Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Why is Dubai in charge of our ports?

By Aussiegirl

Last Saturday I posted an alarming article about a company in the United Arab Emirates poised to take over the management of six of America's most important ports, and commented that this seemed like asking the cat to oversee the canary cage. Well, here is Frank Gaffney completely agreeing with me. The question remains, why the decision was made in a back room away from Congressional scrutiny.

Port of Entry

How would you feel if, in the aftermath of 9/11, the U.S. government had decided to contract out airport security to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country where most of the operational planning and financing of the attacks occurred? My guess is you, like most Americans, would think it a lunatic idea, one that could clear the way for still more terror in this country. You probably would want to know who on earth approved such a plan -- and be determined to prevent it from happening.

[...] Now, however, four-and-a-half years later, a secretive government committee has decided to turn over the management of six of the Nation's most important ports -- in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore and New Orleans -- to Dubai Ports World following the UAE company's purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which previously had the contract.

[...] Given such considerations, the question occurs: How could even a stacked deck like the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States find it possible to approve the Dubai Ports World's transaction?

Could it have been influenced by the fact that a former senior official of the UAE company, David Sanborn, was recently named the new administrator of the Transportation Department's Maritime Administration? Until recently, Sanborn was DP World's director of operations for Europe and Latin America.

Or is it because the U.S. government views -- and is determined to portray -- the United Arab Emirates as a vital ally in this war for the Free World? A similar determination has long caused Washington to treat Saudi Arabia as a valued friend, even as the Saudis continue playing a double game whereby they work simultaneously to repress terrorism at home and abet it abroad.

[...] Congress should see to it that the United Arab Emirates is not entrusted with the operation of any American ports, and that the Treasury Department is stripped of the lead role in evaluating such dubious foreign investments in the United States.


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