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Mountain Lion Presents More Threat to National Security Than Dubai Port Deal

Reported by Janie - February 28, 2006

During the usual M&J debate segment on Dayside yesterday, regular Fox News Correspondents Rich Lowry and Ellis Hennican agreed for once - that the Mountain Lion on the loose in California presents more of a danger to National Security than the Dubai Port deal.

Mike Jerrick opened the segment with, "How much of that is genuine concern, and how much is just plain politics? So Rich, this 45 day review, is that good common ground for you? Are you satisfied with that?"

RL: "Yeah, I support the deal in the first place. I think the response to it has been entirely hysterical, this in no way threatens our national security. I think that mountain lion probably, out there in CA, is more a threat to our national security than this port deal, and I think a lot of Congressmen have been very ill informed, have said things over the past week that are, frankly, kind of stupid."

JH: "Is the mountain lion more of a concern for you?"

EH:" I'm much more concerned about the mountain lion. My guess is, what's the ratio? I would say 90% politics and 10% genuine concern, but you know... It's very tough politics for the president. The minute you say Arab's running our ports, it's pretty easy to stoke up the hysteria, and that's what happened here."

MJ: "Well, some of the controversy has been Rich, did the President vet this company well enough before somebody made the decision for him?"

RL: "Yeah, well politically this is not been handled well. It's mid-level bureaucrats making the decision and they clearly should have kicked it upstairs, you know the Homeland Security Secretary, the Treasury Secretary and the President knew about it and had the chance to think about it, and a chance to compare and most importantly inform Congress about what was going on."

Comment: If the President was not properly informed of the deal, why in the world would he threaten his FIRST veto over something that he claims to know nothing about? Does that kind of leadership (I use the term loosely) make everyone feel safer?

Huddy continued by asking the audience their opinion on the deal, "Audience, what do you think? Based on everything you've heard, now there's a 45 day review, do you think it's a good idea to have an Arab company running a port in the United States?"

Comment: The audience responded with a loud, resounding "No!"

MJ: "You don't want that?"

JH: "That seems to be the overwhelming response from our viewers, our email..."

At this point, an audience member posed a question to the panel, asking why an American company was not running our ports.

RL: "You have to understand, an Arab company will not be running our ports. The ports will continue to be owned by US governmental agencies. All the security will be done by the Coast Guard and customs, and all the same people that have done it before. What these companies basically do is hire people to operate the cranes, and those will be the same people operating the cranes now, they're longshoremen. And if someone's going to infiltrate, Arab terrorists into the longshoreman association, I wish them a lot of luck."

Comment: Well, since Lowry brought it up, why don't we ask the Coast Guard what they think of this deal? Apparently, the Coast Guard themselves have voiced concerns over this deal, and according to Forbes their report had this to say:

"'There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW (DP World) or P&O (Peninsular & Oriental) assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment' of the potential merger, the half-page excerpt said. 'The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities.'"

Hmmm, maybe that's why many Americans trust the Democrats on National Security issues now more than they do Bush.

Hennican continued, "That's who's really going to run our ports, the Teamsters Union and the longshoremen. Two organizations, by the way, that have never had any skullduggery in any of them."

MJ: "Again, it's not the whole port, they're running cranes and the operation of some terminals inside these giant ports."

EH: "They're the clipboard guys, they come around with the clipboards and say, what ya got?"

Comment: Everyone involved in the segment neglected to mention the UAE would be managing 21 (not 6, as initially reported) of our ports. While some of the management jobs may include "walking around with a clip board" or "running cranes", others include loading and unloading our military equipment being shipped to Iraq. Not to mention that a country with ties to 9/11 would be privy to our disaster preparedness plans, as well as our security measures simply by being there. And certainly none of them addressed the possibility of regime change in the UAE at some point in the future, which is a serious concern that not many have broached.

Huddy continued, "There have been quite a few Republicans though that were upset about this, Peter King of the Homeland Security Comittee, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, a Republican, very supportive of President Bush. Is this something that has created some bad blood between the Republicans and the President?"

RL: "Yeah, but I think you see now some of those Republicans trying to back off, because they got so far out on a limb saying things that were unsupportive or wrong about this, now they're trying to walk back."

Comment: "because they got so far out on a limb saying things that were unsupportive"? Since when has it been wrong to be unsupportive of the administration when they are merely doing their job by standing up and acting as the voice of the American people?

Personally, I'd take the Mountain lion any day.

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