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UAE control of US ports?

Discussion in 'News' started by Smart, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Smart

    Smart Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 14, 2000 Messages: 17,017 Likes Received: 177
    Conflict Over Pot Deal Grows
    Bush threatens veto if Congress tries to stop sale of 6 U.S. ports to United Arab Emirates company.

    The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON -- 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 Tuesday defended his administration's earlier approval of the sale of Londonbased 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 pending sale -- expected to be finalized in early March -puts 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 company. "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 Democratic 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 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.
  2. satansmaker

    satansmaker New Jack

    Joined: Feb 19, 2006 Messages: 11 Likes Received: 0
    i think american ports shuld be ran by america, but what gets me most is that some high up repulicans dont want this to go thru and the white house has 2 people involed with this sale i dont rember whats their names are but it was on coast to coast am with gorege norey n my way home from work.
  3. angelofdeath

    angelofdeath Elite Member

    Joined: Sep 15, 2002 Messages: 4,375 Likes Received: 79
    OMG! YOU GUYS ARE SO [email protected]#[email protected]$

    but to play devils advocate for a moment, i didnt think we were at war with arabs but with a group militant islamic extremists of arab ethnicity.

    but in reality, this is nothing new. correct me if im wrong, the japanese, who attacked pearl harbor, own the majority of cattle ranches in the west and britian comes in a close second in owning US property.
    the US has already been sold out.
  4. MAR

    MAR Veteran Member

    Joined: Jun 2, 2005 Messages: 7,264 Likes Received: 256
    Bad move. Its setting yourself up for another disaster. Even if the uad is safe at the moment how long will you think that will last?

    Another thing why are we giving away jobs to outsiders? The us has plenty of jobless people. We need to take care of our own, just like satansmaker said.

    Conpracy theory: I have heard that the us runs cover organisations to launder money for black ops. Could this be one of their companies and is it really a secret method of undermining the UAD and making the US look good?
  5. Smart

    Smart Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 14, 2000 Messages: 17,017 Likes Received: 177
    Well, I've heard that there won't be any changes in dock personnel. The UAE company is just buying the whole British operation but supposedly gonna run it the same as ever.

    I still wonder about the wisdom of giving a foreign power control of port security. I was a little concerned to find that the British have been running it before this but at least we've got a long history with the Brits...

    *Conspiracy Theory: Well, I know for a fact that Resorts International (Player's Club, Baby), Southern Airlines and Jim Walters Homes were all owned by the CIA at one point. JW Homes has been bought since then and I think Southern Air folded but, pretty sure they still own RI. They've always had these things, not so much to launder money per se, to create untainted revenue. The money they make doesn't come from the government so it can be unreported and used to fund covert ops w/o implicating the govt.
  6. bobthedestroyer

    bobthedestroyer New Jack

    Joined: Feb 20, 2006 Messages: 94 Likes Received: 0
    Relating to the issue at hand, the only thing that will change is the name on the checks that the eployees recieve. The coast guard will still be involved in checking containers etc.
  7. !@#$%

    [email protected]#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 622
    yeah, itès about port management, not port security

    still sounds like a bad idea though

    mostly because UAE government owns the company
  8. bobthedestroyer

    bobthedestroyer New Jack

    Joined: Feb 20, 2006 Messages: 94 Likes Received: 0
    China owns a shitload of companies... these companies bid for military projects... thus china has acess to many of our programs since it's companies create parts for some of our equipment...
  9. !@#$%

    [email protected]#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 622
  10. Smart

    Smart Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Apr 14, 2000 Messages: 17,017 Likes Received: 177
    yeah, it's not groovy...

    back in the 70's and early 80's when the pentagon was deciding what the next era of jeeps was gonna be about (about 5 years before they came out with the HumVee) they almost decided to stock our military with Toyota LandCuiser jeeps... eventually thay didn't because they didn't want a foreign power to have control over manufacturing our basic unit for transportation. Not like were ever gonna have an actual war with Japan again... well, maybe, not likely...

    Anyway, with the stuff in China, as I understand it, these are component parts of 'non-essential' items... Not that this makes it all butter.

    I mean, Tom Clancy figured out about the 'listening stations' under the ocean by studying a declassified schematic of a giant speaker. At least that's what the product was called when they declassed it. Please understand that a speaker and a microphone are the exact same thing. Same components... same stuff... They are just employed in exactly opposite way. Clancy knew this, figured out it was actually a giant microphone and used it in Red October. Also studying global ocean currents he decided where he thought the most likely locations for these litening posts were and he put them there in the book. Naval intelligence flipped out and arrested him after he'd started sending the manuscript out. They wanted to know how he knew about all this 'classified' stuff and he explained what I just said. He basically just figured it out. Well the looked at him hard for a hot minute but shortly it was all giggles and the book ended up actually being published by the Annapolis Press so... whatever.

    I'm saying that sometimes just the creative analysis of one component can lead to the conceptualization of entire operations and installations so, letting the Chinese build stuff is kinda scary... but labor over there is also scary cheap so where do you draw the line with that right? I mean, they can bootleg just about anything they can get their hands on and produce a cheap imitation for pennies on the dollar so I imagine it would be okay to let them manufacture O-rings or those crappy 'military can-openers' or something but the Abrams tank is still rolling off an American production line.

    On the port management side though, since there's at least some anti-american sentiment in the UAE, wether it's in the govt. or not, I'd just rather not let them hold the reigns. The UAE is pretty liberal by Arab standards from what I've heard, hell, Michael Jackson is walking around Dubai in a burka right, so pretty laid back but... what if? What if radicals take over the govt, not likely but, what if a single zealot in a high position in the company did something simple to slow down thru-put at the port. Slowing down the process only enough to eliminate say 2 ships a day from each of these east coast ports their gonna control. That non-moving tonnage adds up, quick. Slowing the Eastern ports could have a ripple effect across the globe possibly leading to an economic nightmare.

    I doubt it's ever come up for me to mention here but, consider this... in 1987 congress raised the national speed limit to 65. This was a huge boon for the economy. More stuff got more places faster, and consequently there was more free time to send stuff other places, AND the money changed hands faster enabeling more money to change hands.

    So I'm wondering if we're actually risking the opposite effect by letting these guys run the show... I mean, I'm sure we send more ships a day to England than to the UAE, so obviously it would be in the British self-interest to keep things moving but who's to say with the UAE...
  11. Lonesome Cowboy Bill

    Lonesome Cowboy Bill Member

    Joined: Jan 29, 2006 Messages: 363 Likes Received: 0
    I think the main issue is that the company is a state-owned business. And that state is a dictatorship with no democracy. Doesn't those two things reject the two main principles of our nation?

    If the company was public and traded on the stock market but located or controlled in UAE I wouldn't reject...

    I think it just points out the hypocrisy of our administration further though... yet we can't buy cigars or travel to Cuba
  12. Nutonce

    Nutonce Member

    Joined: Oct 31, 2001 Messages: 786 Likes Received: 0
  13. MayorMeanBeans

    MayorMeanBeans Senior Member

    Joined: Mar 4, 2003 Messages: 1,464 Likes Received: 117
    it maybe hypocritical, but we have been remarkably consistent with our hypocrisy. from cold war allies like pinochet to pakistan today (obviously not an ideal democracy), it basically boils down to the enemy of my enemy is my friend. and rewarding the uae and bombing the shit out of afghanistan is classic use of the age old carrot and stick formula.
  14. Lonesome Cowboy Bill

    Lonesome Cowboy Bill Member

    Joined: Jan 29, 2006 Messages: 363 Likes Received: 0
    yeah pakistan is not even a democracy..a few yaers ago Gen. Musharaf (sic) had a coup and kicked out the democratically, albeit ineffectual gov't
  15. bobthedestroyer

    bobthedestroyer New Jack

    Joined: Feb 20, 2006 Messages: 94 Likes Received: 0