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Archive for Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bush vows veto to defend port plan

February 22, 2006

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— President Bush on Tuesday strongly defended an Arab company's attempt to take over the operation of seaports in Baltimore and five other cities, threatening a veto if Congress tries to kill a deal his administration has blessed.

Facing a sharp, bipartisan backlash, Bush took the unusual step of summoning reporters on Air Force One to condemn efforts to block a firm from the United Arab Emirates from purchasing the rights to manage six U.S. ports.

The Bush administration recently approved the sale of a London-based company that currently manages the ports to state-run Dubai Ports World. The deal has raised alarms on Capitol Hill and with the Republican governors of Maryland and New York, who note that the UAE has been a home base for terrorists.

The federal government has approval rights over business transactions with national security implications. In this case, Dubai Ports World would oversee shipping arrivals, departures and unloading at the docks, but the federal government would continue to handle port security.

Many Republicans and Democrats who represent the seaport regions remain deeply skeptical of a UAE-owned company playing such a central role at some of the most sensitive entry points in the country. They noted that some of the hijackers involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks used the UAE as an operational and financial hub.


A freighter travels on the Delaware River through the city of Philadelphia. President Bush said Tuesday that a deal allowing an Arab company to take over six major U.S. seaports, including Philadelphia, should go forward and that he would veto any congressional effort to stop it.

A freighter travels on the Delaware River through the city of Philadelphia. President Bush said Tuesday that a deal allowing an Arab company to take over six major U.S. seaports, including Philadelphia, should go forward and that he would veto any congressional effort to stop it.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., called on Bush to delay the takeover and re-evaluate the security risk. Frist threatened to introduce legislation to delay the takeover if Bush does not act quickly.

Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., called Bush politically tone deaf. "Of all the bills to veto, if he lays down this gauntlet, he'll probably have 350 members of the House ready to accept that challenge," Foley said.

Bush welcomed the fight. "They ought to look at the facts and understand the consequences of what they're going to do," Bush said. "But if they pass a law, I'll deal with it, with a veto."

Comments

jimincountry 8 years, 1 month ago

Did Bush really "VOW" or is this more bad wordsmithing by the press?

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

Apparently most all of our ports are owned by foreign nationals. The Coast Guard does provide security to all USA ports.

So why all of the secret back door activity as it has aroused much suspicion?

I read that the Bush family has business ties with this company however have yet to relocate that source.

Discovered also that this company allows U.S. Coast Guard to dock in its mideast ports to observe ships destined for the USA.

There also is/was a Singapore company that was submitting a bid but do not know the outcome.

So what's up with the President's personal involvement?

Looks like Homeland Security is where much of this was approved.

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Richard Heckler 8 years, 1 month ago

This is but one example of how bad privatization can really really stink?

These Saudis have business relations with the Bush family. So is "Reckless Spending George" gaining a kickback? Seems right up his alley.

Write several senators and demand that we put port security in the hands of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will never be for sale. Remember it's not only George it's the republican party that supports this absolute nonsense. The republican party is in dire need of replacement. Until the repubs tell George no from now on they are the problem.

The Coast Guard know USA law therefore is most practical. Heroin dealers can buy off civilians. Beef up the Coast Guard and put them in charge. I believe citizens would feel far more secure with the Coast Guard.

How many times do we want the Nations security bought and sold?

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

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