dictu, some of the same Democrats who have routinely lambasted
such profiling are rushing to the floors of Congress and in front
of TV cameras espousing these very same policies. The impetus:
the White House's boneheaded insistence on ramming through a $7
billion deal giving United Arab Emirates-owned Dubai Ports World
control over significant operations at six major American ports
in New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, Baltimore, Philadelphia
mistake. I stand with critics on both sides of the aisle who want
to stop the secretive deal transferring operations of our ports
to the UAE -- a Middle Eastern government with a spotty record
of fighting terrorist plots and terrorist financing. The issue
is not whether day-to-day, on-the-ground conditions at the ports
would change. The issues are whether we should grant the demonstrably
unreliable UAE access to sensitive information and management
plans about our key U.S. ports, which are plenty insecure enough
without adding new risks, and whether the decision process was
thorough and free from conflicts of interest.
angle -- political, safety and sovereignty-wise -- Dubai Ports
World's business transaction (made possible by an unprecedented
$3.5 billion Islamic financing instrument called a "sukuk"
that upholds sharia law) looks bad and smells worse.
is a teachable moment here that shouldn't be missed. The tone-deafness
of the White House is bad. The craven political opportunism of
the Democrats is worse.
Sen. Evan Bayh, Indiana Democrat: "I think we've got to look
into this company. I think we've got to ensure ourselves that
the American people's national-security interests are going to
be protected. And frankly, I think the threshold ought to be a
little higher for a foreign firm."
Barbara Boxer, California Democrat: "It is ridiculous to
say you're taking secret steps to make sure that it's OK for a
nation that had ties to 9/11, (to) take over part of our port
operations in many of our largest ports. This has to stop."
Hillary Clinton, New York Democrat: "Our port security is
too important to place in the hands of foreign governments. I
will be working with [New Jersey] Senator [Robert] Menendez to
introduce legislation that will prohibit the sale of ports to
Charles Schumer, New York Democrat, who said the Dubai company's
involvement "is enough to raise a flag -- at least to do
a thorough review, at minimum."
I wish these
politicians luck in their quest to block the UAE transfer, shed
light on the process led by the shadowy Committee on Foreign Investment
in the United States, and join with congressional Republicans
to put American security interests first. But as they attempt
to do their best Pat Buchanan impressions, let's not forget:
It was Democrats
who tried to block Bush administration efforts to impose common-sense
citizenship requirements on airport security workers in the aftermath
of the 9/11 attacks.
It was Democrats
who attacked the Bush Justice Department after the September 11
attacks for fingerprinting young male temporary visa holders traveling
from terror-sponsoring and terror-friendly nations; temporarily
detaining asylum seekers from high-risk countries for background
screening; and sending undercover agents to investigate mosques
suspected of supporting terrorism.
It was Democrats
who secretly attempted to remove funding for the National Security
Exit-Entry Registration System -- the Justice Department program
that helped nab at least 330 known foreign criminals, 15 illegal-alien
felons and three known terrorists who attempted to enter the country.
one week ago, it was failed Democratic presidential candidate
Al Gore who was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, attacking the Bush administration's
profiling and immigration enforcement against illegal aliens from
terror-friendly countries as "terrible abuses."
the UAE will be hiring Gore to condemn the "abusive"
practices now being championed by his fire-breathing extremist
they are all red flag-raising, threshold-hiking, thorough review-espousing,
foreign ownership-banning profilers now.