China Hired for Homeland Defense
(Dec. 13, 2008)
As if we didn't have enough to worry about – what with the trillions in taxpayer bailouts of the failed banks, quasi-government mortgage lenders and automakers – listen to this tale of madness from Washington.
A company run by the son of Chinese Pesident Hu Jintao, who does business with Iran, Cuba and Venzuela, was hired a year ago for $1.9 million to X-ray cargo being loaded on to cruise ships in Los Angeles.
Now, maybe you say, "Farah, what's wrong with that? These cruise ships are leaving from the U.S. They're not cargo ships entering the U.S.?"
Maybe that's what officials thought when the awarded the contract to low bidder Nuctech Inc. (Yes, that's actually the name of the company.)
But were the motivations beyond securing the contract other than monetary?
That is the question being raised by U.S. and British competitors. They suggest Nuctech wanted the deal primarily to get its high-tech scanning machines into a major U.S. port. Or, maybe the company so closely tied to the Chinese government wanted to get hooked up to the Department of Homeland Security's databases.
Remember the outrage over the Dubai Ports deal? Somehow, few have noticed what could be an even bigger government debacle.
A handful of members of Congress are trying to alert the public to the threat.
"We should not be depending on Chinese technology for our national security," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. "It's not the fault of the Port of Los Angeles for taking the lowest bidder, but rather the fault of the federal government for not setting standards to prevent us from being dependent on our adversaries to provide equipment used for national security purposes."
Rohrabacher says in a time of crisis the Chinese could potentially disable the equipment or withhold spare parts.
"What we have here is symptomatic of a China trade policy which as a whole has worked against the long-term interests of the United States, both economically and in terms of national security," he added.
Add to this mess the fact that the U.S. is increasingly dependent on Chinese cash to keep the economy afloat. This dependence allows China even to have sway over U.S. mortgage interest rates. Since the U.S. government seized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac this fall, China, which holds the world's largest cash reserves of about $1.9 trillion, has shed about $50 billion in those entities' debt and mortgage bonds, forcing them to pay more to borrow and lend.
China has now passed Japan to become the U.S. government's largest foreign creditor – owning nearly $1 of every $10 in U.S. public debt. With the increased borrowing the U.S. government is forced to do in its current bailout spree, Washington will be forced to rely more on Beijing to raise money to cover those rising costs.
And where did China get all this cash? Largely with what it earned and continues to earn from exports of its cheap goods to the U.S. Last year, the U.S. imported five times as much from China as it exported.
Isn't "free trade" wonderful?
Isn't all this a great deal for U.S. consumers?
Isn't globalism so much better for all?
The day of reckoning is coming – if it isn't here already.
I've seen some bad decisions made in Washington over the course of my lifetime, but nothing that tops what has taken place just in the last few months.
I fear for our freedom. I fear for the peace. I fear for our survival. I fear for the future of our children.