President Bush has decided (on his own, or with very bad advice) to put a company from
the United Arab Emirates in charge of security at the largest U.S. ports. In this
age of perpetual war and terror threat levels, anyone with any common sense would, as
vending machines often say, MAKE ANOTHER SELECTION.
This idea has been so universally and forcefully denounced, there is no shortage of commentary
about it, and this page has grown rather rapidly. Republicans oppose the idea because the
any company based in the Middle East should be automatically excluded from the selection process,
at least while we are engaged in a war over there. Democrats oppose the plan because the
Dubai-based company is not friendly to labor unions.
Surprisingly, there are dissenting opinions worth posting, including that
of Tony Snow, and
they are shown at the bottom of the page.
(And I said that before
Tony Snow was even considered for the job of White House press secretary.) Chertoff was unaware of the
ports deal until after OK. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff was not aware
a Dubai-owned company was seeking to operate terminals in six U.S. ports and that his agency was leading
the review until after the deal's approval, an administration official said yesterday [2/23/2006].
Bush Learned of Port Deal From the
Press, McClellan Says. White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday [2/22/2006]
that President Bush learned from the news media about the sale of a London-based company controlling ports
in the United States to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates.
[Really? He was certainly quick to defend the
idea, even if it wasn't his.]
Renewal of Patriot Act. A day before parts of the USA Patriot Act were to expire, President
Bush signed into law a renewal that will allow the government to keep using terror-fighting tools passed
after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The Editor says...
On one hand, the President claims that the Patriot Act is
vital to combatting terrorism in this country, because terrorists are constantly plotting to kill
us all. And he makes this argument without mentioning that all the terrorists so far have been
Muslims. But then he approves and promotes
this deal with the UAE, an exclusively Muslim country. What is he thinking?
Bush's Port Jihad: It's
shaping up to be a major political battle: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, House Speaker Dennis
Hastert and House Majority Leader John Boehner have all lined up against President Bush's plan to turn over
operation of six major American ports to a company based in the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai undertow: When
Islam in its heyday conquered infidel lands, it set in motion a massive transfer of wealth, enacting punitive
taxation to transfer money from nonbelievers to Muslims — or from the productive part of the economy to the
Welcoming Terror to U.S.
Ports. The President threatens to veto any legislation to block the deal and
challenges lawmakers to "step up and explain why a Middle Eastern company
is held to a different standard" than the British company that ran the ports before.
Ports storm worries
Bush. President Bush yesterday [3/10/2006] said the demise of the ports deal was a bad signal
to send to moderate nations in the Middle East that the United States needs in the war on terrorism.
America Must Manage its Seaports: I must set a side an earlier decision to stay out of the
political debate over the wisdom of a national security issue affecting our posture in the war on
terrorism. I join the debate to protest what I fear is a dangerous pattern of government decision
making on security now affecting both our seaports and our airports which would have security decisions
made on bases other than what is best from a security point of view.
The Bush Isle of
Thanatos. The final throes of Bush's journey toward self-destruction may have found expression
with the apparent sale of operational rights to six of our nation's largest ports to a company owned by the
United Arab Emirates. Approved by the Bush administration against all reason, the $6.8 billion
sale includes the ports of New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.
The other problem at
the port: With all the recent talk about security vulnerabilities at the nation's ports, one
subject goes virtually unmentioned. The men who actually control many of the nation's docks, especially
on the Eastern seaboard, are in the hip pocket of the Mafia and have been for decades.
Mafia's Role in Ports Also
Raises Concerns. Justice Department lawyers warned eight months ago that a nefarious element
had infiltrated important East Coast ports, but they weren't talking about terrorists or Arab shipping
companies. They were talking about the mafia.
Longshoremen union members will continue to handle packages at America's ports, no matter who owns the
facilities. Oddly, none of these same members of Congress have called for inspecting the disturbing
history of these unions. At least three aspects of Longshoremen history suggest that these union
members at our ports might pose a risk to national security. They have been associated with organized
crime, specifically the Mafia. They have a history of anti-American radical politics and have
committed acts of violence.
The Editor says...
Okay, but do we have to deal with both the Mulsims and the Mafia? Let's
keep at least one of them out. Personally, I think the Mafia is less of a threat than
The Real Vulnerability at our
Ports: After the huge public outcry, the Department of Homeland Security carefully investigated
New Jersey and New York ports and according to ABC News, found "stunning gaps in security". The most
striking is that the identities of more than five hundred of the nine thousand truckers checked were
unknown. Nearly six percent had false drivers' licenses! How many more escaped detection?
Over four thousand of these truckers had criminal records; crimes included cargo theft, drug dealing, arson,
assault and homicide. One trucker was found to be a member of one of the most violent gangs in
the U.S., MS 13.
'That needs to
change'. To those who are looking for a standard for U.S. decision-making, here it is: the
ports are U.S. property and we're fully entitled to make any decision we believe is in the best interest
of the United States of America. No law requires us to treat all countries the same.
Any port in the
terrorist storm. There have been some dumb decisions since the United States was attacked
on Sept. 11, 2001, including the "welcoming" of radical Muslim groups, mosques and schools that seek
by their preaching and teaching to influence U.S. foreign policy and undermine the nation. But the
decision to sell port operations in New York, Newark-Port Elizabeth, Baltimore, Miami, Philadelphia and
New Orleans to a company owned by the UAE may be the dumbest of all.
Any storm in a
port. Port security is an oxymoron. Everyone knows that the government isn't doing enough
to check cargo containers. Security at the ports was bad before Dubai acquired P&O, and it will be
bad if Bush-bashers somehow manage to keep Dubai out. When the Bush administration reminds critics
the federal government will remain in charge of port security, that's not exactly reassuring.
Businesses in U.A.E. to Invite 'Oprah' to Dubai. A group representing U.S. companies in
the United Arab Emirates said it will invite "The Oprah Winfrey Show" among other talk shows to the
Gulf to alter American public opinion which helped block Dubai's takeover of five U.S. ports.
[Is it safe to say the "Oprah" show is a fountain of political propaganda?]
hopefuls unleash on port deal. With public opinion polls showing that support for
President Bush is low and that opposition to the port deals is high, GOP hopefuls are lining up
against the Bush administration's approval of the deal.
Bill Clinton, Foreign Agent.
Late Friday [3/3/2006], Department of Justice lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel were attempting to
determine if former President Bill Clinton had registered as an "Agent of a Foreign Principal." Federal
statute requires that anyone — even a former President — doing political or public
affairs work on behalf of a foreign country, agency or official must register with the Department, and
essentially update his status every six months. It was not clear the Clinton had done so.
Britain vs. UAE:
It's a no-brainer. President Bush has asked anyone opposed to the operational sale of a half-dozen
American ports to a United Arab Emirates company "to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle
Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company." Um, well, one
overwhelming reason is that it was spawn of the Middle East, not Great Britain, that hijacked four
American passenger planes on September 11, 2001.
exit: This has raised the obvious question of whether we want our ports, through which a
nuclear bomb could come, handled by a country two of whose nationals flew into the South Tower on
9/11 and which has a history of laundering money and nuclear secrets from bad guys to worse guys.
They are all
profilers now Make no mistake. I stand with critics on both sides of the aisle who
want to stop the secretive deal transferring operations of our ports to the UAE — a Middle Eastern
government with a spotty record of fighting terrorist plots and terrorist financing.
Duplicity: Anytime Democrats begin posturing as the enemies of terrorism, as in the
political storm over the Dubai ports deal, Americans should look for a rat. Democrats are
the defenders of the "rights" of al-Qaeda terrorists locked away at Guantanamo.
Davos World. Middle America did indeed react viscerally to news that — after having
been endlessly harangued by Washington that they will spend their lives in the shadow of Islamic
terrorism — Arabs from some place they've never heard of would be running our ports.
Their reaction was perfectly normal: "How dumb can these guys be?"
Bush Shrugs Off Objections to
Port Deal. Brushing aside objections from Republicans and Democrats alike, President
Bush endorsed the takeover of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports by a state-owned business
in the United Arab Emirates. He pledged to veto any bill Congress might approve to block the
The Editor blurts out...
[He hasn't vetoed anything in his first five years in office, and he's going to
start with this?]
So, 3 Muslims walk
into a port … The Bush administration's obstinate refusal to profile Middle Easterners
has been the one massive gaping hole in national security since the 9-11 attacks — attacks that
received indirect support from the United Arab Emirates. … Isn't it enough that we're already
patronizing the savages over the cartoons? Do we have to let them operate our ports, too?
are you nuts? That giant sucking sound you hear is one really big mob of congressional
Republicans evacuating their side of the aisle en masse and galloping over to agree with their left-coast
colleagues as fast as they possibly can that the summary selloff of U.S. port operations to Dubai is
your basic bad idea.
Dubya Jeopardy: There stood
President Bush yesterday, vowing to veto legislation that would prevent a company owned by the United Arab
Emirates from taking operational control of six of the nation's ports — including New York
and New Jersey. Arrayed against him: Elected officials of both parties, including solid blocks
in Congress, officials from states potentially put at risk by the deal — and Mayor
Bloomberg. On Bush's side: Jimmy Carter, all by his deservedly lonesome self.
The Dubai Deal Is Dumb.
President Bush assures the American people that the UAE is our ally in the war on terrorism. However,
he fails to mention that at least two of the 9/11 hijackers were from there. He also doesn't mention
the fact that the UAE was one of only three countries in the entire world to formally recognize the
Taliban regime in Afghanistan.
and "Portgate". Actually, to call it a disconnect is a major understatement. It's more
like a gargantuan gap in an otherwise fully coherent policy. If [President Bush's] driving ambition
is to make America safer from our terrorist enemies, why does he risk sabotaging that objective by making
us more vulnerable right at home?
Ports in a storm. So loud and bipartisan
were the objections, even the White House was forced to spring into defense mode with two unusual
moves. First, Mr. Bush made it clear he would, for the first time, pick up his veto pen to block any
legislation that would delay the deal. Second, the president — in another ultra-rare
move — invited reporters into the conference room on Air Force One to address the growing outcry.
you're Islamophobic doesn't mean you're wrong. The UAE is now being lauded as helpful in
that global fight, but its history relative to terrorism is problematic. The emirates joined
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia in recognizing the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan. The
UAE also was a transfer point for shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Libya.
Given that history, it's hard to pretend that there's no reason whatsoever for concerns about Dubai Ports,
a government-owned company, managing U.S. ports.
DPW to sell off all its US ports. The
six major US ports involved include New York Dubai Ports World (DPW) has confirmed it intends to sell all its
US port operations to an American buyer within four to six months.
Friends in Dubai angry as entry into
America is halted. A narrow channel of water divides Dubai's container port from a naval
quay used by American battleships as a rest station on the way to the Gulf. Swimming in it is a
bad idea — it is patrolled by US launches and by scuba divers on the lookout for underwater terrorists.
The latest: Clinton
aides had hand in Dubai deal. In the spring, when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was denouncing
the Dubai Ports World deal, a consulting firm run by her top advisers was quietly lobbying for a Dubai
takeover of two U.S. defense plants, Newsday has learned.
On the other hand ...
Gall: The tempest over DP World was unnecessary. This particular deal seems
to have rubbed people the wrong way, and it wasn't handled by the Bush administration as well as
it should have been. But the deal wouldn't have affected homeland security in any way.
Dubai, and good
luck. In retrospect, America went collectively insane over the possibility a company owned
by Dubai's government would operate several of our ports. Rarely has reason been so routed by pure
emotion. Dubai is a Westernizing state that long ago left the eighth century and accepts the modern
world of globalized commerce and finance.
Just Nine Out of 300 Terminals
Involved in Dubai Deal. News reports [in mid-February 2006] have repeatedly claimed that
a Dubai company was taking control of six major U.S. ports as part of a deal approved by the Bush
administration. But according to one port security expert, Dubai Ports World will run just a
tiny fraction of the terminals at the U.S. ports involved if the deal goes through.
of surrender: The most furious critics of the transaction seem blithely uninterested
in facts. It doesn't matter that DPW operates worldwide. It doesn't matter that the
port in Dubai services more U.S. Naval vessels than any port outside the United States, or that
Dubai Ports World handles some of that business.
is not typical Arabia. While the United Arab Emirates is an Islamic nation, it neither looks
nor feels like the Arab world most of us know. … In fact, since getting here, I have struggled to
summarize this place. The best I can come up with is this: You've never seen so many
construction cranes in your life! Between 20 percent and 40 percent of all cranes in the world are
reportedly fastened to skyscrapers sprouting above the flourishing financial powerhouse of Dubai.
Bush approves Dubai
takeover of defense plants. President George W. Bush approved Dubai's $1.24 billion
takeover of Doncasters, a British engineering company with U.S. plants that supply the Pentagon, the White
House said on Friday [4/28/2006].
Foreign Control of U.S. Interstates
Encouraged by Feds. The deal which started a flurry of more than 18 proposed foreign financed
interstate highway projects across the nation over the past year in amounts of over $25 billion was in
Chicago, IL in December 2004. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley proposed an agreement to lease the Chicago
Skyway for $1.83 billion dollars to Cintra-Macquarie Consortium, a Spanish-Australian conglomerate, doing
business as State Mobility Partners in the U.S. The deal, finalized in January 2005, gave
Cintra-Maquarie a 99-year lease for which it is responsible for the maintenance and structural
quality of the 8-mile elevated structure.
Document location http://www.akdart.com/bush3.html
Updated July 2, 2006.