Just a sample of letters, blog reax, and news updates coming in on the story that should be headline news…
The New York Sun:
The Bush administration yesterday failed to quell the swelling tide of opposition to the deal that would give a company owned by the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates control over six American ports.
The board of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey promptly made public their demand to the federal government for information and documents related to the decision in preparation for its own review of the implications of the deal next week…
New York Sen. Charles Schumer won new allies in Congress and the media yesterday in his campaign to raise national security concerns about a planned transfer of port operations in Newark and other key East Coast cities to a company controlled by the government of Dubai…The takeover was approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., an interagency panel headed by the Treasury Department that can block foreign acquisitions that threaten national security.
But Schumer, who first raised questions Monday, was joined yesterday by an array of six congressmen, including Republicans such as conservative Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, in a call for a second look. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) has also raised questions, and The New York Times yesterday editorialized against the deal.
You’ve got to wonder just how much review was done, when the Port Authority wasn’t even involved in the process of screening participants who might take over operations at the Port of New York and New Jersey.
Today is significant. Not just because love is in the air. But because we find ourselves, for once, agreeing fully with Sen. Chuck Schumer. How can this be?
Neither are commenters over at Military.com.
Reader Brad R.:
The government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has approved a deal that will put six major ports in the United States under the control of a state-sponsored company based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
This is unbelievable. The country’s ports should not be owned by foreign governments; much less governments whose territories are favored by al-Qaeda.
I don’t think our ports should even be operated by a country-sponsored company of our closest ally. I am a conservative and I would even raise taxes for this type of issue (but I would rather the funding come from sound fiscal policy).
How can this decision be good for our National Security? How can this be good policy? Mr President, please do not let this Port-deal happen. The Buck Stops at the White House and the President’s Desk!
Reader Brian B. sends his letter to the White House:
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Dear President Bush:
I am not alone in my perplexed anger that the United States government would permit an Arab and Islamic country to gain control of several US ports. It is incomprehensible to me why we would assume such a risk in this day and age of increasing Islamist tendencies and capacities.
With several subsets of the Islamic nation possessing or seeking nuclear weapons, we have comforted ourselves with the notion that they yet lag in ballistic missile capability, therefore we only need worry about a primitive oversize atom-bomb being brought to the US via shipping containers through US ports. And now you expect Americans to rest easy with a lukewarm anti-terror ally that has hosted and benefited the architects of 9/11 taking control of vital major US ports?
Islamists crow about their ability to turn our technology into weapons against us, and now we are going to hand them access to some of the most crucial security vulnerabilities in our strong but civilization-dependent economy? This is madness.
Amongst the many failures of Democratic Presidents Carter and Clinton, I believe that history will judge most harshly their myopic sell-out of the Panama Canal to Pamana, and failing to thwart it’s transfer once it was clear that the Chinese had managed to gain control of the ports on both oceans. The consequences of that will come down the road, but they will come. Assuredly, Islamists will not rest until they have identified and succeeded in exploiting the openings created by cavalierly permitting an Islamic country to gain control of our major ports, and history will hold the present administration responsible for such acts and the resultant tragedies.
…As a US president in wartime, operating under an Authorization For the Use of Military Force, you have rightly claimed the right to conduct intelligence surveillance of enemy communications, within and without our borders. You also possess the right under that authorization to block the bestowal of American assets or contracts that make our country vulnerable. To deny that is disengenious at best, it’s Clintonian in nature; and every American can see right through the farce that is the current White House defense of this action.
I insist that you consider this action long and hard while recognizing the complete lack of credibility of the approval process that has permitted this travesty to progress to this point; and that you exhibit the fortitude necessary to oppose and prevent it. I strongly believe that you have underestimated the resolve of the American people to see their nation preserved, as well as their willingness and capacity to recognize a sellout for what it is. I will join hands with my inspirations in the blogosphere and elsewhere to fight this idiocy with all my energy.
Isn’t it enough already that our Northern and Southern border defenses are pathetically ineffective? Must we create new vulnerabilities with such obvious potential dangers?
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