Tuesday, February 21, 2006

True Colors

There are some in Congress that are concerned about a deal permitting a Dubai company to manage six major US seaports. The opposition includes several prominent Republicans, including Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert. They claim the review was not thorough enough and have expressed concern about ceding management of these ports to a company owned and run by the Dubai government.

But President Bush has threatened to veto any legislation blocking this business deal.

The president's true colors are once again on full display. He is perfectly willing to shortchange governmental review on a change in policy that will have direct implications on domestic security, turning over management of six major US seaports to an Arab government, all to ensure this lucrative deal goes through, benefitting those tied to him.

There are business associations at work here. Quoting the New York Daily News:

"The Dubai firm that won Bush administration backing to run six U.S. ports has at least two ties to the White House.

"One is Treasury Secretary John Snow, whose agency 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.

"The other connection is David Sanborn, who runs DP World's European and Latin American operations and was tapped by Bush last month to head the U.S. Maritime Administration."

So if the Congress acts in its Constitutionally-required role by performing oversight, if they intervene to stop this business deal, Bush will veto it. "They ought to listen to what I have to say about this," Bush 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."

In other words, "they should listen to what I have to say, but if they still disagree with me I'll ram this deal though anyway."

The Imperial Presidency rides on.


The Flamingo said...

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Just how many Congressmen and women are going to be against this deal. It certainly does seem a little suspect turning over port security to a foreign Arab nation. The Governors of the states the ports are in are up in arms, including Governor Pataki, the Republican Governor of New York.
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bimplebean said...

I'm certain there are benefits in here somewhere, mostly to Arabs who have held Bush's hand, or his father's...