Monday, February 27, 2006

Incompetence + Bush Administration = Redundancy

Homeland Security Protested Ports Deal (story link)

"WASHINGTON - The Homeland Security Department objected at first to a United Arab Emirates company's taking over significant operations at six U.S. ports. It was the lone protest among members of the government committee that eventually approved the deal without dissent."

It's Do-It-Yourself Security (story link)

"The furor over the now delayed deal to allow a United Arab Emirates company to operate six U.S. ports was tailor-made for talk radio. Arabs! At the ports! But the genuinely scary aspect of the deal was warnings from security experts that it doesn't much matter who operates America's maritime centers because none of them is totally secure. The problem pointed to most often is a lack of oversight. Customs agents inspect a small percentage of shipping containers, but the Bush Administration asks cargo companies to supervise the bulk of security."

UAE Terminal Takeover Extends To 21 Ports(story link)

"WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- A United Arab Emirates government-owned company is poised to take over port terminal operations in 21 American ports, far more than the six widely reported. "

Air Force Plans to Sell F-22As to Allies (story link)

"Momentum is building within the Air Force to sell the service's prized F-22A Raptor -- which is loaded with super-secret systems -- to trusted U.S. allies, with Japan viewed as the most likely buyer, service and industry officials tell Inside the Air Force."

Washington Told To Justify Port Deal In Court (story link)

"PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - The Bush administration was ordered by a U.S. federal judge on Friday to explain why it did not give New Jersey officials documents and information Washington had about a deal allowing an Arab company to take over management of a container terminal in Newark. "

High Court Bid To Block P&O Deal (story link)

"A US company will try to block the controversial £3.9bn ($6.8bn) takeover of shipping giant P&O by a Dubai firm in the High Court in London on Monday."

UAE Gave $1 Million To Bush Library(story link)

"A sheik from the United Arab Emirates contributed at least $1 million to the Bush Library Foundation, which established the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station. The UAE owns Dubai Port Co., which is taking operations from London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which operates six U.S. ports. A political uproar has ensued over the deal, which the White House approved without congressional oversight."

Internet Filtering In The United Arab Emirates (story link)

"The UAE uses the SmartFilter filtering software to block nearly all pornography, gambling, religious conversion, and illegal drugs sites tested. The state also blocks access to all sites in the Israeli top-level domain. ONI's testing of the UAE filtering regime also found blocking of sites on the Bahai faith, Middle East-oriented gay and lesbian issues, and English-language (though not Arabic-language) dating sites. "

26 Men Imprisoned 5 Years Each For Being Gay In United Arab Emirates
(story link)

"In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday, "As many as 26 people were sentenced to five years in prison by a court in Abu Dhabi for admitting to be gays and organizing a cross-dressers party and wedding at a hotel," reports WebIndia News, in a story written with a decidedly anti-gay tinge. "Their arrest had made news in November last year when they gathered at a hotel in Ghantout, a desert region on the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway to org anise a gay wedding. Police got wind of the meeting and swooped on the hotel and arrested the participants...." The men were charged with homosexuality, a crime under Sharia law, although police acknowledged that none of the men were engaged in a sexual act when police raided the event."

UAE Fails To Stop Child Camel Jockey Use(story link)

(Photographic Proof)(story link)
"On 12 June, the world marks ILO World Day Against Child Labour. One of the fastest growing forms of slavery today is trafficking. According to the UN, 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. Among this number are boys, as young as four years old, who continue to be trafficked to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as camel jockeys despite repeated statements from the Government that this practice has stopped."

Dubai's Port Of No Return(story link)

"Don't jump to conclusions, but there are ties between the UAE, Bin Laden, and the Taliban."

"WASHINGTON, D.C.—No matter what Bush and his supporters say, (story link) there is indisputable evidence of tight connections between the United Arab Emirates and leadership of both the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The country is the center of financial activity in the Persian Gulf, and has next to no laws controlling money laundering.Two of the hijackers came from the UAE and hijacker money was laundered through the UAE. The details are spelled out in documents in the government's case against Moussaoui.
The ties with bin Laden and the Taliban reach far back into the '90s. Prominent Persian Gulf officials, including members of the UAE royal family, and businessmen would fly to Kandahar on UAE and private jets for hunting expeditions, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2001. In addition to ranking UAE ministers, these parties included Saudi big wigs like Prince Turki, the former Saudi intelligence minister who now is ambassador to the U.S. "

Panel That OK'd Port Deal Has Dueling Interests (story link)

"The secretive U.S. government committee that approved a $6.8 billion deal allowing a United Arab Emirates company to take over six key U.S. ports has the conflicting responsibility of protecting the country's national security while preserving the confidence of foreign investors. Chaired by Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) -- established in 1975 -- is an interagency group whose 12 members include the secretaries of state, defense and commerce, the attorney general and the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Treasury spokesman Tony Fratto said the full CFIUS panel consented to the port transaction with the company in the United Arab Emirates, although it was not clear yesterday if the members actually attend meetings or send representatives. Mr. Snow said he learned of the deal after reading about it "in the newspapers" and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said on Tuesday he learned of the proposed purchase "over the weekend." "


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