Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bush Port Deal is Another Inside Job

Obviously, the Bush administration isn't concerned about potential Arab terrorists at U.S. ports. Bush has warned Congress that he will veto any attempt to derail the takeover of several major U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World (DPW), an agency owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates.

(You may recall that three of the alleged 911 hijackers were from the U.A.E. I say "alleged" because former FBI chief, Robert Mueller, has acknowledged that the hijackers may have used stolen identities. Bush's actions will provide more fuel to the arguments of activists who insist that the attacks were an inside job.)

Further investigation reveals that influence peddling is behind the president's determination to see the deal through in spite of bipartisan condemnation on Capitol Hill. Treasury secretary John Snow, whose agency signed off on the $6.8 billion deal that transferred ownership of a British company to DPW, is former head of the CSX rail company which sold its own port operations to Dubai Ports World in 2004. David Sanborn (not the sax player), who currently runs DPW's European and Latin American operations, was appointed by Bush last month to head the U.S. Maritime Administration.

These ties help explain why the deal was approved WITHOUT the legally mandated 45-day investigation of any direct investment by an agency of a foreign government or any acquisition which could result in contol of U.S. interstate commerce that affects national security. And certainly national security is a concern here since DPW would also control the movement of U.S. Army equipment through two ports in Texas, not to mention the traffic at ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans and other cities.

Bush claims that blocking the deal would send the wrong message to the world if it is condemned simply because the company is Arab-owned. On the contrary, allowing the acquisition to proceed reaffirms the administration's commitment to its business partners and its contempt for the rule of law even when national security is in question.


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