Chertoff On Outsourcing Operations of 6 U.S. Ports To UAE: ‘I Can’t Get Into It’

Today on CNN’s Late Edition, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff refused to explain why the administration has turned over control of operations at six of the nation’s largest ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates, a country with dubious ties to international terrorism:

The discussions are classified. I can’t get into the specifics here…As far as my agency is concerned, port security really rests principally with the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection.

In other words, don’t worry about it, the Coast Gaurd has it covered. Kim Petersen, president of the largest maritime security consulting company in the United States, SeaSecure, disagrees:

Port security is a big problem, Petersen said, because the Coast Guard does not have enough resources for the waters close to ports.

“It doesn’t have either the people or the necessary physical resources to provide the in-water patrols that are so desperately needed,” he said.

Sounds like Chertoff has the whole situation under control.