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» Friday, February 17, 2006

Sale of US Ports

Clinton and Menendez! I really can't see why they are handing Hillary this much political capital, as they call it.   Has anyone of the Bush/Cheney 'Yes' men actually put this concept down in writing and then followed thru with the spoken word.   It sounds so stupid, it makes me wonder about the wonder boys that have ensured a perpetual republican majority.   Hello...     - fc

Update (2.19.2006 - 4:00 pm) ::   From SusantG at DaliyKOS comes a few quotes from 'Meet The Press' about the Ports issue...   It is to be noted that Lindsey Graham is far from a left wing liberal...   Not a good sign for Fearless Leader...
Barbara Boxer The kindest thing said about Chertoff's approval of outsourcing our port security was that it was "unbelievably tone deaf" - and this from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham. Democrats Barbara Boxer, Evan Bayh and Robert Menendez were not quite so kind, with Boxer calling for legislation to limit the nation's infrastructure protection to American companies, Bayh calling for an in-depth look at the company and Menendez proclaiming this administration "just does not get it."
Menendez, Clinton to Introduce Bill to Block Foreign Governments from Controlling U.S. Ports
Clinton.Senate.govHillary Clinton
Thur Feb 17, 2006

Legislation Would Block Sale of U.S. Port Operations to UAE-Controlled Company

Washington, DC - United States Senators Robert Menendez and Hillary Clinton announced today that they are introducing legislation to prohibit companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from purchasing port operations in the United States. The legislation would block such transactions as the proposed sale of operations at six major U.S. ports to Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates.

"Our ports are the front lines of the war on terrorism. They are both vulnerable targets for attack and venues for smuggling and human trafficking," Menendez said. "We wouldn’t turn the border patrol or the customs service over to a foreign government, and we can’t afford to turn our ports over to one either."

"Our port security is too important to place in the hands of foreign governments," Clinton said. "I will be working with Senator Menendez to introduce legislation that will prohibit the sale of ports to foreign governments."

Dubai Ports World has announced plans to buy P&O Ports, the company that runs commercial operation at ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia, as well as other U.S. cities. The transaction was reviewed and approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a committee made up of representatives of different government departments and agencies, and seems headed for completion unless blocked by Congress.

"The Bush administration has neglected port security for years, and now they’re ready to turn port operations over to the control of a foreign government that is a known transit point for smuggled nuclear technology," Menendez said. "Congress must act to protect our security."

Only 5% of containers that enter the United States through ports are actually inspected, despite repeated warnings by security experts that ports are a prime target for terrorist attacks.
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