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"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt


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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bush Giving Aid to the Enemy

Who said six? All week long the news is that the Dubai company buying management of our ports was buying into only six of them. It's really 21.

The Bush administration has approved the takeover of British-owned Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to DP World, a deal set to go forward March 2 unless Congress intervenes.

P&O is the parent company of P&O Ports North America, which leases terminals for the import and export and loading and unloading and security of cargo in 21 ports, 11 on the East Coast, ranging from Portland, Maine to Miami, Florida, and 10 on the Gulf Coast, from Gulfport, Miss., to Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the company's Web site.

Also, I've been trying to confirm my own belief that we move military equipment and personnel thru these ports. I found this:
Few Americans are aware of the volume of cargo that is shipped from ports located along the U.S. Gulf Coast from Brownsville, Texas, to Cape Sable, Florida. Some of these ports serve as major Department of Defense transportation nodes for overseas deployment of Army cargo. Two of these nodes are strategic ports located in Texas--the Port of Beaumont and the Port of Corpus Christi. (Designation as a strategic port means that the port management will give priority to military cargo during a contingency.) Almost 40 percent of the Army cargo deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom flows through these two ports.

Although both the Port of Beaumont and the Port of Corpus Christi are container capable, petroleum and break-bulk products constitute most of the cargo shipped from those locations. The Port of Beaumont is home to one of the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's (SDDC's) port-handling battalions, the 842d Transportation Battalion.

And then there is this, from the American Association of Port Authorities.
In addition to moving cargo that enhances our daily lives, public ports serve another critical function during wartime. The Department of Defense designates two dozen ports to support the mobilization, deployment and resupply of U.S. forces during major conflicts. Commercial port facilities routinely ship military cargo and many U.S. ports host major naval installations.

For example, U.S. public ports and their commercial partners have been instrumental in assisting the deployment of troops and material for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom since the conflicts began there in early 2003. The Military Sealift Command (MSC) and the Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) use public ports to preposition mobility forces and assets and provide global surface deployment command, together with control and distribution operations, to meet national security objectives in peace and war.

According to the 2003 annual report of the U.S. Transportation Command, in the two years after Operation Enduring Freedom began, the MSC team provided vital ocean survey and instrumentation information to war fighters, in addition to sending more than 261 million gallons of fuel and delivering 95,000 tons of ammunition and 23 million square feet of vehicles, aircraft and rolling stock to U.S. forces in ports throughout the Middle East and the world.

Can we really afford to let a company, located in the heart of 'The War Against Terror', have access to the information about how and when we move our military and it's supplies, and where it's going? Can we really afford to have a troop ship blown out of the water? Is Bush working for Zarqawi now?

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