Security Begins At Home Mayor O’Malley

Ever since the announcement of the deal allowing the UAE to take over the management of some of the ports in the US we have heard non-stop rhetoric from elected officials from both parties. We have this election year frenzy of people trying to position themselves to win, regardless of the merits of the deal. I have chronicled the Bill/Hillary opinions and how they are on opposite sides of the issue though, in true Clintonesque speak, he says that he agrees with his wife and it is not an issue. When this all came out the Mayor of Baltimore, a city with one of the affected ports, was all over the TV and radio. He made this whiny claim “not on my watch” when referring to the deal. Perhaps O’Malley should get his port in order with regard to security before he worries about some outside influence.

In July of last year a story was printed in the Baltimore Sun that pointed out the absolutely horrible security at the port and the many items that have been neglected, as one of the people in the story puts it, “for decades.” According to the story:

In an article July 10 — three days after the terrorist attacks on London’s transit systems, The Sun published a story that quoted anonymous police sources concerned with deteriorating conditions at the nation’s eighth-largest port. The police sources pointed out dilapidated fences, malfunctioning alarms, inoperable surveillance cameras and unattended gates left open for trains and trucks, and they produced log books showing that the agency’s new patrol boats were frequently docked.

One would think that if the Mayor were so worried about security at the port these items would not exist or would be repaired as soon as they were discovered. That is not the case. What did they do about the problems at the port? They disciplined the person who made the complaints. Yes, the man who pointed out these problems has been threatened with being fired. His gun, badge, and police powers were removed and he was transferred 35 miles north to a truck inspection station where he performs administrative duties. The latest article from January (and the source for this post) indicates that he was waiting for a board which would determine his fate with the strong money on him being fired. The officer, George Tarburton Jr, a former Marine filed a whistle blower protection complaint calling his treatment “unfair and vindictive.”

This is a pretty typical response to workers who try to do the right thing. Tarburton pointed out these problems, problems that had been reported for decades, and he was punished. Instead of actually caring about port security the Mayor and his minions worry about punishing anyone who has the guts to tell the truth. It is amazing that the liberals all go to bat when a whistle blower from the NSA reveals top secret information yet this guy in Baltimore gets no support for trying to do the right thing. Of course, with the idiot Mayor of Baltimore doing the right thing is not high on his priority list. He is too busy cooking the books with regard to crime figures to make his city look safer than it really is and give his inflated ego a boost going into this year’s race for Governor.

Mr. O’Malley, you said you would not relinquish port security on your watch. It appears as if you already have. By ignoring the faults with the port security you have made the port less safe and you have tarnished the good name of a man who tried to do what was right. Perhaps you should actually have Tarburton sit you down and explain what doing the right thing is all about. Mr. Mayor, you cried about the UAE port deal and grandstanded about this issue like you were tough on security. Perhaps you would like to take some time from your crime number fiasco and explain to the people of your city and our state why you let things deteriorate to this level and why you are punishing the guy who had the guts to point out the problems.

Mayor O’Malley likes to say how port security would be in jeopardy if the deal with the UAE goes through. I would submit that the security is already in jeopardy at the hands of the Mayor and the folks who allowed this to go unanswered for so long. It would appear to me that Dubai Ports World would be an improvement to the security of the Baltimore port. Perhaps Marty and his toadies could learn a thing or two from the folks in the UAE.

Source: The Baltimore Sun
Related stories: WBAL-TV Includes links to crime statistics information cited above.

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