TIME’s Joe Klein has become the second prominent member of the antique media in the past two days to come out in favor of the “sale” of American ports to Dubai Ports World of the United Arab Emirates. On Saturday, it was The New York Times’ Thomas Friedman. On Sunday, in an article highly critical of the Bush administration for a variety of issues, Klein dismissed concerns by most of his colleagues and party members regarding this transaction with pivotal questions: “Does anyone actually believe that the management suits in Dubai would run those ports any differently from the suits in Britain? Wouldn't the new Arab owners be even more conscious of security, since they wouldn't want their newly bought assets destroyed by terrorists?”
Logical questions, Joe, that your cohorts in the antique media have refused to consider. Fortunately, Klein offered answers as well:
“Several intelligence experts told me last week that Dubai has been our most reliable Arab ally since Sept. 11. Even Richard Clarke, the former Bill Clinton and Bush counterterrorism specialist, who rarely has a kind word for this Administration, said, ‘The President is right on this one. Dubai has done everything we've asked of them. They tightened their banking system to prevent money laundering after 9/11. They've handed over al-Qaeda suspects.’"
This makes one wonder if other antique media members that were falling over themselves to interview Clarke when he was speaking ill of President Bush will do the same now that he is coming to Bush’s support. Regardless, it is certainly refreshing to see Klein being this interrogative and honest, especially in a largely critical piece.