Tuesday, February 21, 2006

When You Lose Peter King and George Pataki...

...you're in serious trouble, Mr. President:
GOP Governors Threaten to Block Port Deal

Associated Press Writer

February 21, 2006, 6:51 AM EST

WASHINGTON -- Two Republican governors are threatening legal action to block an Arab company from taking over operations in major U.S. ports and some GOP lawmakers say the deal should be closely examined.

In the uneasy climate after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration decision to allow the transaction is threatening to develop a major political headache for the White House.

New York Gov. George Pataki and Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich on Monday voiced doubts about the acquisition of a British company that has been running six U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates.

[....]Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina said on Fox News Sunday that the administration approval was "unbelievably tone deaf politically." GOP Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia said on ABC's "This Week," "It's a tough one to explain, but we're in a global economy. ... I think we need to take a very close look at it."

Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey said Monday that he and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., will introduce legislation prohibiting the sale of port operations to foreign governments.

[....]Nearly all of the lawmakers who have weighed in represent states that contain one of the ports involved. In New York, Republican Gov. George E. Pataki voiced doubts yesterday about the acquisition and Republican Rep. Peter T. King, the House Homeland Security chairman, was one of the earliest and loudest critics.
Even Rick Santorum says this is a dumb deal.

So why was it approved? Questions are being raised all over the place, and those questions will continue, raising new ones.

Not least of which should be, why in the HELL isn't an American company in charge of operations at six major American ports? And, why, four and a half years after 9/11, are over 90% of containers entering American ports still not being inspected?

The UAE are nominal allies (like the Saudis,) yet they provided two hijackers for the 9-11 attacks (not unlike the Sauds.) The UAE has been a financing link for Al Qaeda (like the Saudis) and has provided haven for various Al Qaeda operatives and operations (like the Saudis.) Think this isn't raising some disturbing questions from Sept. 11 all over again?

Hullo? Is this thing on?

This is now two straight weeks that the "adults" have bungled a major news story and turned it from a minor story (company gets sold, big whoop) to raising serious and unanswered questions about how this country is being run (WHO is overseeing our ports now???)

Who's being rewarded here?