Things I didn't know about US ports:
1. The International Longshoreman's Association, a union, controls all hiring.
2. They are heavily mafia-entrenched, even more so than most labor unions.
3. The Justice Department is suing 31 ILA leaders, their entire executive board, since 06/2005, for violating the RICO act.
In July 2005, the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against the ILA, which targets the entire 31-member ILA executive council, including the president, secretary-treasurer, executive vice president, general vice president and more than two dozen others.
In a press release accompanying the suit, the Justice Department notes, "For decades the waterfront has been the setting for corruption and violence stemming from organized crime's influence over labor unions operating there, including the ILA and its affiliated locals, as well as port-related businesses. Since the late 1950s, two organized crime families -- the Gambino family and the Genovese family -- have shared control of various ports, with the Gambino family primarily exercising its influence at commercial shipping terminals in Brooklyn and Staten Island, and the Genovese family primarily controlling those in Manhattan, New Jersey and the Port of Miami."
Now isn't it awfully convenient that they give millions of dollars a year to Democrats, $7 million in 2004 alone?
Union bosses who would rob their members of pensions and health benefits, extort money to secure jobs on the docks, and use the docks to run gambling, loan sharking and other illegal enterprises could just as easily facilitate terrorists hoping to slip agents or weapons into the country, perhaps unwittingly, for the right price. But few in Washington seem to have considered the risk. The Dubai deal is not the only port issue that deserves more congressional scrutiny; ILA corruption surely deserves a close look as well.
What a perfect storm this Dubai ports deal was for the Democrats, a grand opportunity to throw their generous mobster benefactors a bone by embarrassing the President who's threatening to put them out of business.