A mere 13 days after the attacks of September 11 in 2001, two committees, one from the Senate and one from the House, agreed to ask the Secretary of Transportation to develop recommendations for strengthening seaport security, the issue was considered that important. Four years later, the Bush Administration has aroused bipartisan fury and astonishment by trying to hand control of US seaport security over to a company wholly owned by the United Arab Emirates. "The Bush administration says it found no security risk in the deal but would not elaborate, saying the details are classified."
It is of course possible to overstate risks to US security as opportunity costs due to increased vigilance are great. "Educational visa applications in the United States fell by almost 100,000 from 2001 to 2003, reflecting in part the hassle created by homeland security." More inspections at border checkpoints may mean milllions of dollars a day in lost business and
increased immigration controls are known to hurt industry. The Bush Administration has been accused of trying to paint an image of a "border out of control." in order to sell Americans a guest-worker program that "virtually eliminates the possibility of establishing residency and citizenship for the 8 to 10 million undocumented workers and their families currently residing in the U.S."
The Bush Administration appears to have been rather stunned by opposition to the deal with the UAE as there has been little concern about the fact that "China's biggest state-owned shipper runs major ports in the United States, as do a host of other foreign companies". Still, there are concerns about the UAE and the investigation that seven members of Congress are calling for are required by law anyway.
Currently, the Bush Administration has decided to take a highly aggressive approach to defending the deal, the President even going so far as to threaten a veto if the deal is derailed.
UPDATES: The Administration appears to have taken the tack of "The President is a clueless moron" by having Bush say that he wasn't really aware of the proposal yet. Ms Seal feels
that Bush is lying.
Democrats notice: "Gee, that's funny! Many of the Republicans screaming and yelling about the deal have been opposing seaport security measures for years now!"
White House has financial ties to Dubai firm. Can we say "crony connection?"
Huh! So liberal opponents of the deal are motivated by racism, eh?
Do business and national security REALLY mix?