Which “Gate” are we up to now? Port-gate?

You knew that I’d be posting about this sooner or later.

The Bush Administration is prepared to hand over Port Security at six of our country’s busiest ports to Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates — a country which is one of only three that recognized the Taliban (yet still refuses to recognize Israel), and was a base of operations and finance for several of the 9/11 hijackers.

This has led to a rare bi-partisan shitstorm, with Republicans and Democrats both expressing disbelief, and vowing to put a stop to the deal. Hell, even the former director of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, has criticized this deal. In the face of this wide-ranging criticism, Bush has threatened to veto any effort to stop the deal….which is major, since he has yet to use his veto power in office. So this must be an extraordinary circumstance to bring that out…..makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Well, it gets even more interesting when you start putting together all of the various stories related to this topic. In the old days (back when we had a democracy, and the members of the Fourth Estate actually did their jobs), this sort of “big picture” aggregation would be done by Journalists….but of course, they’re more interested in covering the Nebraska lottery winners and the fact that Britney drove with her baby in her lap. The stories are out there, but few, if any, are connecting the dots.

The first dot? It was revealed today that despite his adamant defense of the deal, and threatened veto of any effort to block it, Bush was unaware of the deal, until it had already been approved. According to the administration, every one of the Cabinet secretaries involved expressed that they were comfortable with this transaction being approved….but Bush wasn’t told anything about it until it was a done deal.

The second dot? At least two people in the White House, involved in making this deal, have ties to Dubai Ports World, the UAE-run company being given the contract. One is Treasury Secretary John Snow, who used to be chairman of the CSX rail firm that sold its own international port operations to Dubai Ports World for $1.15 billion in 2004. The other connection is David Sanborn, who currently runs Dubai Ports World’s European and Latin American operations and just last month was tapped by Bush to head the U.S. Maritime Administration.

That picture is just getting more and more interesting, isn’t it…..