The Facts: Outsourcing Port Management

Dubai (photo by Emily Messner) This paragraph from a New York Sun story pretty much sums up American reaction to the $6.8 billion purchase of a British company that would put the operations of six U.S. ports under the management of United Arab Emirates-based Dubai Ports World:

"On its face, this looks like f-- insanity to me," the Republican minority leader of the City Council, James Oddo, told The New York Sun, though he said he was not familiar with the specifics of the deal. [emphasis mine]

Sounds like knee-jerk xenophobia to me, and you can bet that's how it sounds in the Middle East, too. And, frankly, it's not fair. One can't assume that a country poses a security risk just because it has "Arab" in its name.

Today's Washington Post editorial attempts to provide a bit of factual context. Here's the executive summary, in italics, with some extra facts after each item:

"The deal cannot 'outsource major port security,' because management companies that run ports do not control security."

So who does? The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. As I understand it, the United States government remains responsible for security improvements like installing radiation detectors. Like its predecessor, DPW would be responsible for day-to-day operations, such as computer systems and scheduling.

"Britain, as events of the last year have illustrated, is no less likely to harbor radical Islamic terrorists than Dubai."

A representative of Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company confirmed for me today that P&O has managed operations at five of the six ports in question since 1999, with the Newark port coming under the British company's management in 2000. P&O took over the ports' operations when it acquired International Terminal Operating Co. Inc., a U.S. company headquartered in New Jersey.

An argument can be made for port operations being kept entirely in the hands of Americans -- but if foreign management of American ports really was a huge concern, the alarm bells should have been raised long ago.

The only explanation for getting in a snit about it now is a fear of Arab ownership specifically. (Alternative explanation? Members of Congress have been too busy raising money to pay attention to who's running America's ports. Entirely plausible, but still doesn't explain why Arab ownership would catch their attention while other foreign ownership would not.)

"The United Arab Emirates is a U.S. ally that has cooperated extensively with U.S. security operations in the war on terrorism, that supplied troops to the U.S.-led coalition during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and that sends humanitarian aid to Iraq. U.S. troops move freely in and out of Dubai on their way to Iraq now."

Some say an Emirati company cannot be trusted to manage our ports because, according to 9/11 commission, the UAE was a transit point for terrorists and a primary location for terrorist money laundering before September 11, 2001. But the Commission reported that since then, the UAE and other countries "have cooperated with U.S. officials and have been praised by the State Department for monitoring and arresting suspected terrorists and for implementing various policies to curb terrorist financing." (See page 11 of the Congressional Research Service's analysis for that quote; click here and here for indexed references to the UAE in the 9/11 report.)
Dubai's Burj Al Arab Hotel (photo by Emily Messner)
The commission did not specify which emirates were involved in the original transgressions. The UAE is made up of seven emirates that operate with a fair degree of independence from the central government. Dubai, for its part, boasts a gigantic expat population and the form of Islam practiced there is very tolerant.

Dubai (photo by Emily Messner) It should also be noted that Dubai is a model port city. It's an ultra modern state that -- unlike fellow filthy rich emirate Abu Dhabi -- did not make its fortune from oil, but from being a center for trade. If anyone knows how to run an efficient port, it's Dubai.

One worry being cited is that this Arab company would be in a position to reach sensitive parts of our ports. But Dubai Ports World has nothing to gain -- and a lot to lose -- by allowing anything bad to happen on its watch.

The United States is Dubai's third-largest trading partner, and DPW already operates some of the busiest terminals in the world, including three in Hong Kong, four in China, and more in Europe, South America and Australia. DPW also acquired CSX World -- that's the international arm of the company Americans know best for operating freight trains -- just over a year ago. DPW's executives emphasize precisely the qualities you'd want in a management company: excellence, efficiency, transparency, accountability, productivity and customer service. Causing disaster isn't in the business model.

But what if some terrorist sneaks radioactive material onto a cargo ship headed toward America? Newsflash: That can happen now. It is the job of the Coast Guard and the customs service to ensure shipments are inspected.

The ports will still be staffed by Americans and subject to American law. At its German port, the management team is made up of Germans. Want to know how DPW has worked out managing ports for our strongest allies? Just ask the folks in Adelaide, South Australia, whose port is managed by DPW.

DPW's top executives, too, are a multi-national bunch: Last month, President Bush appointed David Sanborn, a Dubai Ports World executive from Virginia, to be the new Maritime Administrator for the Department of Transportation. Sanborn presumably would not have been a member of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investments that gave U.S. approval to the takeover, which is scheduled to receive court approval in the U.K. on March 2.

Bush has threatened to veto any Congressional legislation that would attempt to void the deal. (Of course, the only other big veto threat Bush has made was over Sen. John McCain's anti-torture amendment, so one wonders whether the president may have actually hurt his case by putting this issue in that category.)

To those governors and members of Congress who are loudly criticizing the deal without the facts to back up their assumptions, Bush said, "I want those who are questioning it 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. I am trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, 'We'll treat you fairly.'"

By Emily Messner |  February 22, 2006; 3:36 PM ET  | Category:  Misc.
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Comments

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So Emily was silent about 'knee jerk xenophobia' during the cartoon debates, but now she wants to apply it to the port situation. Fair enough, but I think she's barking up the wrong tree on this one. Like most of the media, she seems to be missing the point completely, and is not looking at the facts of the matter in their entirety. In fact, she is completely blind to one of the most important facts in the port affair.
The security risk in this port situation is not that a foreign Arab country will run 6 of our largest ports, it's that ANY foreign country will run those ports. With the proposed deal, we're going from a private British company running the ports to a state-run UAE company running the ports. That's a foreign government running our ports when only private companies have done so before, something Emily doesn't seem to grasp. The British government was not running our ports before this; A private British firm was. There is a HUGE distinction. That's why Senators Menendez and Clinton are introducing legislation to ban ANY foreign government from running our ports. That's hardly Islamophobia, since it's legislation aimed at any and all foreign governments regardless of their relation to Islam.
Emily's 'only explanation' for any opposition to her stance was a straw man argument, and a weak one at that. She also fails to even recognize in her post that going from a private company running the ports to a foreign state-owned company running the ports is a 'fact' that should be factored in to this discussion. Instead, she turns a blind eye to any such distinction being important. Knee jerk xenophobia should be denounced, but in this case I feel it was reacted to in a knee jerk fashion that showed little regard for the facts or any valid opposition.
I fully oppose this foolish port deal to a foreign government, and fully support legislation to ban any foreign state-run companies from ever running our American ports. A legitimately private foreign company running the ports is fine by me, but when you actually put the ports in the hands of a foreign government, you are needlessly creating a conflict of interest and a security risk. Last I checked, every foreign government has it's own intelligence agencies; When we hand over our ports to that government, we hand over our ports to those intelligence agencies. Who knows what shenanigans might go on then (if I recall, even the Israelis have spied on us, and they get our full support and alliance!). I'm much more inclined to trust a private company than a government in these matters. I feel governments come with agendas that private firms don't have. This port deal WILL be stopped, and rightfully so.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 22, 2006 06:21 PM

On a side note, first the Dick Cheney hunting accident, and now this port controversy. If the administration keeps up this self-destructive pace, it's going to be a Democratic landslide come Election Day. I've been predicting that anyway, but even I didn't expect Bush and Cheney to be THIS destructive to their party's image. The GOP needs to either cut their losses now, or bring this damaging administration under control before it's too late. Oh wait... it already is too late. Enjoy the downward spiral of all your conservative aspirations in 2006. I guess some parties simply can't handle being the majority.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 22, 2006 06:31 PM

The United States right now is in sensitive negotiations to enter a free trade agreement with the UAE. These negotiations could be derailed if the UAE is refused permission to take over running our ports.

The president correctly wants this port deal to go through. National interests are involved. Congress is being shortsighted in creating roadblocks.

Posted by: Oscar Meyer | February 22, 2006 07:06 PM

Emily: Sounds like knee-jerk xenophobia to me, and you can bet that's how it sounds in the Middle East, too. And, frankly, it's not fair. One can't assume that a country poses a security risk just because it has "Arab" in its name.

Emily has it right. While I support profiling and extra scrutiny of Muslim nations because they are the main source of killer Islamoids, WHEN a nation welcomes our armed forces in AND has given critical support to rooting out Islamoids - it is hugely disrespectful of Leftist Democrats AND jingoistic Republicans to be so openly xenophobic on a nation with a proven record of pro-American actions since 9/11. And the all-important "security considerations" appear to be satisfied..

The bigger concern, IMO, is not security (that is a blind spot...thinking an industry like heavy machinery can completely die in America as long as we can still retain a small enough fraction to "build tanks" to meet security needs. But that that America is now an uncompetitive nation with a poor education system, losing dominance in industry after industry. And that foreigners from around the world are buying up our assets. The idea of "American owned and operated" is not only in retreat overseas, it is in retreat inside America as foreigners buy up critical natural resources, strategic assets, and control of key industries America was once dominant in. Not too long ago, it was Americans that owned most of their nations assets and lots overseas..and the profits from those domestic and foreign assets went to America. Now the profits of operating....say Port of Los Angeles, where 34% of our imports come in from, are recycled back to owners China, Singapore, Japan, S. Korea, Denmark, and a US-Canada consortium that owns just 8% of the business revenue..

The UAE deal is nothing compared to the Chinese acquisitions of oil reserves, ports, critical minerals, real estate, water rights, and high tech industries in the Western Hemisphere. China owns the "port business" of 1/3rd of the West Coast, plus controls shipping on both sides of the Panama Canal.

Or that major portions of our food distribution and processing system is in French, German, Saudi, UK, Cayman Islands, and Israeli hands. Or that major portions of our East Coast cities real estate are owned by the Saudis, Chinese, Japanese, or overseas Jews.

Number of Saudi cities with significant U S control of ports and real estate? Zero. Number of Chinese cities? The same. US control of a substantial part of another nations food supply? Zero.

That's what you get when you have an 800 billion trade deficit and are the Greatest Debtor Nation in world history with 2 trillion dollars owed..

This Dubai flap will blow over, or the UAE will end basing of the US Fleet and turn over control the Gulf to the Chinese and Iranians...Something that ought to give various fatmouths like Schumer, Boxer, and Graham something to chew on.

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 22, 2006 07:09 PM

ErrinF - "On a side note, first the Dick Cheney hunting accident, and now this port controversy. If the administration keeps up this self-destructive pace, it's going to be a Democratic landslide come Election Day."

No, it is really about the inability of your MSM lackeys to puff up stupid stories to help tear down your archevil Bush-Hitler and stop the rapine of "terrorist rights" you Lefty Democrats care so much for.

Only deranged swamp fever Democrats or their quasi-commie America-haters really think that a hunting accident or a week long media-manufactured port controversy will catapult ErrinF's beloved Democrats to Triumph.

You Lefties still are perceived as anti-America, untrustworthy on defense, and have no ideas other than "rage, rage against the Bush-Hitler!!"

The bigger story is really the near-complete destruction of one of Shia Muslims holiest shrines, the tomb of the 10th and 11th Imams - that was inviolable through 1,000 years of Sunni rule. Now the likelihood of civil war where the Shia come in and start butchering the Sunni Arabs that have been killing US troops is far more likely. Death squads and mob attacks, and frankly, 98% of American deaths have been by Sunnis and we don't owe them much if any in the way of blood and treasure trying to interpose ourselves in the midst of a Civil War defending them from death squads, Shiite militias attempting to cleanse them...The ball is really with the Sunni Arabs now. The Sunnis must knock the shit off, turn in all terrorists, especially the Samarrah bombers - or they will pay enormously...

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 22, 2006 07:26 PM

It is amazing how this trivial port MANAGEMENT issue has brought out the very worst in American jingoism, nationalism, and simple ignorance of the world. This has NOTHING to do with national security and secure borders. The reaction is simple ignorant, America-first hysteria. Why shouldn't a foreign firm run your ports? As the Post editorial points out the port operator is not responsible for port security. Who do you think is going to do the work in the ports anyway? American workers of course. The message you are sending to the rest of the world IS harmful to your national security. You are saying in effect that American owned firms are agents of the US Government and should not be trusted by the governments and people in the countries in which they operate. That they cannot be good corporate citizens. Maybe Canada then should nationalise all American oil firms in Canada-like Exxon, Gulf and Chevron and, on the grounds of strengthening its own national security. Surely foreign firms shouldn't control its oil industry? Since no country has benefitted more than the US in the open trade and investment system you are not only shooting yourself in the foot but are too stupid to realise it. And this doesn't even begin to touch on the gross insult to the UAE and to arabs everywhere. If this deal is blocked the UAE will be perfectly justified in kicking the US out of its air and naval facilities. I am no Bush fan but on this issue he is dead right. Shame on you yokels, both democrat and republican.

Posted by: Eric Yendall | February 22, 2006 07:53 PM

It's a gross insult to the United Arab Emirates that they cannot own our ports? Why exactly?

Posted by: Will | February 22, 2006 08:19 PM

So how does someone "own" a port? The owner has the security system set up, not the manager. I think that we have to find a way to join the world, not hide from it. In God we trust.......all others we monitor! So keep a close watch on our new port partners.We need to remain open to the world and be able to work with Arab countries just as well as we have learned to work with Europe and Asia. Though I would say we still have our problems in those areas as well. I just returned from working in Dubai over the summer. It was an great place for a visit, not a great place to be in the summer, but it was well run and provided all the fun from the Hard Rock Cafe to a few malls to get lost in. The country is full of expats and I'm not sure that I actually met very many Emiratis. Bottom line, it is an economic free market issue. Not a political/Security issue.

Posted by: Scott Swaim | February 22, 2006 08:46 PM

What is not for sale in the US?

Posted by: Eli Rabett | February 22, 2006 08:48 PM

It's not that Dubai are Arabs, its that they have been known to fund terrorists.

2 of the highjackers on 9/11 were funded by them.

Also, they recognize the Taliban as a legitimate governing force. Even Saddam did not recognize the Taliban.

Posted by: Cb | February 22, 2006 09:13 PM

The Unseen Hand . . . is irritating the Great Unwashed

"We have to balance the paramount urgency of security against the fact that we still want to have a robust global trading system," Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff on Sunday CNN's "Late Edition".

Both parties are guilty of globalism however; presently that is the big knock on the neoconservatives. They brandish Safety and Security as a logo but when it comes to what underpins their base motivations, it is proactive globalism that trumps platitudes.

This administration swings safety and security like a blunt instrument in order to govern.

We stand in long lines to board aircraft in the name of security to what effect? We have sacrificed a big chunk of our Liberty on the alter of Safety, and for what? But it seems that when it comes to National Policy, security is nothing more than a xenophobic bumper sticker tooled as an opiate for the masses.

Congress must block this "neat idea" and if the President vetoes it, then override it. The Executive Branch possesses too much unchecked power ceded to it by the Legislative Branch. It's time for our vaunted statesmen to grow a pair.

Posted by: | February 22, 2006 09:13 PM

Wiretap this bush: you are an idiot!

Posted by: rwall | February 22, 2006 09:14 PM

into the World Trade Center after we trained them...


have the presidents okay about buying some ports to bring their goods into, inside of the United States....because the president trusts them...and why shouldn't he? They're making him rich....and he knows who the real terrorists are....they all work for him...

listen carefully, what does the president say we need to do to protect ourselves after 9/11?

buy duct tape and plastic.


what has the current administration done since 9/11 to make the country safer from terrorism?

According to the 9/11 Commission NADA, that spainish for naught an effin' thing...


who's in bed with the Saudi's, the Brits and US...


who's been to Crawford Texas, the Bin Ladin's...who had private talks with Prince Dick? The oil captains...


can you say, fabrication, collusion, fraud?


can you say "war powers"


when what he really wants is a free ride, to take?

it's alright,


he's a bush.

they don't fail, they have too much money to make a mistake...


you'd probably disappear, if you had done half of what dubya has done without that money.....

early out of the military anyone?

Posted by: Hello, isn't it interesting that the same people that flew our planes... | February 22, 2006 09:23 PM

I think Bush honestly doesn't know who attacked us. We did go to war with the wrong country.

Posted by: | February 22, 2006 09:24 PM

"I think Bush honestly doesn't know who attacked us. We did go to war with the wrong country."

Idiot. Go back to sleep, now.

Posted by: Steve | February 22, 2006 09:26 PM

Bush may say he is fighting a War on Terror but to me it seems like Bush and his corporate cronies have declared War on America. Free Trade, CAFTA, Selling our ports, Tax breaks for the wealthly, Invading a country that did NOT have WMD's, Managing NOT to get UBL, Taking us from a record surplus to a record deficit - Americas enemies need not do anymore more then watch us go down the drain. Former Republican

Posted by: Stop Bush's War on America | February 22, 2006 09:26 PM

and on 9/11 the Saudis were our good friends and important trading partners.

and we let the Bin Laden family leave the US meanwhile kind visiting foreign tourists were trapped without flights while our government gave special treatment to the murdering maniac's family.

yet, a lot of folks screaming today voted for this idiot a second time in 2004.

Posted by: algarvegrrrl | February 22, 2006 09:27 PM

I I think Bush honestly doesn't know who attacked us. We did go to war with the wrong country."

Idiot. Go back to sleep, now.

Posted by: Steve | Feb 22, 2006 9:26:28 PM

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

But Dubai does. Bush is dyslexic, you know.
maybe he got it all mixed up.

Posted by: | February 22, 2006 09:29 PM

Hmmmmmmmm...lets think about this.
1. Security always has been and will remain in US hands, specifically the US Coast Guard and the FBI. No change!!!
But what does that actually mean? What do the FBI and the Coast Guard actually do that keeps us secure in this arena? Besides just saying they are responsible for security.

2. Exactly what do we mean when we talk about a foreign government "being in control of our port"? Does the Port Manager schedule all vessels into and out of the port or just cargo ships? Does it exclusively load and unload all cargo or just some? Does it provide perimeter security for port facilities or does someone else do that? Are there national regulations they must comply with and who creates them and who enforces them?

3. Now we know some incoming containers are inspected at the point of origin prior to shipment and others are not. Who knows which are which and how do they get this information and when do they get it and from whom? Who decides which to inspect, when do they decide that, and how and when are those inspection designees set aside for inspection? Who actually does the physical inspection?

I don't actually know the answers to these kinds of questions. I do know that it would be pretty hard to evaluate the potential risk involved here without knowing this and a lot more detail about the actual operations of a port. Do I trust the administrations word that it considered all of this stuff in detail? Hell no. Do I think there is a real risk? I just really couldn't say and unless there is a port operations expert among you, I don't see how you all can either.

We need a lot more facts folks (you do as well Emily).

Posted by: Cayambe | February 22, 2006 09:29 PM

Cb - "It's not that Dubai are Arabs, its that they have been known to fund terrorists. 2 of the highjackers on 9/11 were funded by them."

Them? Oh, the whole country!! If you believe in guilt by association, then the arrests and convictions of American citizens who were Islamoids means that you should oppose Americans owning part of the ports biz, just to be consistent.

And remember, American citizens were involved in Islamoid WTC Attack #1, the Embassy bombings! Then again, we have caught Brit, French, Spanish, Italian, Canadian, Belgian, Pakistani, Dutch, Egyptian, Turkish, Libyan, Filipino, and Australian Islamoids in terrorist plots, or terror ops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So on the principle that Islamoid involvement of just two citizens taints any country into being unsuitable to be allies, all those countries should join the UAE?? Shall we consider Americans unsuitable and untrustworthy to manage their own security on guilt by association grounds?

Remember, a few Americans "have been known" to fund terrorism...

It's a stupid slogan the brainless MSM, the Israelis (for wedge politics), the xenophobic Extreme Left or Right keeps
parrotting as having some profound significance. 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi!! 2 were funded by UAE terrorist financiers! One was Egyptian! Morroccans, Malays, Palestinians, Spaniards, Pakis, Afghans, were involved!! The idea and execution 9/11 was the project of a US-trained Kuwaiti engineer!! So guilt by association means the US - by implication, should only consider our Special Best Friend, Israel, as it's only ally because other nations have some individuals with direct or indirect association with Islamoid terror, which completely taints the whole countries they come from?????

Stooooopid..

Posted by: Chris Ford | February 22, 2006 09:54 PM

Someone please investigate who is making the big money on this deal? It would seem that is just another step in a plan to make oil savvy investors (Bush,Cheney,and friends that much 'more comfortable' in their later richer years.)

Posted by: BJ | February 22, 2006 10:03 PM

So Chris Ford is for a state-run company handling our ports. I should have known he was a closet socialist/communist.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 22, 2006 10:04 PM

The real concern here is not about bombs being allowed into our ports but about any foreign government being handed the controls to American ports.
Will we be contracting out management of the Treasury next? Why not appoint a foreign expert to head the Federal Reserve. I know, lets contract out all branches of the Federal government. After all it would be "jingoistic" not to do so.

Posted by: G. Kunz | February 22, 2006 10:06 PM

The Dubai government, yes, THEM.

Here some other fun facts about Dubai:

90% of their workforce is foreign, 80% by
human trafficking.

The US should not do business with them for
any reason.

Posted by: | February 22, 2006 10:10 PM

Country by Country Report: Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery-United Arab Emirates (UAE)

http://gvnet.com/humantrafficking/UnitedArabEmirates.htm

Posted by: | February 22, 2006 10:16 PM

hhhhh

Posted by: hhhh | February 22, 2006 10:16 PM

The real tragedy is we're so deeply in debt
we could never afford to manage our own affairs. We have to get outsiders to do everything for us. The IRS is running on 30 year old computers. Maybe we can get the smarties over there to do our taxes for us.

Posted by: r amble | February 22, 2006 10:21 PM

It is amazing how this trivial port MANAGEMENT issue has brought out the very worst in American jingoism, nationalism, and simple ignorance of the world. This has NOTHING to do with national security and secure borders. The reaction is simple ignorant, America-first hysteria. Why shouldn't a foreign firm run your ports?
============================

Fine. Let's do away with "American jingoism, nationalism, and ignorance"

Let's sell a couple of ports to Iran or North Korea. Maybe Syria would like to buy a couple? I'll bet Hugo Chavez would love to buy a few, too. If we don't want to be viewed as "xenophobes", we should be prepared to sell our ports, and anything else we've got lying around, to whatever country has the money to buy it. No matter what that country is.

Posted by: | February 22, 2006 10:21 PM

Do I feel more secure knowing that Julie Myers is in charge of US Customs & Borders Service rather than the UAE? No way. She, as you'll recall, is Bush's sneaky recess appointment with no more qualifications than Brown's to run FEMA.

I'm sure that together she and Chertoff and this Carlyle-backed UAE company will all do just another heck of a job.

Crony Capitalism uber alles.

Posted by: Sally | February 22, 2006 10:30 PM

who's money is it anyways? Why should taxpayer money go to another country? It really is that simple you bunch of damn idiot apologists.

Posted by: mainer | February 22, 2006 10:39 PM

It's not xenophobia to oppose foreign governments owning our ports. It's a sovereignty issue, and our Founding Fathers themselves were wary of allowing any foreign state to have undue influence in America. We're not condemning UAE by denying them this port deal. If it was a private UAE company vying for control of our ports, I wouldn't oppose it, as a British private company previously ran the ports. But when you want to hand these ports to a company run completely by a foreign government, I oppose it as a bad idea. It creates an unnecessary conflict of interest, and it gives a foreign government undue influence in our trade and commerce.
It's all fine and well to denounce xenophobia, but that has little to do with this issue.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 22, 2006 10:43 PM

Technically they all broke the law. The President said it was a done deal before he even knew about it, recently. According to the Constitution, a 45 investigatory period must pass before approval of foreign firms taking over anything, and full documentation must be given to the President.

Portgate !!

Posted by: r amble | February 22, 2006 10:47 PM

For months this administration has been fear-mongering the American people so they can slowly infringe on basic liberties, and increase their "war powers"...

Now when the American people and our congress (who have been REAPEATADELY criticized for being "soft on terrorism") actually react with fear of a muslim nation... everyone in the Bush administration is surprised??

The NSA profiles muslims, the Patriot Act has provisions against "suspucious persons", our President asks us to "be diligent", while another secret approval of a deal that sells our ports to a nation that recognized the Taliban Government.

And sure we are vulnerable to terrorism now... but this won't make us less vulnerable - will it?

And a democratic / liberal issue this is not. I believe Republicans aren't understanding this either. His own party is questioning his motives, and I was also surprised to hear Rush almost speechless today.

If we are supposed to fear - maybe he should tell us why, and practice alot less secrecy.

I think it's wrong, and it's about corruption, and cronyism. Why our president continues to stir fear should be the question everyone is asking.

- A worried republican

Posted by: Allen | February 22, 2006 11:06 PM

When even your staunchest Republican allies have abandoned you, who you gonna call? Joementum!

http://firedoglake.blogspot.com/2006_02_19_firedoglake_archive.html#114059563368050170

Posted by: Zelph | February 22, 2006 11:08 PM

look, it's about seeing what is in front of your faces.


no administrative response to 9/11, before or after...


CIA is broken up in pieces...headed by a person that has no intelligence standing...

miscommunication or cover-up? between FBI/CIA, in case you're not following.

remember: WHEN IT STARTED, sort of

Bush Sr. is former head of CIA, Vice President, President and Congressman before that.

Under Bush Sr.:
Madelaine Albright goes to Iraq, prior to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and gives Saddam the nod...

He invades Kuwait, we now have an official reason to be there....

looks like we'll establish a presence in Kuwait, we already have one in Saudi.


Saudi was given the rights to Saudi Arabia by the Brits after WWII, the Royals were put into power...

who owns the ports on US soil? the brits.


Protecting the Kuwaiti's:

We go into Iraq with Stormin Norman....and kill a couple of 100 thousand Iraqis and stop short of Bagdhad....you know why, we're going back...

and now we occupy, are embedded in Kuwait.

we put the country of Iraq in stasis with embargoes until we need it........or the world economy is shifting and things are ripe....China Pakistan, and India are emerging...


we need to intervene....we in this case is the international riche, which includes the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and the US Affluent that stand to make a bit of cash....mind you the Germans, English and French have their hands in this...but your buddy dubya, is the Gawdfather on this on, or at least the gawdfathers visible son....unless you need the state militia called to keep Terry from being unhooked.

so we intervene on national television...bombs going off, constant coverage, city surrounded, surveillance on every living thing that's bigger than a booger..

then Saddam escapes from Bagdhad with three tractor trailer loads of cash, right?


the museums were emptied right?


ha ha ha...


that's rich.


so what's Brownie head of?


who trained the people that flew into the buildings?


who was head of the CIA, and who did Noriega complain about reneging on his deal with the CIA?


we've never done anything like this before right?

remember the maine, remember the alamo, some say remember pearl harbor, now let me hear you say remember 9/11....why bother...


your factories are closed, your social security system is being looted to pay for your presidents share in the control of the economic system.....and you're knee deep in illegal aliens that could just as easily be ARABic...but they're not...


our borders are unprotected and das Homelund Security is a farce....


if the president is afraid of terrorists, why hasn't any action been taken? why is he giving ports to Arabic nations unless he's sure there's no danger....if there's no danger why the *uck does he have war powers and why has habeus corpus disappeared and what's that beeping noise on my phone?

just kiddin...


but really, the bill of rights has been plundered and your country and believe it or not, mine is being sold and occupied...


and the citizens that are here are being treated as-if, the riche got that way by themselves...

ask a few slaves how cotton gets made into textile, or gin....


how does a country go from having one company that has the GNP of all of Europe...

to having citizens working at McDonalds that used to work at Boeing?

you tell me why that

........... had ..............


to happen.


When Neil Bush can raid the Savings and Loan industry costing one California company it's entire pension plan to the tune of $400 million dollars and Neil doesn't even get a boo boo on his head...


why? who's his daddy?


see yah.

Posted by: Hello kiddoes.... | February 22, 2006 11:27 PM

So... the fact that the UAE has funneled money to the 9/11 terrorists and refused to track down Osama's accounts is not enough to distrust that government? How about the fact that they are an undemocratic, civil-rights-violating association of 7 monarchies? We are pretending that we're bringing democracy to the middle east, and then we support totalitarian regimes? That's crazy.

This is not about them being Arab per se. It's about their particular history and current form of government. If they were a democratic country, that would be a completely different story. But, because they have things we want, just like Saudi Arabia, suddenly it's okay that they are undemocratic abusive regimes.

Be consistent. Whether we're out to support democracy or the US, both would be better served by an American firm taking over these responsibilities.

Posted by: Christian | February 22, 2006 11:28 PM

consistency is what is being attacked...


either there's a war on terror or there isn't....


I would say there isn't. Bush is saying, in his clueless way...."whadaya mean?" "I know these guys."

you have to remember, he doesn't expect to be held responsible for being a selfish, can do no wrong kinda guy, he probably thinks everyone knows....that the WTC things was a sham....I mean they've been to Crawford and he's held hands with them right....


remember this is the guy that used homophobia to get elected....don't expect him to keep track....he's not going to pay the bill for what he's doing you will....


and this is the bill, your country is not making sure that you're all right, unless you're friends with the ruling elite, in which case they have a state to sell you....Montana, and Idaho...check it out...

Posted by: Hello, again.... | February 22, 2006 11:36 PM

we're supporting the elite...


you're peasants, serfs....this is not a joke....


this is how most of non-expanding countries have been managed.....

ford, gm, chrysler, boeing, McDonald Douglas, Hoover...oh sorry they just moved to India and laid off 3,000 in their most productive year ever....

Capitol ONE, you know like Capitol of the Nation...used to be in Fredericksburg VA, moved to Bangalore and laid off 3,000 Virginians....


what do you care?

wait twenty years....your ancestors created the wealth of this nation....keep it.

Posted by: We're not supporting democracy pin head.... | February 22, 2006 11:41 PM

Why should Neil Bush have to account for all he stole while Enron got to ripoff the West Coast while Bush and the Federal Energy Commission did nothing? You'll recall that ripoff occurred in 2000 and 2001 when 1/3 of Silicon Valley was out of work and the NASDAQ crashed.

But they can move real quickly to nail those scary people like Martha Stewart while all the Bush buddies always walk.

Posted by: Sally | February 22, 2006 11:42 PM

and why shouldn't Neil do time?


wouldn't you?

could you be president with dubyas' resume?

how can he?


connections....

what do you have to do if you have connections?

favors....

how many favors could a president do with war powers....no questions asked and no oversight....

that's how Neil got off, daddy was president....so poof


80 Billion, no prob....


bite my ass...

Posted by: Enron is a texas company isn't it? | February 22, 2006 11:52 PM

I see it as an issue not of national security - the ports are vulnerable regardless - but one of economic security.

US Corporations from Worldcom to Microsoft move some activities off-shore, and reduce their US tax liability. There are American executives in the Dubai Corp.; how much US tax do those citizens pay?

According to NPR, 90% of west coast port facilities are run by non-US companies, and the one's in Port of NY/NJ are only 1/3 US companies now.

We can't keep allowing capital to run off-shore to flee taxes that support our society; we can't keep selling US bonds to non-democratic foreign governments like the PRC and still control our future destiny. It's as tho' the Republicans want to loot the government before it collapses, with tax cuts despite deficits, no-compete contracts for private political supporters , and unregulated concentration in media, oil, communications, and defense contracting, who go hide off-shore to duck supporting the society they profit from.

The UAE is not a democracy - it does, however, depend on the US defense umbrella for it's very existence, just like Kuwait. It's not likely that it matters who runs the port - the ports are vulnerable regardless.

It's just too bad our government wants to help UAE do business, rather than use our security leverage to push them to reform their society gradually in favor of representative democracy, which will reduce the influence of islamic militants in the longer term. Echos of our relation with Saudi Arabia, the source of many 9/11 attackers, and significant financiers of the Islamic militants who fight us.

One wonders, does the House of Bush have personal relations with UAE as it does with House of Saud?

Posted by: Mill_of_Mn | February 22, 2006 11:54 PM

could be, I mean...maybe....perhaps....

Posted by: duh.... | February 22, 2006 11:56 PM

Why not let Haliburton run the ports and Dubai can take over the Iraqi contracts? (Haliburton is American, and Dubai is Arab, and everybody would live a lot closer to their place of business.) The answer: Dubai has a better track record than Haliburton and is more likely to honor their contracts. American business has been corrupted by participation in the military-industrial complex. Too large a sector of the US economy has been liberated from cost-and-demand factors. Now an Arab princedom offers better management. We are very far down the road to losing our national independence, which is more than a matter of government alone. The President did not create this situation, but he does not seem to know that it exists -- let alone what to do about it.

Posted by: jp | February 23, 2006 12:02 AM

nuther thought - people get worried about who runs the docks, but how many of the ships in our ports have ANY Americans as crew? The vast majority of ships are registered in places that don't regulate shipping, and are staffed by a variety of nationals representing the poorest souls of humanity who work for VERY little. If you worry about port security, worry about the ships before they're off-loaded, not about who runs the docks.

Posted by: Mill_of_Mn | February 23, 2006 12:03 AM

we had to fight for child labor, labor and womens rights.....

people were killed when they first started unions....

the bulk of citizens came to the United States to escape countries ruled by Royalty/Landed and to a great extent those countries were not expanding rapidly....


the United States was, as was Australia....they were paying people to move to Australia during the 60's, and giving you something like 2,000 acres if you had a degree....citizens are needed during expansion, they count


WWII was the first shift strongly towards a more middle class America, unions gave blue collar people benefits and wages that made them middle class too....


unions, factories, are decreasing at an exponential rate....all those jobs are temp jobs now if they still exist with no benefits....and hispanics are moving in and making it so that if you don't take a job that pays poorly, they will....


do the bushes care, why should they, they own things they don't work in or on them....


they need their money so they can buy things for their families....


VA benefits reduced while the clown has war powers...ooooo oucheee...but it's true...I mean, what does he care, none of his friends are vets, right?

Posted by: a history lesson.... | February 23, 2006 12:04 AM

we are the terrorists, that is what the president is telling you....


he's not worried about them, he knows who they are....they work for him.

Posted by: hello.... | February 23, 2006 12:06 AM

It's not about security. It's about Bush and his buddies at the Carlyle Group wrapping their octpus tentacles around more big business at the expense of the American middle class. They'll figure out a way to break the dockwoker's union too. Their greed superseeds national security. Follow the money, sheeple.

December 06, 2002 Washington, DC - Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group today announced that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in CSX Lines, LLC from the CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) in a transaction valued at $300 million. Current CSX Lines President and CEO Charles G. (Chuck) Raymond and his management team will remain in place and the new entity will be called Horizon Lines, LLC. Mr. Raymond will also serve as Chairman of the company's board.

Dubai Ports World purchased the global port assets of U.S. freight rail company CSX Corp. (CSX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) in 2005 for $1.15 billion. U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow is a former chairman of CSX, but left the company a year before the Dubai deal.

One of DP World's top executives, David Sanborn, was nominated by President George W. Bush in January to become the administrator of the Maritime Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation. At least one senator plans to hold up Sanborn's confirmation until more questions about the port deal are answered.

Posted by: The Man | February 23, 2006 12:51 AM

the military is made up of sheeple too...


and the top 3% of the wealthy in the UNITED STATES control the United
States....because the other 97%let them...


that's the point...


company owners fought the formation of unions....


the president really wants those war powers....


not that there's a war on, but hey, he needs the clout....see if he doesn't use it some more against you...

haliburton detention campes looking at yah...


sheeple...

Posted by: just remember sheeple... | February 23, 2006 01:27 AM

The Founding Fathers were so wary of undue influence by foreign powers that they forbade anybody running for president that was born in a foreign country. Certainly, they would not approve of a foreign government running the ports of New York or New Orleans, or any U.S. port for that matter. There is no way this deal is ever going to go through. Bush will back off from his current politically-damaging stance, or Congress will override him and kill this deal. Either way, the ports in the USA are not going to end up in the hands of the UAE.

Posted by: ErrinF | February 23, 2006 02:04 AM


otherside123.blogspot.com
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info
www.wsws.org

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060223/ap_on_go_pr_wh/ports_security;_ylt=AhTlodSBktQZJJSU_0RcBais0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3ODdxdHBhBHNlYwM5NjQ-

Arab Co., White House Had Secret Agreement

By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 57 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration secretly required a company in the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with future U.S. investigations before approving its takeover of operations at six American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. It chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.
ADVERTISEMENT

As part of the $6.8 billion purchase, state-owned Dubai Ports World agreed to reveal records on demand about "foreign operational direction" of its business at U.S. ports, the documents said. Those records broadly include details about the design, maintenance or operation of ports and equipment.

The administration did not require Dubai Ports to keep copies of business records on U.S. soil, where they would be subject to court orders. It also did not require the company to designate an American citizen to accommodate U.S. government requests. Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries.

"They're not lax but they're not draconian," said James Lewis, a former U.S. official who worked on such agreements. If officials had predicted the firestorm of criticism over the deal, Lewis said, "they might have made them sound harder."

The conditions involving the sale of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. were detailed in U.S. documents marked "confidential." Such records are regularly guarded as trade secrets, and it is highly unusual for them to be made public.

The concessions -- described previously by the
Homeland Security Department as unprecedented among maritime companies -- reflect the close relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

The revelations about the negotiated conditions came as the White House acknowledged
President Bush was unaware of the pending sale until the deal had already been approved by his administration.

Bush on Tuesday brushed aside objections by leaders in the Senate and House. He pledged to veto any bill Congress might approve to block the agreement, but some lawmakers said they still were determined to capsize it.

Dubai Port's top American executive, chief operating officer Edward H. Bilkey, said the company will do whatever the Bush administration asks to enhance shipping security and ensure the sale goes through. Bilkey said Wednesday he will work in Washington to persuade skeptical lawmakers they should endorse the deal; Senate oversight hearings already are scheduled.

"We're disappointed," Bilkey told the AP in an interview. "We're going to do our best to persuade them that they jumped the gun. The UAE is a very solid friend, as President Bush has said."

Under the deal, the government asked Dubai Ports to operate American seaports with existing U.S. managers "to the extent possible." It promised to take "all reasonable steps" to assist the Homeland Security Department, and it pledged to continue participating in security programs to stop smuggling and detect illegal shipments of nuclear materials.

The administration required Dubai Ports to designate an executive to handle requests from the U.S. government, but it did not specify this person's citizenship.

It said Dubai Ports must retain paperwork "in the normal course of business" but did not specify a time period or require corporate records to be housed in the United States. Outside experts familiar with such agreements said such provisions are routine in other cases.

Bush faces a potential rebellion from leaders of his own party, as well as a fight from Democrats, over the sale. It puts Dubai Ports in charge of major terminal operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

Senate and House leaders urged the president to delay the takeover, which is set to be finalized in early March. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said the deal raised "serious questions regarding the safety and security of our homeland." House Speaker
Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., asked the president for a moratorium on the sale until it could be studied further.

In Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice said the agreement was thoroughly vetted. "We have to maintain a principle that it doesn't matter where in the world one of these purchases is coming from," Rice said Wednesday. She described the United Arab Emirates as "a good partner in the war on terrorism."

Bush personally defended the agreement on Tuesday, but the White House said he did not know about it until recently. The AP first reported the U.S. approval of the sale to Dubai Ports on Feb. 11, and many members of Congress have said they learned about it from the AP.

"I think somebody dropped the ball," said Rep. Vito Fossella (news, bio, voting record), R-N.Y. "Information should have flowed more freely and more quickly up into the White House. I think it has been mishandled in terms of coming forward with adequate information."

At the White House, spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush learned about the deal "over the last several days," as congressional criticism escalated. McClellan said it did not rise to the presidential level, but went through a government review and was determined not to pose a threat.

McClellan said Bush afterward asked the head of every U.S. department involved in approving the sale whether there were security concerns. "Each and every one expressed that they were comfortable with this transaction going forward," he said.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Guiterrez told the AP the administration was being thoughtful and deliberate approving the sale.

"We are not reacting emotionally," Guiterrez said in an interview Wednesday. "That's what I believe our partners from around the world would like to see from us is that we be thoughtful. That we be deliberate. That we understand issues before we make a decision."

___

Associated Press writers Jeanine Aversa in Washington, Anne Gearan in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and John Christoffersen in Danbury, Conn., contributed to this report.

Posted by: CHE | February 23, 2006 03:53 AM

The Other Side of the Dubai Coin

How easy is it for a foreign corporation to own and/or operate a company, or purchase land in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)?

NOT.

The Dubai Facts:

"The [UAE] Federal Companies Law applies to all commercial companies established in the UAE and to branch offices of foreign companies operating in the UAE. Companies established in the UAE are required to have a minimum of 51 percent UAE national ownership."

"The [UAE] Commercial Agencies Law requires that foreign principals distribute their products in the UAE only through exclusive commercial agents that are either UAE nationals or companies wholly owned by UAE nationals."

"The [UAE] Federal Industry Law stipulates that industrial projects must have 51 percent UAE national ownership. The law also requires that projects either be managed by a UAE national or have a board of directors with a majority of UAE nationals. Exemptions from the law are provided for projects related to extraction and refining of oil, natural gas, and other raw materials. Additionally, projects with a small capital investment or special projects governed by special laws or agreements are exempt from the industry law."

"The [UAE] Government Tenders Law stipulates that a supplier, contractor, or tenderer with respect to federal projects must either be a UAE national or a company in which UAE nationals own at least 51 percent of the share capital or foreign entities represented by a UAE distributor or agent."

"Up until recently, only Emiratis and other GCC nationals were permitted to own land in the UAE, while foreigners, who comprise 80-85% of the population, had been restricted to renting." [GCC = Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, a.k.a. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)]

"Perhaps the most important impediment to freeholds is that owners cannot register titles with the Dubai Land Department, a step that allows owners access to the full range of legal protections and transactions that property ownership requires. If a national and foreigner try to register a change of land title, the Land Department normally turns them away."

"Defense contractors with an eye for investment in the UAE must negotiate directly with the UAE Offsets Group (UOG), and invest an amount that will generate a profit equal to 60% of their contract in the UAE. UOG investment projects generally must show the required profit after seven years. The contractor may not own more than 49 percent of the project, and UAE nationals must hold the remaining 51 percent."

"There is no national treatment for investors in the UAE. The UAE maintains non-tariff barriers to investment in the form of restrictive agency, sponsorship, and distributorship requirements. In order to do business in the UAE outside one of the free zones, a foreign business in most cases must have a UAE national sponsor, agent or distributor. Once chosen, sponsors, agents, or distributors have exclusive rights. They cannot be replaced without their agreement. Government tendering is not conducted according to generally accepted international standards, and re-tendering is the norm. To bid on federal projects, a supplier or contractor must be either a UAE national or a company in which UAE nationals own at least 51 percent of the capital or have a local agent or distributor."

"Title to all land in Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate, resides in the ruler."


Source:

U.S. State Department - United Arab Emirates 2005 Investment Climate Statement
http://www.state.gov/e/eb/ifd/2005/42194.htm

Posted by: Movie Guy | February 23, 2006 04:03 AM

--

Rumsfeld was AWOL from CFIUS? Say it's not so...

It's highly unlikely in my judgment that the Administration will reverse its decision. The Administration is stuck, for a multitude of reasons. Moreover, a reversal wouldn't necessarily stop the legal sale of P&O to DP World. That is a foreign to foreign transaction. (more later on this point)

Meanwhile, Rumsfeld steps to the mic:

News Transcript, DoD News Briefing with Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Pace, February 21, 2006
http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2006/tr20060221-12543.html

It's entertaining to note Rumsfeld's 'knowledge innocence' on the sale of P&O to DP World during the follow up Q&A with the news media. One is led to think that DoD didn't have a chair at the Committee table (U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States). That's complete nonsense, of course.

The Secretary of Defense is a member of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Did he skip all of the supposed meetings? Sec Rice appears to know about the meeting(s) and the thinking that resulted in the Committee's decision. If Sec Rumsfeld further delegated the E.O. committee role (not sure he has any authority to do that...), did that individual not keep him fully informed on the activities and decisions of the Committee? Rumsfeld acts as though he had no knowledge of the Committee activities prior to, during, or after the Committee meetings on the sale of P&O to DP World. He says that he didn't know anything until this past weekend. I call Rumsfeld's hand on his remarks to the news media. If he's telling the truth, then I have little confidence that the Committee held any meaningful meetings. Who the hell attended? Not DoD...?

Turning to the Congressional side of this issue...

If the Congress intends to get off its collective butt and address the notable differences in airport operations vs port operations and security of infrastructure operations in general, any serious legislation put forth would provide the foundation for initiating an equalization of the security treatment considerations being applied to U.S. infrastructure facilities and operations. Right now, we're not witnessing a level playing field.

The Congress has, in the last five years, failed to go back and adequately readdress the Exon-Florio provision in such a manner as would address the ownership of U.S. ports by U.S. port authorities, and terminal operations/ownership, and/or functions contracted out to foreign subcontractors (such as the operation of entire ports or major terminals ). If the U.S. Congress doesn't want foreign ownership or control of U.S. ports and/or terminals, then that needs to written into U.S. Code.

Stepping back, the bigger question is what actually triggered the current Exon-Florio provision review by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Perhaps it is the 50% P&O ownership of the Port of Miami. Beyond that issue and any other related U.S. corporation asset ownership considerations, I don't see where the sale jurisdiction comes into play if focusing on the language of the Exon-Florio provision.

U.S. Department of Treasury - Exon-Florio Provision (as exercised under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States)
http://www.treas.gov/offices/international-affairs/exon-florio/

A careful read of the jurisdiction responsibility of the Committee is in order if one is to understand that the U.S. really doesn't have any authority to prevent the sale of one foreign corporation to another foreign corporation (or nation state), unless arm twisting the new deal if the first foreign corporation owned or took control of U.S.- based U.S. corporate assets. As such, that would imply that the U.S. exercised prior approval of P&O ownership of whatever U.S. assets may be involved.

P&O can be sold to DP World without any approval by the United States Government. Now, having said that, it may be the case that DP World could be forced to divest itself of the 50% ownership of the Port of Miami. That's a strong possibility under U.S. Code. For those who bothered to research news releases from P&O or DP World, it is the case that P&O recently sold some U.S. assets prior to the agreed upon sale of P&O to DP World. Similarly, some effort could be undertaken to "encourage" or force DP World to sell its recent U.S. rail line assets.

Obviously, the six port authorities affected in the sale of P&O to DP World (and the nation state of Dubai) can pursue legal means to void the existing operational support contracts with P&O/DP World. Beyond the Port of Miami ownership issue, the Exon-Florio provision may be of little help in voiding those contracts unless there is a legal determination that operation of terminals at any U.S. port authority facilities in the United States falls under the jurisdiction of the statute or related statutes that address matters of U.S. national security.

Oh - back to that AWOL deal on Rumsfeld. Maybe someone should call Gay Hartwell Sills at Treasury and find out the real story on Rumsfeld. The number? Phone: (202) 622-9066 Also: (202) 622-1860

Rumsfeld's the one member of the Committee who should never miss a meeting. Those meetings are supposed to focus on national security issues.

Right, Rummy?

--

Posted by: Movie Guy | February 23, 2006 04:06 AM

MIKEY CHERTOFF FOR DUMMIES - Chapter 7, Section 161


Here are just a few of the things we haven't heard Homeland Secretary Chertoff mention in recent days...

UAE and Terrorism
Library of Congress - Federal Research Division
December 2005 update
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/UAE.pdf

"Dubai is strongly linked to the September 11, 2001, attack on the United States; more than half of the hijackers flew directly out of Dubai International Airport to the United States."

"As of late 2004, however, evidence suggested that al Qaeda was continuing to use Dubai as a logistical hub for international travel, planning, and finance."


The United Arab Emirates (UAE): Issues for U.S. Policy
CRS Report for Congress
May 9, 2005
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/48385.pdf

"The UAE was one of only three countries (Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were the others) to have recognized the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, after the movement captured Kabul in September 1996. During Taliban rule (1996-2001), the UAE continued to allow Ariana Afghan airlines to operate service to UAE, and many U.S. officials believed that Al Qaeda activists might have spent time in UAE."

"Two of the hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks were UAE nationals, and there were reports that the hijackers had used financial networks based in the UAE in the plot. Since then, the UAE has publicly acknowledged assisting in the 2002 arrest of at least one senior Al Qaeda operative in the Gulf, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri."

"The UAE record on assisting U.S. anti-proliferation efforts may be of somewhat greater concern. In connection with recent revelations of illicit sales of nuclear
technology to Iran, Libya, and North Korea by Pakistan's nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan. Dubai was named as a key transfer point for shipments of nuclear components sold by Khan. Two Dubai-based companies were apparently involved in trans-shipping such components: SMB Computers and Gulf Technical Industries."

--

Posted by: Movie Guy | February 23, 2006 04:15 AM

--

MIKEY CHERTOFF FOR DUMMIES - Chapter 7, Section 162


Mikey was completely tone deaf while defending UAE during the past week, forgetting his principal role and responsibility in this Federal prosecution:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -v-ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI a/k/a "Shaqil," a/k/a "Abu Khalid al Sahrawi
http://www.usdoj.gov/ag/moussaouiindictment.htm

U.S. Prosecutors:

1. Michael Chertoff, Assistant Attorney General

2. Paul J. McNulty, United States Attorney, Eastern District of Virginia

3. Mary Jo White, United States Attorney, Southern District of New York


UAE related issues cited in the U.S. Federal indictment include:

THE GRAND JURY CHARGES THAT: (excerpts)

On or about August 23, 1996, a Declaration of Jihad indicating that it was from the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan entitled, "Message from Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Laden to His Muslim Brothers in the Whole World and Especially in the Arabian Peninsula: Declaration of Jihad Against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Mosques; Expel the Heretics from the Arabian Peninsula" was disseminated.

In February 1998, Usama Bin Laden endorsed a fatwah under the banner of the "International Islamic Front for Jihad on the Jews and Crusaders." This fatwah, published in the publication Al-Quds al-`Arabi on February 23, 1998, stated that Muslims should kill Americans - including civilians - anywhere in the world where they can be found.

In an address in or about 1998, Usama Bin Laden cited American aggression against Islam and encouraged a jihad that would eliminate the Americans from the Arabian Peninsula.

In or about April 1998, ZACARIAS MOUSSAOUI was present at the al Qaeda-affiliated Khalden Camp in Afghanistan.

On or about May 29, 1998, Usama Bin Laden issued a statement entitled "The Nuclear Bomb of Islam," under the banner of the "International Islamic Front for Fighting the Jews and the Crusaders," in which he stated that "it is the duty of the Muslims to prepare as much force as possible to terrorize the enemies of God."

In or about June 1999, in an interview with an Arabic-language television station, Usama Bin Laden issued a further threat indicating that all American males should be killed.

On or about June 29, 2000, $4,790 was wired from the United Arab Emirates ("UAE") to Marwan al-Shehhi (#175) in Manhattan.

On or about July 19, 2000, $9,985 was wired from UAE into a Florida SunTrust bank account in the names of Mohammed Atta (#11) and Marwan al-Shehhi (#175).

On or about July 26, 2000, in Germany, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh wired money to Marwan al-Shehhi (#175) in Florida.

On or about August 7, 2000, $9,485 was wired from UAE into a Florida SunTrust bank account in the names of Mohammed Atta (#11) and Marwan al-Shehhi (#175).

On or about August 30, 2000, $19,985 was wired from UAE into a Florida SunTrust bank account in the names of Mohammed Atta (#11) and Marwan al-Shehhi (#175).

In or about September 2000, in an interview with an Arabic-language television station, Usama Bin Laden called for a "jihad" to release the "brothers" in jail "everywhere.

On or about September 18, 2000, $69,985 was wired from UAE into a Florida SunTrust bank account in the names of Mohamed Atta (#11) and Marwan al-Shehhi (#175).

On July 18, 2001, Fayez Ahmed (#175) gave power of attorney to Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi for Fayez Ahmed's Standard Chartered Bank accounts in UAE.

On July 18, 2001, using his power of attorney, Al-Hawsawi picked up Fayez Ahmed's VISA and ATM cards in UAE.

Between July 18 and August 1, 2001, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi caused Fayez Ahmed's VISA and ATM cards to be shipped from UAE to Fayez Ahmed in Florida. (The VISA card was then used for the first time on August 1, 2001, in Florida.)

On June 25, 2001, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi used a cash deposit to open a checking account at a Standard Chartered Bank branch in Dubai, UAE.

On June 25, 2001, at the same Standard Chartered Bank branch in Dubai, UAE, Fayez Ahmed (#175) used a cash deposit to open a savings account and also opened a checking account.

On or about July 30 and 31, 2001, in Hamburg, Germany, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, using the name "Ahad Sabet," received two wire transfers, totaling approximately $15,000, from "Hashim Abdulrahman" in UAE.

On or about August 22, 2001, Fayez Ahmed (#175) used his VISA card in Florida to obtain approximately $4,900 cash, which had been deposited into his Standard Chartered Bank account in UAE the day before.

On or about September 3, 2001, in Hamburg, Germany, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, using the name "Ahad Sabet," received approximately $1500 by wire transfer from "Hashim Ahmed" in UAE.

On or about September 4, 2001, Mohammed Atta (#11) sent a FedEx package from Florida to UAE.

On or about September 8, 2001, an Arab male retrieved the package from Mohammed Atta (#11) at FedEx in Dubai, UAE.

On September 8, 2001, Mohammed Atta (#11) wired $2,860 to "Mustafa Ahmed" in UAE.

On September 8, 2001, Mohammed Atta (#11) wired $5,000 to "Mustafa Ahmed" in UAE.

On September 9, 2001, Waleed M. al-Shehri (#11) wired $5,000 to "Ahamad Mustafa" in UAE.

On September 10, 2001, Marwan al-Shehhi (#175) wired $5,400 to "Mustafa Ahmad" in UAE.

On or about September 11, 2001, Mohammed Atta, Abdul Aziz Alomari, Satam al-Suqami, Waleed M. al-Shehri, and Waleed al-Shehri hijacked American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767, which had departed Boston at approximately 7:55 a.m. They flew Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan at approximately 8:45 a.m., causing the collapse of the tower and the deaths of thousands of persons.

On or about September 11, 2001, Hamza al-Ghamdi, Fayez Ahmed, Mohald al-Shehri, Ahmed al-Ghamdi, and Marwan al-Shehhi hijacked United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767, which had departed from Boston at approximately 8:15 a.m. They flew Flight 175 into the South Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan at approximately 9:05 a.m., causing the collapse of the tower and the deaths of thousands of persons.

On or about September 11, 2001, Khalid al-Midhar, Majed Moqed, Nawaf al-Hazmi, Salem al-Hazmi, and Hani Hanjour hijacked American Airlines Flight 77, a Boeing 757, which had departed from Virginia bound for Los Angeles, at approximately 8:10 a.m. They flew Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Virginia at approximately 9:40 a.m., causing the deaths of 189 persons.

On or about September 11, 2001, Saeed al-Ghamdi, Ahmed al-Nami, Ahmed al-Haznawi, and Ziad Jarrah hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757, which had departed from Newark, New Jersey bound for San Francisco at approximately 8:00 a.m. After resistance by the passengers, Flight 93 crashed in Somerset County, Pennsylvania at approximately 10:10 a.m., killing all on board.

On September 11, 2001, in UAE, approximately $16,348 was deposited into Al-Hawsawi's Standard Chartered Bank account.

On September 11, 2001, in UAE, at about 9:22 a.m. local time (the early morning hours of Eastern Daylight Time), Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi moved approximately $6,534 from the $8,055 in Fayez Ahmed's (#175) Standard Chartered Bank account into his own account, using a check dated September 10, 2001 and signed by Fayez Ahmed; Al-Hawsawi then withdrew approximately $1,361, nearly all the remaining balance in Ahmed's account, by ATM cash withdrawal.

On September 11, 2001, in UAE, approximately $40,871 was prepaid to a VISA card connected to Al-Hawsawi's Standard Chartered Bank account.

On September 11, 2001, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi left the U.A.E. for Pakistan.

On September 13, 2001, the VISA card connected to Al-Hawsawi's account was used to make six ATM withdrawals in Karachi, Pakistan.

On or about October 7, 2001, in Afghanistan, Ayman al-Zawahiri called on Muslims to join the battle against the United States.

On or about October 7, 2001, in Afghanistan, Usama Bin Laden praised the September 11 attack, and vowed that the United States would not "enjoy security" before "infidel armies leave" the Saudi Gulf.

On or about October 10, 2001, Sulieman Abu Ghaith announced, on behalf of al Qaeda, that all Muslims had a duty to attack United States targets around the world.

--

Posted by: Movie Guy | February 23, 2006 04:18 AM

--

DP WORLD - The Next Superman of Cargo Handling


Now, the business side of the story.

Essentially, many individuals have missed the big picture on what is occurring. This latest buyout by DP World is about global control of cargo movements via port and terminal operations. The sale of P&O to DP World will move DP up to the number three global position. A significant move in terms of global cargo handling. And this provides a pretty good indication of what crude oil revenues can buy in terms of sustainable investment opportunities in other industries on the global stage.

Now, I'm not pleased to see a growing number of U.S. port operations run by any foreign corporate interests. It's rather disgusting to know that the U.S. major port authorities are turning to foreign interests to operate their support facilities. But, pushing that aside, this buyout is logical from DP World's point of view as it expands its operations globally. And rest assured that DP World, as a young transnational corporation, is moving along at breakneck speed on multiple fronts to establish a growing share of world dominance.

Check this out:

Dubai National Government
http://www.dubai.ae/


Dubai Ports World
UAE-based global operation

"DP World is a leading global port operator with a portfolio of operations in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. The company has 22 container terminals in 15 countries."

"DP World is the result of the integration of Dubai Ports Authority ("DPA") and DPI Terminals ("DPI") in September 2005. This new entity continues the tremendous success of the DPA and DPI businesses, which have been at the forefront of Dubai's extraordinary transformation into one of the world's leading trade and commerce hubs."

"DP World manages the commercial and operational aspects of the port network, formerly developed and managed by DPA and DPI. In 2005, the terminals operated by DP World handled an estimated 13 million TEU which include ports on five continents from the Americas to Asia."


DP World home page 1
http://www.dpiterminals.com/

DP World home page 2
http://www.dpiterminals.com/dpworld_main.asp

Company History
http://www.dpiterminals.com/subpages.asp?PSID=1&PageID=21

* Includes listing of facilities located in each country where DP operates.

Management Structure
http://www.dpiterminals.com/subpages.asp?PageID=25&PSID=1

DP WORLD EXECUTIVE NOMINATED FOR PRESITIGOUS US GOVT POSITION
http://www.dpiterminals.com/fullnews.asp?NewsID=39

* This pertains to Dave Sanborn, who was nominated in January 2006 by President Bush to head up the Maritime Administration, a key transportation appointment reporting directly to Norman Mineta, Secretary, Department of Transportation.

Regional Offices - Overview & New Regional Structure
http://www.dpiterminals.com/subpages.asp?PageID=24&PSID=2

Regional Office Locations - Map interface
http://www.dpiterminals.com/mainpages.asp?PSID=2

Global Terminal Facilities - Map interface
http://www.dpiterminals.com/maincats.asp?CatID=1

Affiliated Company => Jafza International
http://www.jafzainternational.com/

Affiliated Company => Crane Services
(* Info thus far not posted)

New Developments
http://www.dpiterminals.com/maincats.asp?CatID=2

Latest Global Acquisition => Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation (P&O)
London-based corporation
http://portal.pohub.com/portal/page?_pageid=71,207172&_dad=pogprtl&_schema=POGPRTL

Sidebar:

U.S. Maritime Administration
http://www.marad.dot.gov/

--

Posted by: Movie Guy | February 23, 2006 04:30 AM

--

MILITARY DEFENSE AND SALES ISSUES - U.S. and UAE

The U.S.-UAE defense relationship and military sales pictures are outlined with the following sources. Reports addressing UAE begin in 1996.

Allied Contributions to the Common Defense Reports to the Congress
http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/allied.html
* Reports addressing UAE begin in 1996.


The following offer some appreciation for U.S. military sales to UAE.

Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) - search - type in United Arab Emirates [UAE]
http://www.dtic.mil/

According to Agence France-Presse - "Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), together spent about 277 billion dollars on defense and security between 1995 and 2002, according to Arab League figures. ...The GCC states spent about 37 billion dollars on defense in 2004, according to Jane's. ... The UAE historically has purchased its major combat systems from France, but UAE officials now appear to believe that arms purchases from the United States enhance the U.S. commitment to UAE security. In March 2000, the UAE signed a contract to purchase 80 U.S. F-16 aircraft, equipped with the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM), the HARM (High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile) anti-radar missile, and, subject to a UAE purchase decision, the Harpoon anti-ship missile system."
http://www.dtic.mil/dodsrch/docView?c=5EF526FDCBB753A6&dk=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.au.af.mil%2Fau%2Fawc%2Fawcgate%2Fcrs%2Frl31533.pdf


Examples of Foreign Military Sales to UAE:

The United Arab Emirates and Foreign Military Sales(appears to be a 1998 document)
http://www.bis.doc.gov/DefenseIndustrialBasePrograms/OSIES/ExportMarketGuides/MidEast/uae.pdf

September 16, 1998 - In support of a potential commercial sale of 80 F-16 Block 60 aircraft - sale of AIM-120B Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) and AMRAAM training missiles; AIM-9M 1/2 SIDEWINDER missiles and SIDEWINDER training missiles; AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) and HARM training missiles; AGM-65D/G MAVERICK missiles and MAVERICK training missiles; AGM-84 HARPOON missiles; MK 82 and MK 84 general purpose bombs; MK 82 and 560 MK 84 air inflatable retard kits; BLU-109 bombs; GBU-10 and GBU-12 PAVEWAY II laser guided bomb kits; GBU-24 PAVEWAY III laser guided bomb kits; CBU-87 combined effects munitions; CBU-58 inert cluster bomb units; BDU-33 training bombs; MK 106 training bombs; 20mm and 20mm inert bullets
http://www.defenselink.mil/srch/docView?c=A3B245203F9EBEC5FC8C306E4AAF152F&dk=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.defenselink.mil%2Fnews%2FSep1998%2Fm09161998_m143-98.html&q=military+%3Cand%3E+foreign+%3Cand%3E+sales+%3Cand%3E+uae&p=Simple

March 1999 - SecDEF meeting with UAE officials in Dubai regarding the potential sale of F-16s
http://www.armscontrol.org/act/1999_03/armmr99.asp

"On his March 8 stop in the UAE, Cohen met with government officials to discuss outstanding issues in the proposed F-16 purchase. Washington has so far refused UAE requests that it release the software codes used in the F-16's on-board electronic warfare systems. As in the earlier AMRAAM negotiations, the UAE has threatened to take its fighter buy elsewhere if its demands are not met."

April 28, 2000 - F-16 aircraft
http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2000/b04282000_bt216-00.html

Analysis of the F-16 Block 60 sale
http://www.airpower.au.af.mil/airchronicles/apj/apj00/fal00/phifal00.htm

26 April 2001- F-16 tail kits
http://www.dsca.mil/PressReleases/36-b/UAE%2001-07.pdf

25 October 2001- Harpoon missiles
http://www.dsca.mil/PressReleases/36-b/UAE%2002-07.pdf

4 September 2002 - Refurbished/upgraded E-2C Aircraft to the E2C HAWKEYE 2000
http://www.dsca.mil/pressreleases/36-b/uae_02-44.pdf

17 July 2002 - Upgrade to Apache Helicopters
http://www.dtic.mil/dodsrch/docView?c=3BB10E3FB4075C08&dk=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dsca.mil%2FPressReleases%2F36-b%2FUAE_02-30.pdf

November 14, 2003 - Harpoon Missile Block II retrofit kits and warhead section kits
http://www.defenselink.mil/contracts/2003/ct20031114.html

17 November 2004 - JAVELIN anti-tank missile systems, missile rounds and associated
equipment and services
http://www.dtic.mil/dodsrch/docView?c=3BB10E3FB4075C08&dk=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dsca.mil%2FPressReleases%2F36-b%2F2004%2FUAE_05-09.pdf

Dubai air show Nov. 22, 2005 (note military sales discussion)
http://aimpoints.hq.af.mil/display.cfm?id=7994

Related GAO analysis reports on weapon systems sales to Middle East nations
http://searching.gao.gov/query.html?col=+&qt=+GAO-01-1078&charset=iso-8859-1&ql=&x=14&y=14


Meanwhile, after September 11, 2001, UAE was classified as an 'Imminent Danger Pay' zone for U.S. military personnel:

DFAS memorandum and change in 'Imminent Danger Pay' zones
November 26, 2001
http://www.dod.mil/comptroller/fmr/07a/07AIC40-01.pdf

--

Posted by: Movie Guy | February 23, 2006 04:42 AM

--

UAE? THE SELECTIVE KNOWLEDGE VACUUM AT 1600 PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE


All of this brings me to the President of the United States. And his White House staff.

President Bush. The leader of the United States of America. And those around him. The inner circle, plus those down the hall.

We are supposed to believe that the President didn't have any knowledge of the activities of the CFIUS? He had no knowledge whatsoever that DP World was bidding on the acquisition of P&O? None?

Why not?

Did none of the CFIUS members, including Sec Rice, Sec Chertoff, and/or Sec Rumsfeld (oh, that's right...he knew nothing, too) advise the President or his immediate staff of the national security decision? None? Not one word? Not a peek?

You're trying to tell me that Sec Snow, the CFIUS Chairman, did not inform the President of the United States of the Committee's recommendation to the President? That's how it works under Exon-Florio provision, by the way.

NOT ONE WORD ABOUT A NATIONAL SECURITY DECISION??

Uh, huh. Right...

Did Dave Sanborn, the Maritime Administration nominee, not advise the FBI or any single member of the White Staff that his firm, DP World, was in the process of attempting to purchase P&O? He didn't mention the pending action during any interviews? The FBI background package (the appendix) is a blank page on this NATIONAL DEFENSE subject?

Karen Hughes (over at STATE) didn't breathe a word? Not a word? Not even to the First Lady?

I would lay odds that Barney, the President's dog knows the truth. But he's not talking to the news media. Barney's probably worried that someone is busy practicing for a hunting trip. He might be hiding out.

And that's exactly what we're hearing from Sec Rumsfeld and the White House Staff.

The President? He might not have known. But I believe that he did know.

It's high time that this Administration stop trying to con the American public. We're getting a bit tired of the "Didn't Know" routine. It's child's play.

If the White House staff, the Cabinet, and the President are that ill-informed and oblivious about ongoing events and activities, then we should ask them to step down. Negligence is not among the attributes that we expect and demand of national leadership.

Step Up or Step Down, people.

--

Posted by: Movie Guy | February 23, 2006 05:19 AM


JUST ASKING
Dear Movie and the rest,

Is it not sad that our only way to comunicate with each other has become a blog?, I mean, is democracy all about blogging? we(the people) don't control the media, we can put long comments on the washingtonpost blogs, but what will the effect be?. Lady Messner will never put an article that can put her job at risk, she must take in to account her job,it is possible that she knows the truth about many subjects, but the day that she decides to the truth, will be the day that she will get fired from these newspaper(and these is the same for all the newspapers in the States).

It is very sad for me to say this, but the Republic is dead.

Please bookmark the following sites:

www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info
www.wsws.org
otherside123.blogspot.com

Posted by: che | February 23, 2006 06:01 AM

So what is the problem with handing over to DPW (owned by UAE) operational control of major U.S. ports?

Free flow of capital: They need to invest the dollars we sent them somehow. That's a check.

Security: Future owners have a record of efficiency and compliance. That's a check.

Common Sense: American vulnerability at her ports is heightened by passive management of a complex transport system, a path already chosen. That's a maybe.

Political Volatility: If/when something does go wrong at a port this decision will be blamed regardless of facts. That's an X.

Two checks. One abstention. One X.

Decision: X

Posted by: On the plantation | February 23, 2006 07:45 AM

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info
www.wsws.org

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/education/stories/MYSA022206.01B.woodward.129cfa8d.html

Woodward warns of secrecy trend

The greatest threat to America's democracy is not terrorism but governmental secrecy, said Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward, whose reporting 35 years ago pierced the veil of secrecy behind Richard Nixon's presidency.

Although a massive, coordinated attack on the country, making 9-11 look like a "footnote," is still possible, the nation faces a greater threat from the federal government's current secrecy drive, Woodward told an audience in San Antonio on Tuesday.

"Democracies die in darkness," Woodward told the 500-person crowd of mostly business and community leaders as part of Trinity University's policy maker breakfast series, a 25-year tradition.

The Bush administration, which gave Woodward remarkable access for his two books on the administration's war on terror, "Bush At War," in 2002 and "Plan of Attack," in 2004, has cloaked its decision-making in "an immense amount of secrecy," he said, "too much, in my view."

The administration says it needs to work in secret because of the nature of the Iraqi war and the surprise tactics terrorists rely on.

John Davenport/Express-News

Ann Knoebel, of Trinity University, chats with renowned journalist Bob Woodward. The reporter addressed a breakfast crowd Tuesday.

He also faulted a round-the-clock news cycle that emphasizes speed over accuracy and demands that journalists not just report but predict the future.

Having a year to work on his latest book, about Bush's decision to launch the Iraqi war, he said, allowed him to gather an immense amount of information from a variety of sources.

He then wrote a 21-page memo to the president, outlining what he had learned.

Jokes aside about whether the president reads 21-page memos, Woodward said he was given 31/2 hours to interview the president. He called it the longest interview a sitting president has ever granted.

The resulting book, "Plan of Attack," tries to offer "understanding and perspective, not to condemn, or endorse, but to explain" what happened during the 16 months he said it took Bush to decide to go to war.

"And make no mistake, it was Bush's decision," he said, although he called Vice President Dick Cheney "a steam rolling force" in the process.

At the beginning of his talk, Woodward asked for a show of hands from those who voted for Bush in 2004.

Most in the crowd raised their hands.

But fewer hands were raised when he asked if attendees believed in Bush's tax cuts, and whether they agreed with Bush's decision to launch a secret wiretap program to listen in an unknown number of domestic communications to overseas telephones without court-issued warrants.

When he asked the crowd if it believed, with the benefit of hindsight, if going to war was "necessary and wise," fewer than half the room's hands went up.

After noting that the results of the last question of his unscientific poll could spell trouble for the administration, he told the crowd that all the questions were really just tricks, to see how many "rich nosy warmongering Republicans" were in the room.

"A lot, I see," he said, drawing laughs. "And very proud of it, I can see."

But it is not just governments that keep secrets; Trinity declined to say how much it paid Woodward.

A report by the Toronto Sun estimated his fee at between $20,000 and $30,000.

By comparison, Tour de France cyclist Lance Armstrong, golfer Arnold Palmer and former President George Bush make about $100,000 per engagement.

Woodward said the possibility of "the Mideast imploding," cannot be dismissed, and that his darkest fear, shared by some in the intelligence community, is that terrorists are waiting until "multiple, high-stakes attacks" can be launched on U.S. cities and targets.

He said, "9-11 will be a footnote, but it could happen, and if it does, we will become a police state."

Even as he scolded the media's tendency to prophesy the future, Woodward offered his prediction for the 2008 presidential race.

By all indications, he said, Democrat Hillary Clinton is running.

He noted that Republicans have a long track record of nominating "old war horses."

Given that, and depending on how things in Iraq proceed, "You're going to think I'm crazy, but you heard it here first. I think they could nominate Dick Cheney."

thamilton@express-news.net

Posted by: CHE | February 23, 2006 08:13 AM

It's been 1,620 days since GWB said he'd catch UBL 'Dead or Alive!'

AP: 168 mosques attacked, 10 Inmans killed, Thousands of Iraqis killed in territorial pissings in Iraq!

We have been torturing the wrong people!

The Five Dancing Israelis Arrested On 9/11
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/israel_9-11_index.html
"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information."

Posted by: UBL - RIP | February 23, 2006 09:49 AM

I'm honest enough to examine the facts (NPR covered this really well yesterday) and agree that the port deal would do nothing to affect security.

Would those of you who are working so hard to defend the Bush Administration acknowledge that if the shoe were on the other political foot the barrage of outrage from Faux News would be enormous?

Would "Chris Ford" be defending a Democratic Administration that did exactly the same thing?

Posted by: Judge Crater | February 23, 2006 09:51 AM

I read articles in defense of this transaction, and I remember back to a couple of American journalist were paid with taxpayer money to defend practices and policies of this administration.

Especially after Rumsfield was talking (just last week) about improving our electronic propaganda capabilities... Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

The republic is not dead, but it is suffocating from all the secrecy.

Posted by: Allen | February 23, 2006 10:01 AM

The US Republic is DEAD!

Long live the New World Order!

Democrats and Republicans have sold us out to the highest bidder!

The last official act of any Government is to loot the treasury! USA! USA! USA!

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com

Posted by: The 12th Imam | February 23, 2006 10:08 AM

Well, let's look at some realities here, both political and otherwise...

1) Much of the national strategic assets we "possess" would have to be recaptured from China or India or other foreign interests should we find ourselves in conflict with them. One hopes the run-up to said conflict would allow time to do that but...

2) Port security is likely more than the inspections and regulations around Customs and the Coast Guard. I have trouble believing that an enemy with the patience to live among the infidels for years, adopt their ways, and then kill two or three thousand would not see the DPW deal as a potential opportunity. I suspect that the same opportunity existed under P&O but not so much through the Chinese due to the nature of the differences between the UK and the PRC. If that makes me a xenophobe... so be it.

3) If the people who reviewed and approved this deal really believed this would not become a political issue after years of "a different kind of war" and "our first priority is defense of the American People", Mr Bush needs new employees. Regardless of whether it is right, sensible, or even a good idea, the general public has been stirred to the threat of terrorism which is typically characterized as Arab, Muslim, and fanatic. To suggest that any nation where such people can be found would be put in charge of so much as trash collection in a sensitive industry is something that the boss should have been ready to present carefully if it was intended to succeed. Someone dropped the ideology ball.

I am no port expert by any means and, on its face, I do not see that having DPW or any other foreign influence in the US' strategic assetts will make that much difference. That is not to say I am happy with the arrangement; I am not. I do not believe we should have allowed ourselves to let loose of so much so fast. We are there now and will someday reap the harvest of our carelessness. There is no easy answer here. In the end, the government would do well to remember something that Mr Bush campaigned on in 2000. Appearances are often as important or more so than reality. Presenting the right appearance earlier on is a lesson Mr Bush and his administration refuse to learn and it will cost the GOP something in 06 and 08.

Posted by: turnbulld | February 23, 2006 10:15 AM

Chris Ford wrote:
"The bigger story is really the near-complete destruction of one of Shia Muslims holiest shrines, the tomb of the 10th and 11th Imams - that was inviolable through 1,000 years of Sunni rule. Now the likelihood of civil war where the Shia come in and start butchering the Sunni Arabs that have been killing US troops is far more likely. Death squads and mob attacks, and frankly, 98% of American deaths have been by Sunnis and we don't owe them much if any in the way of blood and treasure trying to interpose ourselves in the midst of a Civil War defending them from death squads, Shiite militias attempting to cleanse them...The ball is really with the Sunni Arabs now. The Sunnis must knock the shit off, turn in all terrorists, especially the Samarrah bombers - or they will pay enormously..."

Thank you for proving a real reason why we should not have gone to war with Iraq. This was very liberal of you.

Posted by: Jamal | February 23, 2006 10:18 AM

Allen posted:

"For months this administration has been fear-mongering the American people so they can slowly infringe on basic liberties, and increase their "war powers"...

Now when the American people and our congress (who have been REAPEATADELY criticized for being "soft on terrorism") actually react with fear of a muslim nation... everyone in the Bush administration is surprised??"

I couldn't agree more. The current administration has basically color-coded what fear-level the nation should be at. And then he wonders why people react with outrage that a country that supported the 9/11 terrorists will be managing our ports.

However, I personally don't think it's an issue of it being an Arab country. I wonder how many were aware that any of our ports were managed by foreign companies prior to this recent news coverage (I wasn't). It just seems like bad business to allow ANY foreign company to manage our ports - particularly in today's day and age. If not for any other reason than if something bad does happen, the more agencies that have to be dealt with, the more likely it will be that the disaster will be completely mismanaged.

The organizations responsible for responding to Katrina were all US-based, and they couldn't even get their acts together. What sense does it make to add a foreign-run company to the mix?

Posted by: Adrienne | February 23, 2006 10:19 AM

ABC News posted:

"In approving the $6.8 billion purchase, the administration chose not to require state-owned Dubai Ports World to keep copies of its business records on U.S. soil, where they would be subject to orders by American courts. It also did not require the company to designate an American citizen to accommodate requests by the government.

Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries."

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=1653185

I would think that their records should be maintained in the U.S. for security reasons? It's things like this that make me raise an eyebrow.

Posted by: Adrienne | February 23, 2006 10:38 AM

For those who think that the Bush Administration is right to be hyperconcerned about our 'image' and that this completely justifies their increasingly strange behavior see http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/22/AR2006022202446.html

When an oil-producing state with adundant ties to the Bush family is NOT involved we don't give a dam* about our image. Hmmmm...

Posted by: Judge Crater | February 23, 2006 11:00 AM

Adrienne: thanks for the link. From it: " "Dubai Port's top American executive, chief operating officer Edward H. Bilkey, said he will work in Washington to persuade skeptical lawmakers they should endorse the deal; several Senate oversight hearings already are scheduled.

"We're disappointed," Bilkey told the AP in an interview. "We're going to do our best to persuade them that they jumped the gun. The UAE is a very solid friend, as President Bush has said." "

I'll bet they are friends - with Bush.

Saying any Arab country is a "solid friend" of the US when they all openly wish for and financially support the elimination of Israel and everyone in it is a clear sign of the triumph of oil money over reason.

Posted by: Judge Crater | February 23, 2006 11:08 AM

The administration can require that the UAE firm comply with anything it wants. The UAE firm can promise - orally or in writing - anything it wants. But none of that means anything unless there are enforceable penalties to be imposed if negotiated terms and conditions are not met. Even then, either party can violate the contract and the other party really cannot do anything about it.

As to security - many proponents are stressing that the Coast Guard will remain in charge of security. This would be good except that over the last four (4) years, the CG has seen budget cutbacks so severe it cannot adequately perform it present duties. This will not change.

Posted by: Bob Ramos | February 23, 2006 11:18 AM

The true issue of concern with the sale to any Middle Eastern Counties is the stability of Regional Governments. Anti-American Islamic fundamentalism is sweeping through most Middle Eastern counties. What may seem like a government friendly to America today, might be our enemy tomorrow, a major concern for state owned companies. And yes, terrorist can be found in many counties, including the United States (some 911 terrorists received pilot training here). I don't see Islamic terrorists toppling the governments of the United States, Great Britain, or China (many other concerns there). Even Israel has concerns, remember the "Liberty".

The United States will control port security. Only 5% of incoming cargo is inspected upon entry. No one is inspecting the remaining 95% until the cargo is delivered to its final destination. Who is the gate keeper; America (5%) or the port owner (95%)? What was negotiated in the deal was to allow records to be stored in Dubai. In the event of a port related terrorist attack, how long would it take to inspect records? Are the records secured in Dubai or should records be stored in the United States with port security receiving original records?

Emily wrote:

"As I understand it, the United States government remains responsible for security improvements like installing radiation detectors."

Installing radiation detectors to inspect 100% of all incoming cargo may not be practical. The inspectors would have to be searching for nuclear weapons and dirty bombs. From a Health Physics stand point it would involve a wide variety of radiological instrumentation to detect alpha, beta, gamma, and neutron radiation of many types of isotopes. And looking at the cost and time it requires to perform a D&D in the United States, it would shut down the ports. Ports would take the approach of scrap yards using portal monitors or a similar approach. And considering a terrorist would use the principles of "time, distance, and shielding" it is possible to slip radioactive material past monitors. Even the use of NDA (non destructive assay) requires a long count time that would not be practical for 100% of cargo, perhaps a statistical screening of a small percentage or suspicious cargo would work?

The Bush administration has used the war on terror to an extreme as a "political weapon of terror" to control its own party and destroy opposition parties. The port sale has all the indications of a "flip flop" of his policies. Some with in his own party seem to be using the sale to try and take leadership of the Republican Party from him before the mid-term election or the 2008 presidential race. Perhaps for fear he will choose a successor other than them. And he now says he didn't know of the sale, an out has been made if the sale falls though, don't expect a Veto, it won't happen.

If you want to control the press, then control the corporations that own the press. I can't think of a single major liberal oriented television news organization. Most are in the middle, but an increasing number are dominated by the conservative right. It's all PR control over what the public knows or doesn't know. I don't know if there is a non-biased poll indicating who internet access Americans voted for in the last presidential election? Could NSA be used to control what is known or not know on the internet?

Bon Woodward used to be maverick journalist, but the delay in coming forth with the Valerie Plame leak for what ever reason, makes me doubt the Bob Woodward of today. Whether for book profit (most likely reason), national security, or protecting a source, his holding back of the leak aided George Bush in being re-elected.

Posted by: Jamal | February 23, 2006 12:27 PM

ErinnF:

I love you baby!

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 23, 2006 12:39 PM

Damn all you Islamophobes...you're all going to Islamic Hell, where the virgins are all east german wrestlers and the gold is "elf" pogs.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 23, 2006 12:46 PM

Breaking News:

President Bush is the new host of Wheel of Misfortune...

Every spin lands on a new problem.

100 - Cheney shoots old people

200 - Scooter Libby recieved orders

300 - Cheney declassifies top secret info

400 - Abramoff best friends with whitehouse

500 - K St. Lobbying

600 - Oil

700 - Torture at Gitmo and Abu Grab

800 - Karl Rove's Big mouth

900 - Port Deal and Global Corruption

1000 - Iraqi Civil War

SPIN SPIN SPIN and you SIN SIN SIN

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 23, 2006 12:53 PM

Boy, this issue makes strange bed-fellows.

Being a hawkish xenophobe;) I am personally uncomfortable with UAE performing duties at our ports even if it is not security-related. I do not, however, believe this sale poses a great threat to U.S. national security. Politically, however, this issue could be far reaching.

I think this has trouble written all over it for the Bush Administration. Democrats have suppressed their sqeamishness toward racial profliling and have outflanked republicans on their strongest issue: defense.

Democrats have scored big points here. They have pleased their protectionist union bloc by preventing a major sale to a foreign company. At the same time they, for the first time in my memory, are taking a stronger stance on "defense" than the GOP, which is widely split.

As policy this ordeal has been blown out of proportion. As politics this could be huge.

Posted by: Jon M | February 23, 2006 02:04 PM

I know you're on the inside framing things so that people don't see what's going on...


but this is pretty simple:


Bush can't keep his story straight on his lies.

we're not at war, he's knows that there's no terrorist threat, he's the terrorist threat...he's manipulating cirmcustance to concoct a story that needs us intervening in Iraq, when what we're really doing is protecting _his_ , _HIS FAMILIES_, and his _Friends_ economic investments....

knock off the party rhetoric...


no documents needing to track things,


that means he trusts them...


that bullshit about, no knowledge, Froomkin posts about them being warned some time in advance and wanting to rush it through without public scrutiny...


republicans/democrats ~= riche people skinning the other 97% and selling their children into slavery at Walmart...


knock off your traitorous bullshit.

Posted by: Democrats and Republicans... | February 23, 2006 02:18 PM

as a hawkish xenophobe, try traitor...

they are trained not to question authority...

unless your name is General Grant.


the military is made up of sheeple too...


maybe there's hope if the people/sheeple that are used to intimidate the sheeple, come to the conclusion that they're getting bad press, because they are being used in a less than thoughtful fashion...


like no one likes the rottweiler on the drug lords leash...

the drug lord is there to make money, not make friends....


and the top 3% of the wealthy in the UNITED STATES control the United
States....because the other 97%let them...


that's the point...


back in the olde days company owners fought the formation of unions....with troops and private gaurds, killing people....

common people, the ones that didn't own factories....they had their story spinners too.....and their bully boys with clubs...


the owners/corporations didn't see themselves as part of the same class as the people working for them...they weren't

and those times have returned....welcome to the real world bob cratchitts....where's your effin xmas goose...

oh that's right you've had grandmas social security medical benefits reduced by $30 bucks a months so you're paying that for her now...


that was George w. Bush's preelection gift to AARP, that they sold to their constituency so "Healthcare" or the lack thereof wouldn't mar his reelection bid...


the president really wants those war powers....they allow him to do things without oversight, war or no war, he needs them to change the face of yourlife


not that there's a war on, but hey, he needs the clout....see if he doesn't use it some more against you...


haliburton detention campes looking at yah...


sheeple...

The problem with a lot of military minds is that they don't use them... they follow orders..


and that's why they've reduced VA benefits.....

you can talk all the manly stuff you want to...

but basically you're supporting oil prices and people that make money with oil and military....it's got nothing to do with democracy.

look, it's about seeing what is in front of your faces.


no administrative response to 9/11, before or after...WTC

then:
CIA is broken up in pieces...headed by a person that has no intelligence standing...

miscommunication or cover-up? between FBI/CIA, in case you're not following. whatever you're paying money to fund a coverup.

REMEMBER: WHEN IT STARTED, sort of

Bush Sr. is former head of CIA, Congressman before that, Vice President, then President...probably more than 30 years on the case...

SUDDENLY
Under Bush Sr.:
Madelaine Albright goes to Iraq, prior to the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and gives Saddam the nod...

He invades Kuwait, we now have an official reason to be there....

looks like we'll establish a presence in Kuwait, we already have one in Saudi.


Saudi Royals was given the rights to Saudi Arabia by the Brits after WWII, the Royals were put into power...

who owns the ports on US soil? the brits.


Protecting the Kuwaiti's:

We go into Iraq with Stormin Norman....and kill a couple of 100 thousand Iraqis and stop short of Bagdhad....you know why, we're going back...

and now we occupy, are embedded in Kuwait.

we put the country of Iraq in stasis with embargoes until we need it........or the world economy is shifting and things are ripe....China Pakistan, and India are emerging...


we need to intervene....we in this case is the international riche, which includes the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and the US Affluent that stand to make a bit of cash....mind you the Germans, English and French have their hands in this...but your buddy dubya, is the Gawdfather on this on, or at least the gawdfathers visible son....unless you need the state militia called to keep Terry from being unhooked.

so we intervene on national television...bombs going off, constant coverage, city surrounded, surveillance on every living thing that's bigger than a booger..


then Saddam escapes from Bagdhad with three tractor trailer loads of cash, right?


the museums were emptied right?


ha ha ha...


that's rich.


so what's Brownie head of? the Arabian Horse Society....oh er no...that's FEMA, it's just that is the heights that he reached before he was appointed head of FEMA....now remember the National Gaurd is overseas....why did the president join the gaurd to begin with? he didn't want to fight....but did he give others that out, no why should he? you're peasants...


who trained the people that flew into the buildings? we did.


who was head of the CIA, and who did Noriega complain about reneging on his deal with the CIA? Bush Sr.


we've never done anything like this before right?

remember the maine, remember the alamo, some say remember pearl harbor, now let me hear you say remember 9/11....why bother...

Texas and California were gained after we took them from Mexico after accusing them of attacking us....

NOW:
you peasants,

your factories are closed, your social security system is being looted to pay for your presidents share in the control of the economic system.....and you're knee deep in illegal aliens that could just as easily be ARABic...but they're not...the implications are if terrorists wanted to be here they would be...


our borders are unprotected and das Homelund Security is a farce....and you're the favorite fool of the affluent.....


or as Marie Antoinette said: "let them eat cake." when told that the peasants had no bread...

she didn't know any better...


nor does your president....he could cause a savings and loan disaster that would cost the United States 80 Billion and nothing would happen to him, oh sorry that was Neil Bush...


NOW:
if the president is afraid of terrorists, why hasn't any action been taken? why is he giving ports to Arabic nations unless he's sure there's no danger....if there's no danger why the *uck does he have war powers and why has habeus corpus disappeared and what's that beeping noise on my phone?

just kiddin...


but really, the bill of rights has been plundered and your country and believe it or not, mine is being sold and occupied...


and the citizens that are here are being treated as-if, the riche got that way by themselves...

ask a few slaves how cotton gets made into textile, or gin....


how does a country go from having one company that has the GNP of all of Europe...

to having citizens working at McDonalds that used to work at Boeing?

you tell me why that

........... had ..............


to happen.


When Neil Bush can raid the Savings and Loan industry costing one California company it's entire pension plan to the tune of $400 million dollars and Neil doesn't even get a boo boo on his head...


why? who's his daddy? Bush Sr.


see yah.

Actually, since this isn't a war, there haven't been any war casualties...so relax...it's all an illusion

to them, they are not in it...


any more than he was bothered by Viet Nam...


sure, let's send the National Gaurd to Iraq....they don't do anything anyway, except in times of national emergency....


where were they when Katrina hit? oh, yea, serving their 2nd unasked for re-upment...they used to call it conscription................


that's like what pirates or feudal lords do when they need more fighting men...


conscription....


they care about you, republicans and democrats and their bully boys out using the cudgelof disinformation to help you miss


the gate to freedom.

Posted by: being a agent of disinformation is not the same thing | February 23, 2006 02:29 PM

UBL - RIP wrote:

"We have been torturing the wrong people!

The Five Dancing Israelis Arrested On 9/11
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/israel_9-11_index.html
"Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information." "

Tell me about it...when I turned on the news footage on 9/11 my Israeli EX laughed in my face while I cried in a panic wondering if my friend whose floor was hit directly by one of the planes was okay. (Thankfully and amazingly for my friend, he happened to be at his dentist appointment in another building at that very moment.)

******

The fact of the matter is that at this point in time, because of all the America-haters in this vast world, we cannot trust anyone...PERIOD.

We're pretty much on our own anyway, as we have seen with Katrina. The gov't couldn't give a sh*t...they've got their big bucks and their fancy panic rooms with their fancy bodyguards who are trained to protect them. And why should they care when nothing is gonna happen to them? Conscience? You would think, but...puhleeze...everybody and anybody with wealth and power got there by stomping all over people on their way up, so they don't have a conscience. They have greed.

Happy Trails ... I'm outta here!

Posted by: I'm Moving from Here! | February 23, 2006 02:39 PM

Dude, get off the LSD. You are crazy.

p.s. I

It is "being 'AN' agent of...", not 'a'.

Posted by: | February 23, 2006 02:40 PM

Gentlemen & Ladies,

In the end this deal will go through. The UAE has already hired Republican and Democrat lobbyists to push this deal through congess.

The average congressman or senator has more in common with the arab or chinese elite than with the working stiffs in this country. They send their kids to the same private schools and universities, they vacation together and talk the same game...money and power!

The divorce between the rich and powerful elite and the common folks happened about 20 years ago. Its only becoming apparent now.

God help the average Joe... for your congressman sure wo'nt do it.

Posted by: Oscar Meyer | February 23, 2006 02:54 PM

it's being an agent of disinformation..

thanks "so much" you have my undying gratitude...


oh how will I ever explain it to mom...


as long as the rest of the information is right...


I'm okay with it and I would feel just as easy calling you asshole, if that's alright with you...


thanks so much...


do go on.

Posted by: oh, gosh, I missed that... | February 23, 2006 03:16 PM

keeping his lies straight and you are an asshole.

Did I get that right?

Posted by: So you're saying bush is | February 23, 2006 03:18 PM

Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you're okay.
Money, it's a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.
New car, caviar, four star daydream,
Think I'll buy me a football team.

Money, get back.
I'm all right jack keep your hands off of my stack.
Money, it's a hit.
Don't give me that do goody good bullshit.
I'm in the high-fidelity first class traveling set
And I think I need a lear jet.

Money, it's a crime.
Share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie.
Money, so they say
Is the root of all evil today.
But if you ask for a raise it's no surprise that they're
Giving none away.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 23, 2006 03:24 PM

Quentin Tarantino quotes:

"I don't believe in elitism. I don't think the audience is this dumb person lower than me. I am the audience."


Larry Kersten quotes:

"Elitism - It's lonely at the top. But it's comforting to look down upon everyone at the bottom."

Florence King quotes:

"Americans worship creativity the way they worship physical beauty / as a way of enjoying elitism without guilt: God did it."

"Chinks in America's egalitarian armor are not hard to find. Democracy is the fig leaf of elitism."

Tom Clancy:

There are people in government who don't want other people to know what they know. It's just another example of elitism. And I spit on elitism.

Lesley Garrett:

I'm absolutely against elitism, ignorance and the patronising of audiences.

Posted by: jeff wismer (jdwismer922@gmail.com) | February 23, 2006 03:38 PM

and drag their bodies through the streets behind our chari-outs of truth...

Posted by: well good, let's shoot them in the heel... | February 23, 2006 03:54 PM

"I am doing this for you."

Posted by: this is the achilles heel... | February 23, 2006 03:55 PM

manufacturers, not be liable for any wrongful death lawsuits, no matter what they do....so we'll pass a law to that effect...

we're protecting your firearms manufacturers from wrongful death lawsuits because we care about youNOT.

we care about those companies lobbyists.

12,000 people died from firearms last year how many more is that than died in WTC?

well it's about three (3) times the amount of deaths....and we've declared war on the public to prevent them from having economic redress from their pain right?


what a comic relief.

Posted by: it's important that our gun... | February 23, 2006 03:59 PM

As an Arab this is my take on this issue.

I understand any country's concern about handing their ports to foreigners.

This however is not the case in this situation. The ports were already managed by a foreign company.

The problem is that the new managing company is ARAB.

This to me shows a clear pattern of bias, bigotry and racism.

UAE might not be a fully democratic nation but they have a system (federal) that has been working for them quite well.

UAE has a very liberal economy, very pro business, promotes and encourages business (no Tax on business) and run a very generous welfare system that NO WESTERN country can compare to.

UAE citizens are a minority in their OWN COUNTRY.

60% of UAE residents are foreigners who like UAE citizens don't pay income tax or even sales tax, etc. They also benefit from the same generous welfare system as UAE citizens.

Find me a single western country that would extend all those benefits to foreigners and who would welcome as many foreigners as the UAE does.

I know that there ISN'T ONE. NOT A SINGLE ONE. Even the Scandinavian countries, which are the most socialist in Europe, would not accept 60% of foreigners in their countries. They simply would not.

UAE is not even as rich as some Western country.

People point to some issues related to immigrants (and they are certainly valid), but i know for a fact that UAE would not turn down foreigners in hospitals or deny them medicare as some lawmakers have been campaigning in few states in America against Mexican workers and their kids.

Posted by: Karim | February 23, 2006 07:33 PM

That the proposed contractor is based in an Arab nation has nothing to do with it.

The issue is: That "contractor" is OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT of that nation. WHY is our government contracting with other governments to do its own missions?

Contracting out governmental missions to other governments implies something is very wrong with our own government. This contractor is just a proxy for another government, in the same manner that "Air America" was a contractor - all the while being owned and operated by the US CIA.

Our nation has the brains and skills to run ports and other government functions.

So, what's really going on here? Is it:
(1) Avoiding Labor Unions
(2) Avoiding Pension Obligations
(3) Avoiding Workmen's Comp Laws
(4) Avoiding US Labor Laws
(5) Quid Pro Quo for supporting Iraq war
(6) Insert your favorite theory HERE.

This whole deal is wierd. If something is wrong with our own government's abilities to do its missions, then lets fix our own government - and stop contracting Federal Government missions to other governments.

I'd like to contract-out Congress to Jack Welch and a ruthless national board of non-political directors. BRILLIANT!

Posted by: Mike | February 23, 2006 07:44 PM

It is truly insulting to be called jingoistic because of worry about national security. And I for one refuse to take the bait.

Now less than 5% of shipping containers are inspected (under the Great British). The 911 Commission gave Bush an F on protection of the Homeland. Bush hasn't taken security seriously, he only uses it as a political cudgel to keep us in line - like you are by calling us jingoists if we question this crass capitalistic takeover. Well, this time it won't work.

Posted by: MaryAnne | February 23, 2006 08:29 PM

Good analysis Emily-

I blogged this at www.stratoserve.com

Best Wishes SR

Posted by: Subroto Roy | February 23, 2006 10:39 PM

"Sounds like knee-jerk xenophobia to me, and you can bet that's how it sounds in the Middle East, too. And, frankly, it's not fair. One can't assume that a country poses a security risk just because it has "Arab" in its name."
IS it fair to search Al Gore at the airport but let travelers from Syria, Saudia Arabia, and others walk on by hassle free because of our political correctness?
IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL that we Americans notice that the terrorists are ARAB. It's no coincidence. We have to wake up and realize that yes countries with the world "ARAB" harbor the majority of the world terrorists. Dubai still refuses to recognize Israel. That stance is applauded by the rest of the mid east. And--surprise suprise--the mid east isn't so much a fan of the US either. WHAT kind of sign do we need to wake us up--that yes--it is US against THEM. They make no effort to hide this--while we sit back and try to THINK peace.

Posted by: are you kidding! | February 23, 2006 11:15 PM

Then don't buy ARAB oil.

STOP BUYING ARAB OIL.

That is the only reason why the US government is involved in the Middle East and why it has been supporting autocratic regimes and even sold them weapons that kill people! (good money though).

Arabs will do just fine if they only sell their oil to the rest of the world.

So take your army of neo-fascists that have been killing foreign people for the last 2 years non-stop from the Middle East.

Don't your soldiers or politicians get tired of warS, killing, destruction, suffering?

I guess not, they are all sitting in their offices in Washington DC dictating what needs to be done in nations 5000 miles away, making money from the war business, while brainwashing the sheep population with "its worth dying for freedom" suicidal slogans.

Posted by: Karim | February 23, 2006 11:56 PM

The anti-semitic propaganda against Arabs started in my life 60 years ago with "1001 Arabian Nights" long before I had a clue about who these people were. It goes on today but not as subtle as before.
The knee-jerk reaction to the port deal simply reflects the intersection of American ignorance and aquired bigotry.

Posted by: Joseph Corcoran | February 24, 2006 12:01 PM

If I were an Arab, I'd be confused. One minute I'm a raghead, and I worship a child-molesting prophet, and I'm just plain evil. The next I'm a victim of malicious and unwarranted speech. I'd be even more confused that the people calling me those names are good Republicans who are calling people who don't call me those names xenophobic. Must mean something different in English.

Posted by: felicity smith | February 24, 2006 12:30 PM

"An argument can be made for port operations being kept entirely in the hands of Americans -- but if foreign management of American ports really was a huge concern, the alarm bells should have been raised long ago."

Generally speaking, alarm bells are "rung" not "raised," but what do I know in this brave new world.

Posted by: john calhoun | February 24, 2006 05:57 PM

If there were no people would believed and practiced what the leaders of the UAE do then there would be no "War on Terror". The UAE believes in, recommmends and supports terrorism so in turn America should not support them. Hopefully the UAE loses the deal and will realize that what they say at the mosque on Friday will effect there pocketbooks the rest of the week.

Posted by: UAE supports Terrorism | February 24, 2006 09:20 PM

Americans have not forgotten what happened on 911. We know that somehow Arabs were involved in an attack on the Port Authority. So George Bush wisely assumes Americans would be pleased to have Arabs managing the port authority. Don't you just love it?

Posted by: ramble | February 24, 2006 10:11 PM

No one knows better than those of us who lost a loved one in the 9/11 attacks how much the world we Americans live in changed that day. It was easy to blame the entire Arab world for what a small group of radicals did, but all of that is really beside the point when it comes to the port security issue. Reading through the comments above I have to wonder how many people have actually researched this subject for themselves instead of just believing what has been presented to them by the media. Dubai Ports World is a company owned by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. That means it is not a privately owned foreign firm that will be handling American port security, but a firm owned by a foreign government. THAT IS THE ISSUE!!! We should not be relying on any foreign government to manage anything for our country whether we're allies or not!

Posted by: | February 26, 2006 02:31 AM

Australia has another role in the DP World uproar. Some years ago we had a major battle about the wharves, and Dubai had a bit part to play, albeit without their actual knowledge at the time. Nevertheless, cross the Maritime Union and you are for it, for all time. And apparently also with their mates the Longshoremen. See Teamsters Feb 24th 2006

"All Americans, including U.S. port workers, have strong reasons to raise concerns about the deal:
· At the port of Dubai and throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE), unions are outlawed;

· In 1997, Dubai agreed to train Australian mercenaries to be strikebreakers;

· Drayage drivers in the US have been systematically denied union representation through deregulation and employer opposition;

· The port workers in Australia, with the assistance of the Teamsters and the International Transport Workers Federation, were able to thwart strikebreaker training in Dubai, but concerns remain about the proposed port takeover.

The debacle in Australia sheds even more light on the ludicrous plan in the United States to sell port operations to Dubai Ports World.

We cannot allow a company, based in such an oppressive, anti-union nation to operate our vulnerable ports."

Posted by: Ros | February 26, 2006 05:28 PM

Two Quail, One Pellet
If 1) the ports operation business is so profitable, and 2) we want to keep it American owned, then why not simply give it out on a no-bid contract to Halliburton?

www.freedomtoquestion.com

Posted by: Robert Eber | February 27, 2006 10:16 AM

Emily wrote in regards to CSX:
===========================================
"Causing disaster isn't in the business model."
===========================================

Here's fact: a CSX/Norfolk Southern disaster that cost 8 US citizens their lives...

http://www.utu.org/worksite/detail_news.cfm?ArticleID=25635

"The State's analysis of internal railroad documents found about 1,100 miles of S.C. tracks are in dark territory. That's 55 percent of the 2,000 miles of tracks owned by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern in the state.

The national average is about 40 percent, according to the federal government."

Just tell that to the families who lost loved ones when that chlorine gas hit them so fast they died in their homes and cars and parking lots. It's the worst train disaster I've seen in 30 years locally (and the train accidents are more frequent now, but the rails are being used less!).

So right after Graniteville what happened again? Another train derailment...

http://www.wjbf.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WJBF%2FMGArticle%2FJBF_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031780348707&path=!special!metroreport

Then the one before it...
http://chronicle.augusta.com/images/headlines/090502/TrainWreckHwy56aerial3.jpg

Safety? Hardly!

Oh, and have fun with this site explaining how "safe" CSX's business model has been before it was bought out, and afterwards...

http://www.csx-sucks.com/news/

If that's "good management" from a foreign owned company, I wonder what is considered "ideal"? Four deaths instead of eight??

>:(

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 01:12 AM

And along the theme of intolerance, and importing more...

http://www.csx-sucks.com/?topic=hd

"Coming soon... Audio Files of real employees being harassed and discriminated against."

Now what will the Dubai company bring with it?

Facts, Emily, Facts. I believe you slipped up there in the rush to say it's all "xenophobia". It's not about the fear of foreigners, it's the history of when foreigners own companies they import their mores/ideals/styles. Last thing I want to see is women regarded as chattel based on some religious BS, and having Americans nodding in approval (especially other women who are forgetting the sacrifices of their sisters before them to get them the rights to be anything but chattel and housewives).

I guess it won't hit home like a cloud of chlorine gas until folks are in it's path. But letting foreigners import their mores here, and you'll see more reports on discrimination -- as it's not their culture to treat women as anything but an afterthought.

How about writing about the "unfairness" of what our sisters abroad have to suffer through, as well? It doesn't matter what culture a person is in, they want freedom of body and spirit. Proclaiming xenophobia, but turning a blind eye to the problems their societies can import in a society that doesn't tolerate such views, is as egregious, if not more (since holding views is a lot different than maintaining a status quo of deliberate subordination of a whole class of people by gender alone).

Point, counterpoint!

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 1, 2006 10:21 AM

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