Worries escalate over sale of U.S. port operations to Arab firm


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Ironbarr
February 18, 2006, 10:30 PM
First the Chinese lease the naval base @ Long Beach for shipping, then do a deal with Panama to "manage" the Panama Canal; now our ports go to Arabs.

When are we going to stop giving ourselves the shaft?

WASHINGTON A New Jersey congressman says he wants security officials at U-S ports to be American citizens.

Republican Frank LoBiondo says the requirement would prevent overseas companies operating shipping facilities in the U-S from hiring foreigners in such sensitive positions.

LoBiondo chairs the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee. He cites "significant" security concerns over a six-point-eight (b) billion-dollar sale that gives a company in the United Arab Emirates control over operations at six major American ports.

LoBiondo says he wants the new mandatory citizenship requirements approved by Congress and President Bush before state-owned Dubai Ports World completes its pending purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

The British company runs major commercial operations at shipping terminals in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.
http://www.wtkr.com/Global/story.asp?S=4521896

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P95Carry
February 18, 2006, 10:54 PM
When are we going to stop giving ourselves the shaft?It seems Andy - never! :mad:

So much now is outsourced and placed in hands of non-Americans - it is quite sickening. And what does our own one puny vote do to counter it? - zilch. It is depressing beyond description.

wingman
February 18, 2006, 11:05 PM
The selling of America it is sad, greed/power and a continued loss of
freedom.

Ironbarr
February 18, 2006, 11:39 PM
It seems Andy - never! :mad:

So much now is outsourced and placed in hands of non-Americans - it is quite sickening. And what does our own one puny vote do to counter it? - zilch. It is depressing beyond description.Chris, maybe soon they'll get around to outsourcing the House, then Senate and SCOTUS to separate managements (until they later merge), and then outsource the POTUS to the UN and whomever is the resident honcho at the time.

I'll tell you, son... sooner or later, as history shows, every "successful" outfit bites the dust. And it usually starts by turning a bit soft and rancid within.

I surely hate the possibility of tossing all this current mess to the grandkids. They are going have to grow up ahead of their time.

Frankly, I believe that it's going to take a very strong - commanding if you will - leader to change the trend, and some powerful personal restraints to not take uberadvantage of the power seat.

I don't see anything but business as usual on the political horizon - at least not yet.

-AndyB

Art Eatman
February 18, 2006, 11:52 PM
Er, uh, 'scuse me? London-based P&O doesn't seem to me to be a US company.

FWIW, P&O is an old-time company. Dates back to the sailing ship days. Maybe they're going broke, for all I know, as so many others have. Maybe the Dubai outfit thinks they can make a profit, I don't know.

But it ain't out-sourcing.

Art

Ironbarr
February 19, 2006, 12:11 AM
Art, maybe so - but ownership usually equals control. Guess I'm not comfortable with these "arrangements".

Bartholomew Roberts
February 19, 2006, 12:16 AM
According to my source, no U.S. company bid on the project or they most certainly would have won.

Art Eatman
February 19, 2006, 12:37 AM
Ironbarr, I certainly have no objection to the security personnel being US citizens who have been thoroughly vetted.

The workforce will still be the same longshoreman's union folks. Regardless of ownership, that's the arena for concern.

One of the reasons for the development of cargo containers was to stop pilferage of breakbulk cargo. (Remember the old movies, where boxes of cargo were stacked on a net and then the bundle was swung over the side? I saw that in real life, 56 years ago. Not done that way anymore.) Dockworkers have always been a problem.

Art

longeyes
February 19, 2006, 02:34 AM
I think the whole ugly business is symbolic: America is rapidly turning into a shipping address, not a country. The United States of America is becoming The Mall of America.

You don't hand over strategic interests to foreign powers, however obliquely. In a time of war this goes beyond the foolish to the morbidly self-destructive.

The globalists want America dismembered and disarmed. Little by little it's happening.

miconoakisland
February 19, 2006, 04:04 AM
As Art said earlier, it was a United Kingdom company in the first place!

The ports in question were foreign owned to begin with!

With big business conglomerations, just because the ownership changes, the day-to-day operations don't.

Don't cry that American ports are owned by foreigners after one foreign country sells it to another when no American company would buy it!

The guidelines set up by OUR government allow ownership of businesses by foreign owners if these guidelines are adhered to and can be denied ONLY if these guidelines aren't adhered to.

Traditionally, port facilities lose more money than they take in, hence the sale by the British company. American companies realize this. UAE companies have oil money to spare and blow. What better way to ingratiate oneself as a strategic ally in the volitile region of the Middle East! "We pay millions to operate your ports, you are now obligated to act as our military, at our whim!"

A dangerous, yet not a historically unique, concept.

RealGun
February 19, 2006, 06:26 AM
This story about the Feds going after the dockworkers union might be relevant, doing a clean sweep and avoiding involvement of corrupted American companies. I searched on "dockworkers union".

http://www.thelaborers.net/ila/nytimes_us_plans_suit.htm

It's ironic that some think we are giving up control, as if we had it.

shermacman
February 19, 2006, 08:43 AM
The UAE company paid the British company 6.8 billion American dollars. Now, if the UAE wants to gain foothold in the US to destroy the US there has to be a cheaper way. And if they want to destroy the US why would they invest any money in our physical infrastructure? This is a business deal.

However, the fact that the government of the UAE has the following positions:
1) The Taliban was the legitimate government of Afghanistan
2) Israel has no right to exist
is probably reason enough to have squelched the deal. The other concerning issue is was this an open bid? Did other companies have the ability to enter into the pre-sale competition?

Ironbarr
February 19, 2006, 01:06 PM
I'm marking the quote below for reply, but first a caveat: I am less than versed in the world of corporate "ownership" of property, real or personal, nor in the affairs of transport, handling and stowage of goods, nor the privilege(s) and/or restriction(s) of government on the import/export/transport fields.

I do monitor some activities in the "news" and other sources - sometimes acutely, often slightly. Either way, I form opinions based on my life's adventure. Whether my opinions have merit - or not - is left to those who know of them.

So far, no one has offered anything substantial for my opinions. :( .......... :)

(1) As Art said earlier, it was a United Kingdom company in the first place!Agreed.

(2) The ports in question were foreign owned to begin with!a. The "management" is owned? b. Or the real estate and equipage? c. The payroll and expenses? d. All of the above?

It seems to me that if the real estate/equipage is owned all of that could be sold off & the company closed. This would shut down the port(s) involved.

"Mis"management of fiscal responsibilities - will shut down the port(s) involved.

There is also the labor union - I wouldn't expect Dubai leadership to be in superlative agreement with labor/management concepts. Strikes or lock-outs will shut down the ports involved.


(3) With big business conglomerations, just because the ownership changes, the day-to-day operations don't.Please re-read (2) above.


(4) Don't cry that American ports are owned by foreigners after one foreign country sells it to another when no American company would buy it!I have no information regarding efforts (or not) of American buyers.


(5) The guidelines set up by OUR government allow ownership of businesses by foreign owners if these guidelines are adhered to and can be denied ONLY if these guidelines aren't adhered to.I heard a talking head say that our government limits ownership by a foreign company to 25%. I have no idea what that means in the practical, every day, sense. I do know that "money talks and ... walks.


(6) Traditionally, port facilities lose more money than they take in, hence the sale by the British company. American companies realize this. UAE companies have oil money to spare and blow. What better way to ingratiate oneself as a strategic ally in the volitile region of the Middle East! "We pay millions to operate your ports, you are now obligated to act as our military, at our whim!"Now there's a rub... maybe The Rub. Where in the world might I find a business plan that suggests the investment of some $6,800,000,000 's in an enterprise that has a history of negative cash flow, depreciating facilities, re-occurring labor demands, and financial losses due to damages, pilferage and muted insurance payouts - among other things?

Why would anyone (but government, perhaps) invest in such an enterprise? My only answer is Power. The power to shut down the ports involved - which can shut down a national economy - which can shut down the nation - which can make the nation defenseless against "other events".


(7) A dangerous, yet not a historically unique, concept.Agreed.

A very dangerous concept - and not to be dismissed so easily as "business as usual".

miconoakisland - Thanks for giving me the impetus I needed to spout off. :)

-AndyB

PS - I've used an hour or so to create this wordy and verbose tome, I hope it hasn't yet been superceded by more lucid minds.

wingman
February 19, 2006, 01:16 PM
The globalists want America dismembered and disarmed. Little by little it's happening.


I think this statement is key to modern America, sell to highest bidder no matter the results for our country. :cuss: If they can't beat us in battle go to our weak point, greed.

Art Eatman
February 19, 2006, 01:23 PM
Ironbarr, as far as any deliberate shutting down of the ports, go back a bit in history. Check out the fuss between John L. Lewis of the coal miners vs. Harry Truman of the White House.

Truman won.

It wouldn't take the White House 15 minutes to get the ports open. That stipulates the "Want to", of course.

Again, the only real issue is security against import of Evil Stuff. That's as possible now as it would be with any ownership. Really, it's up to the owner/leasor of the ship. Offloading is done by the union, and inspections by U.S. Customs. I'm ignorant of other aspects of port security, such as harbor patrol, etc..

Art

longeyes
February 19, 2006, 02:00 PM
Don't cry that American ports are owned by foreigners after one foreign country sells it to another when no American company would buy it!

The guidelines set up by OUR government allow ownership of businesses by foreign owners if these guidelines are adhered to and can be denied ONLY if these guidelines aren't adhered to.

You think maybe there might have been some arm-twisting behind the scenes regarding who bid and who didn't? Friendly, of course. I rub your back, you rub mine. We're supposed to believe this is really a "competitive" process? Is that why it's carried out in secret by a committee few of us had ever heard of?

Who sets the guidelines? Who does the vetting? How deeply do they probe? And who does the probing? If, say, the White House says "Okay this deal," you think the investigative work goes on, in real depth?

Folks, let's get real.

]'d say $7 billion is mere chickenfeed to get control of six major U.S. ports. How many trillions of dollars are really at stake in our global conflict? And it's not really about money to the radical Islamists anyway? Haven't we learned that yet?

longeyes
February 19, 2006, 02:05 PM
The premise of free trade is that rational people will have less interest to "attack" if their own interests are involved.

Rational people, operating by Enlightenment values.

There's the rub.

More and more America looks like a once-great power, vast in size, that is losing sight of what made it strong. Greed is a major element in this. Fecklessness another. We will look like India in 25 years, and India will look the way we once did.

Prepare your children to be good houseboys and domestics.

Robert J McElwain
February 19, 2006, 02:17 PM
If we're saying that foreign companies shouldn't own US businesses, shouldn't we also say that US businesses shouldn't own companies in China, Japan, Korea, Dubai etc?

The fact is, we do. General Motors and Ford each own automobile companies in Europe, Japan and Korea. We own refining facilities in Dubai. We own all kinds of companies all over the world. And this is one of the greatest bulwarks we have for preventing major wars. Our financial interests don't want us destroying their assets in other countries.

Bob

longeyes
February 19, 2006, 02:20 PM
Fox News:

"The two companies involved in the $6.8 billion sale agreed that U.S. government approval is required for the deal to go through. Chertoff said the review by the 12-member CFIUS, which is chaired by Treasury Secretary John Snow and involves members from the departments of Defense, Justice, Commerce, State and Homeland Security, was done in secret with no congressional oversight.

Chertoff said Congress is welcome to look into the sale in classified briefings.

"Without getting into the specifics of this particular classified discussion, I can tell you that the process is designed for Congress to be rigorous and to make sure we properly take into the account of security when we approve any transaction," he said."

Where are the surveillance cams when we need them???

Anyone want to imagine the conversation that went on among John Snow and the 11 Snowmen?

longeyes
February 19, 2006, 02:24 PM
If we're saying that foreign companies shouldn't own US businesses, shouldn't we also say that US businesses shouldn't own companies in China, Japan, Korea, Dubai etc?

You're right. I suggest American companies run China's ports and provide security for the Russians and oversee the narco-trade in Mexico...oh, wait a minute, scratch that last one, already there.

The issue is WHICH U.S. businesses. There's a right time, a right place, a right deal. Wise leadership, uncorrupted, would grasp that.

asknight
February 19, 2006, 04:51 PM
Wouldn't you think that the US Govt would need a scapegoat in the event that disaster did strike through our ports? If the US Govt itself was directly responsible for port security and operations, and a dirty nuke or whatver made it through security inspections who would be responsible? Our own Govt, of course. This is a liability-limiting measure at the least, and promoting treason, at worst.

Lambo
February 19, 2006, 05:13 PM
Note; This is first thing I believe Baltimore's Mayor Martin O'Malley has gotten correct. This man is a committed Socialist!!! Go figure:what:

Deal affecting port upsets mayor
Government of United Arab Emirates would have influence on some operations
By Julie Bell
Sun Reporter
Originally published February 19, 2006

Mayor Martin O'Malley joined yesterday the growing number of politicians condemning a business deal that would put a company controlled by the United Arab Emirates in charge of running certain port operations in Baltimore and a handful of other U.S. cities.

"It's outrageous and irresponsible to turn over a port to any foreign government," O'Malley said during a chilly, outdoor news conference in Canton, where port buildings were visible across the harbor.

O'Malley, a Democratic candidate for governor, sharply criticized the Bush administration for signing off on the deal. Dubai Ports World would acquire London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (P&O) for a reported $6.8 billion. P&O, which is not controlled by the British government, oversees container cargo operations at the publicly owned Seagirt and Dundalk marine terminals here.

The deal would give Dubai Ports World certain port operations in New York, Newark, N.J., Philadelphia, Miami and New Orleans. A company at the Miami port is suing to block the takeover there, the Associated Press reported.

Members of Congress from several states have asked the Bush administration to review its approval of the deal. Last week, White House spokesman Scott McClellan defended the administration's "rigorous review" of proposed foreign investments for national security concerns.

O'Malley said his opposition is not related to the fact Dubai Ports World is based in an Arab nation, saying he would oppose control of a U.S. port by any foreign government. But he noted that though the United Arab Emirates is a U.S. ally, it also was one of a handful of governments to officially recognize Afghanistan's former Taliban government, and he expressed concern about the country being "a key transfer point" for nuclear components on their way to North Korea, Libya and Iran, as was reported in The Washington Post.

O'Malley, who said he would try to rally opposition among U.S. mayors, was joined at the news conference by state Del. Brian K. McHale, a Baltimore Democrat and longshoreman, and U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, whose congressional district includes the port of Baltimore. Ruppersberger has called for congressional hearings on the proposed sale.

It was unclear yesterday, however, what power the three politicians and others have to review the deal. P&O's shareholders agreed to it last week. And the acquisition was approved by a U.S. Treasury Department-headed panel that vets security concerns when foreign companies invest in U.S. industry. The committee's approval would be withdrawn only if it finds one of the companies submitted false or incomplete information, a department spokeswoman said.

The terminals where Dubai would have a contract to handle container work here are overseen by the Maryland Port Administration. The Maryland Port Commission, an associated body, also has the ability to review the deal, McHale said, but he didn't think it would have the wherewithal to conduct a thorough investigation.

"They need to stand up as well," O'Malley said of the Maryland Port Administration. "They should not be rolling over."

Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Robert Menendez of New Jersey introduced legislation last week to prohibit any foreign-owned company from buying U.S. port operations. Other politicians who have voiced concerns about the deal include Republican Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, and Democratic Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland.

Ironbarr
February 19, 2006, 05:16 PM
Chertoff to ABC:
He told A-B-C's "This Week" that the agency has done a security review and has gotten assurances that it is "appropriate" from a national security standpoint.http://www.wtkr.com/Global/story.asp?S=4523226

I wonder if the Emirs, et al, gave him those "assurances".

I also wonder if Roosevelt would have found it "appropriate" for the Vichy French to have "managed" these ports.

-AndyB

Waitone
February 19, 2006, 05:32 PM
The nightmare scenario is a nuclear device greasing a US city. The most likely means of delivering a nuclear device to a US city is via ship in some port. The threat of UAE ownership is poo-poo'd by saying US assets will actually controlling the port and its security. At some point in the food chain the UAE company management will intersect US security interests. That is where the trouble will occur.

We in the US avoided a nuclear war with the soviet union only by the smallest of margins. The US was able to take bold action because of the actions of a Soviet general name Pentkosvski (pardon the butcher job on his name). He was feeding information to both the US and Brits detailing weaknesses in soviet capabilities and strategy. His information was absolutely critical in letting the US know where to push and where not to push. The good general saved the world from a free form nuclear exchange. He was caught by the soviets and was fed into a furnace alive.

My understanding of history precludes me from support incredibly boneheaded, idiotic, and counter productive actions a deluded administration wants to take. Bush has once again screwed the pooch. He will be bitchslapped for this particular boner as he was bitchslapped for Meiers' nomination. The American public may be distracted, self-absorbed, and fat, but we are not stupid. Bush's actions here and a few other actions demonstrates his contempt for his fellow countrymen. What makes this particular boner so interesting is it provides a window into the process that permits illegal border crossings to be encouraged in spite of wild public support to get rough. :fire:

longeyes
February 19, 2006, 06:22 PM
+1!

The winning hand, politically, in the next two elections will be nationalism. Bush is throwing the Dems a soft one right over the middle of the plate. Maybe it's a Texas change-up but I don't think so.

Does hubris cause the kind of brain pharts that makes a leader not recognize that secret committee deals threatening national security--while he himself constantly reminds us "we are at war"--are unacceptable? It's either that, an obsession with obfuscation, or money changing hands in back rooms.

wingman
February 19, 2006, 07:42 PM
Does hubris cause the kind of brain pharts that makes a leader not recognize that secret committee deals threatening national security--while he himself constantly reminds us "we are at war"--are unacceptable? It's either that, an obsession with obfuscation, or money changing hands in back rooms.


Dang, ease up on the big words Longeyes this poor old cowboy had to run
some of that by the dictionary.:D However I think your on to something
here perhaps the folks in power just don't give a ----.

RealGun
February 19, 2006, 07:46 PM
A couple thoughts here. If UAE is officially a trusted ally, how do you tell them they can't play?

In checking the Dept of State website, I notice Condi Rice is scheduled to be in UAE this coming week. Interesting timing.

Lupinus
February 19, 2006, 09:25 PM
I don't like it. Turning over our ports to outsiders it idiocy, let alone those who wouldn't care if America burned from coast to coast.

At least when it was a Brittish company it was a company in a country who is an Ally, truly an ally, not just an ally to look good on paper for politics. How many UAE guys have bled for the US? How many Brits? Vice-versa?

England is and has been our ally, UAE is an ally just to look good. And reguardless who the union or customs is, if you own something you can make cracks in it.

Merkin.Muffley
February 19, 2006, 09:40 PM
I don't know - Chertoff was making the rounds today defending this deal. He said that a bunch of competent public servants reviewed the deal and "provided assurances". It's one of those "trust us, we're the government and know more than you do" deals. Before reading the following article, have an air sickness bag handy.

Homeland Security director says government review provided ‘assurances’

WASHINGTON - Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff on Sunday defended the government’s security review of an Arab company given permission to take over operations at six major U.S. ports.

“We have a very disciplined process, it’s a classified process, for reviewing any acquisition by a foreign company of assets that we consider relevant to national security,” Chertoff told Tim Russert on “Meet the Press.”

London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., was bought last week by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business from the United Arab Emirates. Peninsular and Oriental runs major commercial operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

“We don’t take a risk. What we do is we require a very careful review—we have the FBI involved, we have the Department of Defense involved—of what the challenges are. We have, in fact, dealt with this port before because we deal with it overseas as part of our comprehensive global security network,” Chertoff said.

“We’ve built in, and we will build in safeguards to make sure that these kinds of things don’t happen. And, you know, this is part of the balancing of security, which is our paramount concern, with the need to still maintain a real robust global trading environment.”

U.S. lawmakers from both parties are questioning the sale, approved by the Bush administration, as a possible risk to national security.

“It’s unbelievably tone deaf politically at this point in our history,” Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C. said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“Most Americans are scratching their heads, wondering why this company from this region now,” Graham said.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, said she would support legislation to block foreign companies from buying port facilities.

“I’m going to support legislation to say ‘No more, no way.’ We have to have American companies running our own ports ... Our infrastructure is at risk,” she said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Added Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.: “I think we’ve got to look into this company. We’ve got to ensure ... the American people that their national security interests are going to be protected.”

At least one Senate oversight hearing is planned for later this month.

“Congress is welcome to look at this and can get classified briefings,” Chertoff told CNN’s “Late Edition.”

“We have to balance the paramount urgency of security against the fact that we still want to have a robust global trading system,” he added.

Sen. Robert Menendez, who is working on legislation to prohibit companies owned or controlled by foreign governments from running port operation in the U.S., said Chertoff’s comments showed him that the administration “just does not get it.”

In a statement, the New Jersey Democrat said, “No matter what steps the administration claims it has secretly taken, it is an unacceptable risk to turn control of our ports over to a foreign government, particularly one with a troubling history. We cannot depend on promises a foreign government has given the administration in secret to secure our ports.”

Chertoff said Dubai Ports World should not be excluded automatically from such a deal because it is based in the UAE.

Critics have cited the UAE’s history as an operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

In addition, they contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.

DP World has said it intends to “maintain and, where appropriate, enhance current security arrangements.” The UAE’s foreign minister has described his country as an important U.S. ally in fighting terrorism.

Robert J McElwain
February 19, 2006, 09:41 PM
"60 Minutes" did an excellent story on this, this evening. And they brought up all the concerns that have been mentioned here, particularly the issue about Dubai having supported terrorist activities. OTOH, they pointed out that this company would run the port, but not be in charge of it's security. That's still a US government function. They also equated this with our handover of the Panama Canal.

Bob

Ironbarr
February 19, 2006, 10:41 PM
As you've read, I don't hold with foreign control of strategic assets, but these senators who are pursuing bills to deny any foreign company control of our ports are reacting too quickly - I hope it's real recognition of a poor decision and not politically motivated for headlines. Stopping the sale or at least slowing it is the first order, the second is, IMO, is a serious senate/house review of the whole process... including why everything (it seems) is classified. (This is one area where I agree with the standard delay of oversight.)

Global economy pressures entering the mix could have a significant effect on the language of any bill. What American company - if any - would participate is another detail. And, for drill - is the 6.8 billion going to P&O shareholders or to whom? Is the 25% max foreign ownership of U.S. companies locked in cement or "negotiable"?

Too many questions and I'm not into it enough to know them all, so I must leave it to others. I just hope the action taken is positive for the U.S. and not part of its demise.

-AndyB

RealGun
February 20, 2006, 11:27 AM
A couple thoughts here. If UAE is officially a trusted ally, how do you tell them they can't play?

In checking the Dept of State website, I notice Condi Rice is scheduled to be in UAE this coming week. Interesting timing.

More interesting timing. The President's speech topic today is energy. I don't believe insulting UAE would be good energy policy right now, especially with petroleum production, storage, and processing facilities wrecked by hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.

What I am concluding is that there is team coordination, both now and in the past. Not a bad thing necessarily, not really a conspiracy,...just interesting.

longeyes
February 20, 2006, 11:37 AM
I don't believe insulting UAE would be good energy policy right now, especially with petroleum production, storage, and processing facilities wrecked by hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yeah, sure, I get it, hand 'em the keys to the country so we can grub for oil. Love it.

If the main thing the U.S. has to offer the world, besides the Big Stick, is a consumer economy of three hundred million ravenous beaks, we'd better get real and start charging for that to rebuild this nation's core strengths. If we don't we're going to be cutting one humiliating deal after another.

longeyes
February 20, 2006, 11:40 AM
What I am concluding is that there is team coordination, both now and in the past. Not a bad thing necessarily, not really a conspiracy,...just interesting.

No, not really a conspiracy, just thirty years of benign neglect in terms of realistic energy policy?

Is "team coordination" the new term for the globalist agenda of the New World Order?

Ironbarr
February 20, 2006, 01:01 PM
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Congress was completely composed of THR/TFL folks? :D :D

-AndyB

Biker
February 20, 2006, 01:34 PM
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Congress was completely composed of THR/TFL folks? :D :D

-AndyB
You bet! "I promise you pot in every chicken and a Thompson in every household!"
Biker

RealGun
February 20, 2006, 01:39 PM
No, not really a conspiracy, just thirty years of benign neglect in terms of realistic enery policy?

Is "team coordination" the new term for the globalist agenda of the New World Order?

You really need a break.

longeyes
February 20, 2006, 02:05 PM
Bush is the one who needs a "break," my friend.

And Americans need a break from his destructive policies.

It's nice to know he's just discovering that this nation is addicted to oil. Do say. Maybe he'll discover that Some of Us are addicted to illegal immigration next month?

Bush is an enigma wrapped in a conundrum refried with too much lard.

longeyes
February 20, 2006, 02:06 PM
"I promise you pot in every chicken and a Thompson in every household!"

Make that an MP5 and you have my vote.

RealGun
February 20, 2006, 02:48 PM
Bush is the one who needs a "break," my friend.

And Americans need a break from his destructive policies.

It's nice to know he's just discovering that this nation is addicted to oil. Do say. Maybe he'll discover that Some of Us are addicted to illegal immigration next month?

Bush is an enigma wrapped in a conundrum refried with too much lard.

But why bring the Syndrome to every thread?

RealGun
February 20, 2006, 02:48 PM
dupe

longeyes
February 20, 2006, 06:14 PM
But why bring the Syndrome to every thread?

Symptom, better. Bush is a symptom of a deeper, underlying problem that threatens this nation's survival.

Ironbarr
February 20, 2006, 06:22 PM
longeyes... is their anyone else out there who'd be better? Just a question.

-AndyB

Biker
February 20, 2006, 06:34 PM
Not to answer for Longeyes, but Tom Tancredo is, IMO, a much better option.
Biker

wingman
February 20, 2006, 07:02 PM
is their anyone else out there who'd be better? Just a question.

I believe there is, question is could they win, money picks the two
front runners and we elect (we think) the lessor of two evils. Sad way
to run a country.

longeyes
February 20, 2006, 08:27 PM
Anyone better?

Here's the problem: the gauntlet we call the nominating process.

America has incredible talent--but it's not being heard. A LOT of people see what's happening to America. Put a thousand of THR's hard-core members together as a new Congress and see if we can come up with some rational policies. I'm betting we could.

I like Tancredo. Tom McClintock, in California, would be great. There are others, though not, from I can see, in the most eligible ranks. We don't have to settle for mediocrity.

Hey, give Steve Jobs six years and see what he comes up with. He's not afraid to try things, we know that. Put Burt Rutan as head of your tech advisory committee. How about Gen. Pace to run Homeland Security?

I see some rising talent in the talk radio ranks. There's hope for a newfangled populist/Libertarian movement emanating from the airwaves, fronted by some very energetic, articulate people who could make waves in politics.

Bush, to me, is a half-gestated version of what many of us were hoping for as a salvific force to stop or at least slow down The Insanity. Maybe he's trying to be the second coming of Bill Clinton to please The Old Man? I don't know. I just know he's digging us in deeper. "Portgate," for me, was it, "The End," a flagrant flight of hubris that even those who didn't get the border problem couldn't ignore any longer.

Malone LaVeigh
February 20, 2006, 09:49 PM
I can't find the exact quote, but Lenin is supposed to have said, "A capitalist will sell you the rope you use to hang him."

Kim
February 20, 2006, 10:03 PM
I will await more info. Why? I know nothing about how ports are ran. I do know there are no US Companies that run any of our ports. Why is that? And guess what the only company that maybe could do this would be that evil Hailburton. I mean there are no US Companies that do this type of work. None bid. None do it. I will wait and not go off knee jerk im the way the MSM wants us to do. There are too many unanswere questions. Who wil they hire? Do we know or just imagine it will be ARABS working there. Will they be screened in someway? I do not know the answers and neither is the MSM telling us.

Manedwolf
February 20, 2006, 10:10 PM
As another addendum, this would give Dubai Ports World control over the very ports that pass at least 40% of war materiel shipped on behalf of the Army in support of Iraq operations.

Does this even make STRATEGIC sense, especially if SHTF in Iran? Considering that money for 9/11 DID come out of the UAE as well?

To me, this just doesn't make any sense at all. We might as well give them the keys to the Pentagon.

Jeff White
February 20, 2006, 10:19 PM
At one time we had strategic programs that kept so much production capability, raw materials and such domestically produced in case of a war. In the case of raw materials, we stockpiled them here in war reserve. As far as I know, we don't do that anymore.

Now we are selling the physical plant that we would need to sustain ourselves in a war for cheap consumer goods. The port deal is just another example of that mentality. Someday soon we will reach the point where our industrial capacity will no longer sustain a force of any useful size in combat. When we depend on overseas production facilities and just in time shipping to sustain our forces we will no longer be able to project power like we do today.

The port deal is another example of the administration talking out both sides of it's mouth. They wonder why support is fading on the home front. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that you can't say, "Hand over some of your rights and freedoms so that I can keep you safe from the menace of terrorism, and this is a war like none we've ever been in and may last for decades." and then in other areas (like selling control of the ports to people who may be our enemies) showing us that they really aren't serious about the war.

Jeff

offthepaper
February 20, 2006, 10:26 PM
Question:
Are there other countries that have similar contractual agreements with goverments of questionable security support for their own?

Manedwolf
February 20, 2006, 10:27 PM
Now we are selling the physical plant that we would need to sustain ourselves in a war for cheap consumer goods. The port deal is just another example of that mentality. Someday soon we will reach the point where our industrial capacity will no longer sustain a force of any useful size in combat.

I think we reached that point back when I watched a video of Bethlehem Steel shutting down (the place from which most of the steel for many WWII battleships and tanks and aircraft came from), and the furnaces going out one by one, forever.

That was symbolic at that point, I think. We are becoming a service economy, but if the borders closed tomorrow, or if the dollar had the rug yanked out from under it, we can no longer MAKE things ourselves...the manufacturing infrastructure is GONE. Not just for war materiel, but for the daily flow of goods.

Go through your house. Pick up every item and count those that do NOT say "made in China" on the underside. Especially appliances. Did you know that there isn't even any place in the US anymore that manufactures toasters? None. None at all. It might seem like a little thing, but it's symbolic. Look around at all the Made in China stuff. Imagine it all vanishing. All of it. Scared, yet?

And that's a highly dangerous position to be in. It's the equivalent of living in a high-rise and deciding you don't need the stairs anymore, taking them out, and leaving only the elevator. And if the power goes out...

We are beholden to a semi-hostile communist regime for the continued existence of our economy, and every convenience and most of the furnishings and items we have in our lives. And we are turning over our ports, our gateways, to another regime that does not share our long-term goals at all, and may have elements of those who would destroy us.

telomerase
February 20, 2006, 10:46 PM
We are beholden to a semi-hostile communist regime for the continued existence of our economy

Yeah, but they're less dangerous than the entirely hostile communist regime in Washington. For one thing, you'd have to look pretty hard to find even one serious communist believer in China; no one there thinks that the government can run things more efficiently than private citizens. In Washington all you have to do is look at Bush's spending record.... he's raised government spending (Including spending on "liberal" causes like the Department of Education) faster than any President since FDR, with the supine cooperation of the "free-enterprise Republican" Congress.

Chinese making better and cheaper toasters aren't going to destroy the Constitution. But mindlessly supporting your Emperor will.

Waitone
February 20, 2006, 10:58 PM
Here we go again. Bust Bush!

The mess we are in now is the direct result of actions by congress. The president is the executor of congressional directives. If congress did not like what he is doing, then congress can clip his wings. Ain't happened yet, and it won't happen until congress fears the voter more tha those who carry money bags. Congress is the organization that writes the law. Bush does not think he should get involved in congressional debates. Unfortunately he can't spell V-E-T-O. So between the two groups we have a train careening down the side of a mountain gathering speed all the while the ticket payers ask "***?"

Portgate has alerted the public to the fact (understood in some circles) that the ruling class does not have this country's best interests at heart in decision making. Perhaps, perhaps the taxpaying class just rolled over and opened an eye.

offthepaper
February 20, 2006, 11:06 PM
I think we reached that point back when I watched a video of Bethlehem Steel shutting down (the place from which most of the steel for many WWII battleships and tanks and aircraft came from), and the furnaces going out one by one, forever.

That was symbolic at that point, I think. We are becoming a service economy, but if the borders closed tomorrow, or if the dollar had the rug yanked out from under it, we can no longer MAKE things ourselves...the manufacturing infrastructure is GONE. Not just for war materiel, but for the daily flow of goods.
-------------------------
A dangerous path we are on indeed.
When the SHTF in WWII and we were faced with a 2 front war it was our ability to out produce the Germans and the Japanese in war materials, the quality of those materials, and the ability to mass produce the vehicle, vessel, or aircraft to deliver the materials that created a war climate that the Axis could not match. AMERICAN production was at least as important as the bravery and spirit of our soldiers who put those war materials to good use.
But we have moved to a service economy, where we service, transport, or market other countries goods.
Think back to when very housewife had to have a new Maytag, every man wanted a new RCA TV, and a new Buick was "King of the Road", all American made. Think of how strong America was then (50's 60's), both internally and around the world.
We need to turn it around somehow and make America more self sufficent and also restore it's capacity/ability to produce the goods that it will need to survive.
:fire: :fire:

Ironbarr
February 20, 2006, 11:24 PM
... It's the equivalent of living in a high-rise and deciding you don't need the stairs anymore, taking them out, and leaving only the elevator. And if the power goes out... That's a fine analogy.

Where will we find the right administration - one that will end trade with those who use our purchasing to fund their potential aggression... against us; one that will close the borders; end outsourcing and re-build our self-reliant economic base; clear raiders from the corporations and reclaim the assets; sanitize government; update infra-structure; demand educated, focused children and responsible parents; instill a new moral sense and pride in the people; drill the Alaskan wilderness while pushing for new energy sources; respect and reinforce our rights; budget and spend for the needed, not the wanted; all the while defending us from those who would be enemies - and still keep us rather content??

We'd best be finding these folks soon.

-AndyB

Merkin.Muffley
February 21, 2006, 12:50 AM
I'll say it - I like Bush. I know he's got a plan. He might not be telling us what it is - but you can bet he's got one.

cgjunk2
February 21, 2006, 12:53 AM
Er, uh, 'scuse me? London-based P&O doesn't seem to me to be a US company.

FWIW, P&O is an old-time company. Dates back to the sailing ship days. Maybe they're going broke, for all I know, as so many others have. Maybe the Dubai outfit thinks they can make a profit, I don't know.

But it ain't out-sourcing.

Art


It seems to me that the real issue is that the UAE company is actually STATE owned, it does not seem to be some sort of private enterprise (at least not beyond the surface level). The British company, according to the source article, does not appear to be owned by the UK government. If this indeed is the case, a good question to pose would be whether or not we feel comfortable with another country's actual government having ownership of strategic physical assets on our own soil.

A STATE owned company does not have to worry about profits, board members, shareholder, and the like.

A state owned company would have its own strategic needs in mind. I listened to an NPR interview with a UAE diplomat indicating that they are in this as a long term investment in their country, planning for the future, for when oil runs out, etc. (which seems odd considering reports of the ports not making any money) If we accept their reason, this would suggest that the UAE strategic need right now is investment/money. Do we feel comfortable that they won't redefine their strategic needs in the future?

I can understand the importance of free trade with enterprises of other nations. But is seems a bit short sighted to allow private US enterprises to be selling off assets to actual foreign governments proper (even if they were completely friendly and we had no doubts about them). I would think there would be a law about this somewhere?

ReadyontheRight
February 21, 2006, 12:57 AM
Non-Story if a Republican were not President.

ReadyontheRight
February 21, 2006, 01:03 AM
Think of how strong America was then (50's 60's), both internally and around the world.

Well... That had a lot to do with most of the world being bombed out, broke and rebuilding during WW2.

At one time we had strategic programs that kept so much production capability, raw materials and such domestically produced in case of a war. In the case of raw materials, we stockpiled them here in war reserve. As far as I know, we don't do that anymore.

I agree to a point, but are you advocating a federal government program to enforce domestic production of everything we might need?

IMHO, such a program would make the USA weaker...not stronger.

cgjunk2
February 21, 2006, 01:11 AM
I'll say it - I like Bush. I know he's got a plan. He might not be telling us what it is - but you can bet he's got one.

Oddly enough, I had similar feelings for the first 3 or 4 years of his presidency... I made myself believe that he had a plan, or that he knew something important that we didn't. I also believed that Bush was much more intelligent than most people would give him credit for. But slowly, I started realizing that nothing seemed to pan out. Too much "trust me" type stuff. He always seems like he knows something that we don't, but in the end...

I won't hide my personal opinion of Bush. I've had frequent personal and professional experience with people who say "trust me" in one way or other, and it usually doesn't work out how you would expect. So much so, that the outcome is almost completely predictable.

Ehh, even if he did know something really really good that we didn't know, or he had a secret plan that would "make it all better", his "approach" seems way too secretive to be healthy for our republic. IMHO of course.

wingman
February 21, 2006, 09:21 AM
That was symbolic at that point, I think. We are becoming a service economy, but if the borders closed tomorrow, or if the dollar had the rug yanked out from under it, we can no longer MAKE things ourselves...the manufacturing infrastructure is GONE. Not just for war material, but for the daily flow of goods.


But the good thing is we've made some of out population rich.:roll eyes:

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 11:08 AM
Where will we find the right administration - one that will end trade with those who use our purchasing to fund their potential aggression... against us; one that will close the borders; end outsourcing and re-build our self-reliant economic base; clear raiders from the corporations and reclaim the assets; sanitize government; update infra-structure; demand educated, focused children and responsible parents; instill a new moral sense and pride in the people; drill the Alaskan wilderness while pushing for new energy sources; respect and reinforce our rights; budget and spend for the needed, not the wanted; all the while defending us from those who would be enemies - and still keep us rather content??

Check out the recent essays of Pat Buchanan.

Bush has a plan. To advance the interests of the Carlyle Group and their vast network of corporate allies worldwide.

RealGun
February 21, 2006, 11:20 AM
Check out the recent essays of Pat Buchanan.

Bush has a plan. To advance the interests of the Carlyle Group and their vast network of corporate allies worldwide.

Any sources for that conspiracy theory? Bush must be pretty smart after all.:evil:

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 11:25 AM
That's not a conspiracy theory, that's just observation. W. clearly believes in unfettered global corporatism. I also believe in the Invisible Hand, but I don't want it around my throat of my country. We elected George W. Bush, not the ghost of Prescott Bush.

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 11:43 AM
Posted on Tue, Feb. 21, 2006

U.S. SECURITY
Carter backs Bush's stand on seaport-operations deal
Former President Jimmy Carter downplayed criticism of White House support of an Arab-owned company's purchase of a major seaport-operations firm.
BY LESLEY CLARK
lclark@MiamiHerald.com

WASHINGTON - President Bush is taking a battering from fellow Republicans, even the governors of New York and Maryland, over the administration's support for a decision that gives an Arab company control of some commercial operations at six major seaports -- including Miami-Dade's.

But he got a boost Monday from an unlikely source, frequent critic and former president Jimmy Carter, who downplayed fears that the deal poses a risk.

''The overall threat to the United States and security, I don't think it exists,'' Carter said on CNN's The Situation Room. ``I'm sure the president's done a good job with his subordinates to make sure this is not a threat.''

The show of support from the Democrat, who has not hesitated to criticize Bush, underscores the odd political lines that have emerged since news broke last week that the United States gave the thumbs-up to the $6.8 billion sale of the British firm P&O Ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates.

Both Democrats and Republicans have called on the president to scrap the deal. On Monday Republican Govs. George Pataki of New York and Robert Ehrlich of Maryland questioned the decision. And congressional outrage persisted even as the White House signaled it's unlikely to block it.

Political analysts suggested that challenging the president gives Republican lawmakers a chance to deflect Democratic criticism.

''This is a homeland security, national security issue and I think Republicans think they own this issue and they don't want to give Democrats an opening,'' said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of The Rothenberg Political Report, a Washington newsletter.

REPUBLICANS WORRIED

Republicans said they're simply worried no one was paying enough attention to security concerns.

''After Sept. 11 we can't blindly follow the president in a way that seems to create a homeland security concern,'' said Rep. Mark Foley, a Palm Beach County Republican. Foley said he's working on legislation to give Congress the authority to approve or reject all applications made through the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, the top-secret group that OK'd the transaction.

Port security officials have dismissed the congressional concerns, but Republicans suggest an administration that is usually politically attuned has sorely misread public reaction.

''I don't know if they were tone deaf, but they certainly didn't have a pulse on what people were thinking in terms of security,'' said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Miami Republican. She and Foley plan news conferences today in Miami. ``We haven't forgotten Sept. 11. I know the president hasn't either, but that has to extend to more than just speeches.''

Traveling with the president, White House spokesman Scott McClellan on Monday repeated the administration's contention that the sale was thoroughly vetted by a ''rigorous review process.'' His comments came after he was asked if Bush was ''comfortable'' with the deal after Sunday morning talk shows featured Republicans criticizing it.

The Port of Miami-Dade is taking a neutral position, stressing that DP World would only be the majority owner in one of three terminals. But Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez said Monday the matter ``raises issues.''

At Miami's port, P&O Ports owns 50 percent of the Port of Miami Terminal Operating Co., which handles about half the cargo containers at the port.

Senate hearings are already planned and Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, vowed Monday to push legislation to block the sale if President Bush doesn't act by March 2 -- the day the sale is set to close, affecting ports in Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans and New Jersey, as well as Miami.

Visiting Dubai, Undersecretary of State Karen Hughes sought to rebuff suggestions that Congress' criticism is based on anti-Arab sentiment, according to the Associated Press.

''The lawmakers are questioning about security concerns in light of the fact that a couple of the Sept. 11 hijackers did come from the United Arab Emirates,'' Hughes said, adding that the Middle Eastern nation has been ``a strong partner in the war against terror.''

PREJUDICE ALLEGED

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington group that seeks to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims, said some of the reaction smacks of prejudice.

''No one seems to be criticizing the company itself, but they're most concerned with the religion and ethnicity of its owners,'' said spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. ``It's what we have to deal with in the post-9/11 era.''

But lawmakers like Ros-Lehtinen, who is aiming to become the next chair of the House International Relations Committee, were unapologetic about their stance.

''They've been a strong ally, but what about tomorrow?'' Ros-Lehtinen said of the United Arab Emirates.

Miami Herald staff writer Steve Harrison contributed to this report from Miami.



© 2006 MiamiHerald.com and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

Camp David
February 21, 2006, 11:49 AM
Non-Story if a Republican were not President.
Exactly... the Cheney story died down so the Dems are running this up the flagpole! And what is the alternative to UAE control of the ports? You guessed it and some Dems are caught with their pants down....Halliburton! Even NY Sen. Chuck Schumer embraces Halliburton over the UAE! Wow...

For more detail on the port deal, MichelleMalkin (http://michellemalkin.com/index.htm) has the story... though I disagree with her position on this issue, she does get the background detail!

James T Thomas
February 21, 2006, 12:01 PM
I trust the innate judgement of the American people, and that is to keep control of the ports in the hands of the USA!

I do not care what former Pres. Jimmy Carter, or Pres. Bush, or any other "person in the know" has analyzed and concluded.

Who is your Congressional Representative, and Senators?
Government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Not from those who would have us as their servants; in spite of their esteem of their wisdom, leadership and inside knowledge over us masses.

shermacman
February 21, 2006, 12:04 PM
Check out the recent essays of Pat Buchanan.
Bush has a plan. To advance the interests of the Carlyle Group and their vast network of corporate allies worldwide.
Pat Buchanan? The dude who ran for POTUS with former International Worker's Party member Lenora Fulani? That Buchanan? The man who has made more of a career of the last 12 years bashing the entire Bush family?

Whadda great source for a Carlyle Group conspiracy!

Merkin.Muffley
February 21, 2006, 12:06 PM
'They've been a strong ally, but what about tomorrow?'' Ros-Lehtinen said of the United Arab Emirates.


Right.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the FBI has said the money for the strikes was transferred to the hijackers primarily through the UAE's banking system, and much of the operational planning for the attacks took place inside the UAE.

Many of the hijackers traveled to the U.S. through the UAE. Also, the hijacker who steered United Airlines flight into the World Trade Center's south tower, Marwan al-Shehhi, was born in the UAE.

After the attacks, U.S. Treasury Department officials complained about a lack of cooperation by the UAE and other Arab countries trying to track Osama bin Laden's bank accounts.


source http://www.newsradio88.com/pages/7203.php?

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 12:14 PM
Whadda great source for a Carlyle Group conspiracy!

Buchanan has good and bad points; I'll wager that his brand of nationalism is about to get new life politically.

I never used the term "conspiracy." The Carlyle Group is W.'s "family," that's all. Let's be real about this. The Carlyle Group is the poster-child for all those mysterious global "investment groups" that are comprised of poobahs with passports who bounce from government to corporate at will. These are the people who pose as "capitalists" while trading on friendships made while in high-echelon jobs. They make a mockery out of real entrepreneurship and everyday labor. Some of us can't live off "finder's fees" and corporate directorships.

foghornl
February 21, 2006, 12:17 PM
Carter backs Bush's stand on seaport-operations deal


Tells me all I need to know about this.

I am more concerned about this than I was when Slicky Britches Klintoon was so busy giving our nuclear secrets to China.

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 12:20 PM
the Cheney story died down so the Dems are running this up the flagpole!

There's no comparison. CheneyGate is a joke. PortGate is emphatically not. Americans don't like done deals made by secret committees without Congressional oversight--especially when they offer to threaten national security in such a blatant way. They don't like Presidents who jump to defend deals without offering to listen and review.

I suspect PortGate, even if Busy bites the bullet and relents, is going to be the catalytic event that sinks this Administration.

RealGun
February 21, 2006, 12:25 PM
I suspect PortGate, even if Busy bites the bullet and relents, is going to be the catalytic event that sinks this Administration.

Would you be disappointed if it wasn't?:evil:

Biker
February 21, 2006, 12:28 PM
By God longeyes, I hope you're right, but nothing seems to stick to these people.
Biker

wingman
February 21, 2006, 12:31 PM
I continue to be amazed that people find it hard to believe that most political
decisions are made from the point of money and power, there is very little
done in the name of America, freedom, mom and apple pie in this modern
world.

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 12:31 PM
No, my hope is that Bush listens to his inner voice and reforms utterly. He has a choice: two awful years leading up to '08 or the possibility of some useful and profitable moves. He can start by doing something about the southern border.

I have never deluded myself that ther Democrats offer a better alternative. Therein lies a potential national tragedy.

I take no pleasure in Bush's discomfiture. We needed to make sure that neither Gore nor Kerry got to the White House.

Manedwolf
February 21, 2006, 12:35 PM
Buchanan has good and bad points; I'll wager that his brand of nationalism is about to get new life politically.

I never used the term "conspiracy." The Carlyle Group is W.'s "family," that's all. Let's be real about this. The Carlyle Group is the poster-child for all those mysterious global "investment groups" that are comprised of poobahs with passports who bounce from government to corporate at will. These are the people who pose as "capitalists" while trading on friendships made while in high-echelon jobs. They make a mockery out of real entrepreneurship and everyday labor. Some of us can't live off "finder's fees" and corporate directorships.

+1

Entrepreneurship and hard work should be rewarded. That sort rewards only connections, political favors, mutal backscratching, and the members of already-established networks of hopelessly entanged political-corporate alliances.

Manedwolf
February 21, 2006, 12:38 PM
Would you be disappointed if it wasn't?:evil:

Only for the security of our country, which would be severely compromised.

Manedwolf
February 21, 2006, 12:42 PM
No, my hope is that Bush listens to his inner voice and reforms utterly. He has a choice: two awful years leading up to '08 or the possibility of some useful and profitable moves. He can start by doing something about the southern border.

I have never deluded myself that ther Democrats offer a better alternative. Therein lies a potential national tragedy.

I take no pleasure in Bush's discomfiture. We needed to make sure that neither Gore nor Kerry got to the White House.

My prediction is that no such thing will happen. The borders won't be secured, the ports will be sold.

Something really bad will happen. Another hit, somewhere, some city. And instead of doing something about it THEN, even, it will just become more fodder for empty rhetoric. 9/11 will be joined by another event in recycled speech after speech, there will be memorials and many "patriotic" graphics and soundbites produced. And that's it.

Until we replace these people with competent people who are more concerned with the future of the United States than their own political careers, that's it.

Merkin.Muffley
February 21, 2006, 03:49 PM
This must be important to President Bush - he just threatened to use a veto if legislation is put on his desk to block the deal. This would be his first veto.

Well...we know who the puppet is - but who is the puppeteer? We might be seeing who is pulling the strings on this administration.

From Drudge...

Bush called reports at about 2.30 aboard Air Force One to issue a very strong defense of port deal... MORE... He said he would veto any legislation to hold up deal and warned the United States was sending 'mixed signals' by going after a company from the Middle East when nothing was said when a British company was in charge... Lawmakers, he said, must 'step up and explain why a middle eastern company is held to a different standard.' Bush was very forceful when he delivered the statement... 'I don't view it as a political fight,' Bush said..

RealGun
February 21, 2006, 04:03 PM
This must be important to President Bush - he just threatened to use a veto if legislation is put on his desk to block the deal. This would be his first veto.

Well...we know who the puppet is - but who is the puppeteer? We might be seeing who is pulling the strings on this administration.

From Drudge...

Bush called reports at about 2.30 aboard Air Force One to issue a very strong defense of port deal... MORE... He said he would veto any legislation to hold up deal and warned the United States was sending 'mixed signals' by going after a company from the Middle East when nothing was said when a British company was in charge... Lawmakers, he said, must 'step up and explain why a middle eastern company is held to a different standard.' Bush was very forceful when he delivered the statement... 'I don't view it as a political fight,' Bush said..


I am sure he needs Congress to take full responsibility via a veto override for alienating UAE. Can you say "oil embargo"?

ArmedBear
February 21, 2006, 04:11 PM
Demented ex-worst-President-ever Jimmy Carter has offered his glowing endorsement of this deal. Seriously.

''The overall threat to the United States and security, I don't think it exists,'' Carter said on CNN's The Situation Room.

http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/nation/13921401.htm?source=rss&channel=miamiherald_nation

That's some scary shi'ite.

Gun Geezer
February 21, 2006, 05:10 PM
:fire: :cuss: My prediction is that no such thing will happen. The borders won't be secured, the ports will be sold.

Something really bad will happen. Another hit, somewhere, some city. And instead of doing something about it THEN, even, it will just become more fodder for empty rhetoric. 9/11 will be joined by another event in recycled speech after speech, there will be memorials and many "patriotic" graphics and soundbites produced. And that's it.

Until we replace these people with competent people who are more concerned with the future of the United States than their own political careers, that's it.

You sir, could not be more correct!

I read on Worldnetdaily that if Congress prevents the UAE terrorists from gaining control of the ports, Bush will use his first ever veto to assure terrorist control!:banghead:

BUSH HAS LOST HIS MIND. Traitorous Ratfink Bastard!

Next week, I fully expect Robertson to have issued a Fatwa explaining how God withdrew His protection from Bush who will have since had a massive stroke. Unfortunately that will leave with us with Dick in charge of the country. God help us.

Manedwolf
February 21, 2006, 05:22 PM
This must be important to President Bush - he just threatened to use a veto if legislation is put on his desk to block the deal. This would be his first veto.

Well...we know who the puppet is - but who is the puppeteer? We might be seeing who is pulling the strings on this administration.

From Drudge...

Bush called reports at about 2.30 aboard Air Force One to issue a very strong defense of port deal... MORE... He said he would veto any legislation to hold up deal and warned the United States was sending 'mixed signals' by going after a company from the Middle East when nothing was said when a British company was in charge... Lawmakers, he said, must 'step up and explain why a middle eastern company is held to a different standard.' Bush was very forceful when he delivered the statement... 'I don't view it as a political fight,' Bush said..

Oh, LET him veto this! Please!

The first EVER veto he's used...and it would be to make sure that Islamists take control of our ports. I sooooooo want to see how Ann "nuke all muslims" Coulter would deal with that, besides head-explodey. :D

Could anything else wake up more people to the fact that neocons ARE NOT CONSERVATIVES and have other agendas ($$$) than the security of the nation?

Also:
Lawmakers, he said, must 'step up and explain why a middle eastern company is held to a different standard.' Bush was very forceful when he delivered the statement... 'I don't view it as a political fight,' Bush said..

Let's see now...

- The UAE was one of only three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

- The UAE has been a repeated transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Libya...a company based there will own our ports! Yay!

- Money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE's banks....this from the FBI reports

- After 9/11, the Treasury Department reported that the UAE was not cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden's bank accounts.

...and he's gonna veto to make sure they get control of our ports! Darned good strategy, George! Next, homeland security will tell us to leave keys and shotguns on our doorsteps for the convenience of home invaders!

GTSteve03
February 21, 2006, 05:25 PM
Please, everyone calm down. The President obviously has the best interests for this country at heart, and he knows what he's doing.

Besides, you have 3 straight nights of 2-hour American Idol specials to help take your mind off this trivial matter...

:(

Merkin.Muffley
February 21, 2006, 05:27 PM
Feb. 21, 2006 - Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff raised eyebrows today by announcing that the United States would outsource all of it homeland security operations to a little-known North Korean firm called Jim Kong-Il Inc.

Coming just days after the controversial decision to allow several major U.S. ports to be run by a company based in the United Arab Emirates, the outsourcing of the nation’s homeland security functions to an obscure company based in an Axis of Evil country struck some in Washington as ill-timed at best.

But Chertoff vigorously defended the decision in a Washington press conference this afternoon, calling Jim Kong-Il Inc. the "right firm for the job," adding, “I looked into the company and it seems okay.”

When asked exactly how thoroughly he had vetted the North Korean firm, Chertoff said, “Well, I mean, I haven’t Googled it or anything but you just have to trust me on this one.”

Almost nothing is known about the North Korean company that is about to control the U.S.’s entire homeland security apparatus, nor about its highly reclusive founder, the mercurial Jim Kong-Il.

In an official statement released today, Jim Kong-Il said that his company’s first official act on behalf of the U.S. would be to collect all of the nation’s nuclear fuel rods.

“It is of utmost importance that America’s nuclear fuel rods do not fall into the wrong hands,” his statement read. “Therefore, we will collect all of those fuel rods and ship them to North Korea immediately.”

Elsewhere, Vice President Dick Dick Cheney admitted having a beer at lunch before advocating the invasion of Iraq.

Waitone
February 21, 2006, 05:47 PM
Bush got his back up because the great unwashed stood up to him. He's threatening to die on a hill not worth dying on. If he was smart and not infantile in his rage he would simply call his Buds in UAE and tell them to chill out. Too hot now for any progress. The PR nightmare he would face by vetoing any legislation would be profound. Here is a guy who can't spell the word VETO exercising his first efforts at penmanship to override something Americans feel pretty strongly about. Really stupid gameplan.

I've listened to the republican bootlickers on the radio today and I think they have completely missed the source of outrage. The thought is the decision to enable UAE to run the ports is a good economic decision and a really bad political decision. I think the issue is sliced differently. I think the issue is foreign control over our ports. Joe and Martha want to know why it is we can't find an America company to run the ports. When confronted with the fact of British control for years the concern is dismissed because the Brits are just like us except for the language thingy.

I think deep down the anger over UAE ownership is really anger of so much of the US being sold off to foreigners (not getting into whether or not globalism is a good thang). I've checked with a few genetic liberals about their view and I get the same response: why can we not find a US company interested in running the ports? What is it about business in the US that makes a business adventure unacceptable to US companies and perfectly acceptable to foreign companies. Once that question is formed, change the subject from ports to <insert industry of choice> and ask the question again. Bush may not like the implications of these questions.

CAnnoneer
February 21, 2006, 06:03 PM
Over and over again, people try to find logic and sense in the inherently illogical and senseless.

IMO, GWB is an infantile puppet "managed" by a cohort of "friends". That is all. Everything that he has done or failed to do is consistent with that simple diagnosis.

And yes, if congressmen were any better, the personal failures of our self-styled Claudius would be irrelevant, but they themselves are predominantly corrupt, senile, cowardly, and myopic.

RealGun
February 21, 2006, 07:18 PM
I think the issue is foreign control over our ports. Joe and Martha want to know why it is we can't find an America company to run the ports. When confronted with the fact of British control for years the concern is dismissed because the Brits are just like us except for the language thingy.

I think deep down the anger over UAE ownership is really anger of so much of the US being sold off to foreigners (not getting into whether or not globalism is a good thang).

I believe the outrage comes from UAE being a very much different culture and type of government than the US. They aren't officially guilty of anything else. All of these other bigoted arguments are ignoring that UAE is in good diplomatic and economic status with the US. It doesn't help that Muslims in general are not expressing any visible outrage against terrorism. I expect that the average person's reaction is something like, "Oh my God, they're Muslims".
When everyone catches their breath and gets some real information, they won't be very proud of their position in this episode, or shouldn't be.

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 07:44 PM
I think deep down the anger over UAE ownership is really anger of so much of the US being sold off to foreigners (not getting into whether or not globalism is a good thang).

The anger is about more than national security danger, yes; it's even, I believe, more than about the U.S. being sold off to foreigners. It is about a sense of betrayal and violation at the deepest level, something beyond just a rational assessment of risks and rewards. A bit of shock and awe, if you will, at suddenly discovering the true nature of someone purporting to be their leader and on whom they realize they are dependent for their survival. Bush's failure to grasp what's wrong (secretiveness again), his immediate reaction (stonewalling), compounded now by intransigence (threatened veto) suggests an arrogant rogue President who is in a state of total disconnect from the citizens who elected him.

Bush is in grave danger of Caligulizing himself before our very eyes.

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 07:52 PM
My prediction is that no such thing will happen. The borders won't be secured, the ports will be sold.

Something really bad will happen. Another hit, somewhere, some city. And instead of doing something about it THEN, even, it will just become more fodder for empty rhetoric. 9/11 will be joined by another event in recycled speech after speech, there will be memorials and many "patriotic" graphics and soundbites produced. And that's it.

If you're right--and you may be--the neo-Cons will have more to worry about than Al-Qaeda. My prediction is they will see the eruption of a homegrown revolutionary movement.

Preacherman
February 21, 2006, 08:13 PM
As I posted in this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=184614):

I don't see any problem with a Dubai company owning a British company that sub-contracts to an American entity to operate our ports. Consider:

1. Britain has at least as many Islamic radicals (including mad bombers) as Dubai, possibly more. They could have come over here working for P&O as easily as they could working for anyone else.

2. The USA still has to issue visas for anyone coming to work here. This should serve as a check on Dubai nationals just as easily as US nationals - and there are already many thousands of Dubai nationals here, studying and working.

3. We can't apply a double standard. If US companies are allowed to operate in Dubai, then Dubai companies must be allowed to operate here. It works both ways.

4. I don't see the Dubai company as being in any way eager to assist terrorists - after all, they'll be making billions of dollars from their US operations, so it's in their own best interests to make sure that their US staff are reliable, loyal and completely non-terrorist (or better yet, anti-terrorist) in outlook.

I think this is a storm in a teacup, and is being stirred up by those who "feel", rather than those who actually think about the realities of the situation.

garyk/nm
February 21, 2006, 09:02 PM
Back to Story - Help
Bush Shrugs Off Objections to Port Deal

By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer 55 minutes ago

Brushing aside objections from Republicans and Democrats alike, President Bush endorsed the takeover of shipping operations at six major U.S. seaports by a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates. He pledged to veto any bill Congress might approve to block the agreement.

The president on Tuesday defended his administration's earlier approval of the sale of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. to Dubai Ports World, despite concerns in Congress it could increase the possibility of terrorism at American ports.

The sale — expected to be finalized in early March — would put Dubai Ports in charge of major shipping operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. "If there was any chance that this transaction would jeopardize the security of the United States, it would not go forward," Bush said.

"It sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it's OK for a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of the world," Bush said.

To assuage concerns, the administration disclosed some assurances it had negotiated with Dubai Ports. It required mandatory participation in U.S. security programs to stop smuggling and detect illegal shipments of nuclear materials; roughly 33 other port companies participate in these voluntarily. The Coast Guard also said Tuesday it was nearly finished inspecting Dubai Ports' facilities in the United States.

A senior Homeland Security official, Stewart Baker, said this was the first-ever sale involving U.S. port operations to a state-owned government. "In that sense this is a new layer of controls," he said. Baker added that U.S. intelligence agencies were consulted "very early on to actually look at vulnerabilities and threats."

Bush sought to quiet a political storm that has united Republican governors and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee with liberal Democrats, including New York's two senators, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer.

Frist said Tuesday, before Bush's comments, that he would introduce legislation to put the sale on hold if the White House did not delay the takeover. He said the deal raised "serious questions regarding the safety and security of our homeland.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., asked the president for a moratorium on the sale until it could be studied further. "We must not allow the possibility of compromising our national security due to lack of review or oversight by the federal government," Hastert said.

Maryland's Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich, during a tour of Baltimore's port on Tuesday, called the deal an "overly secretive process at the federal level."

Bush took the rare step of calling reporters to his conference room on Air Force One after returning from a speech in Colorado. He also stopped to talk before television cameras after he returned to the White House.

"I can understand why some in Congress have raised questions about whether or not our country will be less secure as a result of this transaction," the president said. "But they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully."

A senior executive from Dubai Ports World pledged the company would agree to whatever security precautions the U.S. government demanded to salvage the deal. Chief operating officer Edward "Ted" H. Bilkey promised Dubai Ports "will fully cooperate in putting into place whatever is necessary to protect the terminals."

Bilkey traveled to Washington in an effort to defuse the growing controversy.

Bush said that protesting lawmakers should understand his approval of the deal was final.

"They ought to listen to what I have to say about this," the president said. "They'll look at the facts and understand the consequences of what they're going to do. But if they pass a law, I'll deal with it with a veto."

Bush, who has never vetoed a bill as president, said on the White House South Lawn: "This is a company that has played by the rules, has been cooperative with the United States, from a country that's an ally on the war on terror, and it would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through."

Lawmakers from both parties have noted that some of the Sept. 11 hijackers used the United Arab Emirates as an operational and financial base. In addition, critics contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.

They say a port operator complicit in smuggling or terrorism could manipulate manifests and other records to frustrate Homeland Security's already limited scrutiny of shipping containers and slip contraband past U.S. Customs inspectors.

Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., and Democrat Schumer said Tuesday they will introduce emergency legislation to suspend the ports deal. King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, said the government "cannot consider approving this contract until a much more thorough investigation takes place on this security matter."

Sen. Susan Collins (news, bio, voting record), R-Maine, and Rep. Jane Harman (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., said they would introduce a "joint resolution of disapproval" when they returned to Washington next week. Collins heads the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Harman is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

Bush's veto threat didn't stop local efforts to block the deal. New Jersey's governor, Jon S. Corzine, said Tuesday the state will file lawsuits in federal and state courts opposing the agreement. Corzine, a Democrat, cited a "deep, deep feeling that this is the wrong direction for our nation to take."

A company at the Port of Miami, a subsidiary of Eller & Company Inc., sued last week to block the deal in a Florida state court. It said that under the sale, it will become an "involuntary partner" with Dubai's government and it may seek more than $10 million in damages.

Frist said Congress should have veto authority over such foreign sales, which are reviewed by a secretive U.S. panel that considers security risks of foreign companies buying or investing in American industry. The panel includes representatives from the departments of Treasury, Defense, Justice, Commerce, State and Homeland Security.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld described the United Arab Emirates as a close ally. "It's a country that's been involved in the global war on terror with us," Rumsfeld said. He added that the United States and the UAE "have very close military-to-miltary relations, as well as political and economic relations."

Separately, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said port security would not be threatened. "This is not a question about port security," Gonzales said. "This is a question about port operation."

___

Associated Press writers Ben Feller, Will Lester, Terence Hunt, and Devlin Barrett in Washington, Matthew Verrinder in Newark, N.J., and Tom Stuckey in Annapolis, Md., contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
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I think my highlighted statement says it all. King Jorge will have his way no matter what. It's impeachment time, boys! Get a rope!
(oh, I voted for him, twice)

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 09:09 PM
A man who in five years vetoed NOTHING all of a sudden, when cornered, threatens a veto?

This is becoming theater of the absurd.

And there's a term in the theater that applies here. It's called "losing your audience." That's where Bush finds himself today.

Bring down the curtain. Good night and God bless.

Robert J McElwain
February 21, 2006, 10:13 PM
Does anyone know whether the Carlyle Group has any financial interest in this? As many of you probably know the Carlyle Group is the financial instrument by which the Bush family and some of their Arab buddies and others hide/launder their financial interests. The Bushes have made tons off various Middle East deals, all nicely concealed behind the Carlyle Group.

For me, this is the only explanation as to why the administration would do such a stupid thing.

If you'd like more, do a Google of Carlyle Group.

Bob

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 10:30 PM
Yes, and do the Google of "Carlyle Group" now because in another year you will be on a terrorist list for doing so.

Anyone want to take odds on who ends up benefiting from this deal when all the paper trails are followed out?

cgjunk2
February 21, 2006, 10:54 PM
As I posted in

1. Britain has at least as many Islamic radicals (including mad bombers) as Dubai, possibly more. They could have come over here working for P&O as easily as they could working for anyone else.


3. We can't apply a double standard. If US companies are allowed to operate in Dubai, then Dubai companies must be allowed to operate here. It works both ways.

I think this is a storm in a teacup, and is being stirred up by those who "feel", rather than those who actually think about the realities of the situation.



I counter your points by saying that the real issue is that the UAE company is STATE owned. It is owned by the actual government of the UAE. It is not a publically held company, it is not accountable to a board, to shareholders, or to the market. It is an arm of the UAE government.

I certainly don't object to this deal on the grounds that the UAE are Arabs, or Muslims. Frankly, this sale would still bother me if we sold our ports to the Canadian government. Wouldn't that bother anyone else? Isn't the point that we should not sell off our stuff to other governments? Does anyone care that foreign governments can have this type of control over major US infrastructure?

I don't think we would have this furor if this deal were with a publically or privately owned corporation of UAE origin. But ironically enough, I don't see anyone objecting to deal on the grounds that we should not sell US strategic infrastructure to other governments:confused: . What is doubly ironic, is that a similar situation arose a short while back when China's government wanted to buy a huge refining company here on US soil. Thankfully, China backed out if I remember correctly.

As far as the comment regarding the double standard if we don't allow the UAE to operate in the US...

One...Would the UAE government allow the US government, say the Treasury Dept, to have business control of their oil infrastructure? The Treasury Dept would still employ UAE citizens, and it would be purely a business deal, so no need to worry, right? Anyone think the UAE would buy that argument?

Secondly...I would encourage you to read over the business section of the UAE government website, http://www.uae.org.ae/business/index.htm . It is very interesting. There seem to be some fairly strong limitation on doing business in the UAE. For example, in the business section you will find that no foreigners are allowed to own the majority share of a business based in the UAE. The majority MUST be owned by a UAE national. There are also strong restrictions on buying private property if you are not a national (if I remember correctly, you simply can't buy property there), but I could not find the details of this in the the websites latest iteration (might still be there, but I haven't looked that hard). While you'rer there, take a look at the social section (don't get caught walking around at night, especially if you are female).

From these basic details, it looks like the UAE is also worried about the influence of foreigners on their land. I don't blame them, since the majority of their population are foreign workers. Considering their own concerns, I am sure the UAE are in a position to completely understand the reservations of the US people (and most if its government). While I say this somewhat sarcastically, the UAE rulers probably really do understand our reservations, barring any "evil plans" for US domination of course. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if the UAE rulers actually convince Bush to back down from his angry, chest thumping, "ask me anymore questions and I'll stomp my feet" VETO talk.

longeyes
February 21, 2006, 10:57 PM
Bush said that protesting lawmakers should understand his approval of the deal was final.

"They ought to listen to what I have to say about this," the president said. "They'll look at the facts and understand the consequences of what they're going to do. But if they pass a law, I'll deal with it with a veto."

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!!!

DRZinn
February 22, 2006, 12:41 AM
All those who believe the BS floating around that we're turning over port security raise your hands.....

Thought so. You're wrong.

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