President Bush's Choice: The Twinned Ambassador Bridge
He had the best poker face of them all. He had the biggest pile of chips, ready to finance his Governor friend if she needed a few dollars. Why he had just given her $100 million for some important bridge work she needed done. He always held all the best cards: the full house, the four aces, the Royal flush. He rarely lost. When he talked, EVERYONE listened! What was he going to do?"
Remember my BLOG explaining how the high-stakes Texas border poker game is played [BLOG October 18, 2005 You Got To Know When to Hold Them, Know When To Fold Them] Well we finally learned at the hearing in Lansing on Thursday what the key player in all of this, the President of the United States, thinks of all of this silliness about the border.
It was revealed in a letter sent November 4, 2005 that the President is not prepared to give his concurrence for DRIC’s “central” location for a new bridge.
The only crossing that makes sense, therefore, is the twinning of the Ambassador Bridge and no Presidential permit is required to do so!
The question that demands being addressed immediately at the Michigan hearings and later in Washington and in front of Parliament and at Queen’s Park in Canada is which bureaucrats knew what the State Department said in November, 2005, when did they know it and what did they do with that information?
Is this Bureaucracy out of control? Are Government officials running amok and spending taxpayer money without any controls? If so, they are saying to hell with what mere politicians and the public think. We know better!
Has there been a massive cover-up? Has this significant and important information from the President been hidden? As you can see from what is discussed below, we may have been involved in a 6 month extravaganza since last November that has cost millions that probably should have been stopped at that time!
Have politicians been embarrassed by their lack of knowledge? OR is it something even worse? Are certain politicians fully aware of what has been said and are acting in a manner to achieve some hidden agenda that they are not prepared to share with the public?
THE QUESTION IS: HAVE THE BUREAUCRATS TOLD THEIR POLITICAL BOSSES WHAT THE US PRESIDENT HAS SAID? IF NOT, WHY ARE THEY STILL IN THEIR JOBS? IF THEY HAVE, THEN WHY ARE THE POLITICIANS STILL IN THEIRS!
Take a look at the letter that I have copied. It is from the Department of State, the designate of the President of the United States under an Executive Order. The Department is “responsible for the issuance of Presidential permits for cross-border facilities” and the one who “would be responsible for processing a Presidential permit for any new DRIC crossing.”
Let’s take a look at the letter in some detail so that you will understand how egregious what has taken place really is:
- The Letter is not signed by some flunky but by the Director of the Office of Canadian Affairs.
Only several months before, the State Department advised the Bridge Co. that they did NOT require a Presidential permit for a twinned bridge so the Department was well aware of the border issue.
It is interesting that the expression “closed-door session” was used. That means the utmost of “secrecy” is required. That is a surprising use of language from a Department that knows how to use language. As an example, the US Senate has only held "closed-door" sessions 54 times since 1929 while the House of Representatives has only had 5 such sessions since 1825. Why was such a point made about this meeting? Why was it so secret?
It involved “co-operating agencies” in Detroit. In a Detroit River International Crossing Study DRAFT Scoping Information document I saw that the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration met on May 18, 2005 to engage those federal organizations which will be “cooperating agencies” in the review of the DRIC EIS documents. Those agencies included U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, U.S. General Services Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of State. In other words the whole bunch! It is not clear if MDOT was at the meeting or whether MDOT learned of the results of that session subsequently.
What did FHWA request: “State Department concurrence in the conclusion that the centrally-located alternatives are the only practical alternatives for a new Detroit River International crossing.” In other words, the President’s designate was being asked to concur in what DRIC was proposing as to the location for the new bridge! Please note the use of the word ONLY!
Do you see anywhere in that document where such concurrence was given? In bureaucrat-eze, State did not tell FHWA to get lost directly. They did it indirectly. State told FHWA that they would do their job if an application were brought forward but they pointed out a major problem which would NOT allow them to grant the concurrence requested.
What is the problem: “the proximity of any new crossing to the existing crossings may mean that a problem at any one crossing may affect all the centrally located crossings.” While the language is not the clearest it could be, State was saying that the location that DRIC wanted made no sense since problems could be created.
Nevertheless, what did the four Governments determine on November 14, 2005 as if the meeting was never held and the November 4 letter was never received: “A new crossing in the Central Area accessed via HCR/Talbot Road and the West Windsor Industrial Area will be carried forward for continued analysis.” And what was to happen next: “Presentation of final list of Practical Alternatives – March 2006” when they knew that the centrally-located alternatives were not “practical.”
Can you explain this action? I cannot. It is completely absurd when the President has rejectd what DRIC wanted in writing and they knew it. How could the politicians have said what they did? THE only word I can think of right now is SHAMEFUL!
The border battle really is over now. The Bridge Co. has won. But they were always going to be the winner since they were the operator who knew the most about this crossing and how to make it work. The only issue is on our side…..what will the road to the bridge look like and where will it be located. Will some or all of it be tunnelled and will cost be a consideration?
However, much more is involved. There is a very big scandal that needs uncovering, a scandal of immense proportion that someone needs to investigate. What has been happening over all of these years? Is DRIC nothing more than a sham to arrive at a conclusion that was already pre-determined? How can anyone sit around with this waste of taxpayer money and not demand an investigation? How can anyone accept the disruption in the lives of so many people and not demand that those responsible be held accountable?
The Department of State's letter makes a mockery of the entire DRIC process. The sooner it is wound up and the money used for something useful, like helping the residents of Delray as the Bridge Co. President suggested at the hearing, the better!