Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by SkidMarxX, Feb 20, 2006.
well the latest spin out of the white house is that dubya didn't even know it was an arab company that was going to buy control of the ports.
1 big reason not to allow this to happen
The Central Intelligence Agency did not target Al Qaeda chief Osama bin laden once as he had the royal family of the United Arab Emirates with him in Afghanistan, the agency's director, George Tenet, told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States on Thursday.
Had the CIA targeted bin Laden, half the royal family would have been wiped out as well, he said.
The 10-member bipartisan commission is investigating the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.
Breakfast with Osama, says it all.
There are so many "what ifs" about this scenario. The one thing that irks me is the reasoning that UAE is an ally of ours in our fight against terrorism. Anyone remember when Iraq was an ally against Iran and Afghanistan against Russia? I'm just too worried about what will happen if UAE thinks we take the wrong side in an Israel/Palestine issue and tries to bully our economy through shipping.
This is really a non-issue.
It's not as if Arabs are going to start manning the gates and gantry cranes at U.S. ports.
U.S. longshoremen will still load and unload containers at the ports. The security firms now in place at various seaports will stay there. No personnel changes will be made that will involve replacing American stevedores with foreigners.
No Palestinians, Iranians, Saudis or anyone else from that part of the world will be replacing anyone at U.S. ports or changing U.S. maritime legislation.
Any ship arriving from overseas still must stop outside a harbor and allow a trained harbor master who knows local waters to take over to pilot the ship to its berth.
Nothing will change. Except the ownership documents for the company with the operating contract.
This Dubai company operates ports all over the world. And with absolutely no problems.
As far as the UAE being used by terrorists...those same terrorists traveled throughout the U.S. and used our banks and money transfer outlets as well.
Heck, they even used U.S. flight training schools.
I think what's frightening is that of the hundreds of thousands of ocean freight containers that arrive at our ports each year, less than 10% are inspected.
It's not who runs the ports, it's who packing the containers in the countries they come from.
Few of these containers are ever opened until they reach their final destination.
That's something to shout about.
jyris, the local dockworkers are repped by the ILA. but unlike shipping companies, i don't believe the ports are regulated by the Jones Act, which requires american crews on US-flagged ships doing business in US waters. (maybe someone can google that to see if ports are regulated by the Jones Act)That's where one of the security problems could come in--the US would have no registry on these foreign workers.
No matter who runs the docks the US customs has the same control they always had. Now there might even be more scrutiny on the docks that we didn't have before. More customs man power has already been ordered due to the press this is receiving. Thats a good thing.
Letting foriegn countries have more control or investments in US properties is the bad thing.
Sadly,USA is It's own Sinking Ship.
The Bent U.S. Unions are rotting away like a carcass's in the desert heat. With great thinkers who drive this country making such wonderful decisions (GWB), soon there will be total mayhem on our own doorstep.
I thought that the dockworkers (locally, at least) were ILA. Don't see them taking on a bunch of foreign-born members while their union is dying.
Anyway, I'm not really in favor of this deal, but anyone who thought that security was just great (on an operational level) with the Port Authority involved needs therapy ASAP.
the problem is that the company will be hiring the dockworkers and managers. Plus the company is behind the logistics-which ships docks, when they dock, where they dock. THere's no guarantee that they will hire American stevedores, but rather outsource those jobs to foreign companies which could be fronts for AQ and other terrorists. Also this company will be responsible for drawing up Port Security plans. Under new DHS and USCG regs, all ships, ports, terminals, etc must have one of these emergency plans. Even though DHS and USCG must approve these plans, if this arab company drafts a plan that isn't up to par, how much leverage do the feds have in pressuring them, escpecially when this arab company can shut down port operations and block all this cargo from coming in. The stevedoring strike in LA back in 02 was just a taste of what would happen. This company would control six major US ports and could really do damage to the economy.
Unless I misunderstand the situation, responsibility for port operations does not extend to security, which is still handled by Customs, DHS, the USCG, etc. How many people were even aware that a British firm was operating these ports, anyway? What were its hiring and staff security practices? Maybe I'm cynical, but every time I visit London it looks more and more like Dubai.
Why is this a mess?
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