Skip to comments.Arab Co., White House Had Secret Agreement
Posted on 02/22/2006 6:19:30 PM PST by iPod Shuffle
Arab Co., White House Had Secret Agreement
Feb 22 9:03 PM US/Eastern
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By TED BRIDIS
Associated Press Writer
firstname.lastname@example.org The Bush administration secretly required a company in the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with future U.S. investigations before approving its takeover of operations at six American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. It chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.
As part of the $6.8 billion purchase, state-owned Dubai Ports World agreed to reveal records on demand about "foreign operational direction" of its business at U.S. ports, the documents said. Those records broadly include details about the design, maintenance or operation of ports and equipment.
The administration did not require Dubai Ports to keep copies of business records on U.S. soil, where they would be subject to court orders. It also did not require the company to designate an American citizen to accommodate U.S. government requests. Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries.
"They're not lax but they're not draconian," said James Lewis, a former U.S. official who worked on such agreements. If officials had predicted the firestorm of criticism over the deal, Lewis said, "they might have made them sound harder."
The conditions involving the sale of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. were detailed in U.S. documents marked "confidential." Such records are regularly guarded as trade secrets, and it is highly unusual for them to be made public.
The concessions _ described previously by the Homeland Security Department as unprecedented among maritime companies _ reflect the close relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates.
The revelations about the negotiated conditions came as the White House acknowledged President Bush was unaware of the pending sale until the deal had already been approved by his administration.
Bush on Tuesday brushed aside objections by leaders in the Senate and House. He pledged to veto any bill Congress might approve to block the agreement, but some lawmakers said they still were determined to capsize it.
Dubai Port's top American executive, chief operating officer Edward H. Bilkey, said the company will do whatever the Bush administration asks to enhance shipping security and ensure the sale goes through. Bilkey said Wednesday he will work in Washington to persuade skeptical lawmakers they should endorse the deal; Senate oversight hearings already are scheduled.
"We're disappointed," Bikley told the AP in an interview. "We're going to do our best to persuade them that they jumped the gun. The UAE is a very solid friend, as President Bush has said."
Under the deal, the government asked Dubai Ports to operate American seaports with existing U.S. managers "to the extent possible." It promised to take "all reasonable steps" to assist the Homeland Security Department, and it pledged to continue participating in security programs to stop smuggling and detect illegal shipments of nuclear materials.
The administration required Dubai Ports to designate an executive to handle requests from the U.S. government, but it did not specify this person's citizenship.
It said Dubai Ports must retain paperwork "in the normal course of business" but did not specify a time period or require corporate records to be housed in the United States. Outside experts familiar with such agreements said such provisions are routine in other cases.
Someone's got their DNC talking points.
So they engaged in this secret, dastardly plot...to get Dubai to open all its records?
Wow. I hope all those on Hillary's side of this story are happy.
Hope you all are proud.. another secret op busted before it even got off the ground.
We trusted Bush to close our borders and he did nothing. This is virtually the same topic.
He has proven how much we can trust him.
Why let the above interfere with the creation of a hyped story and a fraudulent headline?
Documents can be forged and autocratic Arab Muslims have plenty of practice at it and other forms of duplicity. If the UAE was as trustworthy as alleged elsewhere, what need is there for such extraordinary agreements? And if it isn't, what business does the government have in giving them access to our major ports in the middle of a war where most of their people are hardcore enemy supporters?
Gee, this was predictable, wasn't it? SSShhhhh!
man...so much going on ....
Much ado about nothing. But it is an election year and it is time to scare people into voting for them.
Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.
yeah....no way Bush does anything in the dark...sounds strickly like something from the DNC talking points are game plan.
*sigh* The DNC wants the US to lose. They would rather rule a land of ashes and tears, than live in a paradise of milk and honey.
Sick, sick, sick...
Yeah, President Hillary and the demagogue-crats will do a much better job.
According to the article this material is always kept confidential.
I guess anything our government does that's confidential is now suspect? Great--wiretapping, CIA flights, let it all out, eh? Who cares what operations it interferes with?
We should start phoning ahead and letting terrorists know when we're going to pounce on them, too, can't be "secret".
What a ridiculous headline.
They don't care. As long as Michelle Malkin or Ann Coulter is against it, so are they.
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