Associated Press Does Huge Flip-Flop on Dubai Ports Deal
The Associated Press Thursday evening reported that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff feels the U.S. would have been safer had the Dubai Ports World deal gone through: “The U.S. missed an opportunity to make its shores safer when it drove away a Dubai-based company poised to operate cargo terminals at several American seaports, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday. In a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Chertoff said the international shipping firm DP World could have helped implement stronger security at many ports where the U.S. now has limited influence.”
This represents quite a flip-flop for the esteemed wire service that is felt to have started the whole controversy with its February 11 article which began: “A company in the United Arab Emirates is poised to take over significant operations at six American ports as part of a corporate sale, leaving a country with ties to the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers with influence over a maritime industry considered vulnerable to terrorism.”
That February article also warned: “But the UAE, a loose federation of seven emirates on the Saudi peninsula, was an important operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the FBI concluded.”
Yet, almost six weeks after having a hand in starting the firestorm that scuttled this deal, the AP is now singing a different tune: “‘We could (have) actually built in some additional assurances, which would have given us more security in the wake of the deal than we had before the deal,’ Chertoff said. ‘The oddity of this, the irony of this, is that had the deal gone forward, we would have had greater ability to impose a security regime worldwide on the company than we have now.’"Quite a switch, folks. Maybe if you had interviewed Chertoff on February 11 rather than Chuck Schumer (D-NY) – "Just as we would not outsource military operations or law enforcement duties, we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties" – the deal would have gone through, and America would not only be potentially safer, but also would not have appeared xenophobic to its friends and enemies.