Saturday, May 13, 2006

Chuck the Schmuck was against Dubai Ports...before he was for it

If you recall the whole Dubai Ports fiasco from earlier this year, you'll recall that I was howling mad about it. Then, the more I learned, the less reflexively angry I got. While I still wasn't convinced it was a good idea, I wasn't as frightened by the deal.

Now, I'm beginning to think it wasn't a bad deal after all. Why the change of heart? Because Chuck the Schmuck Schumer has showed that he never cared about the alleged security risks after all. Details.
Nearly three months ago, Sen. Chuck Schumer led the charge against Dubai Ports World. We shared his worries that a Dubai firm running U.S. ports might be more easily infiltrated by al Qaeda or other terrorists. But now Mr. Schumer wants to outsource cargo screening to the very same company.

Mr. Schumer might not even fully know what he has proposed. In a failed amendment to the emergency-spending bill, Mr. Schumer tried to force all ports participating in the Container Security Initiative -- that's more than 40 of the world's busiest ports including Singapore, Rotterdam and Tokyo, among others -- to model their cargo-screening systems after Hong Kong's if they want to keep sending cargo to the United States. Beyond its bullying unilateralism, this would have ended up handing much of the country's foreign-cargo screening records to Dubai Ports World.

Hong Kong's new system -- though innovative and worthy of study -- is criticized by industry insiders as "vendor-driven." That means that private firms handle the screening records. And it happens that the emerging private "vendor" on the world scene is Dubai Ports World.
Typical of the left. After all, what's national security good for if you can't feign interest in it while beating the opposition over the head, right?