WHO IS IN CHARGE THESE DAYS AT DHS?
The president didn't know about it; nor, as it turns out, did DHS' secretary Michael Chertoff. Who, exactly, is minding the store? Well, if 12 - 20 million illegal aliens in this country (and more border-jumpers on the way daily) are any guide, you have your answer on the state of post-"9/11" national security. And to think that the president and the DHS chief are the two who have been reassuring us that security in place to protect our ports will be unchanged by the UAE-owned Dubai Ports World deal. Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Then there's this snippet from a retired U.S. Navy officer and reader of Hugh Hewitt's blog who sent Hugh an e-mail, a portion of which is very telling:
From time to time I go down to the port in LA and Long Beach. When I get to the gate, yes, there is a guard there. I tell him where I'm going, and he signs me in and waves me through. (There doesn't seem to be a system in place to validate that I am authorized on that given day to be in that particular place.) Our system isn't exactly air-tight today.
FOLLOW-UP: Further to the observations of the retired U.S. Navy officer who sent an e-mail to Hugh Hewitt, here's an article in today's Houston Chronicle (republished from the Baltimore Sun) that quotes longshoremen in Baltimore who are none too impressed with current port security -- you know, the "security" that President Bush and DHS' Michael Chertoff reassure us will not be taken over by DuBai Ports World:
There certainly are issues on the waterfront, longshoremen say: security issues from holes in the system set up after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Sometimes guards don't always take a good look at ID cards at the gate, or foreign crews are allowed unchecked off the ships or even out of the port, some said. Or U.S. Customs and Coast Guard officials tasked with flagging suspicious cargo go home before the ship is unloaded, some said.
Maybe we need to eliminate the Bush boondoggle -- the Department of Homeland Security -- and outsource our national security to a foreign firm that can get the job done a whole lot better. Funny how the federal government defends these sorts of actions, but never wants to outsource its own jobs and responsibilities to other governments or third parties. Chew on that one for awhile!