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United Arab Emirates firm to operate six major U.S. ports

Discussion in 'Legal' started by longeyes, Feb 13, 2006.

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  1. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    *United Arab Emirates firm to operate six major U.S. ports *

    SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM

    Monday, February 13, 2006

    WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has approved a deal in which a United Arab Emirates company would operate six major ports in the United States.

    A U.S. government panel has determined that the UAE firm, DP World, would not endanger national security.

    DP World, based in Dubai, has offered $6.8 billion for the purchase of a British firm that operates the ports of Baltimore, Miami, New York, New Jersey, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

    DP World intends to acquire the London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation [P&O] Co. The sale was expected to be approved on Monday.

    "The P&O directors have withdrawn their recommendation of the offer by PSA, which was announced on Jan. 26, 2006, and unanimously recommend that P&O Stockholders vote in favor of the revised proposals at the meetings, which are now scheduled to take place on Feb. 13," DP World said in a statement.

    The company said the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States "thoroughly reviewed the potential transaction and concluded they had no objection." The committee includes representatives from the departments of Treasury, Defense, Justice, Commerce, State and Homeland Security.

    The United Arab Emirates has been described as a leading military ally of the United States. In 2005, the UAE acquired the first 10 of 80 F-16E/F Block 60 multi-role fighters in a $6.4 billion purchase.

    But officials said the UAE has not fully responded to repeated appeals from the Treasury Department to halt money-laundering activities exploited by Al Qaida and aligned groups. They said that for years Dubai served as a base for Al Qaida operatives, including those who destroyed the World Trade Center and a Pentagon wing in 2001.

    "America's busiest ports are vital to our economy and to the international economy, and that is why they remain top terrorist targets," Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said. "Just as we would not outsource military operations or law enforcement duties, we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties."

    NATIONAL SECURITY IS GUN- AND RKBA-RELATED.
     
  2. grampster
    • Contributing Member

    grampster Member

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    Why don't we raise taxes and use the money to build a Wahabbist Mosque next to the Capitol and ask Osama if he'd like to be Immam?
     
  3. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    On the proverbial "bright side," we're not going to have to worry about the barbarians at the gates any more.
     
  4. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    Dubai is one of the freest places in the world.

    And Dubai is less connected to the Bin Ladens than Bush is. I don't believe that there's such a thing as "port security"; it's easier just to send electronic money and build weapons here anyway. But I'm sure that a Dubai company is more likely to try to keep free trade going than a lot of factions in the US.
     
  5. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    foxes guarding henhouses

    Riiiiiight.

    Nothing to see here, move on, nothing to see here.

    "Free trade" and national security are uneasy bedfellows.
     
  6. LAK

    LAK Member

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  7. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    I've been to Dubai.

    Several times. Not as repressive as some countries, but also not as relaxed (westernized) as maybe Bahrain. Last time I was there (1997) it was still the third rate sand pit it was the first time I was there. Suddenly, they're building resort complexes and getting very involved in international trade. Absolutely no way anything could go wrong here.:uhoh:
     
  8. WT

    WT Member

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    Let me get this straight.

    We've OUTSOURCED the protection of ammunition ships and tankers in New York Harbor to the Arabs.

    Okay, I understand.
     
  9. Biker

    Biker Member

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    Actually, little that happens in the good ol' U.S. of A. surprises me nowadays.
    Biker
     
  10. StopTheGrays

    StopTheGrays Member

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    Could be worse, at least it is not being outsourced to the Chinese.
     
  11. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    If you buy controlling interest in a corporation in order to make money, are you going to be concerned with the local employees at any one facility? or is your interest in profit?

    Local unions will still be controlling the makeup of the local workforce in US ports.

    Art
     
  12. RealGun

    RealGun Member

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    Says you, maybe. Downstream stereotyping and general nastiness re Arabs is not.

    If gun owners, particularly of the CCW variety, are generally a defensive if not testy lot when it comes to government and the law, it doesn't mean their predisposition to complain and criticize is on topic.
     
  13. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    Why am I not surprised?
     
  14. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Not sure I get your point.

    My view is that this plan is, given the time and circumstances, at best impolitic, at worst a monumental act of self-betrayal.

    I don't watch much tv--is anyone in the "mainstream" covering this? I read it on the Internet and then heard Michael Savage fulminating about it.
     
  15. feedthehogs

    feedthehogs Member

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    Bring back the mob................
     
  16. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Frank Gaffney opines

    Port of entry

    Frank Gaffney
    February 13, 2006


    How would you feel if, in the aftermath of 9/11, the U.S. government had decided to contract out airport security to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country where most of the operational planning and financing of the attacks occurred? My guess is you, like most Americans, would think it a lunatic idea, one that could clear the way for still more terror in this country. You probably would want to know who on earth approved such a plan — and be determined to prevent it from happening.

    Of course, no such thing occurred after September 11, 2001. In fact, the job of keeping our planes and the flying public secure was deemed to be so important that the government itself took it over from private contractors seen as insufficiently rigorous in executing that responsibility.

    Now, however, four-and-a-half years later, a secretive government committee has decided to turn over the management of six of the Nation's most important ports — in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Miami, Baltimore and New Orleans — to Dubai Ports World following the UAE company's purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which previously had the contract.

    This is not the first time this interagency panel — called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) — has made an astounding call about the transfer of control of strategically sensitive U.S. assets to questionable purchasers. In fact, as of last summer, CFIUS had, since its creation in 1988, formally rejected only one of 1,530 transactions submitted for its review.

    Such a record is hardly surprising given that the committee is chaired by the Treasury Department, whose institutional responsibilities include promoting foreign investment in the United States. Treasury has rarely seen a foreign purchase of American assets that it did not like. And this bias on the part of the chairman of CFIUS has consistently skewed the results of the panel's deliberations in favor of approving deals, even those opposed by other, more national security-minded departments.

    Thanks to the secrecy with which CFIUS operates, it is not clear at this writing whether any such objection was heard with respect to the idea of contracting out management of six of our country's most important ports to a UAE company. There would certainly appear to be a number of grounds for rejecting this initiative, however:

    * America's seaports have long been recognized by homeland security experts as among our most vulnerable targets. Huge quantities of cargo move through them every day, much of it of uncertain character and provenance, nearly all of it inadequately monitored. Matters can only be made worse by port managers who might conspire to bring in dangerous containers, or simply look the other way when they arrive.

    * Entrusting information about key U.S. ports — including, presumably, government-approved plans for securing them, to say nothing of the responsibility for controlling physical access to these facilities, to a country known to have been penetrated by terrorists is not just irresponsible. It is recklessly so.

    * At the risk of being politically incorrect, the proposed new management will also complicate the job of assuring that the personnel working in these ports pose no threat to their operations — or to the rest of us. To the extent that we must remain particularly vigilant about young male Arab nationals as potential terrorists, it makes no sense to provide legitimate grounds for such individuals to be in and around some of this country's most important strategic assets.

    * Of particular concern must be the implications for energy security as a very large proportion of the Nation's oil imports come through the Atlantic and Gulf State ports that the UAE company hopes to take over. For example, Philadelphia alone handles some 85% of the oil coming into the East Coast; New Orleans is responsible for one-seventh of all of our imported energy.

    Given such considerations, the question occurs: How could even a stacked deck like the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States find it possible to approve the Dubai Ports World's transaction?

    Could it have been influenced by the fact that a former senior official of the UAE company, David Sanborn, was recently named the new administrator of the Transportation Department's Maritime Administration? Until recently, Sanborn was DP World's director of operations for Europe and Latin America.

    Or is it because the U.S. government views — and is determined to portray — the United Arab Emirates as a vital ally in this war for the Free World? A similar determination has long caused Washington to treat Saudi Arabia as a valued friend, even as the Saudis continue playing a double game whereby they work simultaneously to repress terrorism at home and abet it abroad.

    Whatever the explanation, the Nation can simply no longer afford to have the disposition of strategic assets — including those that have a military or homeland security dimension — determined by a Treasury-dominated panel whose deliberations and decisions are made in secret without congressional oversight.

    Congress should see to it that the United Arab Emirates is not entrusted with the operation of any American ports, and that the Treasury Department is stripped of the lead role in evaluating such dubious foreign investments in the United States.

    Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., is President of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for the Washington Times.

    © Copyright 2006 by Frank Gaffney
    http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/gaffney/060213
     
  17. PinnedAndRecessed

    PinnedAndRecessed member

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    That's my understanding. Is it not the case that they are purchasing a British company that operates "within" the ports? Port security is still controlled by the Coast Guard and local police agencies.
     
  18. HerrWolfe

    HerrWolfe Member

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    Oh, and the clincher is that the operations will be under their law, so the US Constitution will not apply! Oh, wait, I'm having a nightmare. Did someone say that UAE will protect our ports?
    Guess the next step is to change laws on foreign born not being President.
     
  19. Headless Thompson Gunner

    Headless Thompson Gunner Member

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    Twenty years ago the sky was falling because everyone "knew" the Japanese would own this country by the turn of the century. These days the sky is falling because "all" of the "good" jobs are going to India and/or China.

    Now I'm supposed to believe the sky is falling because one foreign company was bought out by another, or because those evil A-rabs will be running the daily admin chores at a few shipping ports. :confused:

    Sorry, I don't buy into the Chicken Little thing here. There are far more worthwhile things to lose sleep over.

    If anything, the fact that foreign companies are anxious to invest in American infrastructure is a very good omen for us. The time to worry is when they start selling off their American investments, not vice versa. It's unfortunate that middle eastern foreigners have more faith in the future of the United States than many Americans (especially the leftists) seem to have. :(
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2006
  20. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Sometimes the sky IS falling. Ask the Pompeians.

    This is an Administration that is having a love affair with The Invisible Hand. There's a word for that, but I won't use it for fear of offending Art's Grandma. There are things a nation doesn't cede control of it if it has any common sense and self-respect...or primary allegiance to its own people. Why does it seem as if our leadership--and I don't mean just the GOP--is on a planet of its own?
     
  21. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    The barbarians OWN the gates. In the mean time, the Chicoms have all but completed their moves to control the Panama Canal.
     
  22. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    The barbarians own the gates, the gatekeepers, make the gates, and have stolen the gates' technology and design plans.

    And judging from the response to this thread from the THR faithful so far, no one's too concerned.
     
  23. Biker

    Biker Member

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    To be perfectly honest, longeyes, I'm very concerned. However, I've come to the conclusion that we are indeed powerless to do anything about this slow motion trainwreck. Sure, I fax, write, vote, all that good stuff, but it all has the impact of a butterfly fart in a hurricane. The Pols just don't care. They have the power, along with big corps, and the power will not be relinquished.
    I believe that my country is lost. I'll keep swingin' as long as I breath, but it's a losing battle.
    Biker
     
  24. longeyes

    longeyes member

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    Biker, we're almost always on the same page. I understand. I share your frustration. Slow-motion trainwreck indeed. So much Out There is ganging up on us, it seems. Can we stop it? With the right leadership we could; there are still enough Americans with their wits about them and some spine to turn things around. At least I like to think there are. But I admit that I fear that too many of our fellow countrymen are more concerned about whether Tom and Katie break up than whether we are handing over control of our ports based on cronyism or commerical expediency. You at least live up in Idaho so you'll no doubt be able to hang on longer if and when the stuff does hit the fan.
     
  25. Waitone

    Waitone Member

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    Clinton tried to sell Long Beach to the communist Chinese and only a revolt by Joe and Martha Sixpack stopped it.

    The same cast of characters tried the same thing here. It too can be stopped. I've contacted two of three congressional vermin complaining.

    I'd like to know about the statutory authority of the group making the decision. I'd also like to know about congressional oversight. Both issues I've brought up with Senator Graham and Rep. Wilson.
     
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