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United States Gives Control Ports to Arab Company Dubai Ports


Guest Cliff
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The Bush administration has sinked to an all time low. After years of listening how Americans should be prepared with Homeland Security, we now have to prepare for an Arab country to control sea ports on

our soil.

 

ARE YOU CRAZY??????

 

I hope every victim from 911 pickets the White House for allowing this. I used to think Michael Moore was

a whack job, now I think it is our President.

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I am on a one man campaign to stop selling our ports. If you care about our security please post

information and spread the word against this.

 

June 29, 2000-September 18, 2000: Hijackers Receive $100,000 in Funding from United Arab Emirates Location

 

Someone using the aliases “Isam Mansour,” “Mustafa Ahmed al-Hisawi,” “Mr. Ali,” and “Hani (Fawaz Trdng)” sends a total of $109,910 to the 9/11 hijackers in a series of transfers between these dates. [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02; Financial Times, 11/30/01; MSNBC, 12/11/01; New York Times, 12/10/01; Newsweek, 12/2/01] The money is sent from Sharjah, an emirate in the United Arab Emirates that is allegedly a center for al-Qaeda's illegal financial dealings. The identity of this moneyman “Mustafa Ahmed al-Hisawi” is in dispute. It has been claimed that the name “Mustafa Ahmed” is an alias used by Saeed Sheikh, a known ISI and al-Qaeda agent who sends the hijackers money in August 2001. [CNN, 10/6/01] India claims that Pakistani ISI Director Mahmood orders Saeed to send the hijackers the money at this time. [Daily Excelsior, 10/18/01; Frontline, 10/6/01] French author Bernard-Henri Levy claims to have evidence from sources inside both Indian and US governments of phone calls between Sheikh and Mahmood during this same time period, and he sees a connection between the timing of the calls and the money transfers (see Summer 2000). [Who Killed Daniel Pearl? by Bernard-Henri Levy, pp 320-324] FBI Director Mueller's theory is that this money is sent by “Ali Abdul Aziz Ali.” However, of the four aliases used in the different transactions, Mueller connects this man only to three, and not to the alias “Mustafa Ahmed al-Hisawi.” [Associated Press, 9/26/02; New York Times, 12/10/01; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02] It appears that most of the money is sent to an account shared by Marwan Alshehhi and Mohamed Atta, who would obtain money orders and distribute the money to the other hijackers. [CNN, 10/1/01; 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02; MSNBC, 12/11/01] The New York Times later suggests that the amount passed from “Mustafa Ahmed” to the Florida bank accounts right up until the day before the attack is around $325,000. The rest of the $500,000-$600,000 they receive for US expenses comes from another, still unknown source. [New York Times, 7/10/02]

 

See

 

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/entity....=1521846767-531

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

 

– The UAE has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia.

 

– According to the FBI, money was transferred to the 9/11 hijackers through the UAE banking system.

 

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

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Guest BlingBling

Cliff I saw your post and I will try ot help out. Americans are starting to figure out that the Bush administration has stronger allegiance to the global elite than to the American public. Unfortunately, this select club of wealthy individuals contains one important and disgraced member: Osama bin Laden. The further empowerment of this club weakens our security and our national economic interests.

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Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) revealed that the Bush administration's new budget provides no funds for a project she sponsored to track cargo coming through American ports.

 

Here is what she wrote:

 

Our nation’s economy relies on an open and efficient trading system built around cargo containers. This container trading system helps the American people lower the costs of trade and create jobs. But the system was built for efficiency, not security. It was designed for a world before September 11th.

 

The GreenLane, comprised of supply chain participants who voluntarily meet the highest level of security, allows our security services to better identify and respond to potential threats and provides real incentives to importers to enhance their supply chain security measures.

 

Greenlane Maritime Cargo Security Act

(Murray-Collins Bill - S.2008)

 

http://murray.senate.gov/greenlane/

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While airports, first responders and research and development programs receive most of the federal attention and funding for security and terrorism prevention, U.S. seaports – which annually handle more than $2 trillion in freight, provide jobs for nearly 5 million people and serve 8 million cruise ship passengers – are largely under-funded. As a result, seaports often must sacrifice vital port development and environmental improvement resources to ensure they are protected against increasingly sophisticated criminal and terrorist threats.

 

Millions of cargo containers enter the U.S. every year. But currently, only about five percent of these containers are ever screened to determine their contents. The Bush administration has not provided enough personnel or equipment to ensure that these containers are free of weapons of mass destruction.

 

Write your Congressman now!!!!

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Guest BlingBling

At issue is the purchase last week of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation, by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the UAE.

 

DP World (an abbreviation of Dubai Ports World) is a company owned by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In 2006, it agreed to purchase the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company of the United Kingdom, which was then the fourth ports operator in the world, for £3.3 billion ($5.7 billion). P&O was one of the most famous names in British business, having been the largest shipping operator in the world at one time.

 

DP Terminals was founded in 1999 and DP World was created by a merger between the Dubai Ports Authority (DPA) and an international business, DPI Terminals.

 

Peninsular and Oriental runs major commercial operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

 

Here is a link to Dubai Ports

 

http://www.dpiterminals.com/

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Guest U.S. Senator Rick Santorum

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today sent a letter to President Bush concerning Dubai Ports World’s pending acquisition of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O). P&O currently provides port services at six major eastern ports, including Philadelphia.

 

Senator Santorum's letter states, “I am asking that your Administration do what the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) did not do, prevent this sale…fundamental mistakes were made that permitted this proposed acquisition in the post-9/11 world to be approved.”

 

“By permitting the performance of port services by an entity with a checkered past in combating radical Islamic extremism and corruption, the U.S. is in essence outsourcing its vital port functions and security services.”

 

“Given the importance of this pending acquisition, I urge that you move expeditiously to intervene and use whatever powers might be at your disposal to halt the transaction.”

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Congressman Mark Foley:

 

"After the hearing, Foley said, "Six of our largest commercial ports are being handed over to a country that is seeking to be Iran's free trade partner and has been linked to the funding and planning of 9/11. If our ports are the most vulnerable targets for terrorism and if we are at war, as the President says, we should be overly critical of handing over management of our ports to any foreign countries, post 9/11. Instead, this was done in the dead of night."

 

Everyone please spread the word and contact

 

Ms. Gay Hartwell Sills

Staff Chair

Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ("CFIUS")

Office of International Investment

Department of Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Room 4201 NY

Washington, DC 20220

 

Phone: (202) 622-9066

Also: (202) 622-1860

 

E-Mail: gay.sills@do.treas.gov

 

CFIUS. 12 members sit on that committee, chaired by the Treasury Secretary (John Snow); are the ones who worked in secret on this deal. Now their secret is out.

 

You can thank the following people:

 

The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Department of Homeland Security, the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Commerce, the Attorney General, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. The Committee is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury.

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Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said, "Handing the keys to U.S. strategic ports to a regime that recognized the Taliban is not a sound next step in our war against terror."

 

I am tired, so I am going to bed. Please President Bush think what you have done....

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We would never hand over control of our airports to foreign hands. In what world is it acceptable to turn over our ports, which Homeland Security and the Coast Guard still don't have a firm grasp of, to any foreign government. It doesn't matter if it is the UAE or any other government, it is wrong. The fact that Bush says he will VETO it if the transfer is stopped by Congress just further proves that he an irrational power monger.

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Here is a statement from the President about this issue.

 

I want to address this issue of a company out of the UAE purchasing the right to manage some ports in the United States from a British company. First of all, this is a private transaction. But it -- according to law, the government is required to make sure this transaction does not, in any way, jeopardize the security of the country. And so people responsible in our government have reviewed this transaction.

 

The transaction should go forward, in my judgment. If there was any chance that this transaction would jeopardize the security of the United States, it would not go forward. The company has been cooperative with the United States government. The company will not manage port security. The security of our ports will be -- continue to be managed by the Coast Guard and Customs. The company is from a country that has been cooperative in the war on terror, been an ally in the war on terror. The company operates ports in different countries around the world, ports from which cargo has been sent to the United States on a regular basis.

 

I think it sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it's okay 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 can't manage the port.

 

And so, look, 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. But they need to know that our government has looked at this issue and looked at it carefully. Again, I repeat, if there was any question as to whether or not this country would be less safe as a result of the transaction, it wouldn't go forward. But I also want to repeat something again, and that is, this is a company that has played by the rules, that has been cooperative with the United States, a country that's an ally in the war on terror, and it would send a terrible signal to friends and allies not to let this transaction go through

 

Read the National Strategy for Maritime Security

 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/maritime-security.html

 

Roundtable Interview of the President by the Press Pool

Aboard Air Force One

En route Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland

 

Q Mr. President, leaders in Congress, including Senator Frist, have said that they'll take action to stop the port control shift if you don't reverse course on it. You've expressed your thoughts here, but what do you say to those in Congress who plan to take legislative action?

 

THE PRESIDENT: They ought to listen to what I have to say about this. They ought to 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.

Edited by Luke_Wilbur
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Congressman Mark Foley:

 

"After the hearing, Foley said, "Six of our largest commercial ports are being handed over to a country that is seeking to be Iran's free trade partner and has been linked to the funding and planning of 9/11. If our ports are the most vulnerable targets for terrorism and if we are at war, as the President says, we should be overly critical of handing over management of our ports to any foreign countries, post 9/11. Instead, this was done in the dead of night."

 

Everyone please spread the word and contact

 

Ms. Gay Hartwell Sills

Staff Chair

Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ("CFIUS")

Office of International Investment

Department of Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Room 4201 NY

Washington, DC 20220

 

Phone: (202) 622-9066

Also: (202) 622-1860

 

E-Mail: gay.sills@do.treas.gov

 

CFIUS. 12 members sit on that committee, chaired by the Treasury Secretary (John Snow); are the ones who worked in secret on this deal. Now their secret is out.

 

You can thank the following people:

 

The Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, the Department of Homeland Security, the Secretaries of State, Defense, and Commerce, the Attorney General, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Trade Representative, and the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. The Committee is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury.

 

Let's guess here folks. Could it be 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

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Thanks for your posts guys. Here is some information I found.

 

David Sanborn has a long history of service in the commercial maritime industry. Mr. Sanborn, presently Director of Operations for Europe and Latin America at DP World, has served as Vice President for New Operations, American President Lines and as Director for Operations, Sea-Land Service, Inc. Mr. Sanborn, a retired Lieutenant Junior Grade of the United States Naval Reserve, received his bachelor's degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Assuming Senate confirmation, Mr. Sanborn will succeed former Maritime Administrator Captain William Schubert who resigned in January of 2005. Deputy Administrator John Jamian has served as Acting Administrator in the interim time period.

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One is Treasury Secretary John Snow, whose department heads the federal panel that signed off on the $6.8 billion sale of an English company to government-owned Dubai Ports World - giving it control of Manhattan's cruise ship terminal and Newark's container port. Snow was chairman of the CSX rail firm that sold its own international port operations to DP World for $1.15 billion in 2004, the year after Snow left for President Bush's cabinet.

 

This is all about the money. CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN AND TELL THEM TO STOP THE DUBAI PORT DEAL

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Here is a DP World press release on Dave Sanborn

 

**************************************************************

 

Global ports operator DP World today welcomed news that one of its senior executives, Dave Sanborn, has been nominated by US President George W. Bush to serve as Maritime Administrator a key transportation appointment reporting directly to Norman Mineta the Secretary of Transportation and Cabinet Member.

 

The White House has issued a statement from Washington DC announcing the nomination. The confirmation process will begin in February.

 

Mr Sanborn currently holds the position of Director of Operations for Europe and Latin America for the Dubai-based company

 

Mohammed Sharaf, CEO, DP World said:

“While we are sorry to lose such an experienced and capable executive, it is exactly those qualities that will make Dave an effective administrator for MarAd. We are proud of Dave’s selection and pleased that the Bush Administration found such a capable executive. We wish him all the best in his new role.”

 

Ted Bilkey, Chief Operating Officer, DP World said:

“Dave’s decades of experience in markets around the world, together with his passion for the industry and commitment to its development, will allow him to make a positive contribution to the work of the Maritime Administration. We wish him well for the future.”

 

Mr Sanborn, a graduate of The United States Merchant Maritime Academy, joined DP World in 2005. He previously held senior roles with shipping lines CMA-CGM (Americas), APL Ltd and Sea-Land and has been based, besides the US, in Brazil, Europe, Hong Kong and Dubai during his career. He has also served in the US Naval Reserve.

 

Mr Sanborn is due to take up his new role based in Washington DC later in 2006.

 

 

-- ENDS --

 

For further information please contact:

 

Bell Pottinger Communications

 

Dubai:

Tom Mollo

+9714 367 2256 +9715 0550 4203

tmollo@bell-pottinger.co.uk

 

London:

Dan de Belder

+44 207 861 3232

ddebelder@bell-pottinger.co.uk

 

Notes for the editor:

 

DP World is a leading global port operator with a portfolio of operations in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. The company has 22 container terminals in 15 countries.

 

DP World is the result of the integration of Dubai Ports Authority (“DPA”) and DPI Terminals (“DPI”) in September 2005. This new entity continues the tremendous success of the DPA and DPI businesses, which have been at the forefront of Dubai's extraordinary transformation into one of the world's leading trade and commerce hubs.

 

DP World manages the commercial and operational aspects of the port network, formerly developed and managed by DPA and DPI.

 

In 2005, the terminals operated by DP World handled an estimated 13 million TEU which include ports on five continents from the Americas to Asia.

 

DP World's unique cross-sector expertise offers solutions in all aspects of port operations, ultimately driving efficiency and financial returns for port users. DP World will continue to provide the same high level of service that customers have come to expect. DP World continues to provide a superior level of service to shipping lines at its flagship domestic operations of Port Rashid and Jebel Ali which has been voted “Best Seaport in the Middle East” for 10 consecutive years. Dubai is ranked as the 10th largest port operation in the world and DP World is the 7th largest global operator.

 

There are a number of significant projects in the pipeline that will strengthen the DP World network, including developments in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In February 2005 an agreement with the Cochin Port Trust (CoPT) was signed to construct, develop and operate an international container transshipment terminal at Vallarpadam, Kochi, India. It is the largest single operator container terminal currently planned in India and the first in the country to operate in a special economic zone. The new terminal will make Kochi a key centre in the shipping world reducing India’s dependence on foreign ports to handle transshipment.

 

One cornerstone project, which underlines DP World’s position as a major player in Asia, is the development of Pusan Newport, South Korea. DP World has a 39.55% interest in and management contract for this 9-berth facility, which has a capacity of 5.5 million TEU. The first phase of this development was opened in January 2006.

 

In March 2005, DP World was awarded a 30 year concession to develop and operate the container terminal at the Port of Fujairah, in the UAE. This was followed in July 2005 by the awarding of a management contract for Mina Zayed Port, Abu Dhabi. These concessions will enable DP World to streamline operations at the major container facilities of the UAE, and further increase the choices available to its customers. In June 2005 DP World was short listed as preferred bidder to operate the container terminal at the Port of Aden.

 

In November 2005 DP World also announced agreements to develop new container terminals at Yarimca, Turkey and Qingdao, China.

 

On 29 November 2005, DP World announced the terms of a recommended cash offer to acquire all of the issued and to be issued Deferred Stock of the P&O Group. When completed, this deal will make DP World a top three global port operator.

 

DP World also has interests in logistics businesses in Hong Kong and China, notably ATL, the market leading logistics operator based at Kwai Chung, Hong Kong.

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Guest BlingBling

The funny thing about this is that Karl Rove said last month that Republicans have a post 9/11 view of the world and that Democrats have a pre- 911 view. Mr. Rove might have to extend and revise those remarks. Dividing us that way isn't going to work anymore.

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Here is what Republican Representative Peter King, the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee has to say about the deal.

 

"I simply don't believe that the ports of the United States should be operated in the hands of any foreign government. Dubai [a part of the United Arab Emirates] just happens to have a particularly bad history," said Mr. King.

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Here is Feb. 22, 2006 White House Press Briefing by Scott McClellan about the port decision.

 

*************************************************************

 

Q Scott, you said this morning that the President wasn't made aware of the ports decision until the last several days, until after the decision had been made. Does the President wish that he'd been brought into the deliberations sooner, that he knew about it before it became a big political controversy?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Let me mention a couple of things. First of all, there is a congressionally mandated review process that is put in place for transactions like this. It is a national security review process. It's called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States -- the CFIUS process -- that oversees such transactions. And you have some 12 departments and agencies that are involved and thoroughly reviewing such transactions and closely scrutinizing such transactions to make sure that it meets all national security concerns, to make sure that there is no national security threat.

 

So this was a transaction that was closely scrutinized by the experts -- by the counterterrorism experts, by the intelligence community, and those who are responsible for protecting the American people. No one in those departments objected to this transaction going forward.

 

Now, we have seen some concerns expressed by some members of Congress and others, and that's understandable, given that they have seen some coverage that has seemed to suggest that this company, an Arab company, would be in control of our ports. And that is a false impression. That's why it's important that we continue to talk with members and others about the facts, and that they understand the safeguards that are in place, and they understand how closely scrutinized this was. And that's what we will -- that's what we will continue to do.

 

I mean, in hindsight, when you look at this and the coverage that it's received and the false impression that it has left with some, we probably should have briefed members of Congress about it sooner. And we are talking with members of Congress about it. There were some briefings last week; I know there are some additional briefings occurring today and there will be some additional briefings in the days going forward, so that they can have a full understanding of the facts, because when you look at the facts, we believe it should be clear to people that all the national security issues were addressed during this review process that was mandated by Congress. That is our top concern, the safety and security of the American people. And that's why it goes through a process like this.

 

Q But Scott, does the President think that he should have learned about it sooner in the process?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, one thing that the President did, Terry, one thing the President did -- and even after all this press coverage of this transaction -- was go back to every Cabinet member whose department is involved in this process and ask them, are you comfortable with this transaction going forward? And each and every one expressed that they were comfortable with this transaction going forward. We are confident in the congressional process that was put in place, because it looks at all these security issues relating to a transaction like this.

 

Last year -- I think in any given year, there's some 50 to 300 transactions that go through this national security review process. And this process is designed with one thing in mind: to make sure that there are no national security concerns. Last year, there were some 65 transactions that went through this process. This was a matter that was reported in the press going back to, I think, late October. The financial press was covering this possible transaction. And despite the fact that it's been covered in the press and that there are some 65 transactions that go through this process every year, we feel like Congress probably should have been briefed on this matter sooner, particularly in light of some of the false impressions that have been left in the minds of members of Congress.

 

Q Scott, you talk about false impressions and that the coverage, the media coverage somehow drove that. The reality is, you had members of Congress -- like Peter King of New York and others -- who are familiar with the process, who knew about this, who didn't necessarily sound misinformed, who, nevertheless, still object to the deal. So was it a case of leaving a false impression, or the fact that you just have people who are opposed to this?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think it could be both. But clearly there are some that have been left with a false impression, because you have some people that have gone out there and said that the Arab company would be in control of our ports and be in control of security of our ports. That's not the case. This is not about control of our ports. This not about the security of our ports. And let me be very clear: One thing we will never do is outsource to anyone the control and security of our ports, whether that's Dubai or any other entity that operates terminals at our ports.

 

And let's put this in a different perspective. If this transaction were blocked, this would not change port security one iota. The Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Patrol remain in charge of our security. The Coast Guard remains in charge of physical security. The Customs and Border Patrol remains in charge of cargo security. And there are a number of safeguards and security measures that we have put in place to make sure that cargo is screened before it reaches our shores.

 

Q Let me just follow on this point. There's bipartisan consensus that monitoring the ports, the seaports, is very difficult, and it's a vulnerable area of our homeland security strategy. Karl Rove said, memorably, recently, that Democrats have a pre-9/11 view of the world; Republicans and this President have a post-9/11 view of the world. So a lot of people wonder on both sides of the aisle, how is it the President could allow a sale like this to go through with country that has clear ties to terrorism?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: The President doesn't view it as a political issue. The President views it as the right principle and the right policy. We should not be holding a country from the Middle East or a company from the Middle East to a different standard from a company from Great Britain. And the President believes very strongly that all these issues were addressed during the review process. That's why he checked with his Cabinet Secretaries -- all the national security issues. We shouldn't -- so it's a matter of principle. It's a principled position that the President is taking.

 

We also have to take into account the broader foreign policy implications something like this could have. The United Arab Emirates is a strong ally and partner in the global war on terrorism. General Pace, just yesterday, talked about how the UAE is providing superb military-to-military cooperation, and how they are a very solid partner in the global war on terrorism. They provide access to their ports for our aircraft carrier, they provide access to our Air Force planes over their airspace and at their airports. The UAE is someone we have worked very closely with to crack down on terrorist financing. They work very closely with us in sharing important intelligence. And so I think you have to also look at it in that context. But the principle --

 

Q But if we don't go through on this and they could retaliate, that relationship would be harmed --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: I wouldn't describe it that way. I mean, first of all, this is about a principle. And the principle is that we shouldn't be holding a Middle Eastern company to a different standard than a British company. They went through a very thorough review process before this transaction was allowed to proceed forward. And let me also mention that when it comes to Dubai Ports, there are security safeguards in the agreement that they signed with us. They committed to enforcing security standards under the Container Security Initiative, and under the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism.

 

Now, let me mention what those are. The Container Security Initiative allows for the Customs and Border Patrol to inspect 100 percent of all high-risk containers at foreign ports before they are loaded onto vessels and headed into the United States. The Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism is a public/private partnership with some 7,000 companies, that do regular business with the United States. And what they must do is increase their security to prevent terrorists from compromising their shipments. That's not only the company that's shipping this cargo, but the company that is providing the services, as well.

 

And I would also point out that Dubai Ports was the first Middle Eastern entity to join the Container Security Initiative. So the Customs and Border Patrol work very closely with Dubai customs to screen containers that are coming to the United States. And this is a company that operates in many countries around the world. It's a company that we are very familiar with.

 

Q Scott, one more about the review process; then I want to ask you about lessons learned. Out of the 65 or so similar transactions that were reviewed last year, how often is one turned down?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you can probably direct that to the Treasury since they're the chair of that process at this time. And --

 

Q -- not very often --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I think it's not often, but there are some that are denied. And I think you should direct that to the Treasury Department. They can probably provide you additional information on that.

 

Q A follow-up on the lessons learned. What is the -- how effective can a review be when it's conducted -- of the administration -- when it's conducted by somebody who is a member of the administration?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: You'll see how thorough it is tomorrow. It is a very comprehensive review. Every Cabinet department and agency was involved in this review. Everybody had a part in this. And what we want to do is take a close look at what worked and what didn't work, and then apply those lessons to the future. The number one priority for this President is the safety and security of the American people. That's why this lessons learned review is so important.

 

There was some great work done by many people in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Coast Guard comes immediately to mind. They were sitting there rescuing people off rooftops and rescuing people in the floods. They saved some 33,000 people, and they should be commended for that. But there are other areas where all levels of government fell short -- the federal, the state, and the local. And what the President wanted to make sure happened was that we take a very close look at this and that we learn the lessons so that we can apply those to future responses and do a better job in the future. This was a hurricane of unprecedented scope and magnitude. It covered some 90,000 square miles. The devastation was enormous, not only to property, but to the people who lost their -- people lost their -- a number of people lost their lives.

 

Q But why have someone in-house do that --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: It's her responsibility. Well, there are two things. One, we've worked closely with Congress also on their investigations and provided them all the information they need to be able to do their job. And so that -- we'll take a look at the Congress' review, as well, and their recommendations. But it's important that we move forward and apply these lessons learned. And I think you will see tomorrow that this is a very comprehensive review that has been conducted. And the recommendations are very sound recommendations. So I think if you look at the report, it will stand on its own.

 

Q Scott, when did the President actually learn of this transaction? And why don't we own our own -- I mean, why don't we control and run our own ports? Isn't that more -- in terms of security.

 

MR. McCLELLAN: We do. We do. That's not correct. We do control our ports, and we do oversee --

 

Q I don't think many people knew that the British were running our --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Now, this is what I'm talking about. Some people have left -- been left with the wrong impression. And that's why it's so important to understand the facts and understand that there is a process in place to look at this --

 

Q -- that somebody else is going to run our --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: The one that you just stated, that someone else would be in control of our ports and oversee security. That's not -- that's not correct.

 

Q Managing --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Now, in terms of the President, the President --

 

Q Why aren't Americans managing the ports?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, let me answer your first question, and then we'll get to your next two or three questions. The President learned of this recently, he became aware of it.

 

Q How recently?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: And there was no objection raised by any of the departments during the review process, or any concerns expressed about potential national security threats. And that's why it didn't rise to the presidential level.

 

Q When did he find out?

 

Q Scott, talk a little bit about -- one of the problems here is it's a secretive process, and understanding that some things concerning national security are done in secret --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it's not just that. I mean, there's proprietary information, as well. And I think that what we're working to do is make sure that we can provide as much information as possible about this transaction. Because, as I pointed out, one thing that is key is that this company agreed to additional security measures that they would take beyond what some others do in transactions like this. And I pointed out what those are.

 

Q You talked about checking cargo and that they say they'll allow cargo to be checked. There's clearly not the manpower to check cargo. About 5 percent to 7 percent coming in this country are ever checked. So what does the U.S. need for this company to do? Hiring and firing? Do they vet people? Do you know all that?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: This is the company that manages the terminals. They'll manage the terminals --

 

Q So can they hire and fire?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: -- the forklifts that lift the cargo off or load the cargo on to ships. And that's what their responsibility is. But that's why I pointed that there were additional security safeguards that were put in place in an agreement with Dubai Ports. And that's important to understand.

 

And in terms of -- let me back up and make sure that people have a clear understanding of the security measures that are in place, because I think in your question you ignored some key aspects of this. First of all, we secure cargo before it gets to our shores. The Customs and Border Patrol and the Coast Guard are in charge of security for our ports, and they do a great job. And there are a number of steps and measures that we have put in place over the last few years to improve security at our ports and to strengthen security at our ports -- as I pointed out, the Container Security Initiative.

 

Under the Container Security Initiative, the Customs and Border Patrol inspects 100 percent of all high-risk containers. And they do that at foreign ports before they're loaded on to the ship and headed to the United States. A hundred percent of all cargo is screened, using intelligence and using cutting-edge technology. Technology is very important. Technology is very important --

 

Q -- all of it --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: No, 100 percent of cargo is screened. There's a 24-hour rule in place. The Customs and Border Patrol is required to screen manifest a day before cargo arrives. So what we're doing is pushing out the security before that cargo comes to our shores. And then I also mentioned the Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, how that's been implemented and how we have more than 7,000 companies participating in that.

 

And then, finally, the technology that is used by the Customs and Border Patrol -- they use large-scale x-ray and gamma ray machines and radiation detection devices to pre-screen cargo coming into this country. So there are a lot of security measures that are put in place. It is the top priority for this administration.

 

Q Scott, would you just go back to the hiring? So who is running the forklifts? Do we have any control over that, or does that matter?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that's why the agreement was signed with this company. That's why I just pointed that out. Sure, it matters. And that's why it was looked at very carefully during this review process. This review process looked at all the national security issues relating to this very matter.

 

Q When specifically did the President -- how did he find out about this -- and when specifically? Was it last week when this blew up? He read it in the paper?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: No, it was coming out last week, and he learned about it over the last several days. I couldn't pinpoint the exact time, but last several days, recently.

 

And -- but I think it's important to keep in mind when you're reporting back to the American people what I just said. This transaction was closely scrutinized to make sure that there were no national security threats. There were no objections raised by any of the departments that are charged with being involved in this process. And that's why it didn't rise up to the presidential level. But even in spite of that, with all the attention that this transaction has received, the President felt it was very important to go back to each Cabinet Secretary who has responsibility for this process, and ask them, are you comfortable with this transaction proceeding forward. And they all said, yes. And I'm sure it's for the reasons that I spelled out to you in this very room, because of the agreements that were put in place, because of the working relationship that we have with this company, and because there were no national security threats raised.

 

Q So he found out through the news coverage, is that what you're saying? How did he find out about it?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I think, initially, Steve, when this was becoming more -- it was getting more press coverage, that's how he found out about it.

 

Q Scott, top Republicans turned on the administration faster than Nancy Pelosi. What do you make of that?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you have to ask people their reason for opposing this transaction. It's up to them to explain their reason for it. The President does not think we should be holding this company to a different standard from the British company that currently manages these terminals.

 

Q Politically, your own party turned on this White House aggressively --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: I wouldn't look at it that way. You're looking at it in the political context. The President is not looking at it in the political context. I understand and appreciate you looking at it in that context, but the President is looking at this as what I said it is -- this was the right principle, and it's the right policy.

 

Q Scott, it sounds like the President has lost control of the party on the Hill. It sounds like they're campaigning against George Bush.

 

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I don't think that's accurate. You're talking about this specific issue? This specific issue -- let's clarify that -- no, I think -- the President just came back from a House Republican conference just a short time ago, and they talked about important national security priorities, and they talked about the tools we're using to protect the American people like the terrorist surveillance program. And at the end of that comment -- end of those remarks, he received a standing ovation. So I think there is strong, united support for the policies that we are putting in place and that we are pursuing to make America more prosperous and to make America safer.

 

This President has made his number one priority winning the war on terrorism. And so let's keep in mind that the United Arab Emirates is a key partner and ally in the global war on terrorism. They work very closely with us. Partnerships are key to winning the war on terrorism. And they have followed the rules. They went through this review process, a thorough review process, that involved national security experts, that involved counterterrorism experts. They looked at all these issues and they said they were comfortable with this transaction going forward.

 

And we shouldn't be creating a different standard here. But if you're going to try to block something like this, you also need to look at it in the context of those broader foreign policy concerns. It could have a real negative impact on our relations with countries like the UAE, and other allies who are following this issue very closely -- allies who have helped us to save lives and prevent attacks.

 

Q Scott, at any point has the administration or administration members of the CFIUS process briefed members?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?

 

Q Briefed members. Has the administration -- other than discussions that have ensued since this controversy has erupted, did the administration or any of the administration interaction with the CFIUS process actually brief members of Congress? And insofar as there are a lot of ports that are pretty important to economic --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: You're talking about in this transaction?

 

Q Absolutely.

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I think there were some briefings that occurred last week to some members, or at least to their staff. And there are some additional ones that are going on, I believe, today, and then I think Senator Warner has a hearing tomorrow, and his committee.

 

Q -- prior to last week?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: I'll have to double-check that, Carl. The ones I know of were some last week and then again some additional ones this week. And there are additional discussions going on. It's important for members of Congress and governors and others who have raised concerns to have a full understanding of the facts. Senator McCain said we shouldn't be rushing to judgment here; we should understand what the facts are. As he said, he supports the President and he knows fully that this President is going to do everything he can to make sure that the American people are protected, and that includes in a situation like this. And that's why -- and Congress shares that concern. I mean, this is a shared issue here when it comes to the overall concerns. Congress is the one that mandated this process, for this very reason, and it's a process that we take very seriously. And that's why you have those departments involved in it, and that's why you have the counterterrorism experts involved in looking at these issues.

 

The intelligence community did an assessment to make sure that there were no national security threats with this transaction going forward. It wouldn't go forward if we had concerns to our nation's security.

 

Q So insofar as the Speaker yesterday suggested a moratorium on this deal and that Senator Frist has also spoken out in opposition to it, are they just ill-informed?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you have to ask them their reasons for opposing it. I'll let them explain that. I'm not going to try to speak for members of Congress. Members of Congress have the right to do what they feel is necessary. But that's why I said we are going to continue talking to them and providing them with the facts and making sure they have a clear understanding of the facts here.

 

As I indicated, I mean, it's understandable why people have expressed some concerns when they feel like an Arab company is going to control our ports, or they see a headline to that effect. And that's why we're going to continue reaching out to members and briefing them about it.

 

Q So is the administration concerned that the rancor on the Hill over this sends an inappropriate message overseas and that the U.S. government is divided?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: The President is concerned about the mixed message that could be sent on this matter. He said that yesterday. It sends a terrible message to our allies when you say a company from the UAE, an Arab country that has been a good ally in the war on terrorism, should be held to a different standard than a company from Great Britain, particularly when it followed all the rules, and when it went through this review process.

 

Q So insofar as the President heard about it just recently, and the Cabinet Secretaries and the CFIUS process led the no objections, does the White House feel let down that nobody spotted a potential political pitfall here?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, as I said, I mean, we're looking back in hindsight on this issue. And there are some mischaracterizations of what this transaction is about. There is a false impression left with people. All you have to do is look at their comments to know that there were false impressions left. I mean, we had one in here earlier, we had a reporter earlier in the day suggesting that this company would be in control of the ports. That's just not the case. And that's why it's important to understand the facts. And that's why I said that we probably should have briefed members of Congress sooner, but that's looking at it in hindsight, given the attention it has received.

 

Q Scott, there were some questions raised about information flow to the President during Hurricane -- after Hurricane Katrina and questions about when he learned that the Vice President had shot a man. And now there are questions about when the President learned about this. Is there some sort of systematic issue here where information --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: I think there's a systematic over-analysis sometimes in this room, and I think that's over-interpreting things and drawing the wrong conclusions, Peter.

 

Q Will that be --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: -- false impression on each of those issues. I'll be glad to address each of those issues individually, but I think it's totally wrong to try to draw conclusions and over -- overanalyze this thing in that manner.

 

Q -- should be looked at in the report coming out tomorrow about information flow to the President during Katrina?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, you will have the report tomorrow, and you'll hear the briefing tomorrow from Fran Townsend. You'll have an opportunity to ask her questions about it.

 

Q Scott, you've said on several occasions, in hindsight that you could have alerted Congress earlier. Is that a view that the President shares? And when did the White House come to that conclusion?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think it's clear from the concerns that have been raised by members that they didn't have a clear understanding what the facts are. That's why we're trying to provide them with the facts. And, yes, that's the view that we're expressing from the White House, and I'm expressing on behalf of the President.

 

Q And also, you said that part of this process is not political, but you're looking at ways to be fair to Arab allies in the war on terror. But at what point does it begin where there are American sensibilities that have to be recognized, that there should be somebody who brings up, perhaps, the alarms that might go off? Do you believe that there --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: They were during the review process. They looked at all the national security issues. You're leaving a false impression that would suggest that these issues weren't looked at, because they were looked at very thoroughly.

 

Q But do you believe that there should be a point person or a part of that process to bring this information to the White House and say --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: The White House agencies are part of this process, like the National Security Council and the Office of Management and Budget. So there are 12 departments and agencies that are involved in this process, and there are representatives who are in place to look at all these issues. And there are counterterrorism experts and intelligence experts who look at these matters to make sure all the national security concerns are thoroughly looked at. And no one raised any objection about this transaction going forward, after looking at all these national security concerns to make sure that they were met.

 

Q -- national security concerns, the people in the White House or NSC who saw this and said this might be a political problem, this might be a perception problem? You talk about the fact that people are not understanding this. Do you believe that there should have been --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't think anybody during this process was looking at it in any way other than the national security standpoint because that's what they're charged with doing under this process that was mandated by Congress. This was created by members of Congress to make sure that these issues were thoroughly looked at before approval was given for the transaction to move forward. And as the President indicated yesterday, that's part of the reason why he believes the transaction should go forward.

 

Q In light of that fact, then, do you believe it was a mistake that that wasn't examined, that wasn't looked at? Because obviously members of Congress are very --

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, you heard from the President yesterday. He's not looking at this from a political context. But with that said, we -- as I indicated -- should have been briefing members of Congress sooner, given all the attention that has been focused on this, and given the fact that it has been mischaracterized.

 

Q Has the President reached out to Frist or Hastert?

 

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we stay in touch with their offices. We stay in touch with governors and mayors, as well. And we will continue to, but there's no update in terms of any legislative calls he's made.

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It is working. I heard through the grape vine that President Bush is going to hold up the sale.

He may be above Congress, but he is not above the American people.

 

I have to no ill will Dubai Ports World, but I think Americans should

be managing America's ports.

 

We know that Homeland Defense only checks about 5% of the containers.

 

That means Dubai Ports World would be responsible for 95% of the security.

 

Can you imagine a 7000 lb container filled with WMD.

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I personally believe that our Federal government needs to monitor American ports completely.

 

As Karl Rove would say....

 

This is post 911 and not the 80s where business could take over a government responsiblity.

 

The Bush administration should pay Dubai Ports World the current value of the ports. Give Department of Defense, Intelligence, and justice departments complete jurisdiction over the security. Homeland Security then could give current port employees government contracts. Eventually the Postal Service could be expanded to manage the transaction and distribution process.

 

Cheney and Bush should focus their energy on convincing American Business to purchasing port businesses abroad is the capitalistic ideal.

 

This would bring government jobs and security to these regions and give a sense of pride that as a country we are doing everything possible to preserve the American way of life.

Edited by Luke_Wilbur
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Guest Friends of Senator Collins

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins has introduced a resolution disapproving of the deal that would enable Dubai Ports World (DPW) to purchase Peninsular & Oriental (P & O) without an additional national security review and Congressional consultation. The Senator’s resolution directs the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to conduct a 45-day investigation to ensure that the sale will not have an adverse effect on national security and to brief Members of Congress on the findings of the investigation before the transaction is allowed to proceed.

 

Senator Collins said that this recent incident has revealed shortcomings in the CFUIS process, which is required by law to conduct a 45-day investigation in such cases. The Committee, however, did not conduct the investigation as required.

 

In addition, Senator Collins pointed out that this matter has highlighted the critical importance of port security to our nation. Last November, she joined with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in introducing the “GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act,” which would provide $835 million annually for programs and initiatives to better secure our nation’s ports.

 

Representative Jane Harman (D-CA) has introduced a similar resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

Following is Senator Collins floor statement on her resolution:

 

Mr. President, I rise to introduce a joint resolution disapproving the conclusion of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to allow Dubai Ports World (DP World) to take over certain port operations in the United States. My colleague and good friend, Congresswoman Jane Harman, will be introducing this resolution in the House of Representatives.

 

This resolution would do the following: (1) disapprove the CFIUS review of the transaction; (2) direct the CFIUS to conduct a 45-day investigation in order to ensure that the sale will not have an adverse effect on national security; and (3) direct CFIUS to brief Members of Congress on the findings of its investigation before the transaction is allowed to proceed if the Committee maintains that it should go forth.

 

The pending sale raises potential maritime security concerns. The sale would transfer control of Peninsular & Oriental (P&O) Ports North America to DP World, a foreign government-owned entity. P&O Ports has extensive terminal and stevedoring operations along the eastern seaboard and on the Gulf coast. It encompasses not only terminal facility leases in six major U.S. ports, as has been reported widely in the media, but also stevedoring and terminal operations in a total of twenty-one U.S. ports, including in my home state in Portland, Maine.

 

We have long acknowledged the vulnerability of our ports - both as a potential target and as a conduit through which terrorists, their weapons or other contraband may enter the U.S. Coming from a state with three international cargo ports, I am keenly aware of the importance of our seaports to our national economy and to the communities in which they are located. In addition to our ports' economic significance, the link between maritime security and our national security is evident.

 

The attacks of 9/11 have forced us to reassess and rebuild our entire approach to security. Against an enemy determined to cause maximum harm to both the American people and the American economy, we are building a structure that, in great part, relies upon private-public partnerships. Nowhere is this more apparent than in our ports - where terminal operators, longshoremen, port authorities, importers, carriers, and others have worked with the United States Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, and state and local law enforcement to put security plans in place.

 

The foreign government in question, that owns DP World, is the government of Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While UAE is an ally in the war on terrorism, it also has been used as a base of terrorist operations and financing. In fact, the 9/11 Commission reported that UAE was “both a valued counterterrorism ally of the United States and a persistent counterterrorism problem.” The attacks of 9/11 were planned in part in the UAE, and much of the financing for those operations was funneled through the UAE banking system. The facts warrant a thorough 45-day investigation by CFIUS, not a cursory review.

 

Mr. President, this incident has revealed significant shortcomings in the CFIUS process. It is not adequately transparent and does not provide for sufficient oversight reporting to appropriate Committees and the leadership of Congress. The Exon-Florio provision of the Defense Production Act gives the President the authority to suspend or prohibit any foreign acquisition, merger or takeover of a U.S. corporation that is determined to threaten the national security of the U.S. Through Executive Order, the President established the CFIUS to review transactions pursuant to Exon-Florio and make a recommendation regarding the exercise of his authority. It may be appropriate for the reviews, which may involve proprietary data and classified information, to be held confidential. However, once a decision has been reached by the CFIUS, it is wholly appropriate, and even necessary, that Members of Congress be briefed on the findings of the review and the basis for the decision.

 

Mr. President, I am truly troubled by the review process that was followed with respect to this purchase. The more I learn, the more questions are raised. The law requires a 45-day investigation in cases where an acquirer is controlled by a foreign government, as in the case of DP World, and the acquisition could affect the national security of the U.S. However, the CFIUS did not conduct an investigation, as the plain language of the statute would demand.

 

I am pleased that, in a recent development, the Administration has agreed to undertake a 45-day investigation as a result of discussions with DP World and Congressional leadership. Perhaps its recommendation, once briefed to Congress, will allay concerns that have been raised. Perhaps the national security implications, apparent on the face of the deal, will be adequately addressed through a more rigorous process. Given the remaining uncertainties, however, I felt it was important to proceed with the introduction of this resolution, in conjunction with my colleague in the House, Congresswoman Harman.

 

The silver lining of recent events is that they have served to highlight the critical importance of port security to our nation. Last November, Senator Murray and I introduced the GreenLane Maritime Cargo Security Act of 2005. This comprehensive legislation authorizes $835 million annually for programs and initiatives to better secure our nation's ports.

 

It would help build a coordinated approach to maritime and port security across all levels of government and with our overseas trading partners, improving our nation’s security as it expedites trade with those governments and businesses that join in this goal.

 

The bill addresses the problem of uncoordinated supply-chain security efforts, directing the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop a strategic plan to enhance security for all modes of transportation by which containers arrive in, depart from, or move through seaports of the United States. The strategic plan also must include protocols for the resumption of trade in the case of an incident.

 

This legislation recognizes that America's ports, large and small, are our partners in keeping our nation safe and our economy strong.

 

Mr. President, I seek my colleagues support both for this resolution and for the GreenLane bill. Thank you.

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It looks like even the Coast Guard is against this purchase.

 

 

***************************************

 

The Coast Guard assessment concluded that “[t]here are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment of the potential DWP and P&O ports merger. The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities.”

coastguardigap.gif

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Guest Friends of Senator Charles E. Sc

Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jack Reed (D-RI), Rick Santorum (R-PA), and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) sent a letter to Senate Leaders Bill Frist and Harry Reid urging them to cooperate in efforts to make sure that the security investigation of the Dubai ports deal meets the highest standards for protecting our national security. While a 45-day investigation has finally been requested, there are other safeguards the lawmakers are pushing as part of their bi-partisan legislation to protect our national security. Namely, they are insisting that Congress is kept fully informed as the 45-day review progresses, and notified how security concerns are being investigated and addressed; that Congress is provided 30 days to review the results of the report, including reasoning for the decision to either approve or disapprove of the deal; and finally after the 45-day investigation is completed, Congress reserves the ability to vote to disapprove the deal if the security concerns have not been adequately addressed. The Senators agreed that if they need to press for a vote on their legislation or have to introduce further legislation to achieve the goals outlined, they are hoping for cooperation from Leaders Frist and Reid.

 

Schumer said, “The more we learn about the CFIUS process, the more questions are raised. Why did they do a 45 day review for tank engines in a box, but not for potential nuclear weapons in a ship’s container? This is not a Democrat or Republican issue – this is about making sure that the American people are safe and secure. Our goal should be to increase port security dramatically, not chip away at it more by allowing a company owned by a country at a nexus with terrorism runs them.”

 

“I’m proud to join the effort with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urge for transparency and a thorough review regarding the Dubai Port World's takeover of American ports," said Coleman. “In a post 9-11 world, the process of ensuring America's safety and the integrity of our national security infrastructure is as important as ever. Clearly, this letter shows that America’s safety is not a partisan issue, but rather a priority that the Senate has the duty to act on."

 

Menendez stated, “While I am pleased the administration is finally undertaking the investigation it should have done in the first place, there are serious questions about both its willingness and its ability to act on the results. With the president prejudging the outcome of the investigation before it even began, it is clearer than ever that Congress will need to take an up or down vote on this sale.”

 

Snowe stated, “Today a bipartisan group of Senators asked our leadership on both sides of the political aisle to ensure that Congress plays a key role in reviewing the 45 investigation into the Dubai Ports World deal. This is a time-sensitive process, and I am hopeful we can work to ensure that the legislative branch has a voice in the final outcome. What is clear is that there are potential national security implications at stake.”

 

"Security must be our top priority in the post 9/11 world. This 45 day investigation was mandatory under the law and we expect this review to be independent, rigorous, and thorough and that the results of this investigation be shared with the Congress. Congress should take any necessary steps to ensure the Bush Administration does not compromise security at our ports," said Clinton.

 

Collins stated, “We have long acknowledged the vulnerability of our ports - both as a potential target and as a conduit through which terrorists, their weapons or other contraband may enter the U.S. Coming from a state with three international cargo ports, I am keenly aware of the importance of our seaports to our national economy and to the communities in which they are located. In addition to our ports' economic significance, the link between maritime security and our national security is evident. It is critical that all of the national security concerns raised in discussions related to the purchase of P&O Ports by DPW are addressed and that Congress is kept fully engaged in the process.”

 

Reed said, “I remain deeply concerned with the Administration’s seemingly quick decision to approve this contract to manage several of our most important ports. On an issue as sensitive to our national security as this is, I was shocked that the President did not subject this decision to the highest level of scrutiny,” Reed stated. “I was pleased to cosponsor legislation to give Congress proper oversight of this situation, and it is my hope that the Administration considers all of our concerns highlighted in this legislation.”

 

“The 45-day investigation provides a critical opportunity to learn more about this transaction. Our primary goal is to protect the American people while preserving our economic vitality; therefore, it is my hope that the investigation will provide a thorough and effective review of the Dubai Ports acquisition. The ports directly affected by this transaction, including the Port of Philadelphia in my state, play a vital role in our nation’s commercial and homeland security activities,” Santorum said.

 

“The President’s 45-day review is really too little too late. Dubai’s troublesome record on terrorism should disqualify them from owning major operations at our ports. A nation that recognized the Taliban, boycotts Israel, had relations with Osama Bin Laden and allowed nuclear components to go through their own ports should not be minding the store within our borders,” said Lautenberg.

 

Dubai Ports World, a Dubai Company that is owned and operated by the United Arab Emirates is about to complete a $6.8 billion deal, which was briskly approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) last month. The approval allows the UAE’s government-owned company to take control of significant operations at six U.S. ports including: New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia. Except for cargo screening functions performed by the Department of Homeland Security, the port operator is responsible for securing cargo coming in and out of the port, the port facility itself, and the hiring of security personnel.

 

Earlier this week the same bipartisan group of senators introduced emergency legislation to suspend the Dubai port deal immediately. Schumer initially announced the legislation with House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King last week. The bill has broad support in the Senate with 21 co-sponsors and the House version has over 60 co-sponsors.

 

Over the last two weeks since Schumer first criticized this deal, a litany of homeland security professionals have also come out questioning the deal including former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, former DHS Inspector General Clark Kent Ervin, Republican and Democratic senators and representatives, and governors and mayors around the nation.

 

The letter the Senators sent today is below:

 

Dear Senators Frist and Reid: As you know, we recently joined together to introduce S. 2333, The Foreign Investment Security Act of 2006, a bill to require a 45-day CFIUS investigation and a Presidential determination regarding the national security implications of Dubai Port World’s takeover of Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Navigation Company. This bill stemmed from our joint concern that allowing the takeover of U.S. terminal operations after only a cursory review raised serious national security concerns. The President and the companies have now moved voluntarily to provide for such a 45-day investigation, and we are encouraged by that decision. Though some of us remain troubled about how this new review will proceed given the Administration’s continued support of the deal, we have decided not to press for a vote on our bill at this time in the hope that this new investigation will be thorough, fair, and independent. Nevertheless, several key components of our legislation have yet to be addressed - namely, the notification to Congress and the ability of Congress to disapprove the deal within thirty days if security concerns are not met. As a result, we write to ask for your assistance in guaranteeing that: (a) the Congress is kept fully informed as the 45-day review progresses, and notified how security concerns are being investigated and addressed; (B) the Congress is provided 30 days to review the results of the report, including reasoning for the decision to either approve or disapprove of the deal; and © once this 45-day review period is over, Congress reserves the ability to vote to disapprove the deal if the security concerns have not been adequately addressed. We hope you will work with us and with the Administration to ensure that this review is a thorough, effective look at whether this deal truly poses a threat to our national security. If we need to press for a vote on our legislation or to introduce further legislation to achieve the goals outlined above, we hope you will work with us in the coming weeks. The Administration must know that we stand united to examine and review this deal independently, and that Congress must have a role in determining whether it should go forward or be stopped as a result of national security concerns.

 

Sincerely, Senator Charles E. Schumer

Senator Norm Coleman

Senator Robert Menendez

Senator Olympia Snowe

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton

Senator Susan Collins

Senator Jack Reed

Dr. Tom Coburn, M.D.

Senator Frank Lautenberg

Senator Rick Santorum

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Guest Cliff

Hillary may have put her name to suspend the Dubai Port deal, but she is tied to it very closely.

 

Mrs Clinton's own senatorial financial disclosure forms reveal that her husband earned $450,000 giving speeches in Dubai in 2002.

 

Officials from the UAE also donated between $500,000 and $1m to fund Mr Clinton's presidential library in Arkansas.

 

It was part of an effort by the emirates, said a person close to UAE officials, to forge a close relationship with a former US president who is influential and highly regarded in the region.

 

If there is any intelligent Democrats out there don't vote for Hillary. She is the master deceiver.

 

I am beginning to think the Clintons and Bushs are tied closer that most people want to believe.

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