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CC on a Letter I Wrote to the President

Here is the text of a letter that I wrote to the President today... 

February 23, 2006 

President George W. Bush 
The White House 
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW 
Washington, DC 20500 
FAX TO 202-456-2461 

Dear Mr. President, 

I write to you today to speak about the plans of a state-owned company from the United Arab Emirates to purchase control over six American ports.  Normally, I vote Republican, and am your staunch supporter.  Right now, however, I feel that you are wrong.  That leaves the Congress as the check on your power.  I regretfully have written my senators and congressman, and have asked them to oppose this purchase with legislation, and to vote to override any Presidential veto of such legislation.

I do not agree with the notion that opposing this sale is racist, or in any other way discriminatory against Arabs.  In fact, I donít oppose the sale per se.  There has to be some sort of detailed investigation.  As you know, Mr. President, nineteen out of twenty containers entering the United States are not inspected.  This means that the company managing the port is in the best position to manipulate the flow of cargo to inspectors.  I am certain that the company itself is not a terrorist front or in any way affiliated with terrorism.  However, any large company cannot possibly vouch for each and every employee.

It is not racist to note that nineteen Arabs crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and, were it not for the brave intervention of some airplane passengers, perhaps the Capitol or the White House.  I also consider the recent uproar over some cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet.  While I find the cartoons tasteless, they are certainly within the scope of freedom of expression.  The Arab reaction to mere cartoons has been fatal violence.  I personally know of at one web site that has been subjected to relentless denial-of-service attacks because the site operator posted the cartoons.  Such extremists cannot be allowed within our security perimeter.  I am certain that you agree.

Unfortunately, Mr. President, your arguments in favor of this deal donít account for the past acts of the UAE, nor do they account for the possibility that even one rogue employee can compromise our border even more than it presently is.  It is possible for such an employee to merely observe and ďtake notesĒ about how our security apparatus operates, and to pass those notes to terrorists abroad, who can then plan to breach the security protocol based on inside information.

At minimum, we need to step back from this deal and take steps to ensure that this company is vetted, and that steps are in place to ensure the security of each and every employee therein.  And frankly, I would expect this to be done for any foreign company that would be hired to administer our ports.  Alternatively, I would certainly not oppose a bill that, in the same way that TV and radio station licenses cannot be owned by foreigners, bars foreign ownership, control, or operations of any of our ports.  I donít feel that my security concerns render me xenophobic, and I resent those who accuse me of such a thing.

I therefore, most respectfully, encourage you to reconsider your position and / or support a bill that properly protects the United States of America.  This is not about Arabs or Islam.  This is about our security.  It appears that you donít care about the political issues.  That is a good thing.  You have done a phenomenal job of keeping us safe.  Please donít mitigate your vigilance at this time.

Best wishes.  You remain in my familyís and my prayers daily.

Most Respectfully,
John F. Tamburo