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Thread: Sale of US Ports to UAE owned Dubai Ports World

  1. #1

    Default Sale of US Ports to UAE owned Dubai Ports World

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    I am writing to request that you take some action, and write a letter (or letters).

    Links to the addresses of elected government officials, and templates for two sample letters are included at the end of this email.

    I suspect by the title of the post, that you already know the nature of this letter. If not, please refer to any news source of your choice. Here's one:

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11484804/

    On September 11th- of the 19 hijackers who attacked the US, 2 were citizens of the United Arab Emirates. ALL of the money to finance the September 11th attacks was funneled through United Arab Emirates banks, and the company, Dubai Ports World, who intends to take over the operation of 6 of the US's largest ports (including the Port of New York, and the Port of New Jersey) is the same company that managed the UAE port used to smuggle weapon components between North Korea, Iran, and Libya.

    According to testimony given to the US Congress in March of 2004 by former CIA director George Tenet- prior to September 11th, the CIA had an opportunity to kill Bin Laden, but called off the operation because the royal family of the United Arab Emirates were Bin Laden's house guests. According to Tenet, if we had bombed Bin Laden at that time, "half the [UAE] royal family would have been wiped out."

    I suggest we judge the UAE by the company they keep.

    In the immediate aftermath of September 11th, everyone from Rudy Giuliani to Tom Ridge spoke out that possibly the single greatest vulnerability to US security was not air travel, but the vulnerability of our sea ports.

    The idea that we will now turn over the management of six of our largest American ports to a nation with direct ties to Islamic terrorists boggles the mind.

    In New York State, politicians across party lines, at every level, are opposed to this deal: Governor George Pataki of New York State (R), Senators Hillary Clinton (D) and Charles Schumer (D) of New York State, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City (R), Representative Pete King (R) of New York State, etc.

    This must be stopped.

    Bush defends his administration's approval of the sale of the ports by stating that it would send a "mixed message" to our "Ally", the United Arab Emirates, "I want those who are questioning [the sale] to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard." He has threatened that if any member of Congress tries to stop this purchase from going through, "I'll deal with it, with a veto."

    Right now, there is almost enough vocal bipartisan opposition in the Senate to override a Presidential veto and stop the sale of American ports to the UAE from going through.

    I am requesting of all of my friends and relatives, please write, not just your own Congressional Representative, Senator, and Governor, but also the Senators and politicians of states where you have relatives who vote. Tell them that you will vote them out of office, or advise your relatives in their state/district to vote them out of office unless they stand up against this lunacy.

    A written, postal delivered (snail mail) is best.
    Links to pre-formatted Word documents are at the end of the post.

    You can find your Senator's mailing address and phone number here:
    http://www.senate.gov/general/contac...nators_cfm.cfm

    You can find your Congressional Representative's information here:
    http://www.house.gov/writerep/

    You can find your Governor's information here:
    http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga
    (click on "Current Governors" at bottom)

    PLEASE FORWARD THIS.
    PLEASE REPOST IT ON ANY FORUM/BLOG/NEWSGROUP WHERE YOU MAY BE A MEMBER.
    PLEASE EMAIL IT TO FRIENDS AND RELATIVES.

    You can download two sample letters below- One for your elected officials, and one for elected officials where you may have relatives.
    http://www.chrisgrayson.com/posted_t...oliticians.doc
    http://www.chrisgrayson.com/posted_t...oliticians.doc



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  2. #2
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    George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should be indicted for treason. When found guilty, they should be executed - hung from the neck until they are dead. Then, we can send Laura Bush and Lynn Cheney over to Afghanistan for some "shame of the family" justice.

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    I don't like to find myself on the side of bushco, but I think this issue has been overblown. Highlights a security vacuum at US ports, yes, but I don't know how much the nationality of the corp that runs this function of ports really matters...



    In Defense Of Dubai

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2006

    A nefarious multinational corporation secretly controlled by a hostile Arab government has engineered a covert takeover of six major U.S. ports. America is at risk of losing control of its borders and compromising national security in an entirely preventable way.

    Horselips.

    Never have I seen a bogus story explode so fast and so far. I thought I was a connoisseur of demagoguery and cheap shots, but the Dubai Ports World saga proves me a piker. With a stunning kinship of cravenness, politicians of all flavors risk trampling each other as they rush to the cameras and microphones to condemn the handover of massive U.S. strategic assets to an Islamic, Arab terrorist-loving enemy.

    The only problem -- and I admit it's only a teeny-weeny problem -- is that 90 percent of that story is false.

    The United Arab Emirates is not an Axis of Evil kind of place, it will not own U.S. ports, it will not control security at U.S. ports and there is nothing new about foreigners owning U.S. ports. Odds are higher that you'll be wounded interfering with a congressman providing soundbites than by something smuggled into a port terminal leased by Dubai Ports World.

    But please: let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story. And what's wrong with a little Arab-bashing anyway?

    I am no expert on ports, transportation or shipping. But it takes very little reading and research to cut through the gas on this one.

    Myth #1: An Arab company is trying to buy six American ports.

    No, the company is buying up a British company that leases terminals in American ports; the ports are U.S.-owned. To lease a terminal at a U.S. port means running some business operations there -- contracting with shipping lines, loading and unloading cargo and hiring local labor. Dubai Ports World is not buying the ports.

    Several companies will lease terminals at a single port. In New Orleans, for example, the company Dubai Ports World is trying to buy (P&O Ports) is just one of eight companies that lease and operate terminals.

    P&O Ports does business in 18 other countries. None of them are in righteous lathers about the sale of the business to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates. Dubai Ports World already operates port facilities all over the world, including such security-slacker states as China, Australia, Korea and Germany.

    Myth #2: The U.S. is turning over security at crucial ports to an Arab company.

    No, security at U.S. ports is controlled by U.S. federal agencies led by the Coast Guard and the U.S. Customs and Border Control Agency, which are part of the Homeland Security department. Local jurisdictions also provide police and security personnel.

    Complaints about security at ports should be directed to the federal government.

    Myth #3: American ports should be American.

    Well, it's too late, baby. According to James Jay Carafano of the Heritage Foundation (a place really known for its Arab-loving, soft-on-terror approach), "Foreign companies already own most of the maritime infrastructure that sustains American trade…" Thirty per cent of the countries port terminals are operated by companies that are, um, unAmerican.

    At the port of Los Angeles, 80 per cent of the terminals are operated by foreign companies. Chinese companies operate more than half the terminals. So why is this suddenly a threat? After all, political outcry managed to scupper the deal a few months ago in which a Chinese company was going to take over the Unocal oil company.

    Remember the global economy? Internationally, 24 of the 25 largest companies that operate port terminals aren't American. That means just about every container that enters a U.S. port has come from a foreign-controlled facility.

    Go to any port in the country and you'll be lucky to see a single giant vessel with U.S.A. on its stern. Foreign-owned airplanes fly into American airports every hour. Many U.S. companies have foreign entities among their largest shareholders.

    My colleague Charlie Wolfson reports that State Department sources say Dubai Ports World already handles port calls for U.S. Navy ships from the 5th fleet for their regular port calls in the United Arab Emirates -- a pretty high measure of trustworthiness.

    Myth #4: The United Arab Emirates has "very serious" al Qaeda connections.

    That's what Republican Rep. Peter King says. It's also what the administration said of pre-war Iraq, but that didn't mean it was true. I suppose you could say each and every Arab and Islamic country has al Qaeda issues, but even on that yardstick the UAE is a pretty good player and by most accounts, getting better.

    Politicians have been quick to point out that two of the 9/11 hijackers were from UAE. And we're turning over our ports to them? Well, by that logic, we shouldn't let Lufthansa land in our airports or have military bases in Germany, because that country housed a bunch of the 9/11 hijackers as they were plotting.

    Yes, Dubai has plenty of blood in its hands, especially as a source or courier for terror funds. To my knowledge its crimes were not government sponsored. It is not a rogue state. It has been among the closer and more cooperative Arab allies for the past two years (another conspiracy theory: Bush is paying them off at the expense of our safety).

    Some combination of these facts led the Dubai Ports deal to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a joint effort of a dozen government agencies tasked with security (yes, I know, that's slim solace).

    Certainly the security of American ports is an important issue. Certainly who controls the finances of companies that lease terminals at ports is far down the to-do list of how to improve security at ports.

    That has everything to do with adequate funding and proper management at the relevant agencies. Management is the responsibility of the executive branch, while funding and oversight is the job of Congress. There is scant evidence that Congress or the administration have excelled in their duties.

    That's why it's so tempting for politicians of both parties to indulge in xenophobic Arab-bashing on this matter of minimal national security importance. There are scads of real homeland security issues and glaring national security problems coming out of Arab or Muslim states; this is not in either category, not even close. But as one Republican said, regardless of the facts, the administration was politically "tone deaf" on this one. Appearance is more important than reality.

    Often bipartisanship is a sign of pragmatic consensus or noble common cause. In this case it is merely a demonstration of an occupational hazard of politicians: cover-your-arse-itis.

  4. #4
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Congressmen write Rumsfeld, Chertoff, Snow on ports deal

    RAW STORY
    Published: February 23, 2006


    Eleven Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee, lead by John Conyers Jr., (D-MI) Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined by eleven other Representatives have mailed a letter to Treasury Secretary John Snow, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales questioning the legality of the now-infamous UAE ports deal.

    The letter, advanced to RAW STORY, follows:

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    Dear Secretaries Snow, Rumsfeld, Chertoff, and Attorney General Gonzales:
    We are writing to inquire regarding the Administration's procedures for allowing Dubai Ports World (DPW), a company based and controlled by the government of the United Arab Emirates, to take control of operations at major American ports.

    At a briefing yesterday to staff of the House Armed Services, Intelligence, Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees, representatives from the Administration detailed the process they undergo for reviewing proposed transactions involving foreign investors.

    In that briefing, representatives from the Departments of Treasury, Homeland Security, Defense, State and others explained that after a 30-day review by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), an inter-agency committee chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury, the members of that Committee exercise their judgment as to whether a subsequent 45-day review and preparation of a report is needed. As with almost all other cases involving foreign investment, in the case of the DPW transaction, the Bush Administration elected to forego such a review.

    We have serious concerns about the described process because, as explained by the Administration, the review occurs only if the CFIUS decides in its discretion to do so. This does not appear to be a proper interpretation of the law. Under 50 U.S.C. App. � 2170(b), the CFIUS must conduct the 45-day investigation "in any instance in which an entity controlled by or acting on behalf of a foreign government seeks to engage in any merger, acquisition, or takeover which could result in control of a person engaged in interstate commerce in the United States that could affect the national security of the United States."

    This amendment, known as the "Byrd Amendment" and enacted in 1993, was intended to mandate that a review occurs if the transaction in any way "could" affect our national security. Prior to the Byrd Amendment, the determination to engage in this 45-day review period was discretionary to the Administration.

    If any set of facts would implicate the mandatory language of the amended statute, it would appear to be covered by the case of Dubai Ports World - the company is "controlled" by a foreign government, and the operation of United States ports clearly "could affect the national security of the United States." As a matter of fact, the proposed acquirer of these interests, DPW, is 100% owned by the United Arab Emirates of Dubai. Thus, operation of our ports - already a troubling gap in our homeland security - is being turned over not simply to a foreign company, but to a foreign government. Indeed at yesterday's briefing, your representatives indicated that, at least as an initial matter, the Department of Homeland Security expressed such security concerns. If the Administration truly believed that "this deal wouldn't go forward if we were concerned about the security for the United States of America," as the President stated today, you would work to ensure that transactions of this nature would be subject to the full 45-day review as the law appears to require.

    Other aspects of the Administration's review process are also troubling. We understand that little, if any, documentation reflecting the facts surrounding this acquisition and the reasons for its approval was created, including, apparently, any communication to the President informing him of the controversial decision. We are also advised that deliberations of this matter involving the members of CFIUS were scant, confined to a single meeting.

    Because of the above concerns, we request answers to the following:
    1. What is your legal authority for failing to conduct mandatory reviews even where security concerns could be implicated? Has this legal interpretation been reviewed and confirmed by anyone in the present Administration - either before or after the September 11, 2001 attacks?
    2. Were memoranda or other materials prepared outlining this legal interpretation by anyone in the present Administration? If so, by whom? Please provide copies of such memoranda or other materials. Were any dissenting memoranda or other materials prepared? If so, by whom? Please provide copies of such memoranda or other materials.
    3. Did the President review the decision to approve the DPW transaction? Did he delegate his mandatory authority to make these decisions to other individuals within the Administration? If so, when and to whom? Please provide a copy of any delegation materials.
    4. How many foreign direct investment transactions have been approved by the Administration? How many of these have been subject to the mandatory 45-day review period required by the Byrd Amendment?
    Thank you in advance for your prompt response to this inquiry. Because this transaction is scheduled to be consummated on March 2, we hope you understand this is a matter of urgent and substantial concern. Please provide your responses to 2142 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515, fax 202-225-4423.

    Sincerely,
    [Signers were Conyers, Berman, Boucher, Nadler, Jackson Lee, Meehan, Delahunt, Wexler, Weiner, Linda Sanchez, Van Hollen, and Wasserman-Schultz]

  5. #5

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    Karl Rove hit the talk shows today.

    He has established that there's already a safety valve in place for Bush to back-peddle out of this.

    He changed Bush's tune about delays- That yes, indeed, the administration has reconsidered, and would allow some delays for Congress to investigate the deal... and oh, by the way, there are still some hurdles in the approval of the sale in Britain... hint hint... There's always the possibility that the Brits could reject the acquisition on their end, and make it all a dead issue. Hint hint... If the political presure gets too strong over here, in order for Bush not to conceed defeat, he will be saved by the British, who will suddenly decide to nix the deal so that Bush can save face.

    In another week or so there will be a closed door head count of how many Senators will vote it down. If that number is larger than the number need to override a Presidential veto, the Brits will kill the deal.

    Let's see how it plays out.




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  6. #6

    Default United Arab Emirates deal: the real issue!

    Why would our President support a plan authorizing a foreign business establishment to take over a profit making economic enterprise involving commerce on American soil which has been concocted without Congress’ approval?

    To put the question into a more suitable context: what political philosophy encourages the President to allow un-elected individuals authority to determine who shall manage an aspect of commerce when our founding fathers specifically assigned the regulation of our nation’s commerce to the Congress of the United States, who are the elected representatives of the People?

    It would appear it is the same political philosophy by which our president nominated an un-elected individual to work with and manipulate the interest rates of a private banking institution’s notes [federal reserve notes], which circulate as our nation’s medium of exchange, are inaccurately referred to as dollars, and which the people are compelled to use by an unconstitutional legal tender law stated on the face of each note which is circulated by this private banking institution.

    This same political philosophy [having un-elected individuals regulating various important functions our founding fathers carefully assigned to the People’s elected representatives] is also found in the CAFTA deal which the President also supports____ a deal which is not about free trade, but is a deal about a “managed trade” situation in which Congress, the people’s elected representatives, no longer manages and regulates Americas’ Commerce with foreign nations as intended by our founding fathers and mandated by our written Constitution!

    CAFTA is about a panel, un-elected by the American people, the majority of whom are foreigners, making decisions using their majority vote concerning trade policy for America to follow, and is an extension of the NAFTA.

    To fully understand what CAFTA is about, one must first understand the fundamentals of the NAFTA. You can start learning by reading FAST TRACK, WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW which contains some of the actual wording from the agreement.
    “The NAFTA for example, unconstitutionally allows an un-elected group, a majority of whom are foreigners, to make binding decisions concerning America’s trade with Canada and Mexico [see Annex 1901.2 of the NAFTA]. And, under Article 1904: 11, the United States is forbidden to “provide in its domestic legislation for an appeal from a panel decision to its domestic courts.” Also, under 1904 : 15 the United States is required to amend its statutes and regulations “to ensure that its courts shall give full force and effect, with respect to any person within its jurisdiction, to all sanctions imposed pursuant to the laws of the other Parties to enforce...” This of course puts American businesses and industries involved in trade with Canada and Mexico under the jurisdiction of a foreign power. Seems to me this is one of the indictments contained in the Declaration of Independence, namely: “He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our law; giving his Assent to the Acts of pretended Legislation”. And, if the above is not enough to cause concern for freedom loving Americans, Under Annex 1904.15, titled Amendment to Domestic Laws...Schedule of the United States, the United States is required to “amend section 301 of the Customs Courts Act of l980, as amended, and any other relevant provisions of law, to eliminate the authority to issue declaratory judgments in any civil action involving an antidumping or countervailing duty proceeding regarding a class of kind of Canadian or Mexican merchandise.”

    This, in essence, deprives American domestic businesses the protections of our judicial system, and requires them to submit to a foreign judicial power if they complain or question what foreigners are doing on American Soil!”

    So, what is the political philosophy of the president which allows un-elected individuals to hand over a profit making economic enterprise involving commerce on American soil to foreigners when our founding fathers specifically assigned the regulation of our nation’s commerce to the Congress of the United States and not a group un-elected appointees in Washington?

    Is it not obvious that these sweetheart deals are nothing more than money laundering operations, such as the United Nations food for oil program, the world bank, the international monetary fund, etc., in which our folks in Washington use the power of our government to transfer the wealth of Americans into foreign hands which is then divided and redistributed among the actors in these deals?


    All this talk about our national security being a cause for concern in this deal appears to be second fiddle and a clever straw man argument to keep the people’s minds off the real issue…the real issue being the sale of our federal governments powers to the highest bidder, which is now attempted to be used to determine who shall profit by running the operations of several American ports of entry.


    The real issue , as I see it, is the sale of our federal governments powers to the highest bidder, which is now attempted to be used to determine who shall profit by running the operations of several American ports of entry.

    Sean Hannity has a good gut feeling about this deal . . . something just is not right! Tony Snow, on the other hand, along with Bill O’Reilly, seem to be carrying water for the internationalist free trade crowd [council on foreign relations and trilateral commission], the same gang responsible for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the NAFTA, CAFTA, and other creations which are used and manipulated by the internationalist gang to bleed the productivity of nations while they realize their profits.


    Regards,

    JWK

  7. #7
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    UAE terminal takeover extends to 21 ports

    By PAMELA HESS
    UPI Pentagon Correspondent
    Feb. 24, 2006

    http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism...3-051657-4981r

    WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported.

    The Bush administration has approved the takeover of British-owned Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to DP World, a deal set to go forward March 2 unless Congress intervenes.

    P&O is the parent company of P&O Ports North America, which leases terminals for the import and export and loading and unloading and security of cargo in 21 ports, 11 on the East Coast, ranging from Portland, Maine to Miami, Florida, and 10 on the Gulf Coast, from Gulfport, Miss., to Corpus Christi, Texas, according to the company's Web site.

    President George W. Bush on Tuesday threatened to veto any legislation designed to stall the handover.

    Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. said after the briefing she expects swift, bi-partisan approval for a bill to require a national security review before it is allowed to go forward.

    At issue is a 1992 amendment to a law that requires a 45-day review if the foreign takeover of a U.S. company "could affect national security." Many members of Congress see that review as mandatory in this case.

    But Bush administration officials said Thursday that review is only triggered if a Cabinet official expresses a national security concern during an interagency review of a proposed takeover.

    "We have a difference of opinion on the interpretation of your amendment," said Treasury Department Deputy Secretary Robert Kimmitt.

    The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, comprised of officials from 12 government departments and agencies, including the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security, approved the deal unanimously on January 17.

    "The structure of the deal led us to believe there were no national security concerns," said Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Michael P. Jackson.

    The same day, the White House appointed a DP World executive, David C. Sanborn, to be the administrator for the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation. Sanborn had been serving as director of operations for Europe and Latin America at DP World.

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R- Va., said he will request from both the U.S. attorney general and the Senate committee's legal counsel a finding on the administration's interpretation of the 1992 amendment.

    Adding to the controversy is the fact Congress was not notified of the deal. Kimmitt said Congress is periodically updated on completed CFIUS decisions, but is proscribed from initiating contact with Congress about pending deals. It may respond to congressional inquiries on those cases only.

    Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley stated in a letter to Bush on Feb. 21 that he specifically requested to be kept abreast of foreign investments that may have national security implications. He made the request in the wake of a controversial Chinese proposal to purchase an oil company last year.

    "Obviously, my request fell on deaf ears. I am disappointed that I was neither briefed nor informed of this sale prior to its approval. Instead, I read about it in the media," he wrote.

    According to Kimmitt, the deal was reported on in major newspapers as early as last October. But it did not get critical attention in the press until the Associated Press broke the story Feb. 11 and the Center for Security Policy, a right-leaning organization, wrote about it Feb. 13. CSP posited the sale as the Treasury Department putting commerce interests above national security.

    Kimmitt said because the 2005 Chinese proposal had caused such an uproar before it ever got to CFIUS, the lack of reaction to the Dubai deal when it was reported on last fall suggested it would not be controversial enough to require special notification of Congress.

    Central to the debate is the fact that the United Arab Emirates, while a key ally of the United States in the Middle East, has had troubling ties to terrorist networks, according to the Sept. 11 Commission report. It was one of the few countries in the world that recognized the al-Qaida-friendly Taliban government in Afghanistan; al-Qaida funneled millions of dollars through the U.A.E. financial sector; and A.Q. Khan, the notorious Pakistani nuclear technology smuggler, used warehouses near the Dubai port as a key transit point for many of his shipments.

    Since the terrorist attacks, it has cut ties with the Taliban, frozen just over $1 million in alleged terrorist funding, and given the United States key military basing and over-flight rights. At any given time, there are 77,000 U.S. service members on leave in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Pentagon.

    Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England warned that the uproar about the United Arab Emirates involvement in U.S. ports could risk alienating the very countries in the Middle East the United States is trying to court as allies in the war on terrorism.

    "It's very important we strengthen bonds ... especially with friends and allies in the Arab world. It's important that we treat friends and allies equally around the world without discrimination," he said.

    The security of port terminal operations is a key concern. More than 7 million cargo containers come through 361 American ports annually, half of the containers through New York-New Jersey, Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif. Only a small percentage are physically searched and just 37 percent currently screened for radiation, an indication of an attempt to smuggle in nuclear material that could be used for a "dirty bomb."

    After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the government began a new program that required documentation on all cargo 24 hours before it was loaded on a ship in a foreign port bound for the United States. A "risk analysis" is conducted on every shipment, including a review of the ship's history, the cargo's history and contents and other factors. Each ship must also provide the U.S. government 96 hours notice of its arrival in an American port, along with a crew manifest.

    None of the nine administration officials assembled for the briefing could immediately say how many of the more than 3,000 port terminals are currently under foreign control.

    Port facility operators have a major security responsibility, and one that could be exploited by terrorists if they infiltrate the company, said Joe Muldoon III. Muldoon is an attorney representing Eller & Co., a port facility operator in Florida partnered with M&O in Miami. Eller opposes the Dubai takeover for security reasons.

    "The Coast Guard oversees security, and they have the authority to inspect containers if they want and they can look at manifests, but they are really dependent on facility operators to carry out security issues," Muldoon said.

    The Marine Transportation Security Act of 2002 requires vessels and port facilities to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop security plans including passenger, vehicle and baggage screening procedures; security patrols; establishing restricted areas; personnel identification procedures; access control measures; and/or installation of surveillance equipment.

    Under the same law, port facility operators may have access to Coast Guard security incident response plans -- that is, they would know how the Coast Guard plans to counter and respond to terrorist attacks.

    "The concern is that the UAE may be our friend now ... but who's to say that couldn't change, or they couldn't be infiltrated. Iran was our big buddy," said Muldoon.

    In a January report, the Council on Foreign Relations pointed out the vulnerability of the shipping security system to terrorist exploitation.

    Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. customs agency requires shippers to follow supply chain security practices. Provided there are no apparent deviations from those practices or intelligence warnings, the shipment is judged low risk and is therefore unlikely to be inspected.
    CFR suggests a terrorist event is likely to be a one-time operation on a trusted carrier "precisely because they can count on these shipments entering the U.S. with negligible or no inspection."

    "All a terrorist organization needs to do is find a single weak link within a 'trusted' shipper's complex supply chain, such as a poorly paid truck driver taking a container from a remote factory to a port. They can then gain access to the container in one of the half-dozen ways well known to experienced smugglers," CFR wrote.


    © Copyright 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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    I think the real problem is not that the company is controlled by the UAE, but the fact that it's controlled by the government of UAE. If it was a company that is publicly trades, has many international shareholders but was primarily controlled by UAE, there would not be a problem. We would be hard-pressed to refuse a deal just because they are based out of UAE. But when the only owner is the undemocratically elected government of a small arab amirate, it's a concern.

  9. #9
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Interesting how the background story on this one keeps CHANGING ...

    Homeland Security Objected to Ports Deal

    By TED BRIDIS
    Associated Press Writer
    Feb. 25, 2006

    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...02-25-10-37-13

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Homeland Security Department objected at first to a United Arab Emirates company's taking over significant operations at six U.S. ports. It was the lone protest among members of the government committee that eventually approved the deal without dissent.

    The department's early objections were settled later in the government's review of the $6.8 billion deal after Dubai-owned DP World agreed to a series of security restrictions.

    The company indefinitely has postponed its takeover to give President Bush time to convince Congress that the deal does not pose any increased risks to the U.S. from terrorism.

    Some lawmakers have pressed for a new and intensive review. Despite persistent criticism from Republicans and Democrats, the president has defended his administration's approval of the ports deal and threatened to veto any measures in Congress that would block it. Hearings are to continue this week.

    A DP World executive said the company would agree to tougher security restrictions to win congressional support only if the same restrictions applied to all U.S. port operators. The company earlier had struck a more conciliatory stance, saying it would do whatever Bush asked to salvage the agreement.

    "Security is everybody's business," senior vice president Michael Moore told The Associated Press. "We're going to have a very open mind to legitimate concerns. But anything we can do, any way to improve security, should apply to everybody equally."

    The administration approved the ports deal on Jan. 17 after DP World agreed during secret negotiations to cooperate with law enforcement investigations in the future and make other concessions.

    Some lawmakers have challenged the adequacy of a classified intelligence assessment crucial to assuring the administration that the deal was proper. The report was assembled during four weeks in November by analysts working for the director of national intelligence.

    The report concluded that U.S. spy agencies were "unable to locate any derogatory information on the company," according to a person familiar with the document. This person spoke only on condition of anonymity because the report was classified.

    Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and others have complained that the intelligence report focused only on information the agencies collected about DP World and did not examine reported links between UAE government officials and al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The uproar over DP World has exposed how the government routinely approves deals involving national security without the input of senior administration officials or Congress.

    President Bush, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and even Treasury Secretary John Snow, who oversees the government committee that approved the deal, all say they did not know about the purchase until after it was finalized. The work was done mostly by assistant secretaries.

    Snow now says he may consider changes in the approval process so lawmakers are better alerted after such deals get the go-ahead.
    Stewart Baker, a senior Homeland Security official, said he was the sole representative on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States who objected to the ports deal. Baker said he later changed his vote after DP World agreed to the security conditions. Other officials confirmed Baker's account.

    "We were not prepared to sign off on the deal without the successful negotiation of the assurances," Baker told the AP.

    Officials from the White House, CIA, departments of State, Treasury, Justices, and others looked for guidance from Homeland Security because it is responsible for seaports. "We had the most obvious stake in the process," Baker said.

    Baker acknowledged that a government audit of security practices at the U.S. ports in the takeover has not been completed as part of the deal. "We had the authority to do an audit earlier," Baker said.

    The audit will help evaluate DP World's security programs to stop smuggling and detect illegal shipments of nuclear materials at its seaport operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

    The administration privately disclosed the status of the security audit to senators during meetings about improving reviews of future business deals involving foreign buyers. Officials did not suggest the audit's earlier completion would have affected the deal's approval.

    New Jersey's Democratic governor, who is suing to block the deal, said in his party's weekly radio address on Saturday that the administration failed to properly investigate the UAE's record on terrorism.

    "We were told that the president didn't know about the sale until after it was approved. For many Americans, regardless of party, this lack of disciplined review is unacceptable," Jon Corzine said.

    Bush's national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said there was no going back on the deal.

    © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  10. #10

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    If one is familiar with the actors in this deal and their association to the internationalist free trade crowd [council on foreign relations and trilateral commission] one begins to understand what is really going on. The Bush dynasty as well as former president Clinton, are both members of the council on foreign relations which works to have a one world government, no national borders, and their gang in charge of the deal, just as they are with the NAFTA.

    BTW, do you guys know which Co. John Snow was the CEO of prior to being appointed Secretary of the Treasury? How about David Sanborn, do you know he was an executive in the same Co. prior to being a senior executive with Dubai Ports, and who Bush then appointed to be the new administrator of the Maritime Administration of the Transportation Department? And, who were the actors in closing this deal? Surely not Congress who is authorized to oversee and approve such “deals”. Surprise! It was political appointees and not the people’s elected representatives who made such a decision which affects America’s commerce.

    Truth is, I sort of knew these one world government pan-handlers would eventually make a big mistake because of their greed, and I think this is it. It seems, from some of the actors in this deal and their ties to the internationalist gang, they are about to become front page news, and how they have manipulated America‘s political system to accomplish their own ends will be only too obvious. Hopefully the American people will learn a lesson from all this and start holding members of Congress responsible when they un-constitutionally delegate their constitutionally authorized duties to political appointees!


    Regards,

    JWK

    As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of darkness.___Supreme Court Justice William Douglas

  11. #11
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The Truth About Dubya and Dubai

    Katrina vanden Heuvel
    The Nation

    ... Treasury Secretary John Snow, who headed the federal review of the deal, was Chairman of CSX which sold its international port operations to DP Word for $1.15 billion just one year before Mr. Snow joined the Bush cabinet.
    http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion?bid=15&pid=62784

    Copyright © 2006 The Nation

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    Katrina vanden Heuvel is a biased, very left-wing reporter, not that what she is saying is not true. And secondly, just because John Snow was CEO of CSX, that does not prove anything at all. If there was indication that John Snow put any pressure on other public officials that approved the deal and had any vested interest in this deal only then we could say that there's inpropriety. Katrina is one of those people that jumps on any chance to bash repuiblicans, yet would sing songs to the most liberal democrats whether they are right or wrong.

  13. #13
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The crux of the matter -- truth ... which is not biased:
    Quote Originally Posted by MrSpice
    Katrina vanden Heuvel is a biased, very left-wing reporter, not that what she is saying is not true.

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    lofter1 - she is saying the factual truth, but she is implying impropriety and corruption on the part of John Snow but she provides no evidence of that. The truth can be interpreted differently.

  15. #15
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    We'll have to wait see if Mr. Snow -- or his family or business connections -- stand to gain financially from the DP World deal / CSX transaction.

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