Tuesday, February 21, 2006

It's the Security, Stupid

A subsidiary of maritime management firm Dubai Ports World is seeking to run ports in several major US cities. Namely, New York and New Jersey; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; Miami, Florida; and New Orleans, Louisiana. This is raising quite a few eye-brows across the country and it seems that even congressional Republicans are "growing a pair" in standing up to this administration.

In a rare Air Force One session with the press, President Bush said "I don't understand why it's OK for a British company to operate our ports but not a company from the Middle East when we've already determined security is not an issue." Bush, in response to potential legislation indicated he veto any bill blocking this deal. That would likely be the FIRST veto of this president. So, let's see. He won't veto a myriad of things that should be vetoed, but will make his first on this issue.

Mr President, its about security. That which you keep saying your administration is providing us. How can this president and the administration be so naive to think that it would be a good idea to allow a UAE state-owned company to run several of our major ports? There IS a difference between a foreign owned company and a foreign "government" owned company. Especially one which is in an "unstable" part of the world and whose culture is not exactly one who likes us very much. You would have to lack some (alot of) intelligence not to figure that such a company, with possibly some governmental or other influence, could circumvent security measures that they themselves may enforce.

From ThinkProgress and other sources some facts about the UAE:

  • The UAE was one of three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
  • The UAE has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia.
  • According to the FBI, money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE banking system.
  • After 9/11, the Treasury Department reported that the UAE was not cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts.