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The Bush administration has approved the sale of control over six US ports to a company wholely owned by the royal family of the United Arab Emirates. Ports included are: Miami, New Orleans, Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore and New York.

For reference, the UAE was one of the key transfer points for Al Qaida funding leading up to 9/11. So gee, doesn't it just make perfect sense to hand over the security at six of our largest ports to them?

Why do I feel like we're being sold out?

How the hell are we "safer" under Bush, when he SELLS OUR SECURITY to the leaders of a country who supported the Al Qaida terrorists who attacked New York - twice??

The decision was made by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States. The committee is made up of:
  • Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy - John Marburger
  • Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs - Stephen Hadley
  • Assistant to the President for Economic Policy - Allan Hubbard
  • Department of Homeland Security - Michael Chertoff
  • Secretary of State - Condoleezza Rice
  • Secretary of Defense - Donald H. Rumsfeld
  • Secretary of Commerce - Carlos M. Gutierrez
  • Attorney General - Alberto R. Gonzales
  • Director of the Office of Management and Budget - Joshua B. Bolten
  • U.S. Trade Representative - Rob Portman
  • Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers - N. Gregory Mankiw
  • Secretary of the Treasury (Chair of the committee) - John Snow

From the New York Times (emphasis mine):
The Bush administration dismissed the security concerns of local officials yesterday and restated its approval of a deal that will give a company based in Dubai a major role in operating ports in and around New York City.

Representatives of the White House and the Treasury Department said they had given their approval for Dubai Ports World to do business in the United States after a rigorous review. The decision, they said, was final.

Dubai Ports World is buying the British company that currently operates the cruise-ship terminal on the West Side of Manhattan, one of the biggest cargo terminals in New York Harbor, and terminals in Philadelphia, Baltimore and other big ports.

Anthony R. Coscia, the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, also wrote to Mr. Snow, seeking information about the security review that was conducted. Mr. Coscia said in an interview that he sent the letter after a few attempts to get answers drew no response.

"Clearly, we would expect that information relative to a facility that we operate would be shared with us," Mr. Coscia said. "It is not our role to review and approve this transfer," he said, but added that "given the fact that this is our port and these are employees for whom we feel responsibility, there are issues we would like to become comfortable with."

Stewart Baker, assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security, said his department had no information about Dubai Ports World that justified an objection to the deal. Indeed, he said, the company has cooperated with the department in its efforts to secure American ports and ships in foreign ports.

"We did not find derogatory information in our review," he said.

But that review, Mr. Baker said, did not involve gathering information from outside sources, like the Port Authority, because the committee must keep a proposed transaction secret. He said the committee's investigation began in November and ended in mid-January.

The investigation did not include background checks on the senior managers of the company or an evaluation of how the company screens its own employees, {Rep. Representative Peter T.] King [(R-NY-3) of Long Island, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee] said. "Certainly, you would think they would talk to the Port Authority," he added.

From Forbes:
The Bush administration is defending approval of a $6.8 billion sale that gives a company in the United Arab Emirates control over operations at six major American ports, even as one senator sought a new ban on companies owned by governments overseas in some U.S. shipping operations.

Can I hear a thunderous "What the fuck?!?"

Partial list of references:
Despite Fears, a Dubai Company Will Help Run Ports in New York (New York Times, February 17, 2006)
White House Defends Port Sale to Arab Co. (Forbes, February 17, 2006)
Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) (U.S. Treasury website)
Senator Santorum Calls for Intervention into Dubai Ports World's Pending Acquisition of Company that Controls Vital American Ports (letter from Sen. Santorum (R-PA) to the President)
Foley Questions Administration on Sale of U.S. Ports to Arab Nation (American Chronicle, February 17, 2006, regarding Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL-16))


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