In this United Press International article written by Pamela Hess the details of the situation are articulated. The major points, as far as I can tell, are:
Bush did't bother to tell Congress.
A company based in the United Arab Emirates is taking over operations at 21 U.S. ports on the east-and-gulf coasts.
An employee from the company was appointed by Bush on the same day to an administrative position in the maritime arm of U.S. Dept. of Transportation.
The United Arab Emirates, although seen as a U.S. ally now, had definite links to Al Queda a few years ago.
The companies in charge of port terminal operations are intimately involved in maintaining security there.
7 million cargo containers come through 361 U.S. ports. 37% are screened for radiation, and few are searched.
Congresspeople from both parties are up in arms, as are state governors and a noted conservative "think tank."
And, there is such strong rhetoric (I hesitate to call their rhetoric "strong," lets say "constant" instead) coming from the "right" about how democrats, and anyone else who opposed the destructive doings of BushCo, are weak on defense. Who is weak on defense? Who sent a big chunk of our talented, brave, and important armed forces overseas on a wild goose chase? Hunting a threat directed at us here at home in the U.S?
I get so sick of that "you're a pussy" argument coming from the right wing mouthpieces- they always direct it anyone who doesn't like the invasion of Iraq and subseqeunt waste of resources and lives, not to mention that fact that the reasons given for going over there were false. They like to say we are weak, weak on defence, and weak in general, which is of course bullshit. It's more accurate to say we think our country should not conduct national defence in a stupid manner.
The affair with the ports is a good example of the Bush Administration's stupidity, secrecy, and back room deal making between corporation and government resulting an increased threat of attacks on the U.S.
The irony is that BushCo loudly cries "NATIONAL SECURITY" any time anyone asks such troubling issues as the systematic dimantling of the Bill or Rights, the destruction of the environment, or the erosion of checks and balances.
The affair with the ports kind of demonstrates who we are dealing with here. We are seeing in action a group of people here that behave like a private corporation, showing little respect for the U.S. Congress, U.S. citizens, or U.S. national security. Constantly two-faced, lying, speaking out of the other side of their mouths, getting away with it, being proud of getting away with and training their followers to laugh snidely at those of us who give a damn about this country.