- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 25, 2006

The president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps has accused Congress of “grandstanding” on the issue of security at U.S. ports, saying that for decades it has allowed “free passage” of drugs, illegal aliens and criminal cartels across the U.S.-Mexico border.

“I have watched in disgust as grandstanding politicians who have for decades allowed international criminal cartels free passage of drugs, weapons and human chattel across our borders now rush to the microphones in the name of national security to decry government contracts with an Arab-owned and Mideast-based corporation to operationally manage several U.S. shipping ports,” said MCDC President Chris Simcox.

His reaction comes amid intense criticism from Democrats and Republicans about the Bush administration’s approval of a United Arab Emirates company, Dubai Ports World, to take over operations at some U.S. seaports.

“Many of these politicians noisily vowing to do everything in their power to stop Dubai Ports World from managing the operations at six of our shipping ports have repeatedly refused to do anything in their power to secure our borders,” Mr. Simcox said.

The former Tombstone, Ariz., newspaper publisher who headed efforts by the Minuteman Project to patrol the border in Arizona in April and from Texas to California in October, said international drug cartels, shielded by the Mexican military, ship thousands of tons of drugs across the border with impunity every year.

“These criminal gangs also traffic massive inventories of contraband in weapons, stolen cars and, most outrageously, human beings,” he said. “Yet there is no rush to the television news cameras by Senators Schumer, Menendez and Hillary Clinton — much less by Senate Majority Leader Frist or House Speaker Hastert — demanding our borders immediately be secured.”

His comments were aimed at Democratic New York Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton; Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Democrat; Senate Majority leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican; and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, who have vigorously opposed the proposed sale.

“It is well known that terrorists are seeking to exploit the vulnerability of our open borders,” Mr. Simcox said. “They see that millions upon millions of aliens have been able to sneak into this country — illegally under our federal laws, yet virtually unchecked.

“Experts say it is not a matter of if, but when, terrorists cross our open borders to attack America. Why in the world should terrorists try to ship nuclear, chemical or biological weapons through our shipping ports, when they can walk or drive them across the border with ease?” he said.

Mr. Simcox urges Congress to “transfer some of their worst-case scenarios about [Dubai Ports World’s] management of our ports to the real-world domination of our nation’s border security by international drug cartels and criminal gangs.”

“Maybe that will wake them up to the threat posed by our out-of-control border crisis,” he said.

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