Friday, March 03, 2006

Another Republican Congressman Vows To Fight Port Transfer

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said during a hearing yesterday that "Dubai cannot be trusted” to manage U.S. ports.

Hunter vowed to scuttle Dubai Ports World planned acquisition of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. and its management operations at six U.S. ports.

“They are an international player who can’t be ignored because of their size, money and strategic location," Hunter said. "[But] those are people you do not want close to the security apparatus.”

He also said he would push legislation to block a second Dubai company’s efforts to acquire two U.S. plants that manufacture precision components for military aircraft and tank engines. That deal involves Dubai International Capital's $1.2 billion acquisition of the London-based precision manufacturer Doncasters Group Ltd.

Ignoring administration officials who suggested that the two deals do not pose a national security risk, Hunter called the United Arab Emirates “accommodators.”

Hunter said that in 2003, UAE customs officials allowed 66 American high-speed electrical switches, which are ideal for detonating nuclear weapons, to be sent to a Pakistani businessman with longstanding ties to the Pakistani military. That same year, over U.S. protests, 70 tons of heavy water, a component for nuclear reactors, was sent from China to Dubai. The shipping labels were then changed to mask the transaction, and 60 tons of the heavy water was forwarded to India, where it enabled the government to use its energy-producing reactors to create plutonium for its atomic weapons program, Hunter charged. And two containers of gas centrifuge parts from Pakistan's A.Q. Khan were shipped through Dubai to Iran for about $3 million worth of UAE. currency, Hunter added.

Hunter's comments came one day after Rep. Peter King (R-NY), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a vocal critic of the planned port transfer, told CNN yesterday that officials from the Homeland Security and Treasury departments told him weeks ago that their 30-day review of the deal did not look into the question of links between Dubai Ports World and Al Qaeda.

"There was no real investigation conducted during the 30-day period," said King. "I can't emphasize this enough."


Blogger Jobe said...

I'd love to see a list of all the lawmakers (both Republican and Democrat) who are on the record for and against the port deal.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And comes U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala) who said on Thursday the Dubai port approval broke the 1992 law requiring a 45-day security review whenever such operations are turned over to a foreign government.
JABBS' post demonstrate there are many more security concerns with this deal than what have been generally alerted in the MSM.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Well, it looks like the deal is dead. Dubai Ports World today announced that it would divest itself of all operational roles in U.S. port facilities and "transfer fully the U.S. operation of P&O Operations North America to a United States entity."

And if anyone had any doubts about political exploitation on the part of the Democrats, you have only to see Harry Reid's antics, calling for a Senate vote on the deal today, even after DP World has stated they were withdrawing from the transaction. I'm shocked I tell you. Shocked!

Now let Congress get to work fixing this idiotic secret vetting process that they created, before we find ourselves back in the same predicament.

4:45 PM  

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