Mossburg smears port workers

February 17, 2011

In regard to Marta Mossburg's column in which she claims that "those not qualified to have access to the port are working there on a regular basis" ("Crime issue raises security concerns at Baltimore's port," Feb. 16), I say baloney.

If Ms. Mossburg had performed basic due diligence for her article, she would have found that anyone who works on any public pier or marine terminal in Maryland, any time day or night, must produce a valid federal security clearance card as well as an identification card from the employer.

During her investigation she remarks that no union officials answered her calls or were present at their headquarters when she visited. Did she ever think that they may have been working? Unlike fellows at political think tanks, most union officials also have to go to work on the docks every day.

Ms. Mossburg also is amazed that "no one seems to care" that some U.S. citizens who have committed serious crimes in the past are allowed to obtain security clearance to work at port facilities. Again, Ms. Mossburg fails to mention that the rules and regulations currently in effect for obtaining security clearance were promulgated during the George W. Bush administration. Clearly, no one ever thought President Bush was haphazard when it came to America's security.

She also omits the age of workers in the Port of Baltimore with a criminal history who have obtained clearance even though the mistakes they made might have occurred up to 40 years ago. Is she suggesting that in the city of Baltimore no one deserves a second chance? Would she deny hard working men and women who may have made a mistake and served their time an opportunity to be contributing members of society and earn a decent living?

Please stop trying to "scare" people by invoking 9/11 to support a misstated and poorly thought out article. There are plenty of hard working men and women in the port of Baltimore who deserve better.

Richard Krueger, Linthicum

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