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TERRORISM: Bush Admin Hiring Hutchison Whampoa to Scan for Nukes

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posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 08:39 PM
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The current administration is finalizing negotiations for Hong Kong based Hutchison Whampoa, Ltd. to operate a radiological scanning device at a port in the Bahamas for cargo bound to the U.S., outside the presence of U.S. customs inspectors.
 



news.yahoo.com
WASHINGTON - In the aftermath of the Dubai ports dispute, the Bush administration is hiring a Hong Kong conglomerate to help detect nuclear materials inside cargo passing through the Bahamas to the United States and elsewhere.

The administration acknowledges the no-bid contract with Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. represents the first time a foreign company will be involved in running a sophisticated U.S. radiation detector at an overseas port without American customs agents present.

Freeport in the Bahamas is 65 miles from the U.S. coast, where cargo would be likely to be inspected again. The contract is currently being finalized.

...

Hutchison Whampoa is the world's largest ports operator and among the industry's most-respected companies. It was an early adopter of U.S. anti-terror measures. But its billionaire chairman, Li Ka-Shing, also has substantial business ties to China's government that have raised U.S. concerns over the years.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I found this story interesting given the current furore over any companies with Chinese or other foreign connections having some sort of role in U.S. infrastructure. As the article notes, Hutchison Whampoa is one of the worlds largest ports operators. It was also involved some time ago in a bid for a U.S. telecoms firm, Global Crossing, turned down on national security grounds (and leading to the resignation of Richard Perle, who- somewhat hypocritically-lobbied for the sale).

I see this as a symptom of multinationals filling formerly public roles. In the old days (ie, the 80s), the thing to do was to privatize government sectors. Today, we continue that policy, except the U.S. private sector isn't so competetive anymore. So, we will see more and more international firms filling the roles left open by privatization policies because they can offer superior value and quality. Is it a wise policy to outsource these types of jobs? And, why hasn't the American private sector proven adequate to the task? My own view is that there is far more focus on foreign threats- often sensationalistically- and far less on the question of what this says about U.S. competetiveness or the wisdom of privatization.

Some more thoughts I had earlier:



The great majority of our stevedoring and port services are contracted to foreign companies. China, Singapore, the UK, and France I think top the list. This is the price you pay as Americans for prying open the rest of the worlds markets in the name of free trade. Sooner or later we have to practice what we preach.

Of course, depending on the deal of the weak- if it's Japan buying our computer firms, China buying our oil companies, or the UAE buying our ports, the capitalists who own American firms will be playing on all your patriotic xenophobic impulses to support their interests, because its easier than actually being competetive in a global marketplace.

But, if they want to sell American scrap metal to China, or rice to Japan, or military hardware to the UAE, all of a sudden, they'll start getting you all to sing songs about free trade going hand in hand with democracy.


Some more ATS discussions about similar topics:

China owned port to host Chinese Submarines at L.A. harbor
Port Security in the U.S. in the hands of Islam?
Why is President Bush so adamant about transferring control of U.S. ports to UAE control?
COSCO, A Military Chinese Company Operating in a U.S. Pier


[edit on 23-3-2006 by koji_K]




posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 12:29 AM
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Hutchison Whampoa, Ltd. is owned by Li Ka-shing, a Chinese multibillionare who has ties with the CCP, and has been accused to act as a spy for the CCP.

Here is some information on Li and one of his companies Hutchinson Whampoa, Ltd.


The 74-year-old Li, Asia's wealthiest businessman, was cited for the global reach of his Hong Kong-based ports and phones group Hutchison Whampoa Ltd (和計黃浦) and US$7 billion of investments in China.
........................
In China, his birthplace, Li has forged ties that have enabled him to become one of the most-populous country's biggest investors. "His influence is not visible, but he's one of those who do business with China," Lam said. "He's gotten his way."

Li, born in southern China, has donated more than US$500 million for education and health care in Asia, Forbes said. That includes university and welfare facilities in China, according to the Web site of the Li Ka-shing Foundation.
...........................
The Hong Kong tycoon's ties with China have sometimes been criticized. James Courter, chief executive of IDT Corp., said this week US government officials are concerned about "communist" influence on Global Crossing Ltd, a bankrupt communications network operator that Hutchison and Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte agreed to buy.

Hutchison, which controls ports at both ends of the Panama Canal, also drew fire in 1999 from then-US Senate Majority leader Trent Lott, who alleged the company had links to the Chinese military. Hutchison dismissed the allegations.

www.taipeitimes.com...

This is really bad news.

As for the reason why the U.S. government is allowing this, the following is what is reported on the original article.


The Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration is negotiating the Bahamas contract under a $121 million security program it calls the "second line of defense." Wilkes, the NNSA spokesman, said the Bahamian government dictated that the U.S. give the contract to Hutchison.

"It's their country, their port. The driver of the mobile carrier is the contractor selected by their government. We had no say or no choice," he said. "We are fortunate to have allies who are signing these agreements with us."


However, this is what supposedly some security experts are saying as to that explanation.



Some security experts said that is a weak explanation in the Bahamas, with its close reliance on the United States. The administration could insist that the Bahamas permit U.S. Customs agents to operate at the port, said Albert Santoli, an expert on national security issues in Asia and the Pacific.

"Why would they not accept that?" said Santoli, a former national security aide to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (news, bio, voting record), R-Calif. "There is an interest in the Bahamas and every other country in the region to make sure the U.S. stays safe and strong. That's how this should be negotiated."

Flynn, the former Coast Guard commander, agreed the Bahamas would readily accept such a proposal but said the U.S. is short of trained customs agents to send overseas.

Contract documents obtained by the AP show at least one other foreign company is involved in the U.S. radiation-detection program.


Although it could be true that the government of Bahamas demanded the U.S. to do this, this puts in great danger the security of the United States.

I think it's time for us to do some arm twisting to these supposed "allies of ours" such as China.

[edit on 24-3-2006 by Muaddib]



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 12:43 AM
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Here is some more information about this company,


"A company called Panama Ports Company, S.A., affiliated with Hutchinson Whampoa, Ltd. through its owner, Mr. Li Ka-Shing, currently maintains control of four of the Panama Canal's major ports....Panama Port Company is 10 percent owned by China Resources Enterprise, the commercial arm of China's Ministry of Trade and Economic Cooperation."

Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) has called China Resources Enterprise "an agent of espionage -- economic, military, and political -- for China." He also has observed that CRE has "geopolitical purposes. Kind of like a smiling tiger; it might look friendly, but it's very dangerous." The same might be said of Li Ka-Shing, who has been closely linked with the Chinese government, including the People's Liberation Army and intelligence services.


www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org...

Some more information which corroborates the above.


Among other companies, Li is also the principal owner of the Panama Ports Company and China Resources Enterprise which collectively control four major ports at the eastern and western entry points to the Panama Canal. In a recent hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on U.S. interests in the Panama Canal, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Thomas H. Moorer (USN, Ret.) raised an alarm over Hutchison's role -- and that of the Chinese government -- in Panama. As Adm. Moorer put it:


...There's far more going on [in Panama] then meets the eye. A company called Panama Ports Company, S.A., affiliated with Hutchinson Whampoa, Ltd. through its owner, Mr. Li Ka-Shing, currently maintains control of four of the Panama Canal's major ports.
Now, Panama Port Company is 10 percent owned by China Resources Enterprise, the commercial arm of China's Ministry of Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Adm. Moorer added:

Hutchison-Whampoa controls countless ports around the world. My specific concern is that this company is controlled by the Communist Chinese. And they have virtually accomplished, without a single shot being fired, a stronghold on the Panama Canal, something which took our country so many years to accomplish
-- [that is] the building and control of the Panama Canal -- along with military and commercial access in our own hemisphere."

Just What Is China Resources Enterprise?
On 16 July 1997, Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) was quoted by the South China Morning Post as saying that China Resources Enterprise acts as "an agent of espionage -- economic, military, and political -- for China." He also has observed that CRE has "geopolitical purposes. Kind of like a smiling tiger; it might look friendly, but it's very dangerous."

www.security-policy.org...


[edit on 24-3-2006 by Muaddib]



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 05:07 AM
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I just found $1.3 billion dollars, will that be enough to hire a few more customs agents and maybe even absorb some of the additional cost of hiring AMERICAN COMPANIES running our home ports? Sure, this money has already been appropriated to embed passports with chips (for national security purposes of course!!)....

www.cagw.org...

but, well, most american won't need passports anymore anyways if china decides that we are eating up too much oil and decides we shouldn't get anymore shipments anyways!!!

God, we started outsourcing our government jobs to reduce the size and cost of government, only look at our budget now!! and we can embed our people, animals, documents, liscence plates and God knows what else all we want. It ain't gonna help our national security one bit if armed Chinese subs are docked at our harbor and and a few hundred thousand well armed soldiers are being unloaded off of chinese cargo ships!!!

It's time for some new faces in washington!! starting with the Nov. election! if we make it that far! out with the old, in with the new. if we could replace around 90% of those running for office every november, maybe they'd get the message in a few years. we want some changes to the status quo! there's plenty of money wasted every year in the budget to get some more customs agents...

www.cagw.org...

pick out your favorite waste of taxpayer money from last years budget, and send your congressmen a letter telling them that you'd would have been much happier if they had used some of that money to train more people to protect our country by hiring a few more custom agents or run our harbors, than having us trust china with the task!!


[edit on 24-3-2006 by dawnstar]



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 09:20 AM
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Good posts.


I came across an particularly relevant portion from that last link, the 'pigbook,':



On September 13, 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the recipients of the fourth round of port security grants. Premier Yachts, Inc., a private for-profit company with revenues of $40 million in 2003, was awarded three port security grants totaling $208,100. Premier offers "fine dining and entertainment cruises" through its Odyssey, Mystic Blue, and Seadog Cruises in Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Nothing like wining and dining at the taxpayers’ expense.


[edit on 24-3-2006 by koji_K]



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 09:48 AM
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lots of info about LI KA-SHING

www.softwar.net...



[edit on 24-3-2006 by dawnstar]

just wondering, how many custom agents would $208,100 have paid for???

coast to coast had someone on it last night talking about this. Noory was going on about how this would be the last nail in bush's coffen just about...

I have to admit, it does cause me to wonder just what in the world they are doing in washington.

by the way, they also claim that this guy has connections to the rothschilds and rockerfellers.....new world order connections in other words...



[edit on 24-3-2006 by dawnstar]



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 10:53 AM
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Ironic that we didn't give a port deal to a good company, but those same congressionals hooting and hollering over dubai aren't saying anything about this, which is an actual security concern.

Hell, there are chinese government run companies that run ports in the US already anyways, no one cared about that.

Guess chinese people aren't as scary as arabs.
Too bad fear and ignorance drive our politics, rather than reason!



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 10:56 AM
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The National Nuclear Security Administration, which is an Energy Department agency tasked with strengthening nuclear security worldwide, is negotiating the Bahamas contract under a $121 million program it calls the "second line of defense." Wilkes, the NNSA spokesman, said the Bahamian government dictated that the U.S. give the contract to Hutchison.

"It's their country, their port. The driver of the mobile carrier is the contractor selected by their government. We had no say or no choice," he said. "We are fortunate to have allies who are signing these agreements with us."

So, the Bahamian gov't tells us who we must award sensitive contracts to? What's that all about?

I think that the US should call the shots here as to who gets their contracts. We should do this for the sake of consistency, if nothing else, in the wake of the DPW deal. But just as important is the precedent being set by allowing a tourist island to dictate terms of our business deals.

What impact would there be if we should just bypass the Bahamas when it comes to shipping cargo?



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 11:08 AM
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by what I hear, Ka-Shing built and owns all the ports in the bahamas also...

could the dubai port deal maybe have been kind of a scam.....the public has an outrage over this, demands laws be changed, and well, low and behold, the lawmakers are forced by their constituants to make our ports run by only american companies....sorry, our good friends and trading partners, China, we had to do it, to protect ourselves from those horrible arab terrorists.

what got me the most was hillary's ranting over the dubai deal. she had to have known about cosco and our western ports....yet, this one little arab company deserves her outrage??



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 11:24 AM
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What is with the Bush Administration??? It's like they are purposefully going out and trying to hire the worst/most dangerous people for the job. If there was ever anything that would convince me of a worldwide government conspiracy/NWO type thing, it would be stuff like this.

IT JUST DEFIES LOGIC.

Hey, why don't we just make Saddam our Chief Military Advisor, put Osama in charge of a major US airline, and put a North Korean company in charge of our nuclear power!

[edit on 24-3-2006 by Yarcofin]



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 02:47 PM
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Why are they not screaming about this in the mainstream media? You figure this would be a BIG deal... If they were concerned over the Dubai ports deal, this certainly has even more potential to threaten security. All I've really seen is a Yahoo! article, and George Noory was talking about it last night on Coast 2 Coast AM.



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 04:12 PM
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Originally posted by dawnstar
.....................
coast to coast had someone on it last night talking about this. Noory was going on about how this would be the last nail in bush's coffen just about...


Yeah, I heard Noory also, but I doubt he read the entire article as he did not mention the possibility that the U.S. could not have had a say on the matter.

I believe we need to find out exactly what happened before people begin once again with the "let's oust president Bush"....

Some people are just looking for any excuse to do this, but we need to know whether or not it is true that the U.S. had no other choice.

If we would have said no to this, is it possible that the government of Bahamas could have given the ports to the Chinese and thrown American companies from Bahamas?

Now-a-days the CCP seems to have a lot of money. They are training military in south America and central America... Militaries such as castro's, and Chavez's... They were helping Saddam together with the Russians, and both of them are helping the Iranian government, as well as Syria and every government which calls itself an enemy of the United States....

And some people still believe that China(and Russia) are friends and allies of ours and don't have anything except the best in mind when concerning the health and wellbeing of American citizens and the United States...


[edit on 24-3-2006 by Muaddib]



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 04:39 PM
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Do what you want Mr President... obviously nothing can change your pocket book, opps, I mean mind...

Just dont blow smoke up our butts about "security first for Americans"
because that arguement just flew out the window and crashed into a tower...
(along with the various port deals)

Our administration can no longer say that ANY of the Patriot act is to protect us... they can no longer say that "Republicans want security, democrats want you to live in fear" and all the other words of garbage that have come out of its mouth...

This administration wants no bid contracts with big money interests... period!
if they wanted security, then they would profile at airports, stop selling security related issues to outside interests, and close the damn borders!

those three little bits would do 10X the amount of "security building" that the patriot act did...

I really dont mind, that we sell our security contracts... but at least stop LIEING to us!
and stop trying to use the excuse "to build our security" because it is now obvious that isn't it..



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 07:29 PM
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For some reason the name of that company brings me pictures of Chinese mafia.

I bet that it does have links to mafia.



posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 09:19 PM
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How can so much anti-Bush sentiment live in people's minds?

Did you folks read the same article that I did?

It is the Bahamian gov't that is insisting that the deal be awarded to the Chinese, not Bush. The question is, should we allow them to have control over our business deals, and/or what can we do to change their demands.

Now how can you blame this on Bush? Your partisanship is eating you up from the inside out, to the point where you react like Pavlov's dog to anything that involves our gov't.



posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 01:18 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
How can so much anti-Bush sentiment live in people's minds?

Did you folks read the same article that I did?

It is the Bahamian gov't that is insisting that the deal be awarded to the Chinese, not Bush. The question is, should we allow them to have control over our business deals, and/or what can we do to change their demands.

Now how can you blame this on Bush? Your partisanship is eating you up from the inside out, to the point where you react like Pavlov's dog to anything that involves our gov't.


I think a lot of people did not read the whole article.

We do not know if what the U.S. officials said is true or not, but it is very possible.

Did China make an offer to the government of Bahamas that the U.S. government could not surpass? I beleive that is very possible, and could be the reason why we didn't have any say on the matter.



posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 07:01 AM
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ya, I read the whole article, most of what other people had posted also...

this is what kind of peeves me off.

------------------------------------------------

Some security experts said that is a weak explanation in the Bahamas, with its close reliance on the United States. The administration could insist that the Bahamas permit U.S. Customs agents to operate at the port, said Albert Santoli, an expert on national security issues in Asia and the Pacific.

"Why would they not accept that?" said Santoli, a former national security aide to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (news, bio, voting record), R-Calif. "There is an interest in the Bahamas and every other country in the region to make sure the U.S. stays safe and strong. That's how this should be negotiated."

Flynn, the former Coast Guard commander, agreed the Bahamas would readily accept such a proposal but said the U.S. is short of trained customs agents to send overseas.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

did ya catch what the former coast guard commander said??? we are short on trained customs agents, and he thinks this fact played an important role in all this. have you looked at our budget deficit lately, a large chunk of that is going for national securirty, ya know, chipping our documents, chipping our animals, fighting our wars, eavedropping on our citizens....giving themselves parties for "jobs well done"....

well, they have plenty of money they are spending!!! they had more than enough to train plenty of customs agents to supervise this!! but, they've done such a swell job!!! they had to contract themselves out luxury yatchs to pat themselves on the back for instead...


if what was said on coast to coast is right, this is our newest technology, and you might as well say that we're giving it to the chinese military to study, find out how it works, share it with their friends, and find ways around it....

and, I am not blaming just bush. or just the republicans. the ball started rolling onthis one during the clinton administration!! can't blame bush without blaming clinton, if you're gonna blame them, well, you might as well also look at those who've been in congress for decades, since they more than likely know about everything that is going on and they are susposed to be overseeing the president and his administration. but, bush has spent an awful lot of money on "national defense", aiming mainly on survallience, and control of the population, meanwhile, our borders are more insecure, we have more illegals in the country, and as we are learning, our port security is being compromised because we have to trust companies owned by foreign governments to run them...

and ya, we might not have had a choice, who knows china might have threatened to dump our treasury notes onto the open market and destroy the world economy or something....dependency=servitude....the more we depend on china for our cheap goods or to finance our way of life, the more power we give them to have their say,when it comes to things like this. but oh, ya......outsourcing and cheap imports is good for our economy, right!! it's just losey for the country.
ya, china has alot of money, where did it come from?



posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 12:45 PM
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Well for what I have been listening coming in the news I think this one is going to become another hot issue for sure.

All in the name of national security.



posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
Now how can you blame this on Bush? Your partisanship is eating you up from the inside out, to the point where you react like Pavlov's dog to anything that involves our gov't.


Three words "Commander in Chief"

It's not partisanship when the blame is apropos.



posted on Mar, 25 2006 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by dawnstar

and, I am not blaming just bush. or just the republicans. the ball started rolling onthis one during the clinton administration!! can't blame bush without blaming clinton, if you're gonna blame them, well, you might as well also look at those who've been in congress for decades, since they more than likely know about everything that is going on and they are susposed to be overseeing the president and his administration.


Very true. I was trying to imply that the roots of this situation began with Reagan, with his policies of privatization. But of course, he is not solely to blame. Bush, Clinton, and Bush all have been Commanders in Chief and their actions have most likely also led to this situation. And, realistically, it's impossible to truly say when it began- no doubt long before Reagan, with some act(s) and/or trend(s) easily missed in history.

I wasn't trying to play the presidential blame-game, either. As you say, the responsibility lies perhaps as much with Congress throughout all these administrations.

I think it's important to look beyond the China-friendly Clinton years, though, and the China-antagonizing Bush Jr. years, to the deeper history of the situation. Bush Jr. promotes his national security strengths as Clinton supporters promoted his economic strengths. But the situation has its roots in "deeper time."

It's not just about security, and it's not just about the economy. It's about the direction the entire planet is going, and questions that raises- which functions should government have, and which should private enterprise have? I truly don't know the answer to this question, although I have a feeling that it is far more relevant today than it was ever before.

And, as an equally important issue, how much of our world-view these days is formed by the nation-state, compared to, say, 20 years ago?

[edit on 25-3-2006 by koji_K]




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