Techniguy - 03-02-2006
What do FEMA and DP World have in common? Both are terribly misunderstood by the American people. False Propaganda from the Left is getting as thick as SAE-40 motor oil in a sub zero climate. I realize this is an election year, but must we sacrifice truth and reality for the sake of political campaigns?
The Associated Press has gotten a hold of 6 days worth of videoconference Whitehouse briefings through the Freedom of Information Act and released them to the general media which has carefully "cherry picked" clips and sound bytes from them and spun them together with old quotes to make it appear the President Bush is not only responsible for FEMA failures during and after Katrina, but also a liar. Now the media, after blaming Michael Brown for multiple failures, is calling him a "scapegoat" and pointing fingers at the President.
The media claims that 4 days after the storm, the president is quoted as saying “no one expected the levies to breach”. I don’t know if the president ever said this or not but I have a real problem with it. If he did make that statement, it was taken out of context. There was a lot of speculation on levy breaches before Katrina hit so it just doesn’t make sense to me that the president would have made that statement in defense of FEMA and his administration. Now the media likes to use it and hold up these videotapes discussing possible levy breaches to call him a liar. But these tapes also show LA. Governor Kathleen Blanco telling the president that to her knowledge, there have been no levy breaches while the city was filling up with water. The president only knows what he is told by those close to the scene, the media likes nothing better than to make a political issue out of it.
There is really nothing new in this story, the conferences were open to the press at the time, and transcripts of them were released nearly 6 months ago. This is the news media again trying to revive an old story and another example of the them creating negative news to advance their left wing agenda, instead of reporting news.
No one seems interested in how to correct the problems that existed at the time, their only interest is, and always has been, how can we blame Republicans? President Bush did everything any president could possibly have done with the information he was receiving. Michael Brown did everything he possibly could, but got severely lambasted by the Senate and held to blame because they didn't want to face the real truth that Brown was trying to tell them. Pointing fingers at who's to blame isn't going to solve the problem.
The real problem was not any one individual, but the bureaucracy of the Homeland Security Dept. The Homeland Security Dept. is the largest bureaucracy in the world since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and huge bureaucracies don't work fast, and they don't work well. You might as well expect a freight train to accelerate from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds, which is pretty much what people seemed to expect from FEMA. The mistake was in Congress, (that they don't want to own up to), in placing FEMA within the Homeland Security Dept. How frustrating it must have been for Brown, trying to get things done while dealing with layer upon layer of bureaucracy and bureaucrats dropping the ball on every pass.I've discussed all this before and don't want to repeat it here, but you should know that FEMA is now buried in a conglomerate of agencies such as the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Customs Service, the Secret Service, the Dept. of Agriculture, and on and on. All this comes under the Dept. of Emergency Preparedness and Response, and that comes under the Dept. of Homeland Security which then comes under the Executive Branch of the government. For FEMA, it was much simpler before, they reported directly to the Whitehouse, and for Michael Brown it was a nightmare. Now, if FEMA needs something, they have to go through all these layers of bureaucracy to get it and hope someone doesn't drop the ball as they did during Katrina. If Congress wants to fix the problems with FEMA, all they have to do it take the agency out from under the oversight of the Dept. of Homeland Security, problem solved.
FEMA was placed under the Dept. of Homeland Security by passage of Senate Bill [S.910] which was sponsored by: Sen Akaka, Daniel K. [D-HI], and cosponsored by Sen Carper, Thomas R. [D-DE], Sen Durbin, Richard [D-IL], Sen Collins, Susan M. [R-ME], and Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [D-NJ]. Notice all have the big "D" after their names except Collins which has an "R" for "Rino". These are the people who support big and inefficient bureaucracies and the very people who are really responsible for any failures in FEMA's response to Katrina. It's easy to see why they, and the media, want to blame it all on Brown and the President.
DP World too is misunderstood by the public.
The Committee on Foreign Investments has done an extensive investigation over the past 3 months on DP World but it seems nobody wants to talk about it or accept it. Their investigation included checks with our foreign intelligence agencies, CIA, FBI, Military Intel, etc., and gave the deal a clean bill of health and found no security risks. The Senate doesn't trust them to do their job and thinks they should be involved in it as well, so now they have injected themselves into the Committee's business, just as they insist on constantly crossing the Constitutional lines of "separation of powers" and injecting themselves into the business of the President and the Executive Branch. This is what happens when you have a group of deadbeat Democrats out of power in Congress, who want to look important and assume oversight of all other branches of government. This may be why their job approval ratings are down in the 30s in the polling.
The latest understanding I have now is that DP World will not be controlling those ports at all. The contract they are buying gives them lease rights to terminals within the ports now leased by P&O. It's like India Airlines leasing a terminal at the airport so they are assured of having a place for their planes to load and unload passengers. DPW has publicly stated that no UAE personnel will be taking over the jobs at those ports now occupied by British employees. There will be no changes in any port security policy, procedures, or personnel which is fully controlled by Americans and that is really the key issue here. If al Qaeda could get through our port security they would have already done so, DP World having title to the contract will not make that any easier for them. We own the ports, UAE owns a piece of paper that gives them operational management rights to their terminals within the ports, nothing more. It will be no different than the British P&O Co. running those terminals, or the Chinese operating terminals on the west coast which Democrats had no objections to when it began under the Clinton Administration.
Howard Dean, in an interview with Alan Combs on Fox News, called the president a liar. "The president has pattern of not telling the truth to the American people", Dean said. In the same interview, Dean professed repeatedly the line from Hillary Clinton "The president is outsourcing our security". Of course that's utter nonsense. Port security is not being "outsourced" by anyone, and the president had nothing to do with the sale of the P&O contract. "Those ports should be run by an American company" Dean insisted. When confronted with Alan's comment "But there were no American companies who bid on the contract", Dean replied "Well, there would have been if the bidding was restricted to American companies". "Restricted to American companies"? And how do we do that, tell the British P&O Co. that they cannot consider bids from anyone other than American companies?
There are no American port management companies large enough to bid on the sale of the P&O contract. The impression Dean gave was that he believes the president of the United States was selling a contract on port security to foreigners, in a vivid demonstration of his ignorance on the topic. How can we expect any Democrats to understand this issue when the Chairman of their own party doesn't have a clue what's going on and fills their heads with absurd misinformation? Dean ended the interview by stating that in this coming election, the American people are going to see a real difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. I don't think that is going to be a problem, Howard. We have been seeing major differences between Democrats and Republicans for the past 5 years now and know who the real liars are.
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