Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Behind the Scenes on the Ports Issue

Federal Computer Week has a 'back story' on the Ports/Dubai issue. Speaking for myself, handing over our Ports to our avowed enemies is not "good for business". [Homeland Security Chief said that].
This isn't capitalism. It may be "crony capitalism", but it's not capitalism. It is suicidal. This is the perfect nightmare blend of altruism and appeasement. Bush is finally becomming more consistent in his policies, and that's not good.

Excerpt from FCW:

Last year, Bush tried to consolidate the port security program into the larger grant program, but Congress rebuffed him and chose to keep the grant program separate. TIP was created to enhance security at port, railway, mass transit and other critical infrastructure facilities.

However, officials from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), which represents 80 U.S. ports, said if the program is consolidated into a larger program, they would have to compete for funds against other transit systems, such as buses or rail.

Port security “needs will be marginalized or get lost in the shuffle,” Kurt Nagle, AAPA’s president and chief executive officer, said at a press conference today in Washington, D.C.

Officials said security needs for port operators remain great. Port officials want to implement wireless networks, interoperable communications equipment, a Global Positioning System, credentialing systems, closed-circuit television, surveillance cameras, radar tracking and other related technologies, they said.

But Bernard Groseclose, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) and AAPA chairman, said the grants program has been drastically underfunded despite the need to meet certain federal security requirements. The current level of funding for the program is $175 million. He said federal funds, which are supposed to pay for a larger share of security improvements, have only matched a small portion of what ports have spent on security so far.

Link to full story:

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