Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

More port questions

By Aussiegirl

Here are some of the critical security questions asked by the Coast Guard that went unanswered by the Dubai letter of assurance mentioned in the editorial posted right below. But those who blast critics of this deal blithely assure us that Dubai Ports World will have nothing to do with security and that the Coast Guard will handle everything. This does not appear to be true if you read the following.

More port questions -- The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

At the very least, the unclassified version of the Dec. 13 Coast Guard memorandum suggests that just about everything important about this deal was unknown to the Coast Guard as the Christmas holiday approached; just a few short weeks remained before the matter was slated to be closed. "What is the security environment at all the DPW and P&O port or terminal operations; to include the methods of conveyance and the personnel management of related ports and terminal operations?" reads one of the memorandum's "intelligence gaps." Knowledge on port facilities, at least at the Coast Guard, was spotty. "What are the backgrounds of all associated personnel working for or associated with DPW and P&O?" it asked second. So, too, was knowledge about the people: "Is there foreign influence on DPW or P&O operations that affect security and other major decisions? If so, what countries and to what degree?" Even that question wasn't resolved by mid-December to the Coast Guard's satisfaction.
The administration should address the matter by briefing lawmakers with the appropriate security clearance. It can't undo the political damage that this revelation has caused, but at least it can give some facts to support its as-of-yet-unsubstantiated assertion that no problem exists.


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