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:
“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.