Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Safe harbor?

Bush is pushing back on the port security issue, and is threatening his first-ever veto if Congress attempts to stop the deal from going through. Salon' War Room expands on our problems with the UAE:

In a letter to the Treasury Department last week, seven members of Congress from both sides of the aisle listed some of the reasons for concern: Two of the 9/11 hijackers were UAE nationals; the FBI concluded that money for the 9/11 attacks was moved through the UAE banking system; the Treasury Department complained that the UAE was uncooperative in helping the United States track down Osama bin Laden's bank accounts; Dubai was one of only three nations to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan; and it has been named as a "key transfer point" for shipments of nuclear components by A.Q. Khan.

Bush seemed to suggest today that the concerns about UAE control of U.S. ports amounted to racism against Arabs. "This process has been extensively reviewed," he told reporters on Air Force One. "I really don't understand why it's OK for a British company to operate our ports but not a company from the Middle East [for which] our experts are convinced that port security is not an issue."

Perhaps W doesn't remember that he once claimed to feel differently:

"We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. "


dad said...

I think the Democrates ought to get out of the line of fire here, and let the Republicans fight this one out. After using all opportunties to scare us with impending threats, he is saying he now wants to build bridges. Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN)said, "It should have been painfully obvious that a sale of this type would raise serious concern in congress and before the American public."

The Republicans can only lose here. Lets watch them fight.

vikkitikkitavi said...

I dunno. Maybe for once, the terrorism card should be played by the Democrats.

Sure the media will focus on the Repubs who are splitting with W, because it's news, but I think the Ds need to stay loud on this.

david said...


I agree. Republicans made a big deal (and much hay) out of the security issue. The Dems should hoist them by their own petard.

What do you make of recent reports that Bush was unaware of the deal until it was done?

vikkitikkitavi said...


Yeah, I gotta call a big no way on that.

Especially since an executive from Dubai Ports World is a Bush nominee to head the U.S. Maritime Administration.

I just posted on that development.