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Friday, February 24, 2006

Ex-PORT-ing National Security

Well, we all know the story on the ports deal by now, don't we? Management of six of our shipping ports was sold to an arab company from the UAE by the by the Brits who had the contract. (Our allies sold our shipping to our enemies?) This did not go down well.

First, there was a general announcement of displeasure in Congress - on both sides. Then Senator Frist starts resisting by suggesting legislation to hold up the deal while it's investigated by Congress, and two GOP governors of states where these ports are located threaten to block the deal. So the cowboy-chimp calls for a show-down (that there boy really loves to start a fight, don't he?) and says he'll veto any legislation - as if he'd ever vetoed anything before (he hasn't yet and apparently can't spell 'Vetoed'). And just like the last terror alert, nobody was scared.

The next day we're told that Bush didn't know about the ports deal until after it was approved. (Covering his ass because his veto threat didn't scare anyone. How can our Chief Executive not know about something that involves national security? And can you believe he actually threatened to veto legislation over something he didn't even know about, and therefore couldn't possibly have known the details involved?) And Bush actually tried to cover up the mess by saying that the UAE is an ally of the US.

(Let's review our allies. It's common knowledge that Near and Middle Eastern governments may say they are allies of the US, but still harbor terrorists and have terrorist sympathizers in the government and the security and intelligence forces. The UAE may be an ally, but why were some of the 9-11 hijackers funded with UAE money? Yemen is an ally, but a prison break that implies complicity of authorities with terrorists calls that into question. Saudi Arabia is an ally, but 17 of the 19 hijackers on 9-11 were Saudi, as is Osama Bin Laden. Pakistan is an ally, but Osama is ruputedly hiding in that country for 3 years now, and the Paki scientist who gave the nuke technology to Iran illegally is not even in jail. These allies are not to be trusted. Either they only appear to be allies because they want to sell oil, or they are not capable of securing their own countries and therefore CANNOT be depended on to help protect America. Can we really afford to have nations doing less than Bush does to stop terror managing ANY piece of turf in America?)

Then we find out that the deal made is less restrictive than it should have been. The company won't even have to keep copies of the shipping records on US soil, but they did have to promise to give them to us if we request them. Yeah, right. Like they won't have an employee somewhere willing to sell or give up all that information about port operations, shipping schedules, destinations and cargoes to the terrorists. (Now who is limp on defense against terror, Dum-bya?) And for once even our Senators are concerned about the risks. As well they should be. Don't we move military equipment and supplies out of these ports?

So basically, all Bush did is piss off everybody on this one, including his own party. Even Tom DeLay is opposed to this sell-out by Bush (will miracles never cease - DeLay opposing a sell-out?). The end result is that he packed Condi Rice off to Dubai to clean up the mess, and today the UAE is willing to delay the deal to save his ass.

But America still has a few questions George. Why didn't you know about this deal, given that it involves national security at such a high level? Why are so soft on the possibilities of terrorism when money is concerned? How are you going to paint the Democrats as soft on terror after this trick? Did you really sell out our safety for money? Didn't you just lose all of your "political capital" by negating your own fear tactics? And just whom will you blame when a dirty bomb actually does go off in one of these ports?

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