Mar 23, 2006


As if the Dubai Portgate thing wasn't enough to cause the Bush administration some drama:
In the aftermath of the Dubai ports dispute, the Bush administration is hiring a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere.

The administration acknowledges the no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. represents the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a sophisticated U.S. radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present.

Freeport in the Bahamas is 65 miles from the U.S. coast, where cargo would be likely to be inspected again. The contract is currently being finalized.

The administration is negotiating a second no-bid contract for a Philippine company to install radiation detectors in its home country, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. At dozens of other overseas ports, foreign governments are primarily responsible for scanning cargo.
Even though I'm somewhat happy some folks in the Philippines will get some work out of this deal, I still have to ask: Why is the Bush administration outsourcing to other countries responsibilities that are integral to our national security? After everything that has gone down on our soil (9/11), and the ever-tightening noose around our civil liberties (Patriot Act, FISAgate, etc.), I'm just a little surprised that there is so much trust in foreign governments to basically look out for the safety of the American people. I mean, this current administration, one that revels in secrecy and outright lying doesn't even trust its own people to begin with. How does this make sense?

Am I missing something here? If this is a "different kind of war," and if we have to change our way of thinking from a "pre-911" to a "post-9/11" mindset, why is the tendency - as it appears - to relinquish control over something that could directly effect how terrorists can infiltrate our country?

Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

(With inspiration from John at AMERICAblog.)

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