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…..

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

  1. Now, while I think Bush royaly screwed the pooch on this one, the deal in no way turns over security to the UAE company. Security will still be handled by the Coast Guard, employees will still be American workers, and in fact, the company that owns it right now is British. At the same time, every port on the West Coast is being run by a foreign owned company. (China runs a couple, including the port of LA if I remember correctly.)

    It’s still an incredibly bone-headed move and someone should have predicted the political firestorm the announcement would make.

  2. Thought?

    When I read an article last night on att.net about this very subject I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Aside from the fact that Bush didn’t know about it until it was brought to his attention by the press, the thing that stuck out was that the White House had a deal with Dubai Ports World about taking over the ports. One of the conditions is that DPW won’t hold records on US soil so the records aren’t subject rules of search and seizure, therefore sidesteping the court system completely.

    Bush reminds me of those kids in elementary school that bullied everyone else inorder to get their way. I say impeach now and save us the trouble of another three years.

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