Bush Says Deal With Arab Company to Run U.S. Ports Should Proceed, Vows to Veto Efforts Otherwise
AP:— President Bush said Tuesday that a deal allowing an Arab company to take over six major U.S. seaports should go forward and that he would veto any congressional effort to stop it. (...)I don't know what Bushco is thinking on this one. Whether or not the security criticisms are justified, it's just politically a stupid move. The same people he so carefully deluded into not knowing the difference between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden are just on the face of it not going to go for this.
Collins, R-Maine, and Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., a ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said they are going to introduce a "joint resolution of disapproval" when they return to Washington next week.
Other lawmakers, including Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said they would offer emergency legislation next week to block the deal ahead of a planned March 2 takeover.
Both governors indicated they may try to cancel lease arrangements at ports in their states because of the DP World takeover...(more)
Joe at Americablog pointed out this USA Today article from just 18 months ago:
Osama bin Laden's operatives still use this freewheeling city as a logistical hub three years after more than half the Sept. 11 hijackers flew directly from Dubai to the United States in the final preparatory stages for the attack.OK, I've been down this road several times before but the list just keeps getting longer. I must ask once again: What has Bush ever done to increase our national security?
The recent arrest of an alleged top al-Qaeda combat coach is the latest sign that suspected members of the terrorist organization are among those who take advantage of travel rules that allow easy entry. Citizens of neighboring Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia can come to Dubai without visas, which other nationalities can get at the country's ports of entry.
What? Can you name one thing?
Bush created the bureaucratic nightmare in the DHS which was made painfully obvious by Katrina that it is not an improvement in anything. The Republican Katrina commission just blasted Chertoff, placing the bulk of the blame squarely on DHS. What a complete waste of money the DHS has been.
Bush got a cummulative 'D-' from the 9-11 commission for what steps he has taken to thwart the terrorist threat, based on their reccommendations.
Bush forced upon the world a war based on lies in Iraq that our own CIA now says is the largest ever training ground for terrorists that has fueled an increase in terrorist recruitment worldwide. Now the Pentagon admits our troops are stretched to their breaking point because of it.
Bush has been pushing qualified weapons experts out the door at the State Dept in favor of political cronies. This is perhaps the most major reason how the Bush administration has made us less safe, by resting our nation's intelligence assessments in the hands of bootlickers instead of experts. Following Powell's speech before the UN, even if our govt actually has a smoking gun, they no longer can be seen as credible. Do you trust this admin or feel any safer knowing Valerie Plames are being pushed aside for Michael Browns?
Bush's pro-torture policies have certainly been a boon to terrorist recruitment, and our own commanders in Iraq are expressing grave concerns that the overcrowded Abu Ghraib prison has become a breeding ground for extremist leaders and a school for terrorist foot soldiers. And don't even try saying that it was just a few bad eggs, or that this administration gives a shit about torture, because it's all too clear they don't unless there were pictures taken of it. and if that weren't enough, Bush has ordered the kidnapping of innocent people from foreign countries and has them flown them to secret prisons to be tortured.
Bush ordered the slaughter of the entire city of Fallujah, which was certainly an insurgent stronghold, but in doing so killed hundreds of innocent people, including women and children. The graphic pictures of the attack on fallujah have been posted all over the internet as indisputable proof of the use of white phosphorus as an indiscriminate weapon. Bush even threatened to bomb al Jazeera because they had reported it. This would be a war crime in any other country, but the US just enforces war crimes against other countries by force, it is not a signatory to those international laws herself. Hypocritical justice indeed.
None of these actions in any way have made us safer. Instead, Bush's policies are weakening our defenses, and causing justified hatred of our country, that is easily turned into terrorism.
Has Bush ever done anything like Clinton did to protect us from terrorists? (Hat tip moxiegrrrl)
No agency has benefited as much as the FBI. Under the Clinton administration, the bureau's antiterrorism budget has soared from $78 million to $609 million, while the number of agents devoted to counterterrorism has jumped from 550 to nearly 1,400. Twenty percent of the FBI's budget now goes to fight terrorism, up from just four percent in 1993...Has Bush ever done anything like that? What at all has he done that I don't know about that has made us any safer?
Other federal agencies have carved off smaller but significant slices of the antiterrorism pie. This year alone, seven separate agencies -- FEMA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the departments of Defense, Justice, Energy, Veterans Affairs, and Health and Human Services -- are spending $611 million to train and equip local and state police, fire departments, and emergency medical teams. In all, budgets for such "domestic preparedness" programs have skyrocketed from $42.6 million in 1997 to $1.3 billion this year.
Given all of this, I must ask: Is the Republican campaign strategy for 06 and 08 banking everything on allowing another terrorist attack to occur? Because it sure seems that Bush has done all he can to make it easier for another attack, and the GOP sure isn't concerned with reform in their party in the wake of scandal after scandal. It's like they just don't give a shit, and are taking their constituents for granted.
Could they banking on another boost in nationalism following the next attack? For all I know Bush just got a PDB that said "Bin Laden determined to smuggle nukes through ports following Dubai Ports World contract." Why this nation ever rallied behind him following 9-11, and why the GOP as a whole is seen as stronger in national security just defies all logic, but it's a fact that was the public reaction then, and probably will be next time too. :(
Does Bush know something we don't?