Outsourcing US Port Security to the United Arab Emirates?

This story is getting attention in both the liberal and conservatives blogospheres, as everyone is trying to figure out the ramifications of a deal whereby the United Arab Emirates would take over a $6.8 Billion dollar contract for US port security.

Questioning the United Arab Emirates’ track record in the War on Terror, seven U.S. lawmakers said Thursday they want a committee led by Treasury Secretary John Snow to thoroughly review a deal that would let a UAE-based firm run six major U.S. ports.

“We’re calling for the full six-week investigation. It’s a serious investigation and the reason why this is critical is while maybe there’s nothing wrong with this company, how do we know they’re not infiltrated?” asked Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “The United Arab Emirates has had people involved in terrorism. In fact, some of its financial institutions laundered the money for the (Sept, 11) terrorists. And to just blithely go ahead and treat this as another economic transaction is all wrong.”

Currently, London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., the fourth largest port operator in the world, runs the six ports. But the $6.8 billion sale of P&O to UAE-owned Dubai Ports World (DPW) would effectively turn over North American operations to the government-owned company in Dubai.

A bipartisan group of seven lawmakers have called for a full investigation of the matter. Vito Fosella (R-NY) had this to say:

Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y., urged congressional hearings on the deal.

“At a time when America is leading the world in the war on terrorism and spending billions of dollars to secure our homeland, we cannot cede control of strategic assets to foreign nations with spotty records on terrorism,” Fossella said.

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5 thoughts on “Outsourcing US Port Security to the United Arab Emirates?

  1. I rather like what Peter Gadiel, whose son died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, had to say about the decision to outsource responsibility for U.S. port security: “I’m a lifelong Republican, and I think the President’s gone insane.” It’s hard to argue with that. The link for the article on Gadiel’s reaction is as follows:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0220-08.htm

  2. 2/20/06

    America, wake up!

    What does it take to get your attention people?

    A war based on lies?

    The deaths of nearly 3,000 of our sons and daughters?

    Thousands of permanently disabled soldiers?

    Thousands more innocent civilians murdered?

    Illegal incarceration of innocent people?

    Torture? Abu Gharib? Guantanamo?

    The outing of a CIA agent by the Administration?

    Running our debt beyond 8 trillion dollars?

    Nearly 9 Billion dollars “missing” in Iraq by unscrupulous agents?

    Tax cuts for the rich in wartime?

    Allowing millions of American jobs to be sent overseas?

    Cutting benefits for veterans, education for our kids, and the elderly?

    Leaving thousands of innocent Americans stranded in the worst weather catastrophe in our history?

    Failing to properly fund and protect our borders?

    Spying on millions of American citizens in violation of the law?

    And now the latest insult, attempting to turn over the security of our ports to a nation that aided those who helped launch the attack of 911.

    What does it take to get your attention?

    Your silence has empowered the Bush Administration to flaunt our Constitution and our laws. Your silence has sent the message that there is no limit to what they can do.

    Time is running out, wake up, educate yourself on these issues, and take a stand…

    before it’s too late!

  3. Hey, I’m an English teacher, and I love this discussion. I’d like to invite my 10th grade La Vernia High School students to join. What do you think?

  4. By all means! Please have them join the discussion. I will disable comment moderation for a period so your students’ comments will be posted right away.

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