One Beer Too Many

Monday, February 20, 2006

So, let me get this straight: wiretapping is an absolute necessity when it comes to our National Safety, but the contract for the company that controls our ports has no real link to our security at all. Did I get that right?

The Administration goes too far yet again, and again seemingly misses the mark on what really matters for our National Security. I think they miss the mark in 2 veins of what defines "National Security."

First, the obvious. Dubai, the country that served as a main operational and financial base for the "9/11 hijackers" as well as a conduit for the smuggled nuclear components from Pakistan, now owns the British-based company that controls most of the major shipping ports of our Eastern and Southern seaboard. Michael Chertoff, the Omniscient director of the Homeland Security Dept, has stated that "We have to balance the paramount urgency of security against the fact that we still want to have a robust global trading system." So, in other words, we're willing to forgo an obvious national security risk in exchange for global trade, as if there were no other company in the world that can do this for us, which brings me to my second national security point:

Part of National Security is our ability to be self-sufficient; to support American companies, American business people and American products. Are there other companies that are either owned by Americans, or at least by one of our allies in this "War on Terror?" The company in question was, and circumstances have changed enough to question the validity of the contract and seek another. In fact, reported on CNN this morning is this snippet:

A Miami company, Continental Stevedoring & Terminals Inc., has filed suit in a Florida court challenging the deal. A subsidiary of Eller & Company Inc., Continental maintains it will become an "involuntary partner" with Dubai's government under the sale.

Indeed this Miami company is also foreign-owned, but is obviously skeptical of doing business and becoming involved with Dubai, even on paper. That says a lot for how nervous this move is making even other for-profit companies, who normally, a-la Enron, couldn't care less.

Add to the mix Congress screaming for answers and investigations on both sides on the aisle, it's time for the Administration to stop the secrecy about ewverything they do, put aside profits, and focus on what is clearly a National Security issue. Wiretaps will barely make us safer, and only make us that much closer to a police state. But who controls what comes in and out of our ports and who works there? That is truly National Security, both in jobs and in counter-terrorism.


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