Wednesday, March 01, 2006

This Is What I Was Talking About!

Chinese Port Operator Linked to Weapons Smuggling

A ship owned by a Chinese government-run company that currently operates two giant terminals at the Port of Long Beach, California was found 10 years ago to have been used to smuggle a huge cache of illegal weapons - with the smugglers saying they planned to import missiles that could "take out a 747."

On the night of March 18, 1996, undercover Customs and BATF agents discovered 2000 AK-47's in a container smuggled aboard the Empress Phoenix, a ship owned by the China Ocean Shipping Company [COSCO] docked at the Port of Oakland.

It was the largest seizure of fully operational automatic weapons in the history of U.S. law enforcement.

Operatives nabbed after the seizure told investigators that they were ready to smuggle in everything from grenade launchers to shoulder-fired Red Parakeet surface to air missiles, which they boasted could "take out a 747."

But it begs the question, if Dubai Ports World - a company with no history of terrorism or smuggling operations into the United States - is unfit to play a role in U.S. ports management, what about Chinese companies?

In fact, the 1996 weapons smuggling operation was far from the only instance where questionable cargo has been discovered aboard COSCO vessels. Ships owned by the Chinese line have been repeatedly caught smuggling illegal immigrants in the United States.

In 2001, COSCO ships delivered weapons to Cuba, a move that triggered calls in the United States for sanctions against China, according to the Washington Times.

By the end of the decade, COSCO plans to expand its Long Beach facility into a giant five terminal operation covering 300 acres, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram.

So again, I ask the question, are we really going to throw a fit over Dubai Ports World, with no record of smuggling or terrorism in the United States, while we let China Ocean Shipping Co. have the run of Long Beach Harbor?

So what do we do?

Block DPW from taking over operations, and kick out COSCO?

That is Hillary's idea, and if that is what the majority of the US wants, I'm skeptical, but convince how this is a good idea...

Let's look at what we're proposing.

In 2001, for instance, COSCO ships carried 434,000 containers to the United States, representing 12.1 percent of all the goods shipped between China and the United States.

And what is next?

Kick Japan out of the US Auto Industry?

I know, that was over the top, but we're looking in the wrong place here anyway.

The issue is not really who operates the ports, the issue, and the reason the ports are currently vulnerable to terrorism, is our own government.

We need to step up security at all of our ports.

This is the perfect opportunity to do it.

Here's how it would work, Fu2rman style...

Dubai Ports wants in, no problem, but, there is going to have to be a new tax on every container to help pay for the added security the US Government is providing.

That way the entire cost of security is not passed on to the US taxpayer.

Then, when they agree to the deal, and because it wouldn't be fair to single them out, every port operator takes on the same tax burden.

If there is a smuggling or terrorist issue, there will be an investigation. If they were guilty or negligent in any way, they would pay heavy fines.

Second infraction, you lose your status as a port operator, no refund, nothing but a don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.


At this point, with our ports being operated by foreign interests all around our country,
what are we really able to do?

And, what are we prepared to do?

If we pull every operators status, and kick them out, what are the ramifications?

Will other countries kick American companies out of their ports?

Will they block American made products from being imported to their country? We already here enough crap over our trade deficit, can you imagine?

On top of all this, we would be kicking out allies of ours.

If we kicked British companies out of our ports, how do you think that would go over?

If we weren't already thought of as the A-Holes of the world, we sure would after that.



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