By DEVLIN BARRETT
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two Republican governors on Monday questioned a Bush administration decision allowing an Arab-owned company to operate six major U. S. ports, saying they may try to cancel lease arrangements at ports in their states.
New York Gov. George Pataki and Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich voiced doubts about the acquisition of a British company that has been running the U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates.
The British company, Peninsular and Oriental, runs major commercial operations at ports in Baltimore, Miami, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia.
"Ensuring the security of New York's port operations is paramount and I am very concerned with the purchase of Peninsular & Oriental Steam by Dubai Ports World," Pataki said in a news release.
"I have directed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to explore all legal options that may be available to them in regards to this transaction," said the New York governor, who is still in the hospital recovering from an appendectomy.
Ehrlich, concerned about security at the Port of Baltimore, said Monday he is "very troubled" that Maryland officials got no advance notice before the Bush administration approved an Arab company's takeover of the operations at the six ports.
"We needed to know before this was a done deal, given the state of where we are concerning security," Ehrlich told reporters in the State House rotunda in Annapolis.
Democratic New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez joined the chorus of complaints on Monday.
"We wouldn't turn over our customs service or our border patrol to a foreign government," Menendez said during a Monday news conference in Newark. "We shouldn't turn over the ports of the United States, either."
Menendez said he and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., will introduce legislation prohibiting the sale of port operations to foreign governments.
Bush administration officials
GOI: Well, that makes it official the Bush admin. is the worst administration E V E R!!! They are so into money that they are willing to sell away port operations to a questionable country over national security.
But critics have cited the UAE's history as an operational and financial base for the hijackers who carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In addition, they contend the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by a Pakistani scientist.
GOI: O.k., if the UAE "missed" nuke components slip through their own ports then how are they supposed to protect OUR vast ports??? One of these ports just happens to be New Orleans. So I guess the reason the Bush govt has been stalling in their federal help to the Katrina rebuilding is because they were too busy brokering a deal to give port authority in New Orleans to a shady govt. in the Middle East.
See, this is what happens when you believe a secretive and duplicitive administration. A government who shows you through their actions that they sorely need over-sight but instead simply just says to "trust us." The Bushies are giving the keys to the car to other countries and we are just supposed to go along and pretend this is all for our own good?? I don't f**king think so!! He talks a good game in claiming that he represents the party of "national security" but here his actions speak louder then his words.
We have heard through many sources over and over that our ports are our weakest links in the chain in our fight against terrorism. So in response we sell them over to a foreign state??? And to one who has a shakey history with terrorist issues? What's next? Selling our nuke op's to N. Korea? I don't even care if we sold them over to Great Britian. We need to keep control of our countries "soft spots" in the hands of Americans! Is that really so hard for King George and his feudal lords to understand? Oh wait, they understand it very well. They understand money.
We are a country of fools when we keep giving power to people that screw us and our country over again and again. These neo-cons con the American people to vote against their own best interests on wedge issues such as gay marriage and abortion which are not real "bread and butter" issues. They are not as important as say, oh I don't know, um: a massive trade deficit, a massive national debt, weakening of the dollar, out-sourcing of jobs, laxing of labor laws and ending the tax cuts for the rich. Not to mention the foreign affairs disasters with the Iraq War. Who cares what people do in their own bedrooms and with their own bodies! As a country we have MUCH more important issues to deal with!!
---End of Transmission---