Saturday, February 25, 2006

Down to the Sea in Ships

I wasn't going to talk about the Dubai port deal. I mean, hell, it's the story of the day. Everybody's chiming in on it, and I hate being accused of jumping on a bandwagon. But there's just so much material here - come on, even the Department of Homeland Security objected to this backdoor deal.

And, by the way, it's not just six ports any more. It's twenty-one. I'm starting to wonder if we'll have any American-controlled ports left after this settles down.

But let's be clear on one thing. Scott McClellan (who has got to have problems sleeping at night, considering the amount of open, obvious lying he's been doing in this job) said "This not about control of our ports, this is not about the security of our ports. And let me be very clear, one thing we will never do is outsource to anyone the control and security of our ports, whether that's Dubai or any other entity that operates terminals at our ports."

Well, let's turn that answer over to CNN correspondent Bill Tucker.
In simple terms, at most ports security works like this: while the ship is in the water, it's under the jurisdiction of the Coast Guard. While docked at the port and those goods are being unloaded, it's under the jurisdiction of Customs and Border Protection. But the minute those goods come off of the ships and land on the dock, security is the sole responsibility of the terminal operator.

The security plans are reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security, but the terminal operator is solely responsible for the execution of those plans. The plans are classified secret. If a foreign government gains control of the terminal it becomes privy to the classified security arrangements.
It's strange, really, that Bush has been consistently bringing up 9/11 as justification for invading Iraq, but now he's willfully ignoring the fact that, unlike Iraq, the United Arab Emirates had extremely strong connections to the 9/11 hijackers.

But guess who did the investigation on Dubai? John Negroponte, who used to cover up the murder and torture of South American dictators. At least we know that investigation was thorough, right?

So, why is Bush so adamant about trying to get this deal through? Could it be the money? After all, Dubai gave one hundred million dollars in Katrina relief, nearly four times as much as all the other countries who donated, combined.

Or is the money a little closer to home? After all, the UAE gave one million dollars to the Bush Library. (Which won't be more than a closet, anyway. How much room does two copies of My Pet Goat need, anyway?) As CNN correspondent Christine Romans reported on Lou Dobbs' show, the Carlyle Group, where Bush Sr. worked as a senior advisor, got $8 billion in Dubai money just last year, and Neil Bush (the unknown Bush Brother) received funding for his educational software company from UAE investors. Two of Bush's aides have business ties to the very same, UAE government-controlled company that is now trying to buy our ports.

But the Bush family has never had a problem working with dictators if there was a little money in it for them, have they? His grandfather worked with Hitler, his father worked with the UAE in the Carlyle Group, and here's our President, selling out to the people who financed 9/11.

Kinda makes you feel warm all over, doesn't it?

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