Submitted by: Veronica Coffin
By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton
Gulftainer, a Middle East-based company, is opening its first American cargo terminal today at
Port Canaveral. The new terminal is expected to have a $630 million impact on the local economy.
The terminal, which has leased land at Port Canaveral for 35 years, marks the first significant containerized cargo operation there and has the potential to expand to other ports. With two gantry cranes and 20 acres of container storage space, Gulftainer estimates that terminal could handle up to 200,000 TEUs—or the equivalent of 200,000 20-foot-long shipping containers—each year.
Gulftainer hopes to capitalize on Central Florida’s growing role as a logistics hub, with inland warehouses, rail access to the Northeast and Midwest and land for infrastructure development. Periodically docked at Port Canaveral are nuclear assets for the US military and NATO, so this is also a national security issue.
PORT CANAVERAL, FL April 22, 1994 A port quarter view of the British nuclear-powered
ballistic missile submarine HMS Vanguard (SSBN-50) arriving in port. NASA’s giant Vehicle Assembly
Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center and various space launch pads can be seen in the distance.
UAE’s Gulftainer is building an intermodal container terminal on the same side of the port as the
U.S. Navy submarine base. (Image credit: U.S. Navy/OS2 John Bourvia/Wikimedia Commons)
Map of Port Canaveral, Florida showing Gulftainer’s area of operations, US Navy Trident
submarine base and Canaveral Air Force Station.
Gulftainer is a $100 million investment and simply put, should not be allowed. Since we are in military conflicts across the globe with radical Islamists and countries such as UAE and Qatar are known to have deep terrorist ties, this company should have been thoroughly vetted before allowing them in as an owner of a strategic port. Instead, few have looked into them and they are heralded as an outstanding company.
The promise of new jobs should not overshadow the fact that this company is a security risk. And with nuclear subs docking there, can we afford that kind of gamble? Port leaders expect the new business to create 2,000 jobs with an impact of more than $630 million on the local economy of Port Canaveral.
Perhaps we should listen to those there that are questioning the sanity of allowing a Middle Eastern company to control a port that is of huge significance to the US:
But some opponents, including a California congressman, have raised concerns that the company’s ties to [the] Middle East make it a bad choice to be located near the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and other military installations.
“We’re not bad people as I try to emphasize,” said Peter Richards, Gulftainer’s managing director. “We’re good people here for the good of the community (and) the good of the port. And I think in the next six months, they’re going to see that. We’re going to actually generate Canaveral into a good logistics hub.”
Some bloggers have even claimed Gulftainer helped ship weapons to terrorist groups, but the company said that’s not true.
“The garbage that they put about us being linked to terrorist groups, where do they come off?” Richards said. “I don’t understand how anybody can do that. We’re trusted by 15 governments worldwide. We actually cooperate with your own military. We actually provide the logistics for the American forces in the Middle East.”
Port Canaveral leaders are coming to the defense of the company.
“We’ve selected them because they are good, quality people,” said John Walsh, CEO of Port Canaveral. “They are one of the best terminal operators in the world, and then to have members of our community say things that are inappropriate, racist and profiling. To me, that’s not OK.”
And exactly how do you know they are such ‘good’ people? And is it really racist to question the terrorist ties of a company moving into your community? Sounds like those so-called leaders are telling residents to just shut up and go away – that they should know their place and leave big business to the elites as it should be. I don’t think so. Must of been a lot of silver that crossed the palms of leaders and business icons there in Port Canaveral. They’ve been blinded by the shiny light of corruption.
Gulftainer is adjacent to a US Navy nuclear submarine base and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. It has allegedly been shipping weapons through the Port of Umm Qasr to two Iranian-backed terrorist militia groups in Iraq, the Badr Brigades and Asaeib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), according to a leak from Iraq General Port Company officials in Basra to Iraqi media.
According to the 1776 Channel, who has done yeoman’s work on this subject, Port Canaveral is home to critical national security operations and infrastructure. A plethora of space and defense installations and programs, many of them highly classified, are situated either inside the port or within the immediate vicinity:
• NASA Kennedy Space Center and Visitor Complex
• Patrick Air Force Base
• Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
• US Navy Trident submarine base (Trident Turning Basin)
• Top secret Air Force space plane
• National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) spy satellites
• Department of Defense/Boeing GPS satellites
• SpaceX resupply missions to the International Space Station
• SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket
• NASA Orion deep space capsule project and test launches
• United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy Rocket
• United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket
• Nuclear submarines resupply operations
• Lockheed Martin Fleet Ballistic Missile Eastern Ranger Operations
• Air Force Technical Applications Center (AFTAC) – Seismic, hydroacoustic and satellite monitoring of nuclear treaty signatory nations
• Air Force Space Command/45th Space Wing
• Air Force 920th Rescue Wing (Combat Search and Rescue)
• Craig Technologies Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Center
• Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)
• US Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral
• Department of Homeland Security – Customs and Border Protection
• Numerous defense contractors (too many too list)
This deal has actually alarmed the military and is raising the eyebrows of a number of security experts. It was approved by Treasury Secretary Jacob ‘Jack’ Lew, a former senior adviser to President Clinton. Gulftainer’s exclusive arrangement with Port Canaveral was negotiated in secret under the code name ‘Project Pelican.’ Evidently, you have to sign the deal before you can know what is in it there in Port Canaveral. Sound familiar? And when all else fails, pull the race card to shut people up.
THE RED SEA – MARCH 5, 2014 – IDF forces seized an Iranian weapons shipment intended for
terrorists in the Gaza Strip during the early morning hours of March 5, 2014. Israel Navy Commander
Maj. Gen. Ram Rothberg led the operation from aboard the Israeli ship and Chief of the General Staff
Lt. Gen. Benjamin “Benny” Gantz oversaw it from the Israel Navy operations room.
(Image credit: Wikimedia Commons/Flikr/Israel Defense Forces)
The course of the Iranian weapons shipment. (Image credit: Israel Defense Forces)
There are brave folks in Florida standing up to this and protesting. I’d like to close with a few pictures from this morning, courtesy of Andrea Shea King of the Radio Patriot: