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February 21, 2006

What bothers me a lot about the port security story is not that the company in question is from the UAE. It's the revelation, over the past couple of days, of the fact that almost all USofA ports are "owned" (i.e., leased) by foreign companies.

But, speaking of the UAE, it seemed to me that the UAE or Dubai...those were names I'd heard in the past, connected with the Bush Administration.

Searching, I found a Google cache of an article removed from the Gulfnews site, datelined UAE. It's headlined, " Bush's family long ago entangled themselves in Middle East dealings."

Dynasties in American politics are dangerous. We saw it with the Kennedys, we may well see it with the Clintons and we're certainly seeing it with the Bushes.

Between now and the November election, it's crucial that Americans come to understand how four generations of the current president's family have embroiled the United States in the Middle East through CIA connections, arms shipments, rogue banks, inherited war policies and personal financial links.

And I found an article (well, a couple of dozen) about Neil Bush (of Silverado fame) "fishing" in the UAE for investors for his software company that supposedly helped students improve "standardized test scores." (You know what those are. Those are the kinds of tests the Bush Administration's NCLB act relies so heavily upon. But I'm sure the legislation was just a happy coincidence.) Not much light on the current situation in that.

Wayne Madsen at CounterPunch had a story in July of '02, about the selling out of the Fourth Estate. Among stories he seems to feel the media was failing to cover? One that tied the UAE, Neil Bush, and the Taliban all together. Or...let's say showed they were linked by a sort of 6 Degrees Of Corruption kind of thing.

And then there's the Dubai, USofA, currency story. (Thank goodness for Google's cache program.)

The point is, my memory wasn't at fault. I've heard of the Bush family and the UAE linked together before, especially Dubai. Which makes this latest deal so much less surprising. It's the same sort of cronyism we've seen in the Bush Administration dealing with USofA corporations, isn't it?

Or maybe I spoke too soon and I should have put more research and thought into the state of the UAE. I don't know. Not everyone agrees with that view.

On the other hand, is Atrios right? Is the point not that it's a foreign country, but that it's a corporation owned by a foreign government?

But does it matter?

Because, what I really want to know? Is why can't we "own" our own ports?

I mean, we've allocated hundreds of millions of dollars for "homeland security" in the past few years. What are we spending it on besides making airports a nightmare to navigate?

Posted by AnneZook at 07:47 PM


"It's the revelation,"

Revelation? What revelation? It's perfectly public knowledge, and always has been.

But, then, so far as I can see, there's nothing to the current port story save Fear Of Dark-Skinned People, I'm afraid. Much demagoguery, absolutely nothing whatever to worry about, as anyone who follows port security issues will tell you. We have lots of extremely important port security issues to worry about, some of which I've written about over the years, but where the corporate headquarters of the book-keepers is -- which is what this boils down to -- is not one of them.

See, for instance, here, here, here, and here.

Or ask someone who knows from port security issues, and didn't discover the issue last week.

Posted by: Gary Farber at February 22, 2006 08:17 PM