March 1, 2006
Just days after the Bush Administration assured Americans that the sale of American ports to a company controlled by the United Arab Emirates was not a threat to port security comes this: the Coast Guard has cautioned the Bush Administration that it is unable to determine whether Dubai Ports World might support terrorist operations.
The surprise disclosure came during a senate hearing on the company’s plans to take over significant operations at six leading U.S. ports. That plan has been on hold for 45 days so a security investigation can be conducted.
The unclassified Coast Guard document released by the Senate Homeland Security Committee raises questions about the security of the companies’ operations, the backgrounds of all personnel working for the companies and whether other foreign countries influence operations affecting security.
Administration officials say the Coast Guard report is out of date and the issues it raises have been resolved. But the administration’s top people didn’t even know about a lot of this and I wonder if they can now be trusted
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.