.





Who receives and stacks port boxes has little to do with security. Most major U.S. ports are already run by foreign companies, but it's the U.S. Coast guard and local port authorities that have jurisdiction and security. According to some, these are woefully under funded and need additional support and funding to provide an adequate safeguard against malicious activities. Perhaps we should turn our passion and action there instead of rattling the sabers against "them foreigners."





The squabble in Congress seems more about political posturing than anything. At this point most Americans seem to vote against anything foreign that

alice said...

George Bush has never, ever even tried to use his veto (not once, even when all those bulging, porked out budgets crossed his desk!), and now he says he's pulling out his big gun for this one. Why? Because his buddies want to cash in like everyone else in Croneyville, DC. Inside the beltway, I don't think this is about xenophobia at all, unless you count the pandering. I agree with you in that I think there is a lot of political posturing going on -- the republican candidates need to distance themselves from an increasingly unpopular president and this is a good issue to use, since the xenophobes in their base back home don't want the brown people running our ports, and the democrats can't seem to get traction elsewhere dispite this administration's mind-boggling corruption -- but for the white house, this is all about the same old bobbing and weaving they always have to do when they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

stelmodad said...

I won't attempt to dissuade your views on Bush, nor do I think I should, but I honestly don't see the reasoning behind the fight. The ports are already run by a foreign company. What is happening here is a sale of that foreign company to another foreign company (which is owned by the UAE).





The Merchant Marines control shipments of U.S. Military equipment, the Coast Guard patrols the ports and security is provided by local cities, port authorities and private port security firms.





If the matter is about trust of foreign ownership, that should be moot because the company in question already is. If it

alice said...

It would appear that for a lot of people, this story is about who is really running the county and what is the basis for the decisions being made on our behalf. First it seemed that Bush OKed a deal so that (even more of) his buddies could make some money off of the US taxpayer (which seems to be a major theme for this administration). But now it appears that the more important question is whether or not Bush is really running the show at all, and if not, who is? According to the AP, "Bush was unaware of the pending sale of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports to a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates until the deal already had been approved by his administration, the White House said Wednesday."



The White House is now saying that Bush only found about the deal this week, so on what basis is he adamently defending it? And on whose authority?



Bush has refused to use his veto power to protect our children from years of this Congress's irresponsible spending, and yet he will pull it out for a business deal that he only just found out about, so that an Arab company can run our ports? Give me a freakin' break -- you have to admit that there is something very fishy going on here...

stelmodad said...

The follow up stories are bizarre, but the deals seem too big to be personal. Your question about "decisions on our behalf" is what intrigues me most. The way things are going down seem like some cold war era deal that was brokered to have a little "give and take" with the "enemy" - kind of like inviting your enemy over to dinner to share an evening but to also size them up and glean as much info as you can about them. I suppose the fears from that scenario could be: "Are they casing my house while I

alice said...

Thanks, Dad -- your thoughts are very intriguing and I appreciate your taking the time to share.



One more thought -- you said "it falls around trust," and I know that you refer to our relationships with other nations, but I'd like to point out that there is another layer to the trust issue. Someone recently -- I think it may have been John McCain -- put forth that we should not object to the ports deal because we can, in short, just trust Bush on this one. My response to that suggestion is "no freakin' way." Not only because of the potentially problematic issues that we've discussed above. Not only because I admittedly just plain don't like the guy (I truly think he'd sell out his own grandmother -- but especially would sell out mine -- for another sweetheart deal for his business buddies, and I don't think we can ever forgive him for the huge debt he's laden on future generations). But most importantly, I believe we can't "just trust Bush" because we need more transparency in government than we've got. This administration, especially, has been increasingly opaque, not even trusting a compliant Congress, much less the American people, with information about what's being done for us and in our name. This deal is just the very tiny tip of the iceburg.