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February 16, 2006

Arab Company To Manage US Ports

Okay, MSM: stop talking about Dick Cheney, as there is more serious news to be discussing.

The Bush administration on Thursday rebuffed criticism about potential security risks of a $6.8 billion sale that gives a company in the United Arab Emirates control over significant operations at six major American ports.

Lawmakers asked the White House to reconsider its earlier approval of the deal.

The sale to state-owned Dubai Ports World was "rigorously reviewed" by a U.S. committee that considers security threats when foreign companies seek to buy or invest in American industry, National Security Council spokesman Frederick Jones said.

Why the concern?

U.S. lawmakers said the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan. They also said the UAE was one of only three countries to recognize the now-toppled Taliban as Afghanistan's legitimate government.

I think that's a legitmate issue, as is the following:

Critics also have cited the UAE's history as an operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Outsourcing the operations of our largest ports to a country with a dubious record on terrorism is a homeland security and commerce accident waiting to happen," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "The administration needs to take another look at this deal."

Write this down for posterity: I agree with Chuck Schumer on something.

Having a UAE-based company run operations in ports located in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Miami is akin to giving a burglar your keys and asking him to watch your home for you while you go away on vacation. Or, as the popular saying goes, having the fox guard the henhouse.

Absolutely insane.

What can George Bush be thinking? Forget the 30-day window for objections being closed. This is a vital issue that needs to be addressed, before something happens that we'll all be sorry about.

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Posted by Pam Meister at 09:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Homeland Security
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Don't, do not! sell our ports to the UAE.

Posted by: Janet Neely at February 20, 2006 12:55 PM
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