Apolitical Deconstruction

The title of this blog refers to my journey of self-transformation from someone loathe to publicly express his personal opinions on political matters to...well, keep reading and see!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Securing U.S. Ports

Yesterday, I sent the following letter to my U.S. Senators concerning the upcoming takeover of U.S. port facilities by Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates. This CNN article from last week, although a bit dated with respect to the very fluid political dynamics of this story, gives a good background to the events and issues involved. The story continues to evolve, and the D.P. World deal may yet be undone, however, I remain of the opinion that the security of U.S. ports is not contingent on the nationality of the port management company. Certainly, D.P. World must be properly screened and vetted, but port security will remain the province and responsibility of the U.S. government.

Dear Senator,

I have been closely following the news of the pending Dubai Ports World port management takeover deal. I am pleased that the company has agreed to a second and more thorough 45 day investigation. Although I would prefer that U.S. ports be managed by American owned companies, I think that Dubai Ports World should be given the opportunity to do so, provided that the company can fully address and comply with U.S. national security concerns.

Actually, I am far more concerned that the U.S. Coast Guard has requested $5.4 billion to fully fund its port security responsibilities, but thus far, the Bush administration has sought funding for only one tenth of that amount. I would like to request that you please work to ensure that the U.S. Coast Guard is provided with the full funding required to ensure that it can fulfill its responsibilities to secure our ports.

Thank you for your attention to my concerns.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Warrantless Wiretapping

A few days ago, I sent the following letter to my U.S. Senators regarding President Bush's authorization of the National Security Agency (NSA, at one time so secret that it was referred to as No Such Agency) to conduct warrentless surveillance of American citizens. This CNN article, written in December of last year, shortly after the New York Times broke the story, gives some background information on this issue. This Reuters article summarizes a speech given by former Vice President Al Gore in January, in which he called for the appointment of an Independent Counsel (same meaning as Special Prosecutor) to investigate the legality of Bush's authorization.

Dear Senator,

I am writing today to express my concern regarding President Bush's authorization of the NSA to perform wiretaps and other information gathering procedures on American citizens without any warrant or judicial oversight. It appears to me that the consensus of legal opinion on this matter is that this authorization was illegal. The President of the United States is not above the law. If he has broken the law, he must be made to answer for his action. This is not a partisan issue. It is a matter of protecting and defending our Democracy from a Chief Executive who may have chosen to ignore the rule of law. I do not believe that this matter can be effectively dealt with by partisan Congressional or Senate hearings. Therefore, I urge you to support the appointment a special prosecutor to objectively investigate the legality of the President's action.

Thank you for your attention to my concerns on this important matter.