Jimmy Carter pointed out that the ports have been run by foreign companies for decades, which only made the conservatives madder.
Meanwhile, it came to light that the Coast Guard had cautioned Bush weeks ago that it could not determine whether the United Arab Emirates-based company might support terrorist operations. The Coast Guard now maintains that their concerns have been addressed. Nonetheless workers at Port Newark protested. Stewart Baker, an assistant secretary for Homeland Security, said he was aware of the Coast Guard's concerns and thought it was "A little unfair to judge this report by one paragraph that happens not to be classified," making classification of documents sound like some random act, a roll of the dice, a piece of luck.
Some Democrats are now pushing for legislation banning foreign ownership of U.S. ports. But other groups are just anti-Arab and point out that two of the 9-11 terrorists were from Dubai, though neither worked for Dubai Ports World.
There is however widespread agreement that our ports are not secure and not enough has been done to change that. It was in fact a major point in John Kerry's campaign for president. Republicans at the time said, Don't change horses in midstream. But now, with midterm elections just around the corner, they are singing a different tune.
It's a sad conclusion that it would take racism to alert us to the fact that we have elected incompetent politicians who have wasted hundreds of billions of dollars on a war of choice instead of shoring up our defenses. We've got 127,000 troops still in Iraq while the rest of the world is buying up our assets at home.