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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Steve McQueen on the Dubai Ports Deal

(Keywords & tags: , , , , , gets his way - America is less secure)

Whenever I hear someone say that Bush must be doing a good job fighting terrorism, because we haven't been hit by terrorists since 9/11 (even though we have - the DC sniper and the anthrax scare both come to mind), I always think of Steve McQueen's line in The Magnificent Seven.

Old Man: You worry about yourself. Are you ready for him?
[refers to Bandit leader Calvera]
Old Man: What if he comes now, huh?
Vin [McQueen]: Reminds me of that fellow back home that fell off a ten story building.
Chris: What about him?
Vin: Well, as he was falling people on each floor kept hearing him say, "So far, so good." Tch... So far, so good!

Earlier this year, there was a public outrage over selling ports to the United Arab Emirate of Dubai. Luckily, that was all settled, right?


Lou Dobbs reports that despite the so-called 'resolution' to the Dubai Ports scandal, the ports are still controlled by Dubai. From a CNN rush transcript of 6/19/06 edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight:

t's been more than three months since Dubai Ports World agreed to sell its port operations at 22 U.S. ports. But as of today, all 22 of these terminal facilities remained under the control of Dubai Ports and the government of Dubai. You thought we weren't watching, didn't you? Bill Tucker reports.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The bottom line of the Dubai Ports World deal is pretty easy to understand.

JOE MULDOON, FULLER & COMPANY: Since March 6th, Dubai Ports World has owned and controlled operations in 22 U.S. ports and that Congress now has dropped the provision that would prohibit their approvals.

TUCKER: The reference to Congress has to do with the House and Senate stripping out language, put in by the House, that specifically forbid DP World from owning or controlling operations in our ports. With the removal of that language, it's not clear if DPW even legally is bound to sell the properties. The announced agreement by Dubai Ports World to sell was voluntary.

But the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States says "CFIUS does, in fact, retain the authority to bring the company back into the CFIUS process if it acts inconsistently with its announced plan to sell to a U.S. buyer." DP world, in a recent letter to congressional leaders, assured them that the sale is proceeding as planned, which seems to be reassuring Congress for now.

REP. PETE KING (R), NEW YORK: They are making the best faith effort to find an American buyer and that progress is being made.

TUCKER: But as of yet, there has been no formal offer to sell, which is known as a prospectus, from DPW.

So DPW probably won't have to sell the ports, Bush gets his way, and - once again - congress has pretended to do something.

So far, so good.