February 19, 2006

Port Holes


From FoxNews: Chertoff Defends UAE Port Deal.

Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff is defending the Bush administration's review of an international shipping deal two days after one company in the Port of Miami sued to prevent an Arab-owned firm from taking over port operations. ...

Chertoff on Sunday said the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, had carefully reviewed the Dubai Ports World purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which runs commercial operations in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami and Philadelphia.

"We make sure there are assurances in place, in general, sufficient to satisfy us that the deal is appropriate from a national security standpoint," Chertoff told ABC's "This Week." ...

DP World is owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates, a loose federation of seven emirates on the Saudi Arabian peninsula. The State Department calls the UAE an ally in the War on Terror, but critics note that the Arab nation had ties to the terrorists prior to Sept. 11, 2001, and one terrorist, Marwan al-Shehhi, was born in that country.

Opponents of the deal also argue that the FBI found that the UAE's banking system filtered much of the money used for the operational planning before the Sept. 11 attacks, and many of the hijackers traveled to the United States through the UAE. On top of that, the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.

Michelle Malkin has a round-up of reactions.

UPDATE -- Feb. 22: This controversy continues to brew. Excellent coverage at Michelle Malkin and InstaPundit. I still think the primary issue is that the port deal is with a government-owned company. I'd be concerned if the American government were taking over some non-military enterprise in America much less a government from the Middle East.

Posted by Forkum at February 19, 2006 08:52 PM