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No. of Recommendations: 40
Coast Guard Warned White House on Ports Deal
Document Reveals Concerns About Intelligence Gaps


WASHINGTON (Feb. 27) - 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. The surprise disclosure came during a hearing on Dubai-owned DP World's plans to take over significant operations at six leading U.S. ports. The port operations are now handled by London-based Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

"There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment of the potential" merger," an undated Coast Guard intelligence assessment says. "The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities," the document says. ...

The document raised questions about the security of the companies' operations, the backgrounds of all personnel working for the companies, and whether other foreign countries influenced operations that affect security. "This report suggests there were significant and troubling intelligence gaps," said Collins, R-Maine. "That language is very troubling to me."

http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20060225133809990007&cid=2194
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Put it in the drawer with the August 6, 2001 "PDB."

What a guy!

Ken
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No. of Recommendations: 4
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.

That sentence makes no sense to me. The Coast Guard can't determine whether DP World "might" support terrorist operations? Can the Coast Guard determine whether any company might support errorist operations?


"There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment of the potential" merger," an undated Coast Guard intelligence assessment says.

P&O is the current ports operator. If there are intelligence gaps that preclude making an overall threat assessment of a British port operator, as well as a Emirates port operator. Why only the fuss over the latter?

Look, you know I carry no water for the Bush administration. There is no doubt in my mind that seaport security is lax and that the Bush administration is to blame for that, post 9-11. But I don't see a much if any difference between these seaports being run by P&O and DPW. They're both essentially run by Western businessmen.

Are there national security concerns about an Arab company managing American seaports? Sure. There are also national security and economic implications for rejecting DPW. The Emirates are moving in the direction we want all Arab states to go and the anti-Arab nature of the controversy over this deal only reinforces America's poor image in the Muslim world. This left-wing spasm of anti-Arabism isn't any better than right-wing demagoguery, in my opinion.

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No. of Recommendations: 2
"Look, you know I carry no water for the Bush administration. There is no doubt in my mind that seaport security is lax and that the Bush administration is to blame for that, post 9-11. But I don't see a much if any difference between these seaports being run by P&O and DPW. They're both essentially run by Western businessmen."

I think the issue became W's uninformed rush to judgment, a decision made for reasons OTHER than port security, even if after further inquiry it appears that there are more positives to negatives to allowing Dubai to operate these ports.

BTW, I know it's a typo, but I think you accidentally came up with just the right two word phrase to describe how many of us, and it seems 66% of the presently polled population, sees the W Administration's efforts at home and abroad:

"errorist operations"

I like it!

Ken
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No. of Recommendations: 0
the anti-Arab nature of the controversy over this deal only reinforces America's poor image in the Muslim world.

It quite plainly is xenophobic and racist.
It's saying all Arabs are potential terrorists, potential enemies of America and not to be trusted.
Except those nice Arabs who supply America with oil, of course.




CF
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No. of Recommendations: 9
It quite plainly is xenophobic and racist.

It certainly may be for some people. Perhaps most people

But let's do something here. Forget the fact that it's an Arab company. And forget the fact that you're turning over the operation of our ports to a foreign government.

Honest, forget it.

Would you not have some concerns if you found that some of the guys who flew the planes into the World Trade Center Towers worked for a particular private company, and that that company was about to take over the ports of the US? How about if you found that that particular company had been involved in money laundering and funding other terrorist operations in other parts of the world? How about if you could trace some of the money which the Towers flyboys used while in this country to the same banks (controlled by and) used by that private company over the years.

Would you not be at least a trifle concerned? And even if the principals of that company promised (Oh, I promise I promise I promise) that they're really on our side, even as they hamper US criminal investigations into some of their own citizens, wouldn't that cause you some concern?

Even if they were White Anglo Saxon blond haired blue eyed Swedes or something?

It would me.

Further, suppose that in the course of the "secret" negotiations you got them to agree to certain things which they had not heretofore agreed to, like the ability to check their hiring and other safety records, and which you had not previously asked of any other company doing the exact same job - and then you turned around and said to people "No, this doesn't cause any concern for national security, and we don't need a further review by Congress or by anyone".

Wouldn't a logical question be "Then why did you change the rules on things which appear to directly impact National Security? What was the sudden impetus to have investigative abilities where none were previously required? Or was that part about "You don't need to worry about security" just a cover for "Let's get this deal done fast."?

I'll say again, I'm sure there are lots of people who are against this on a visceral level just because "they's a-rabs." I happen to think that there's more going on under the sheets, and reacting only to that segment and pretending this is all racism at work is wrong, too.
 
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Would you not have some concerns if you found that some of the guys who flew the planes into the World Trade Center Towers worked for a particular private company, and that that company was about to take over the ports of the US? How about if you found that that particular company had been involved in money laundering and funding other terrorist operations in other parts of the world? How about if you could trace some of the money which the Towers flyboys used while in this country to the same banks (controlled by and) used by that private company over the years.

You addressed this to Charles, not me, but I'll answer anyway. It would concern me. As I wrote, there are national security implications regarding Dubai's management of the ports. There are also security implications regarding scuttling the deal. I think the latter outweigh the former. The UAE hosts a U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy ships stop in Dubai more often than anywhere else. In other words, thye're on our side.

And your examples are flawed. The two 9-11 hijackers were from the Emirites. They weren't employees. There are Americans and Brits belonging to Al Qaeda too and no one is talking about disqualifying U.S. and British companies from running the ports. AQ money financing 9-11 did, in fact, flow through Dubai banks. But Dubai is like Geneva or New York for that matter. It's a banking and commercial center. Didn't American banks also handle the hijackers' money?
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