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the PORTGATE thread, where do you stand?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by gunsmith, Feb 21, 2006.

?

Do you think that it is ok for any foreign state to operate our Ports?

Poll closed Feb 24, 2006.
  1. Against any foriegner in charge

    147 vote(s)
    62.0%
  2. against only Muslim countries

    21 vote(s)
    8.9%
  3. we have nothing to worry about

    52 vote(s)
    21.9%
  4. I am not voting for Republicans next time around

    56 vote(s)
    23.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. gunsmith

    gunsmith member

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  2. progunner1957

    progunner1957 member

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    WTFO, Mr. President???

    I am basically pro-Bush; I think he is on the money about alot of facets of the national security issue.

    However... This deal absolutely has got to go. Lemmeseehere - let a company owned by the government of United Arab Emirates "manage" our six largest ports, ports being our largest vulnerability??

    NO FREAKING WAY!!! :fire: :fire: As Dr. Phil says, "What the hell were you thinking?!?!?!"

    What's next - let the government of Iran run the Department of Homeland Security??
     
  3. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Where I stand is that "Portgate" is off topic for THR. Guns? Civil liberties? Nope.
     
  4. joab

    joab Member

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    I'm against foriegn ownership of anything in the US
    But even if I wasn't I can't see this being a good idea, I certainly can't see this being a sound political strategy.
     
  5. Merkin.Muffley

    Merkin.Muffley member

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    I'm with Realgun - we shouldn't have discussions that make President Bush look like a fool. In general, he's on our side with the 2nd Amendment - no reason to bash our allies.
     
  6. MGshaggy

    MGshaggy Member

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    Unless the strategy is to give the Congressional republicans an issue with which to distance themselves from Bush in preparation of the next election. If Congress acts (with bipartisan support) to prevent the sale, Bush vetos it, and then Congress overrides the veto, a lot of republicans will be able to eliminate that issue from the democrats election arsenal. Bush's ratings are down and by association he can drag down the party with him. Since Bush is untouchable at this point (he's in his 2nd term), the strategy may be to let him be the sacrificial lamb to save the party. Unfortunately, I don't think the republican party is that smart.
     
  7. mp510

    mp510 Member

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    You know, I totally don't think that it is a big deal who is operating the ports. The US Government is still in charge of security. The workers will be the same, and they are mainly US citizens. The only difference will be which foreign country runs the show. Dubai Ports LTD, runs ports all over the world, and they have not yet had an incident.
     
  8. Biker

    Biker Member

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    National security or the lack thereof could certainly have an impact on civil liberties. Yes?
    Biker
     
  9. Thain

    Thain Member

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    From one foreign owner to another. Call me a radical capitalist, but I don't see how it makes one lick of difference. The Dubai corporation will be held to the same standards, statutes, and oversight as the British one.

    Now, wheter or not the current standards are adequete is another matter. Port security in this country sucks, and everyone knows it.
     
  10. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    I don't see any problem with a Dubai company owning a British company that sub-contracts to an American entity to operate our ports. Consider:

    1. Britain has at least as many Islamic radicals (including mad bombers) as Dubai, possibly more. They could have come over here working for P&O as easily as they could working for anyone else.

    2. The USA still has to issue visas for anyone coming to work here. This should serve as a check on Dubai nationals just as easily as US nationals - and there are already many thousands of Dubai nationals here, studying and working.

    3. We can't apply a double standard. If US companies are allowed to operate in Dubai, then Dubai companies must be allowed to operate here. It works both ways.

    4. I don't see the Dubai company as being in any way eager to assist terrorists - after all, they'll be making billions of dollars from their US operations, so it's in their own best interests to make sure that their US staff are reliable, loyal and completely non-terrorist (or better yet, anti-terrorist) in outlook.

    I think this is a storm in a teacup, and is being stirred up by those who "feel", rather than those who actually think about the realities of the situation.
     
  11. BigRobT

    BigRobT Member

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    Having been deployed to the UAE during Desert Shield, I think I would trust them as much, if not more than the Saudis. Reading what Preacherman said, I think he just may be right. Even now, we can only inspect 6% of the cargo containers, if that.
     
  12. longhorngunman

    longhorngunman Member

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    Gee, let's let an American company run the ports, oh yeah, there are NONE! Only three companies can run ports on the scale that is needed: One is based in Singapore, the other is China, and then the UAE based. I and most others don't like the choices but that's it. Do you want a very Muslim country of Singapore running it, Do you want the Red Commies of China running it, or do you want the Arabs of the UAE running it, take your pick.:neener:
     
  13. strambo

    strambo Member

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    I voted we have nothing to worry about, but it is a poor choice of words. We have plenty to worry about with port security, but a Dubai company managing the port facilities doesn't matter.

    Security is handled by US personnel only (mainly Coast Guard) and the Dubai company has nothing to do with it. What could happen differently? A terrorist could pay a dockworker to tell them their observations and procedures the same as if they worked for "Mom and Apple Pie USA, Inc." The workers will be mostly US citizens and get background checks. Because the number of containers checked is so small, you don't need a complicated conspiracy involving the parent company that runs the Port. Just send 2-3 shipments of contraband, 1 ought to get through. Look at the success of the "Drug War" and fighting illegal immigration (the ones from overseas). Plenty of both get through.

    I wonder if the Pres could even stop it? If a Dubai Co. bought out a British one that already had the contract...what can we do? It's hard to tell the details by the news, they make it sound like we handed Port security over to a Dubai Company (or Bin Laden himself by the tone).:rolleyes:
     
  14. strambo

    strambo Member

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    Longhorn, I'd pick Singapore in a heartbeat, I've been there great place. Not really 'Muslim" at all.
     
  15. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    I am against any foreign person or company being in charge of strategic assets. Back in the bad old days of the cold war this wouldn't have come up, because we had formal programs in place to keep that from happening.

    No nation should allow anyone else to control something as vital as port facilities, production facilities for war material or food.

    As far as I know we only maintain a strategic petroleum reserve. We may still buy and stockpile other raw materials, and I'm just not aware of it.

    We don't maintain control of the means of producing our high tech weapons. I wonder just what would happen if we were unfortunate enough to get into a mid-intensity conflict somewhere and all of a sudden have to start replacing major end items like tanks and aircraft at a very high rate. I don't believe we could anymore.

    The global economy may be a great thing for your 401K, but the resultant lack of control of the means to produce weapons could mean that we may see a fundamental change in our way of life.

    Jeff
     
  16. IndianaDean

    IndianaDean Member

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    I'm against it also. I do not want any foreign power, whether it's the UAE, England or anyone else controlling our ports.
     
  17. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Interesting how few people know that the Port of Seattle is run by foreign interests.
     
  18. 308win

    308win Member

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    Much ado about nothing.
     
  19. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Lack of homegrown capacity to manage our ports is a symptom of a much bigger problem that "Portgate" has, thankfully, awakened us to. Rather than cede control of vital interests in perpetuity to foreign interests we need to do what's necessary to develop the skills to get this situation under control. This is like saying we don't have enough engineers so let's just forget about it and hire foreign talent. We piss away billions and billions on stupid stuff, we waste infinite amounts of time on nonsense, but we don't have the will to steer our own national ship? This is just one Big Problem America is either going to start coming to terms with or slowly but surely perish.
     
  20. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Let me get this straight, man. Secret committees are deciding national security matters without Congressional oversight, without public knowledge, and you don't see this as affecting civil liberties?

    Which "secret committee" is going to decide that private citizens should no longer be trusted owning firearms? Will that get your attention?
     
  21. progunner1957

    progunner1957 member

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    Shipping containers are an open door, and Al-Qaeda knows it

    Like 6% is going to make a difference...:barf: We should be inspecting 100%, just like we inspect 100% of what goes on commercial airliners.

    How about we all just wear hats that say "Kill me, please!":fire: :fire:
     
  22. CAnnoneer

    CAnnoneer Member

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    That is the $ 1M question, ins't it?

    My take on it:
    The backroom strategists know that the country is in trouble due to their ministrations, and want to dump the inevitable fallout onto somebody else's watch. They have dined well - it is time to leave before the bill arrives...
     
  23. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    The biggest danger to our ports is that Congress has refused to fund the various security agencies at the necessary levels to adequately perform their functions. Until this happens, it doesn't really matter who is running various port terminals.

    Before you jump on the 'no foreign control of strategic assets' bandwagon, it might be a good idea to list what foreign strategic assets are controlled or owned by US companies.

    After all, when we run foreign companies out of certain areas of our economy, the least we can expect is that the foreign countries reciprocate.
     
  24. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    +1 preacherman


    i have yet to hear any argument on the 'con' side that even comes close to being persuasive.


    i'll grant jeff white that we don't want foreign interests controlling strategic assets, but are 6 terminals, out of all the ports and terminals we have, really strategic?

    there are two potential negative possibilities: bad guys use their position to deny service to us in a crisis (e.g. a war), or bad guys use their position to sneak something in.

    in the former, we'd just turn management over to someone else and keep on trucking. for the latter, the ports are unsecure now, so what's changed?



    edit: the only stupid thing the bush admin did here was think they could pull this off in secret back-room deals without the public finding out. every move they make continues to reinforce the American public's fear that Bush is a dictator-wannabe
     
  25. Kodiaz

    Kodiaz member

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    Ok lets suppose I'm a UAE port running terrorist. I get to see what ships get checked, what times they get checked, and what they get checked for. Now with this informatio I stick my container with the bad stuff on the most righteous incoming ship which gets to dock at the time when the least gets done (let's say 3 AM) the container gets through unchecked because I run the port so I know what gets done how it gets done and when it gets done all I have to do is look at the ship dock times and see what ship time and cargo type is least likely to arouse suspicion and stick my container with the nukes, poison, or whatever on it.


    Step 2 Haji Habib who crossed the border months ago with some Guatemalans picks up the container and takes it to his cell. They walked across the desert or even better were escorted across by the corrupt Mex military.


    If they are running the ports they are going to have tons of information on when ships arrive, what the customs procedures are how many containers get checked and what types of cargo and what delivery times are most likely to get opened by customs. Using this Info they can try a get a container through with their stuff.


    It will only take one container for them to do heavy damage.



    Nothing to see here king jorge has a plan.
     
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