Thursday, February 23, 2006

One Crony Deal Too Many

It looks as if GW finally has his undies in a bunch over one of his crony deals.

I don't share the "Sky is falling" panic of so many around the DP World deal to buy P&O's ports operations. In a lot of ways it's a routine transaction in the international shipping biz. But the administration has spent five years playing spurious games of connect the dots and selling wolf tickets to the Middle East to maintain his War on Terra and now the xenophobic chickens are coming home to roost.

The troubling part about the DP World deal is the lack of routine oversight involved and required by the US. In the headlong rush to approve a deal for his Arab cronies the Prez let them steal the farm. Look at the "Secret Deal" as reported in the Guardian.

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.

More troubling is this excerpt:

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.

Think about the phrase "all reasonable steps" the next time you have to take off your shoes and belt buckle at the airport.

The administration's close personal economic ties to this deal should raise red flags in front of those who've been paying attention for the past five years. It's the level of antagonism from Bush's base that's finally heartening. Peter ranted several times. He reports that even Michele Malkin has turned on GW and his claque.

I can see a splendid irony in the fact that the deal that drags GW into the muck is going to be one that simply smells bad, rather than being one of those which stinks from head to core.

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