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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Can Anyone Give Me a Good Example...

I asked this in the comments for my "UAE port outsourcing end-run of the legal process" post below, but the more I think about it, the more I'm wondering if there truly is an answer:
[T]here's a long history of privatization in port running in this country -- but there is also a review process that is to be followed in the contracting of this. And in this case, Bush appears to have a review board that rubber stamped the deal rather than following the law. Sound familiar? It would be one thing if I were confident that the Bush Administration actually did the due diligence on all of this and that they vetted all the potential down sides -- but, frankly, when have they ever really done that on any major issue of national security? I'm wracking my brain for a good example and I haven't been able to come up with a good one this morning. Anyone else have a triumph of good government over expedient cronyism and full-steam-ahead-despite-the-true-facts story to share for these morons? Because I'm honestly having trouble coming up with one good one.
From pulling out early from Afghanistan to enter Iraq, based on ginned-up evidence of an unnecessary war of choice, to failing to do the adequate planning for post-war Iraq because we banked on the "candy and flowers" scenario, to Katrina, to this end-run of the legal review process for a foreign nation controlled company running our ports...I honestly have not been able to come up with one really good example of this Administration making a good, solid, well-researched decision on a matter of national security where the due diligence required by the magnitude of the problem was actually and fully done.

Can anyone come up with one? If so, please let me know in the comments.

The bottom line for me on this: I don't trust this Administration to do the work, to do adequate due diligence, to consider all the worst-case scenario questions that need to be asked -- because thus far, I haven't been able to come up with a good example of a case when they actually did this. I don't trust George Bush and whatever cronies were in on this deal to adequately consider its ramifications for the rest of us above and beyond whatever profit margin concern they had for themselves. And that's the truth of it. How sad is that?

The kicker for me is the failure to follow the legally mandated longer review process. One more short cut for George Bush -- and the nation has to, once again, live with the consequences.

And how bad is this decision when even Bill Frist is demanding that the President do adequate review or face Congressional action? What bizarro world have we stumbled into on this today?

UPDATE: As Redshift asks in the comments, someone explain how privatization of our port security is advanced by outsourcing it to a state-owned company? (Albeit one that is owned not by the United States, but by the UAE. You know, a whole n'other state than our own.)
I think it is possible that there are no serious security concerns, but the Administration owes to the public (through our Congressional representatives) enough transparency to convince us that they have had it checked out. "Trust us" won't cut it.

We're talking about a state-owned company in a country that was cited for non-cooperation by the 9/11 Commission.

If the deal is killed, it won't be for "political" considerations, it will be for national security concerns. I find it difficult to imagine that would run afoul of the WTO.

(And yes, I would be even more concerned if it were a company owned by the government of Pakistan, and would frankly think it would be insane not to be concerned in that case. Indonesia would require just as much scrutiny as the UAE. And just to undercut the implication of anti-Muslim bigotry in your examples -- forgive me if that was not intended -- I would advocate the same thing for a Chinese company.)
I'm just sayin'.