Democrats & Liberals Archives

45 Days to Security

45 days. Republicans are asking for 45 days. 45 days is all the Bush Administration needs to show Congress, the media and the public that giving Dubai Ports World the keys to ports in 6 states will keep America safe, will help show the Arab world that Americans are not racist, and will lead to the democratization of the Middle East. 45 days to security.

Isn't it amazing that Dubai Ports World asked for the 45 days of evaluation? Some cynics claim that they were afraid of losing a big contract - $6.8 billion. This is ridiculous. Their sole concern is for the security of USA, I'm sure. You'll see this is so after 45 days have passed.

In 45 days, you will be shown that UAE, the owner of Dubai Ports World, is one of the greatest allies America has. Yes, it was buddies with Osama bin Laden. But that was a long ago. Since then, it has seen the light. Its number one priority is to help U.S. in the "war on terror."

In 45 days, you will be convinced that this is the best business deal ever consummated for the benefit of America. These guys are the best in the port business. Nobody in America is capable of doing what these guys can do. Americans know nothing about ports. We're lucky to have such competent people take over.

In 45 days, you will be pretty sure that this outfit no longer deals with drugs, human trafficking and terror-money laundering. Everything about this company is strictly business.

45 days of evaluation is all the Republicans need. Well, maybe not evaluation, but propaganda. As a matter of fact, the propaganda parade has already started. In 45 days, we'll be surrounded by it.

Senator Frist, who originally was against the port deal, flip-flopped and said:

“We're behind the president 100 percent. We believe the decision in all likelihood is absolutely the right one."

Senator Lindsey Graham, on Face the Nation, made his contribution:

"So let's slow down and get everybody on the same sheet of music instead of bullying people into voting for this."

He wants everybody using "the same sheet of music" composed by Big Business Bushies.

On Meet the Press, there were 3 Republicans: Senator Warner, Rep. Peter King and California Governor Schwarzenegger. The governor was for the deal, with reservations. The senator said there should be a review, but we must not hurt this deal with the Arabs. King complained about the deal, but then said:

"So again, I don’t want to prejudge it, but I think certainly a real possibility at the end of this process to have U.S. officials monitoring it on a regular basis."

Here is what "straight talker" John McCain said on This Week:

"We got some very very big issues that I think are perhaps more important than whether a country that’s freer than China is, should have control of some of our terminals."

"A country that's freer than China"? Think Progress comments on this:

"According to the Freedom House’s 2006 Global Survey of Political Rights and Civil Liberties, China scores the worst rating (7) for political rights and a 6 for civil liberties. Overall, it receives a rating of “Not Free.” It’s actually a feat to be less free than China — only 7 countries of 192 do it.

The UAE is also rated “Not Free,” scoring a 6 for both political rights and civil liberties. Some other human rights bastions who are “freer than China”: Iran, the Congo, Cote d’Iviore, and Rwanda."

After 45 days, we'll be ready to give UAE a score of 1, America's rating by Freedom House, don't you think?

Already, pundits are joining the propaganda parade. Here's Tom Fiedman:

"As a country, we must not go down this road of global ethnic profiling -- looking for Arabs under our beds the way we once looked for commies. If we do -- if America, the world's beacon of pluralism and tolerance, goes down that road -- we will take the rest of the world with us. We will sow the wind and we will reap the whirlwind. If there were a real security issue here, I'd join the critics. But the security argument is bogus and, I would add, borderline racist."

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times:

"If we want to promote global markets, as an avenue to peace, we have to practice what we preach."

In 45 days, all Republicans will be with Bush on this deal. Bush is playing hardball. After all we're talking about a big business deal. When it comes to business, all Republicans stick together.

After 45 days, only Democrats will be against the deal. With Democrats, security is number one.

Posted by Paul Siegel at February 27, 2006 5:41 PM
Comments
Comment #130005

Hopefully this is written as satire, bad satire though it is. There are so many misstatements and twisted facts in this screed that it is difficult to determine where to begin.

Funny you should bring China in to mix. As a matter of fact, the People’s Republic of China controls ports in California. Has for years.

As for American companies that can do the job. Please provide names and amounts needed to do the job. I would wager you can’t find any.

Is the UAE my top choice for operating our ports? Not really, although they do have a pretty good track record in Europe. I would much rather see the control stay with the UK or possibly Australia,or othersb, but I don’t think this deal is going to reduce the security of the U.S.

Folks are jumping on this deal like it was something brand new. It isn’t, Foriegn companies have been operating American ports for years. Get over it!

Posted by: John Back at February 27, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #130011

“Foriegn companies have been operating American ports for years. Get over it!

Posted by: John Back at February 27, 2006 05:59 PM “

Perhaps in 2002 we should all have said, “other nations have been developing WMD’s for years, get over it”. We’d be embroiled in one less civil war.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 27, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #130013

The push that Democrats should be making is that ALL Companies doing business at Our Ports allow for “We the People” to invest in them through The Market. The bottom line is simple. Why should we allow any company to make a profit without allowing “We the People” to get in on The Deal? With the UAE owning DP and keeping the profits for themselve how does that benifit “We the People?”

As far as an American Company operating these warehouses and peirs, a National Non-Profit Business Opportunity exists so that “We the People” can give some of Our Own Unemployeed Excutives training so that they can have a job.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 27, 2006 6:26 PM
Comment #130015

This was released as “breaking news” on MSNBC less than an hour ago…..

Coast Guard documents raised questions about Dubai port company operations….. (pg. 138)

AP: Coast Guard raised concerns about port deal “intelligence gaps” last year.

Wouldn’t one suspect that since the Coast Guard is one of the responsible bodies charged with providing port security, and if they are having misgivings…..perhaps we need to pay attention!?!?!?!? What’s the matter with you righties?? Would you follow this administration over a cliff? I’ve got news for you…you’re standing on the edge and it’s crumbling under you!

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 27, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #130016

“Citing broad gaps in U.S. intelligence, the Coast Guard cautioned the Bush administration that it was unable to determine whether a United Arab Emirates-owned company might support terrorist operations, a Senate panel said Monday.”

“This report suggests there were significant and troubling intelligence gaps,” said Collins, R-Maine. “That language is very troubling to me.”

— ABC news, today

Posted by: tony at February 27, 2006 6:46 PM
Comment #130022

Thanks Tony for the actual quote…

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 27, 2006 7:15 PM
Comment #130024

The Port Deal is done.
this 45 day review is
smoke up your ——.
March 2 the goverment
of UAE takes over.
Watch the Repubs
flip. WE HAVE ALL
BEEN SOLD.

Posted by: Honey P at February 27, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #130025

Yes - as far as I can tell, the sell is already going to go through, it’s just the operational side of things that will be held up for 45 days. The UAE has wealth beyond our imagination - I can’t imagine that they won’t be able to buy off enough politicians before the 45 days expires.

Posted by: tony at February 27, 2006 7:21 PM
Comment #130027

sandra:

What I’ve seen from many is not necessarily that the ports deal should go through, but most definitely that the knee jerk reaction to toss it aside should be ignored. We should give the proposal due diligence, the proper oversight and the necessary transparency, and THEN—and only THEN, make the decision.

Paul is assuming the deal is a bad one. He’s making assumptions that are based on some level of misinformation, and some level of as yet nonexistent information. The deal may end up being good or bad, but in Paul’s post, he essentially says that if it goes through, it will be the result of chicanery and if it doesn’t, it will be the result of the Democratic diligence. He’s simply wrong in that.

As Americans we should all want more transparency than the bush admin has provided so far. But we should also want what’s best for our country, from both an economic and security standpoint. Once we can assess the deal properly, then we can make those judgements. Not before.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 27, 2006 7:24 PM
Comment #130037
US intelligence agencies have been removing thousands of historical documents from public access, the New York Times has reported. The restoration of classified status to more than 55,000 pages began in 1999, the paper said.
At that time, the CIA and five other agencies reportedly objected to what they saw as a “hasty release” of sensitive information.
The files include documents already published or obtained by historians.
The New York Times said the reclassification programme accelerated after President Bush took office and especially after the 9/11 attacks.
But because it runs in secrecy, it continued without being noticed until December 2005.
According to the report, it was intelligence historian Matthew Aid who noticed that dozens of documents he had copied years ago had been withdrawn from the National Archives’ open shelves.
Those are said to include decades-old State Department reports from the Korean War and the early Cold War.

BBC World News

Why?

Posted by: Pat at February 27, 2006 7:48 PM
Comment #130045

The investigation will go 45 days. Everyone will be watching. Everyone will be able to read the results.

Prejudice means to pre judge. So you have prejudged the case.

I have written something similar many times - i.e. we should wait until the investigation is complete to judge. On those many occassions, I have run into the prejudice.

This time the prejudice also has to do with something beyond the case.

Posted by: Jack at February 27, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #130051

“The Port Deal is done.
this 45 day review is
smoke up your ——.
March 2 the goverment
of UAE takes over.
Watch the Repubs
flip. WE HAVE ALL
BEEN SOLD.

Posted by: Honey P at February 27, 2006 07:18 PM”

You have that dead right Honey P. I’ve been watching the “analysis” on both CNN and FOX. The deal is done. Everything else is “smoke and mirrors”.

I won’t bother with “I told ya’ so” about the neo-con flip-flop but I did predict it. You deserve a big thank you for being the first on the “Blue Side” to alert us to this when it was still hidden in the financial pages. I originally thought you must be high or maybe crazy.

In this political climate the facts often sound like a very bad fictional short story. My apologies for doubting you.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 27, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #130054

OK - so I hear a lot about people ‘pre-judging’ and ‘knee jerk reactions’ against the UAE port deal, but why nothing about those same reactions for the deal to go through. How can you justify the President immediately threatening to veto legislation from Congress on a deal he ‘knew nothing about’? What about the steadfast support of this deal in face of ‘gaps in the intelligence’? Why is this deal so important to the President that he would bitchslap members of his own party (who have supported him through some very rough times) in order to make this deal happen? What does this deal offer that is so unique and vastly important to America that it warrants such a stern reaction from someone who should be considering the American people first and foremost?

Posted by: tony at February 27, 2006 8:12 PM
Comment #130057

Jack,

You know this is BS:

“Everyone will be able to read the results.”

Even our City Council Meetings go into “closed session” when something private is being discussed.

To suggest there are only two levels of security is either totally naive or just straight out lieing.

Kansas translation: I was born at night, but not in Kansas.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 27, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #130059

We can rest assured that this deal will go through the rubber stamp process that the security checks got. The biggest difference being that the initial rubber stamp was just some “mid level types”. The next stroke comes from our representatives. We as opponents of this foul joke of an administration should take heart. They just threw away their only viable talking point, ie. security. Between that, the war, the economy, illegal wiretaps, border policy that encourages illegal immigration, widespread and far reaching corruption and the explosion of national debt this group of thieves is about to self destruct. REJOICE
No worries. What’s the worst thing that could happen?
I just hope they have more sense than to push Hillary as their ‘08 candidate. Of course anyone could do a better job than jerko and co.

Posted by: sndyrmony at February 27, 2006 8:24 PM
Comment #130065

Jack…will you ever take your blinders off and turn your head in another direction?
We know you’ve written many times about your opinion that we are prejudging this case. You have maintained all along your thoughts and ideas are more credible than “ours”. And you do it in such a condescending way……….
and jbod…..similar comments to you. What makes you think that the sources you choose to believe are any more right?? But, now it can be said that you’re just blowing smoke about sources, because the Coast Gaurd having released their doubts about the security of this deal, doesn’t seem to have changed the direction of your thoughts or comments. Or do you want now to believe their opinion isn’t justified?

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 27, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #130066

Sandra
It isn’t blinders as I pointed out earlier. His body hat distorts all.
Sorry Jack, but some people warrant nothing more than ridicule. Shills fall into that category.

Posted by: sndyrmony at February 27, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #130068

Hey - I have an idea! How about Bill Richardson (NMex) for President in ‘08. A southern, Hispanic Governor.

???

Posted by: tony at February 27, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #130069

Sandra, Syn, Kansas et al

We got the review. We have the time. I didn’t feel it necessary, but we got what everyone asked for. So I am willing to take advanatage of the added caution. If the investigation turns up something serious, I am willing to scrap or modify the deal as appropriate. I am willing to wait for the evidence.

Now you are telling us that there is NOTHING that could convince you that the deal is valid.

The prejudging is prejudice. What else could you call it? You are certain of the result before the investigation.

It is really an amazingly narrow minded postition, when you think about it.

Posted by: Jack at February 27, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #130070

Syn

I know you enjoy your own humor and so do your buddies. I am sure you are very good at amusing yourself in various ways. I remember when my kids were little they liked the “poopy faced” humor too. It is kind of amusing in little kids.

Posted by: Jack at February 27, 2006 8:43 PM
Comment #130071

I sure feel silly having such a narrow focus on the world around me. What irony

Posted by: richard at February 27, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #130072

I wonder what you find ironic about that, Richard. Exploring a variety of options has not been a Democratic strong point since the days of John Kennedy.

Posted by: Jack at February 27, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #130073

Jack………….. YOU are willing to scrap the deal bla bla bla…..?????? Talk about close minded and egotistical. And yes….there is nothing good that I can say about this deal. It is just further proof that this president threw out the welcome mat with no consideration beyond profit !
We all need to get used to using the word “oligarchy”…cuz folks…..we are dam near there.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 27, 2006 8:51 PM
Comment #130078

“I wonder what you find ironic about that, Richard. Exploring a variety of options has not been a Democratic strong point since the days of John Kennedy.”

Wow - kind of an irony within an irony. If two wrongs make a right, then what does two ironies make?

I’m sorry, Jack, but from the conservative track record over the past 5+ years, there’s very little room to discuss ‘exploring a variety of options’ seriously. Can you honestly say that Bush has, even a little, considered a variety of options? Even on a single issue? (i.e., is our stance any less considerate of options than Bush’s threat of a veto if he doesn’t get what he wants?)

Posted by: tony at February 27, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #130079

Tony
Shhh, Jack is sleeping, don’t wake him up.

Posted by: richard at February 27, 2006 9:11 PM
Comment #130081

Everyone here knows I’m a part of the left (or blue) column. Jack is right about the personal attacks though. I agree that Jack seems very “single minded” and his views are annoying because he always claims to win even if it’s because we just got tired of arguing.

But really the personal attacks are not helping us. An occasional heated stab is one thing but I think it’s time we get back to principles. Critique the message, not the messenger. I fear the next warning may be in the way of expelling someone from participation altogether. (certainly not my decision)

Just think about it. We.re getting to the point we sound like Cheney telling someone to GFY. Not a good thing, and actually more demeaning to the sender than to the recipient.

I once used very inflammatory language in response to goodkingned because he referred to cindy sheehan as “tacky”. I didn’t see his response but the next day all had been removed. Luckily I wasn’t just kicked off the board. In hind sight my comments were not only inappropriate but also ineffective. Rather than getting any point across I simply displayed that I could be easily pushed over the edge.

Very, very dumb on my part. Something I try like the devil not to repeat. The key is to “not just react, but rather plan a response”. This ain’t O’Rielly, no one can shout at you while you’re thinking of a proper response.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 27, 2006 9:19 PM
Comment #130086

Kansas

I do appreciate the help, but I usually don’t mind the attacks.

As you know I consider a sign of success. It helps me be insufferable.

Posted by: Jack at February 27, 2006 9:30 PM
Comment #130091

Kansas…………I believe it’s your turn.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 27, 2006 9:41 PM
Comment #130095

“I do appreciate the help, but I usually don’t mind the attacks.

As you know I consider a sign of success. It helps me be insufferable.

Posted by: Jack at February 27, 2006 09:30 PM”

Jack,

That was partly my point. When it get’s down to calling each other names the argument is lost on both sides.

As you said the other day it’s good to walk once in a while. Sitting in front of the puter makes us fat. Must get away once in a while. Just because you don’t get an immediate response means nothing. Whether it’s cooling off time or simply bathroom time.

Calling each other names accomplishes nothing. It simply implies weakness.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 27, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #130096

>>It is really an amazingly narrow minded postition, when you think about it.


Posted by: Jack at February 27, 2006 08:38 PM

Jack,

And this, of course, is not prejudicial? I don’t agree with you so I’m narrow minded…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 27, 2006 10:00 PM
Comment #130098

Join the crowd marysdude……

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 27, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #130099

You know, there’s a lot of talk on in this post about various people, dems and reps, “pre-judging” this deal. But I haven’t seen many comments about Bush. What about Bush’s pre-judgment of the entire situation? He threatened veto of any action to prevent the deal “before” we had a chance to look at the evidence or due any due diligence. He threatened to veto before “he” knew anything about the deal. The knee-jerk reaction everyone has had has been for a very good and perfectly obvious reason, a nation that formerly supported terrorism is taking control of our ports. His knee-jerk reaction was to defend the deal that he had no knowledge of. If he’s so hot on security and terrorism, and if he had no previous knowledge of the deal, then wouldn’t his initial reaction be completely opposite?

I know, I know, he can’t personally be involved in all dealings, even ones of this scope, and I’m sure there will be an argument made that he needs to trust the people he’s put in place if anything is to be accomplished. So when dealing with an issue of this magnitude, when dealing with a nation that has a shady past and uncertain future, Bush needs to trust the Department of the Treasury to ensure that all the bases have been covered to protect national security, because, as we all know, national security is the treasury’s other job. You know, like Steven Segal was a military super-soldier but he was “also” a cook.

And why would any additional due diligence or investigation be needed? The Department of the Treasury has already done all this, right? I mean, all they really need to do is hand over what they’ve done that led them to this conclusion, right?

And with all the talk of transparency here, is anyone going to be surprised if the additional investigation and due diligence is marked as classified? This is a national security issue, right? If they are going to classify the reason Gen. MacArthur was going to be fired, will it really be much of a surprise if they classify this.

It seems to me that if we are going to prejudge a situation, if we are going to have a knee-jerk reaction about a situation, isn’t it better to do so on the side of national security as we are now than on the side of business as Bush has done. If we’re wrong then, well, we’re wrong. If he’s wrong then we’ve just opened up yet another door for an attack.

Posted by: Grant at February 27, 2006 10:18 PM
Comment #130101

p.s. Nice post KansasDem, you’re absolutely right.

Posted by: Grant at February 27, 2006 10:20 PM
Comment #130103

“Kansas…………I believe it’s your turn.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 27, 2006 09:41 PM”

Sandra,

Just because someone doesn’t instantly respond means nothing. Sometimes the soliciting message just doesn’t deservr a response. Sometimes a person can get busy with other things.

To draw a parallel: if this were a game (which it’s not) this would certainly compare more closely to chess than checkers. Sometimes it requires deep thought and research. Deep thought may occasionally result in either a weakening or strengthening of ones beliefs.

Stephen Daugherty (sp) especially challenges my mind. Some of the moderate and even far right folks awaken me to things I’d otherwise have paid no attention to. If I limit my reading to only what I believe then I’ll never know what or why the other side believes as they do.

IMO that’s not being a traitor to the cause because we are all American first and whatever else second. As far apart as we might be politically I can almost guarantee that you’d never find someone better than Sicilian Eagle or Sanger to cover your back if the sh** was really hitting the fan.

I know the same could be said of many on this side. It’s just important to remember we’re all in the same “game”. If someone else fouls that doesn’t mean you get a freebie foul.

IMO an occasional “stab” is understandable but I think we’re pushing it. I just don’t want to see anyone getting the boot. It’s beginning to feel like gradeschool kids calling names.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 27, 2006 10:27 PM
Comment #130105

The following is an excerpt from the transcripts of Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN, Feb 27th

Dubai Ports World tonight is making what I consider to be a rather astonishing new attempt to silence me and our coverage of this ports deal and our reporting of what at least I consider to be legitimate national security concerns about this transaction. Dubai Ports World has actually refused to grant CNN anymore interviews from Washington or London, and it’s refused to allow CNN to videotape its operations in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong if we were to show you the video on this broadcast.

This is not the first time that Dubai Ports World has tried to silence me. Last week, a spokesman for the public relations firm that represents the company, Mark Dennis, declared, “CNN won’t shut up Lou Dobbs.” And as a result, they weren’t going to cooperate.

How’s that for tranparency for ya.

Posted by: Grant at February 27, 2006 10:40 PM
Comment #130108

“You know, there’s a lot of talk on in this post about various people, dems and reps, “pre-judging” this deal. But I haven’t seen many comments about Bush. What about Bush’s pre-judgment of the entire situation? He threatened veto of any action to prevent the deal “before” we had a chance to look at the evidence or due any due diligence. He threatened to veto before “he” knew anything about the deal.”

Grant,

You’re absolutely right. GW himself knew as much as us until the MSM cracked the story.

The real story should be how damn much is going on that our president doesn’t even know about.

If he expects me to simply trust his “front men” without asking questions then he truly is unfit to hold the office.

This whole, “OK I’ll give ya’ 45 days” thing is the equivolent of finding out your spouse refinaced the house and forged your signature.

Too little, too late, and it still all comes down to Bush basically saying, “trust me”.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 27, 2006 10:59 PM
Comment #130109

All of this subterfuge….I don’t understand why that doesn’t send up a red flag to more people…

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 27, 2006 11:03 PM
Comment #130113

“All of this subterfuge….I don’t understand why that doesn’t send up a red flag to more people…

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 27, 2006 11:03 PM

Sandra,

The whole thing’s amazing to me. Bush didn’t even know. I assume it’s safe to say he’s just the “front man”. Maybe there are proper safeguards in place, how could we know? How can the Pres even reassure us when he didn’t know until most of us already knew.

Hmmm, history check: I didn’t know the levees had been breached. What tidal surge?

Mission accomplished!

Bring it on!

WMD, imminent threat (Yo, Ken save your video, I know most Dems believed it too, although they didn’t get to see everything the pres did).

Still the real substance of what we hear is, “Trust me, you know you can trust me”.

Sorry, I don’t trust Bush at all. I wouldn’t trust him with the change from a soda pop.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 27, 2006 11:36 PM
Comment #130114

Like Jack I feel that we should wait for the facts….unlike Jack I feel the burden of proof is on the Dubai company. There should be some VERY, VERY hard research into this. I’m not talking about the type of softballs the GOP pitched during the judicial nomination process…I’m talking about SERIOUS investigation. Our security could be at stake.

The operating company of the ports puts together the manifests for the cargo ships. This is almost always what our so-called security check consists of…checking paperwork. Very rarely the coast guard or port authority will actually inspect cargo. Like most government entities they spend most of their time inspecting paperwork. Do you think a manifest might include something like this?

1. 200 Toyota pick-up trucks
2. 76 sheets of cold rolled steel
3. 296 ball bearings
4. 1 “dirty bomb”

We need to examine this deal closely folks. It may be fine….but it may not. This is more than a red thing or blue thing…this is a security thing. I’m not sure if 45 days is enough for an adequate background check and security investigation. Then again, I’m concerned, like others, that it could simply be 45 days of propaganda.

Regards.

Posted by: Tom L at February 27, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #130120

>> We need to examine this deal closely folks. It may be fine….but it may not. This is more than a red thing or blue thing…this is a security thing. I’m not sure if 45 days is enough for an adequate background check and security investigation.

Why does everyone keep talking about background checks and security investigations? All of this has already been done by the administration prior to Bush even finding out about the deal. Let me reiterate, in two days Bush was convinced that this deal was the greatest thing for America since the introduction of sliced bread.

Why do we need more investigation? Just show the American people what Bush was shown that convinced him. Just show the American people the information Bush was given that he staked the security of this country on. I mean, if “Bring it on” Bush could be convinced so completely that he’s willing to veto any action against it, certainly the same information would convince us, right?

We don’t need 45 days of massaging and manipulating the facts, campaign contributions, etc… We just need 2 days to review the same information that he reviewed.

Personally, I don’t think the right is concerned about national security. I think they are concerned that the American people will find out just what kind of information is being used to justify national security decisions. That would be a far greater threat to them.

Posted by: Grant at February 28, 2006 12:25 AM
Comment #130125

I am getting frightened. It seems the American population is starting to wake up, I didn’t think it possible. But now King Dumbya and Quickdraw Cheney have reached a new low in job approval. 34% for Dumbya and 18% for Cheney. It seems that the only ones left who think this aberation is doing a good job be anyone except the born again and paid.
I know that I am rude to those of the red stripe, I have no tolerance for them at all. I feel engaging them is pointless and accepting their views as valid is the same a the people in Germany in the 30’s winking and saying they are just fooling. Nobody could be so lame. Yeah I know over reaction to a bunch of harmless fools. They may be fools, they aren’t harmless.
I say polish your Jack boots, dust of your bible and press your best brown shirt kids cause freedom is on the march. BEWARE

Posted by: sndyrmony at February 28, 2006 12:58 AM
Comment #130138

45 days is plenty! Just call Dubai to Congress, and get their testimony. No need to swear them in or anything… I’m sure they will tell us the truth.

We are living in scary times.

Posted by: Kc at February 28, 2006 4:01 AM
Comment #130149

sandra and tony:

From day 1 of the port ‘controversy’, I stated that same opinion. Don’t jump to conclusions, don’t prejudge the deal. I also pointed out that the deal was vetted by the committee so it recieved scrutiny. My very next statement was that IFFF the committee did its job, the deal would be a good one; if they did their job poorly, the deal might not be good, so the real impetus ought to be on determining how well the committee did its job.

People have been saying the deal gave over port security, wasn’t investigated, etc—all mistaken points that weren’t true.

I’ve also said that the deal should be open to scrutiny with full transparency, that I didn’t feel comfortable with the level of information that was held secret, and that Bush should not use the threat of veto (though I agreed with his point that others were prejudging the deal.

Where in my comments is there any of the crap that you guys tossed out in your posts? It just isn’t there. A debate or conversation must have two sides—-if you care only to throw out uninformed incorrect information about what I’ve said because you are too lazy to read what Ive written, it only serves to show your own mistakes.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 28, 2006 7:22 AM
Comment #130155

Joe -

“People have been saying the deal gave over port security, wasn’t investigated, etc—all mistaken points that weren’t true.”

But honestly, how well was the deal vetted - if even the Coast Guard said it could not investigate because of GAPS in the intelligence. (Seen that one before.)

“Where in my comments is there any of the crap that you guys tossed out in your posts? It just isn’t there. A debate or conversation must have two sides—-if you care only to throw out uninformed incorrect information about what I’ve said because you are too lazy to read what Ive written, it only serves to show your own mistakes.:

Why do you assume that my comments were aimed at you? What “crap” are you talking about? I call “crap” on the assumption that the left knee jerked and the Bush Admin. simply wasn’t fullly transparent. Bush ‘knee jerked” into immediately saying he would veto legislation that blocked the deal. How does this increase security? What does this deal offer the US that doesn’t currently exist? Why should anyone feel good that our President is putting more power behind a business dealing than processing the proper security checks?

And if you’re “too lazy” to understand what other posts are about and separate out you feelings from facts… “it only serves to show your own mistakes.”

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 8:12 AM
Comment #130160

tony:

Why do you assume that my comments were aimed at you?

Because 4 posts and 48 minutes after I used the term “knee jerk reaction”, you quoted my comment in your response. While your response may not have been targeted only at me, it certainly was aimed in my direction.

But honestly, how well was the deal vetted

Didja even read my post? Directly before the above quote, I wrote that “IFFF the committee did its job, the deal would be a good one; if they did their job poorly, the deal might not be good, so the real impetus ought to be on determining how well the committee did its job.”

Its frustrating to hear you question how people can “justify the President immediately threatening to veto” or “the steadfast support of this deal” in response to my post saying I think Bush is wrong for the veto and that I think the investigation of the ports deal needs to be checked.

You can claim whatever you wish, but when your post comes directly after mine and quotes part of mine, its going to be pretty difficult for you to claim you weren’t responding at least in part to mine. You completely ignored the points I made in order to make general points that you simply wanted to make.


Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 28, 2006 8:38 AM
Comment #130162

Paul,
What are you talking about? Friedman and Kristof are the last people that are going to spread propoganda for Bush’s benefit. Their opinions should be respected, and they are not with you on this one.

Posted by: Schwamp at February 28, 2006 8:55 AM
Comment #130176

Red stripe, blue stripe and non striped the attached should be of interest to anyone that believe that the wire taps gave been in any way limited to terrorists or calls and messages to / from foreign countries. If you don’t care for the heavy reading scroll down to area of limits.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON
As you see their machinery is (admitted) capable of monitoring 3 billion communications per day. I guess if you believe the scope of their eavesdropping were limited over the last few years you are either painfully naive or a Bush supporter. Either way I feel a great deal of embarassment for you, cause clearly you’re not smart enough to be embarassed for yourself.
I hope this makes you feel more secure.

Posted by: richard at February 28, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #130179

KansasDem

Bush didn’t even know. I assume it’s safe to say he’s just the “front man”. Maybe there are proper safeguards in place, how could we know? How can the Pres even reassure us when he didn’t know until most of us already knew…..Still the real substance of what we hear is, “Trust me, you know you can trust me”.

Sorry, I don’t trust Bush at all. I wouldn’t trust him with the change from a soda pop.

Thank you for agreeing with me on that most important point.

Bush is definitely out of touch with the world on this.

Posted by: Linda H. at February 28, 2006 10:22 AM
Comment #130180

joe -

OK, maybe it’s better said this way: I take issue with calling one side “knee jerk” and not the other. There are quite a few things I take issue with this, but that’s the point I’m bringing up. Not all of any post is simply aimed at your response. But I still bring up the issue about Bush: Saying “ifff this happens” and “iffff that” happens is not the same as saying that the had a “knee jerk” reaction to the complaints of this deal. You seem to be more accepting of the way Bush has handled this… at least that is how your posts come across to me. That’s what I have issue with.

I see Bush’s response as being worse than others because others want to err on the side of security - and I can’t even guess at what Bush wanted to err on the side of…money? Business? That’s the second point: I do not trust Bush’s motives on this because they were so completely dogged - and they seem to fly in the face a true dangers we face.

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 10:23 AM
Comment #130182

Guess my take on that subject you’re referring to is…would depend on just who’s a- - the committee is kissing !!!
Release of the statement now that the committee has to renige a bit and back up due to concern raised by the Coast Guard seems to justify, at least in part what some of our concerns are.
Many seem to forget that this committee, process…is newly formed just a few months ago. Another “secret” move, and why was it created when there is already a process in place?
It is these actions taking place in closets and under tables that isn’t right.


Posted by: Sandra Davidson at February 28, 2006 10:32 AM
Comment #130186

Really, at least we know what Clinton was getting under the table

Posted by: richard at February 28, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #130188

tony:

You seem to be more accepting of the way Bush has handled this

What part of my posts gives you that impression?
The part where I say Bush would be wrong to veto, or the part where I say the committee should transparently verify that it gave the deal due dilegence, or the part where I say that too much of the information was withheld from public scrutiny?

Seems to me that what I’ve consistently said is that the deal AT THIS POINT is not necessarily good or bad, and that the level of scrutiny that the committee gave the deal is yet unknown. We only know they looked at the deal and approved it, but we don’t know why they did or if their decision was a good one.

I don’t see how that comes down on the side of accepting the deal at face value. I think my words are clear, but that you simply bypassed what I said in favor of commenting on a larger group of people that have nothing to do with me.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 28, 2006 11:03 AM
Comment #130192

“As Americans we should all want more transparency than the bush admin has provided so far. But we should also want what’s best for our country, from both an economic and security standpoint. Once we can assess the deal properly, then we can make those judgements. Not before.”

It’s in the way you phrase things. This is how you refer to Bush’s decision… and I agree with what you said here. But in turn, you call the people opposed to the deal as having a “knee jerk” response. One comment is wishing someone would do better, the other is much more negative. That’s where I see the issue.

Again: I am trying to comment on the overall conversation (most of the time) and do not mean to lump you in with group that you have nothing to do with… but if what you say tends to put you in that group…??? I’m not bypassing what you write. I agree with a good bit of what you say, but IMO - you seem to be giving Bush a bit more of a pass than those who object to how he handled this situation.

My stance - I can not see anything wrong with an immediate opposition to a deal that seems to fly in the face of our port security. I think we all know that this is a huge area of weakness with regard to security, so any decision that seems to have even modest concerns can warrant a very strong reaction. I can not, however, see the ‘veto’ reaction from Bush as anything but rash. To me, he is saying that I do not care what YOUR concerns about security are, if you don’t take my word for it, then I will veto your concerns. I don’t see the overiding benefit from the deal with UAE to drive such a dogmatic stance from Bush. Do you?

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #130195

>>To me, he is saying that I do not care what YOUR concerns about security are, if you don’t take my word for it, then I will veto your concerns. I don’t see the overiding benefit from the deal with UAE to drive such a dogmatic stance from Bush. Do you?

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 11:20 AM

tony,

Doesn’t this even magnify when considering Cheney/Bush said this about the veto before he was even cognizent of the agreement?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 28, 2006 11:51 AM
Comment #130198

tony:

I dont see Bush’s purpose in threatening a veto on this. I can only assume there must be some kind of rationale for that kind of a harsh stance. Seems to harsh to me. Possibilities are that there is a big economic factor involved for the US, or that he doesn’t want Congress taking away Presidential powers, or that this will help the US build relationships in the Mid East (perhaps some kind of quid pro quo in regard to this deal).

As long as the deal is good for the country, then I don’t care what the reason is. And that’s what will need to be determined over the next 45 days.

But tony, please note in Paul’s article that led off this thread: “45 days of evaluation is all the Republicans need. Well, maybe not evaluation, but propaganda.” He’s already assuming the deal is bad and that Republicans are using propaganda to prop up the deal. I think the definition of ‘kneejerk’ is when you reach a conclusion prior to the submission of any facts, and since we are at the beginning of the 45 day process and Paul has already reached his conclusion, I’d say the term fits.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 28, 2006 12:04 PM
Comment #130205

joe -

I would agree with you, except for the fact that the sale is already going through… with NO reclusion clause in it if this does not meet National Security requirements. The sale will happen, now it’s just down convincing people it is a good decision, and that is propaganda.

What happens if we decide we do not want the UAW to operate any of our ports? They already own the contracts to do so. If Congress then decides to pass a law preventing the UAW from operating these ports, does Bush hold to his veto threat? Do we also then face a court battle that focuses more on the legal matters of the contracts - regardless of National Security?

The fact the Bush also threatened the veto before he “knew” about the deal also does not sit well with me. Either he knew of the deal and wanted it to go through but didn’t want to political baggage that came with the deal, or he was just wanted to have it his way. Neither is a good thing.

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 12:18 PM
Comment #130221

>> As long as the deal is good for the country, then I don’t care what the reason is. And that’s what will need to be determined over the next 45 days.

Joe,

Going along with Tony’s post, and as I keep asking, why do we need 45 days? Bush only needed 2. The deal and the evidence that was presented to Bush was obviously overwhelming enough to convince him, why not just present the same evidence to us? It doesn’t need to take 45 days. Let’s all see what information is being used by Bush to make this decision now, rather than whatever information is “generated” 45 days from now.

Posted by: Grant at February 28, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #130228

To you posters and readers- Have any of you ever considered how many ports this country has and the ability of smugglers- I am worried about the future for my grandchildern and yes, yours too.

Posted by: duckman1934 at February 28, 2006 1:06 PM
Comment #130235

Grant:

We need to be realistic and recognize that if Bush or anyone suggested a two day approval process at this point, they would be pilloried for it.

What I’ve said from the start is that we need as much transparency as possible. There are always pieces of information that should not be divulged publicly. Sometimes it involves security, sometimes a proprietary way of doing things, a financial document that requires confidentiality etc. But this deal is not yet transparent. When it becomes so, I think most of the questions will go away, unless those already against the deal simply won’t accept the answers. Another possibility is that answers will come to light that will show it to be a bad deal. Possible, but in my opinion unlikely.

As a business person, I do not want the details of my deals out in the public because it gives my competition information about how I do things. It is fully acceptable to have the broad brush information out there so as to assess a deal, but there are always bits of information that need to be closely held.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 28, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #130255

I’ve been accused of knee-jerk reactions and racism. I offer Grant’s post about how Lou Dobbs is being threatened by Dubai Ports World in response to the knee-jerk accusation. I offer this from the American Prospect in response to the racism accusation:

“Yes, of course the boycott [of Israeli products] is still in place and is still enforced,” Muhammad Rashid a-Din, a staff member of the Dubai Customs Department’s Office for the Boycott of Israel, told the [Jerusalem] Post in a telephone interview.

“If a product contained even some components that were made in Israel, and you wanted to import it to Dubai, it would be a problem,” he said.

Where’s the racism here?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at February 28, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #130282

Paul:

Grant’s post regarding Lou Dobbs has nothing to do with the knee jerk accusation. I accused you of the knee jerk response specifically because you claim to already know that the admin will whitewash the 45 day investigation. You are operating under the assumption that the deal is a bad one. That’s a knee jerk assumption.

That having been said, its still possible that it could be the right assumption, but for the wrong reason. The deal can be good or bad or somewhere in between.

To make that determination before the presentation of factual information would be the same as a juror saying at the opening of a trial that the defendant is guilty. The proper stance here is to not assume anything, but rather verify factually whether the deal is acceptable or not. Kinda makes a ton of sense, doesnt it.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 28, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #130294

joe -

Again, the official assumption of this Administration is that this a perfectly fine deal and the sale is actually going to happen tomorrow. So how does that color this deal? How sincere can their vetting of the Dubai be if the sale has already happened?

Had this deal been brought to light as a proposed sale and “Hey, Congresspeople, what do you think?” I would have a bit more support for it. But the fact that it was done in secret and tried to pass under the radar immediately raises a red flag. Also, the known past of the UAE sends up a red flag. The fact that, as hard core as this Administration has been about leveraging terror, that Bush simply said “Don’t worry about security”: that sends up a red flag.

Tell me why we should ignore these red flags. Tell me why a ‘knee jerk” reaction is inappropriate when it involves National Security in a time of violence? At least the knee jerk reaction from the majority of Americans is coming from a known place and has relevance. Can you say the same about Bush’s reaction?

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 3:32 PM
Comment #130295

joe,

Perhaps the strangest of all is:

1. Terrorism is so feared by this administration that it is willing, even eager to circumvent the Constitution by warrantless wiretapping on American citizens, but…

2. Is so trusting of terrorists that it is okay to contract terrorist backers to run some of our ports…

Bad Americans…Good UAEers…HUH???

Posted by: Marysdude at February 28, 2006 3:33 PM
Comment #130303

joe,

you talk about a two day approval process, but that doesn’t make sense. the approvals already been done. it’s already been investigated, vetted and approved. I’m not talking about reopening the investigation, I’m talking about presenting the existing information that led to the “existing” approval. we don’t need 45 days for that. as i said, bush was presented with that information and found everything on the up and up in 2 days. why would it take anyone else longer?

Posted by: Grant at February 28, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #130333

tony:

Do you read my posts before you write yours? Seriously, I don’t see any evidence that you do.

Tell me why we should ignore these red flags.

I have never ever ever suggested that we ignore the red flags on this deal. If you feel that I have said this, please copy the incriminating statement from my previous posts and display it. If not, then why would you ask the question?
Since I’ve never said anything of the sort, nor do I believe it, I cannot possibly answer the question—-its simply meaningless.

Tell me why a ‘knee jerk” reaction is inappropriate when it involves National Security in a time of violence?

Knee jerk reactions are not based on real information, facts or circumstances. They are based on what someone THINKS is the real information, facts or circumstances. The right way to react is honestly and openly—-that may mean questioning the deal, but it does NOT mean calling for its cancellation without doing due diligence. The first knee jerk reaction came out like this: “Why the hell are we outsourcing our ports—we shouldn’t do that”. Guess what—the knee jerk reaction was flawed in that the ports were already outsourced. Bottom line is that knee jerk reactions dont require thought—they are simply impulse driven. If you want to react to things in that manner, so be it. For me, I’ll take the road of information, facts and serious consideration.

Grant:

I have no problem with that. I’ve said I’d like full transparency of what the committee looked at. At this point, we know the deal was investigated by committee—what we don’t know is how well they investigated it and what specifically they investigated. I’m in favor of doing that. I don’t know who called for the 45 day period, but I can virtually guarantee that if the admin told Congress they had 2 days to review the information, Congress would balk at that.

So in fairness, I’d say open the doors to all the information that is available (with the caveat that some info might be too sensitive to make the specifics public), allow Congress sufficient time to review it (I don’t know what sufficient is for them, but whatever is reasonable), and then schedule a time to make a final decision. Hows that sound to you?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 28, 2006 5:28 PM
Comment #130363

joe -

“Since I’ve never said anything of the sort, nor do I believe it, I cannot possibly answer the question—-its simply meaningless.”

You need to get past the idea that I am simply attacking your positions. I start with what you write and the expand on that. These are questions I wish to ask you (and others posting here) - I am not suggesting that you’ve answered them as of yet. I’m trying to move the argument forward, not simply react solely to what you write.

“If you want to react to things in that manner, so be it. For me, I’ll take the road of information, facts and serious consideration.”

I would expect you take that road - and expect you to assume the same of others of us who post here. Why do you so easily assume stupidity, laziness or purely emotional thought simply because I (and others) disagree with you. Your above post is EXTREMELY pompous and condescending.

Do you “take the road of information, facts and consideration” when someone cuts you off when driving to work? When you wake up at night and your house is burning down? If you have kids, do you rationally discuss the dangers of parking lots to them calmly as they run into the path of an oncoming car?

The point: it’s the degree of immediacy and importance that justifies the intense reaction and scrutiny of this deal. A simple observation and processing of the facts, in this case, would seem to be an inappropriate reaction - IMO.

How should we react when you think that your leaders propose ideas that, on their face, seems exceptionally contrary to a known danger? When that dealing is done in secrecy? Do you change your reactions if you feel that the people that are acting irresponsibly don’t even notice your concern?

Or put it this way - do you think that if we simply posed a question about this and waited for a response from our government that anything at all would’ve been done to address our concerns?

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #130367

joe -

Another way to look at the questions I pose is that the are hypothetical - the answers are not always the point, I am simply trying to show the construct of a train of thought or argument.

Make sense?

Posted by: tony at February 28, 2006 7:59 PM
Comment #130464

tony:

To the degree that my post indicates pomposity, you have my apology. Its intended to show frustration. I feel as if you’ve started at a point that doesn’t allow the argument to move forward. In fact, this thread started at that point. When we start with assumptions and then move forward from there, is it possible to arrive at the proper place.

To analogize, if I assume that I’m in Dubuque, Iowa and I’m trying to get to Los Angeles, I can use a map to get there. But if I’m actually in Nashville, Tennessee, all my directions will be wrong because I started with a faulty premise.

The premise in this thread is that the Bush admin is wrong to have accepted this deal. Once that assumption is made, then all following information is colored by that assumption and takes on a new meaning.

In your initial post, you asked why there was steadfast support for the deal and why Bush would veto legislation to stop the deal. Your premise is wrong here. There isn’t steadfast support for it—there is widespread bipartisan call for further investigation and disclosure. This is how government is supposed to work, to a degree.

How should we react when you think that your leaders propose ideas that, on their face, seems exceptionally contrary to a known danger?

We should trust but verify. We should NOT jump to conclusions. To use your example, if my house is burning, I don’t immediately assume arson and begin investigating that angle. I first bring the fire under control and then investigate. In this situation, people began screaming “arson” before any of the facts emerged.

I’ve told you how I think this whole thing should be done. I’ve stated that the level of secrecy seems to high, though I’d accept a certain level of secrecy in such deals. It went through the proper channels for approval—we now need to know whether those in the chain of command did their jobs prudently.

The proper way is to recognize that a proposal has been made. We then evaluate all sides of the proposal and reach a conclusion about it. When the first salvo was “Bush outsourced the security of our ports to terrorists”, then there is no ability to move the argument forward. Its a train that is already off the tracks.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at March 1, 2006 5:57 AM
Comment #130468

joe -

Would it help to consider the environment to understand the reaction? We have been pumped up on terror threats for the past 4 years, and we have had the 9/11 attacks thrust in every international policy discussion. So, terrorism is a huge concern.

Bush was not seen as offering up the deal as a proposal, he was ‘caught with his hands in the cookie jar.’ I know this has the presumption of guilt - and that’s my point. Had this deal been done from the start out in the open - the facts and options would’ve been presented at the same time. They weren’t.

Everyone knows that our ports are a severe weakness in our National Security.

The majority of Americans do not now trust the President - and even less trust his ‘secret dealings.’ This is not a product of this deal, it is a product of past actions - and no one but Bush is at fault for this.

Again, Bush looked out of the loop. At first, we hear a deal that sounds very dangerous and then we hear Bush say that he will veto any attempt to block the deal. Then we hear that Bush really had no knowledge of the deal. The helps foster ideas that this deal WAS NOT properly vetted and it also brings into suspicion Bush’s motives to force the deal to go through.

So - an environment of distrust and fear - both supported by Bush’s past actions, and a presumed ‘deal with the devil.’ This is all you need to encourage knee jerk reactions to this sort of deal. It was poorly handled - and I’m getting very tired of seeing this Administration strike out.

From my perspective - this issue has no up side that has been presented - that’s the problem I see. I can see the potential dangers based on the UAE’s past associations and support of terror. Our ports are a weak point. Most importantly - why is this deal so important that we can now afford to forego the perceived risks? What does the UAE bring to the table that others can not?


Removed from these issues - I agree that we should be more analytical and focus on the facts. IMO - this is just one more product of Bush’s of design.

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 7:16 AM
Comment #130472

“The proper way is to recognize that a proposal has been made. We then evaluate all sides of the proposal and reach a conclusion about it. When the first salvo was “Bush outsourced the security of our ports to terrorists”, then there is no ability to move the argument forward. Its a train that is already off the tracks.”

I guess my point is that Bush derailed this process with his initial handling of it. It’s not the responsibility of the scared masses to act rationally, it’s the Presidents job to help them see the responsible path. All I see if is that he got busted trying to ‘sneak’ the deal under the radar and looked guilty as hell.

Posted by: tony at March 1, 2006 7:28 AM
Comment #130528

tony:

Thanks for your comments. I think I understand your viewpoint. I will say this though: You seem to keep condoning the knee jerk reaction point of view with comments like “So - an environment of distrust and fear - both supported by Bush’s past actions, and a presumed ‘deal with the devil.’ This is all you need to encourage knee jerk reactions to this sort of deal.”

I recognize that those who dislike Bush have their reasons. But to let their feelings color their thinking indelibly is still wrong. You are correct that you are starting out with a presumption of guilt…and that’s where I think you have it wrong.

It would be better for you to start out with a neutral position, and require proof of your eventual conclusion. You’ve reached your conclusion and now are looking for someone to disprove it. Since you are already biased towards your conclusion, disproving it will be proportionately more difficult to do.

Interesting sidenote on the port deal: How is that the governors and senators and mayors of the states and cities where the ports are did not know about the deal. It was an industry deal, in which various companies were involved in the bidding process. People in the shipping industry were aware of the deal, yet the politicians were in the dark. Why?

Thanks for your comments. I fear we’ve each beaten our positions into the ground. Thanks for helping me better understand yours. I hope you better understand mine.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at March 1, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #130832

Isn’t Everybody Sick & Tired of the 911 Conspiracy Freaks?

Is it me? Or are these 911 Conspiracy Freaks becoming intolerable and, might I say, quite dangerous? Somebody please put an end to their wild conspiracy theory. It’s been nearly five years since the deaths of thousands of innocent citizens; hard working citizens with families and friends who’ve had their hearts torn apart by the events of 911. Out of respect for the victims and for the safety of our nation’s future, I urge all of us to move forward from the rants of the tin-foil hat brigade. It’s a tough challenge. They are a unified group sticking to their insane and impossible story like the glue under their nose which they’re probably sniffing. Okay, I understand what a conspiracy is, two or more people planning a subversive act; and we have conspiracy laws on the books because they actually do happen all the time. Yeah, but these 911 freaks want all of us to choose their conspiracy theory over another one.

Here are the two top conspiracy theories; I’ll leave it up to all of you rational minded individuals to make a decision. Either you join the ranks of the freaks or you join the normal world of intelligence.

Conspiracy Theory #1 – On 911, nineteen disgruntled goat herders from the other side of the world hidden in a dark cave plan and then orchestrates the most devastating attack upon the most highly budgeted and dominating, impenetrable defense system the world has ever known, and succeeds with hardly any money and armed only with razor blades; thus forcing that nation to alter its way of life more so than from its previous World Wars and major military conflicts. In effect, goat herders with razor blades were mightier than all enemies combined from WWI; WWII; Korean War; Vietnam War; etc…

OR

Conspiracy Theory #2 – Some of the world’s richest and most powerful individuals with vast resources, top notch organizational abilities, direct access to US military apparatus and the most experienced and notorious clandestine operation units on the planet decide to implement the 911 attack to stir up necessary support from the American people in order to invade Middle Eastern countries and move closer to their goal of absolute control of oil markets, creating record shattering profits, establishing a long standing intimidation stance in the region (permanent US military bases in the region) and protection of oil resources and long term profits. Corporate hegemony or better known as Benito Mussolini put it, fascism.


The 911 Truth Movement is alive and growing fast. For those not in the know yet, come back to reality and join the hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens who desire justice and a safer future for our children. Get informed with the facts. Freedomtown is a great place to start. Check it out, and then ask yourself, in light of all the information, what really happened on 911? Are you interested in finding out more? The most accessible and rational voice in the 911 Truth Movement is David Ray Griffin. His books are highly recommended; The New Pearl Harbor; and The 911 Commission Report, Omissions and Distortions.

(By no means am I insinuating that goat herders as a whole are an evil bunch.)

Posted by: Greenback at March 2, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #130848

Okay all…….here is a new release on the next round of investigations ( questionable still at this point )into one of the other changes proposed in port management.

MSNBC.com

U.S. reviewing second Dubai firm
Israeli deal also faces security check

By Jonathan Weisman and Susan Schmidt
The Washington Post
Updated: 1:22 a.m. ET March 2, 2006


The Bush administration, stung by the public outcry over the Dubai port deal, has launched a national security investigation of another Dubai-owned company set to take over plants in Georgia and Connecticut that make precision components used in engines for military aircraft and tanks.

The administration notified congressional committees this week that its secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is investigating the security implications of Dubai International Capital’s $1.2 billion acquisition of London-based Doncasters Group Ltd., which has subsidiaries in the United States. It is also investigating an Israeli company’s plans to buy the Maryland software security firm Sourcefire, which does business with Defense Department agencies.

Administration officials are privately briefing leaders of half a dozen House and Senate committees this week about the two planned transactions, concerned that both deals could stir controversy in a political climate that remains supercharged over the Dubai port deal.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers angrily protested after learning late last month that the administration had approved a $6.8 billion deal to allow a maritime company based in the United Arab Emirates to take over significant operations at six U.S. ports without a thorough investigation and without consulting members of Congress. Last weekend, the Dubai maritime company agreed to a 45-day investigation to stem the protest and allay concerns of a possible breach of U.S. port security.

In the past, the foreign investment committee rarely told Congress of such inquiries. Wary of another misstep, administration officials decided to inform lawmakers of the two other pending transactions with national security implications for the United States.

There have been suggestions in the trade press that the publicly traded Israeli firm, Check Point Software Technologies, has been subjected to more scrutiny than Dubai Ports World, the state-owned Arab company that was initially cleared to take over operations at the six major U.S. ports with no security investigation. That inquiry was initiated only after an outcry about turning over port security to a country that has been cited for ties to terrorism. Sources familiar with the Israeli investigation said cybersecurity officials at the departments of Defense, Justice and Homeland Security all raised serious concerns about the purchase before the port controversy erupted.

Dubai International Capital’s acquisition of Doncasters could present some of the same political problems created by Dubai Ports World’s purchase of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. Once again, a state-controlled Dubai company with deep pockets is purchasing a British firm with U.S. holdings. Doncasters has operations in nine U.S. locations and manufactures precision parts for defense contractors such as Boeing, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney and General Electric.

A spokesman for Doncasters’ corporate office in Connecticut said the company had no comment on the security investigation.

45-day probe
Although many foreign companies manufacture parts used in U.S. military equipment, in this instance CFIUS members decided to look more carefully at the Doncasters transaction. The CFIUS met last week and tentatively decided to subject that proposal to a 45-day investigation, and it finalized that decision in a conference call late Monday. The decision came on the final day of the regular 30-day review period. Aides on the Senate banking committee said the panel was notified late Monday that the CFIUS had initiated both national security inquiries.

“The CFIUS process is charged with determining if there are national security concerns in any transaction, and it takes that role very seriously,” said Tony Fratto, spokesman for the Treasury Department, which leads the interagency committee. “It looks at each transaction on a case-by-case basis, and if security concerns are raised by any member of the committee at the end of an initial 30-day review, the case goes into investigation.”

The 45-day investigation of the Israeli deal began in early February, several weeks before the controversy erupted over the Dubai port deal, administration officials said. The investigation of the Dubai-Doncasters deal began this week, at the height of the political turmoil over the port issue.

Yet Fratto said that neither of the new investigations were started “because of public reaction to some other transaction.”

Of the 1,500 acquisitions that have been referred to the CFIUS, one has been rejected. But deals with security implications tend to fall through before the 45-day investigation. In 1989, 204 deals involving the purchase of a company with significant U.S. operations triggered a security investigation. Last year, only 65 went that far.

In the case of Check Point, the security questions were apparently raised early on, according to people familiar with the review. Check Point’s proposed $225 million purchase of Laurel-based Sourcefire raised red flags with government cybersecurity officials.

Check Point was built by Gil Shwed, whom Forbes magazine has described as an Israeli billionaire who served in the electronic intelligence arm of the Israeli Defense Forces.

Sourcefire makes network defense and intrusion detection software for an array of customers, including the Defense Department. The company has deep roots in the National Security Agency. Its founder and chief technology officer, Martin Roesch, has served as an NSA contractor. Its vice president of engineering, Tom Ashoff, developed software for the secretive spy agency.

‘Working cooperatively’
Last August, the Israeli government signed an agreement with the Pentagon to alert the United States before selling other countries technology related to national security. The United States asked for the agreement after learning that Israel had sold unmanned aerial vehicles to China in late 2004.

The CFIUS investigation is to be completed in mid-March.

Check Point officials declined to comment yesterday on the security investigation. In announcing that its deal would be investigated, the company released a statement pledging that “Check Point and Sourcefire are both committed to working cooperatively with the committee during the investigative period.”

In the case of Dubai International Capital and Doncasters, an acquisition that ordinarily may have been whisked through the process without objection is now under security investigation, administration sources said. Dubai International Capital is the financial arm of Dubai Holding, an investment conglomerate that is the third-largest shareholder of DaimlerChrysler Corp. and is a major investor in Holiday Inn Express in the Middle East.

Doncasters’ expertise is in forging, fabrication, machining and alloy production. The company owns a plant that makes aerospace turbine blades and components in Farmington, Conn.; a turbine and generator plant in Rincon, Ga.; a steel foundry in Springfield, Mass.; and a metal-rolling plant in Groton, Conn. The company’s Web site says the Georgia and Connecticut plants manufacture “engine ready airfoils,” for aircraft, helicopter and tank engines.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

© 2006 MSNBC.com

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11629596/

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at March 2, 2006 4:00 PM
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