Thursday, March 02, 2006

More on the issue that just won't die

Two more interesting connections between Dubai Ports World and the Bush administration that just came before me today.

Secretary of Treasury John Snow was the chairman of CSX, which, as I stated in a previous post, sold its port services to DPW for $1.15 billion in 2004. Also, David Sanborn, who leads the US Maritime Administration, runs DPW's European and Latin American arms.

According to the preceding link to the San Jose Mercury News,

"It always raises flags" when administration officials have ties to a firm, Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y., said, but insisted that stopping the deal was more important.

The New York Daily News has learned that lawmakers also want to know if a detailed 45-day investigation should have been conducted instead of one that lasted no more than 25 days.

According to a 1993 congressional measure, the longer review is mandated when the company is owned by a foreign government and the purchase "could result in control of a person engaged in interstate commerce in the U.S. that could affect the national security of the U.S."
All of this has been taking a toll on GOP support for President Bush. From the Washington Post:

The first heading on the issues page of Rep. Mark Foley's Web site brags that he is "one of President Bush's strongest supporters in Congress." The Florida Republican voted for the president's legislation 90 percent of the time, according to the Web site, "the 3rd highest ranking among the Florida delegation."

Now the Florida delegation's third-strongest Bush supporter is on the front lines of the Republican revolt against the president on the deal to turn over key operations at six U.S. ports to a United Arab Emirates company. Republicans who once marched in lock step behind their president on national security are increasingly willing to challenge him in an area considered his political strength.
Of course, I can't help but think that their distance from Bush has nothing to do with a sudden grip on morality and everything to do with looming elections, but then again, nobody has ever accused me of not being cynical.

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