Dubai-ous Port Deal

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My president's people have now done something which at first blush I consider to be cardinally stupid. A British company that has been running six U.S. ports is about to be taken over by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates. The very notion of turning over control of one major port, let alone a half-dozen of them to an Arab country's control is... unthinkable.

Yet the ink is dry and the deal is almost closed?

Why is it unthinkable? You might ask.

Well, the ports are a bigger weak point than our borders. Our borders can allow individuals and sometimes small quantities of cargo across. Our ports see literally tens of thousands of cargo containers per day with very little oversight. To have a foreign country where individuals are much more likely to be of a like mind to our terrorist enemies have control over this weak point is short sighted. All it takes is a few individuals in the middle management of the UAE owned company to facilitate the smuggling a container of WMDs through a major port and have it trucked anywhere in this country.

Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security Chief says they have made an extensive investigation and verified that security would not be at stake. I must say to in deference to Mr. Chertoff that I would feel more comfortable if no foreign entity owned the port.

Then the realization hits me and I must admit that the Dubai company can rent office space in Delaware with a secretary and a phone line. That would be all it takes to incorporate in the USA and operate through a shell company. Plus my fears of a cargo container being smuggled through by some middle management guy or by a couple of paid off laborers could happen no matter who ownes the port. Or just not pay anyone and smuggle the stuff through and take your chances. It isn't likely to get caught with the ratio of inspectors to containers.

It is so easy to get sucked in by the media spin. They are almost right, but they omit a great deal of the truth along the way. I got sucked in for at least 24 hours before I sat and thought it through.