Our PAC previously issued the above press release regarding the buying of 21 U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World regarding our concerns about security, the environment, and the ties between this company and the Bush administration (i.e.The Carlyle Group.) Subsequently, Dubai Ports World announced they were in the process of selling off the ports to an unnamed American interest. There was then speculation that it was going to be Halliburton. However, I believe it to be the Carlyle Group, and expressed the same concerns about that here:
For you see, the fact that Dubai Ports World is an Arab company did not weigh in my concerns. The fact that it is a foreign state run company however, did and still does. The fact that the UAE has investments in the Carlyle Group bothers me as well. Especially in light of that country's and the Bush family's relationship to Bin Laden.
Now I read yesterday that containers bound for the U.S. that are inspected in the Bahamas, are going to be inspected for nukes by a company out of Hong Kong that got an exclusive no bid contract. The company is Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd., and it is the company which also purchased Global Crossing, the telecommunications company which declared bankruptcy under a cloud of suspicion.
If anyone remembers that, Republicans were all up in arms about it, claiming that it was the Democratic equivalent to ENRON. They protested the owner of the company as a Communist.
Li Ka-shing: New Ruler of the Information Superhighway
Excerpt from link:
It made Trent Lott and a few others nervous, as it had in 1997 when Hutchison-Whampoa, Li Ka-shing's company, originally sought to control the ports. That year Lott wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense William Cohen saying, "U.S. naval ships will be at the mercy of Chinese-controlled pilots and could even be denied passage through the Panama Canal by Hutchinson, an arm of the People's Liberation Army." Moreover, "the Chinese Communist Party will gain an intelligence information advantage...."
Lott and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) fought vocally against the lease of the ports, but Li Ka-shing had one important thing going for him, a lobbyist named Nancy Dorn from Texas. This seasoned foreign agent had been a Defense Department official under Ronald Reagan and was Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil) under George Bush, Sr. Her responsibilities included matters associated with the Panama Canal Commission With Li's bankroll and Nancy's experience, she easily convinced Congress that Hutchison-Whampoa would be no threat to commerce or national security and the company secured a 25-year renewable lease.
Incidentally, Nancy Dorn now holds the job of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, appointed by President Bush in December and confirmed in February. Her job responsibilities are "the preparation, management and administration of the federal budget."
Which brings us to Global Crossing, "the world's most extensive fiber-optic network." Although Global Crossing's bankruptcy received less attention, it mirrored the Enron Saga in every way, right down to the document shredding.
In July of last year the company was awarded a $400 million defense contract to provide "advanced wide area network Internet service to the Defense Research and Engineering Network [DREN], which links more than 6,000 scientists and engineers at defense laboratories, test centers, universities and industry sites."
The contract was suddenly pulled away in August, amid security concerns and rumors of influence peddling during the Clinton administration. Global Crossing, a larger campaign contributor than Enron, donated more to Democrats than to Republicans. After playing golf with President Clinton, Global Crossing founder Gary Winnick donated a million dollars to the Clinton Presidential Library. Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McCauliffe turned a $100,000 investment in Global Crossing into $18 million.
Although the allegations are under investigation, Congressional investigators have been ordered not to comment on the case. Surprisingly, in October DREN quietly announced that it was reopening bidding, and that Global Crossing is still in the running. According to a Washington Post report in February, things are looking pretty good for the bankrupted telecommunications giant. Li Ka-shing, with 79% control of the company, will get a bargain with plenty of important work lined up to get Global Crossing back on its feet.
End of excerpt
This is the man who will now control nuke inspecting at our Bahamas port.
Here is the article about our port:
U.S. Hiring Hong Kong Co. to Scan Nukes
"One can conceive legitimate security concerns and would hope either the Homeland Security Department or the intelligence services of the United States work very hard to satisfy those concerns," Wortzel said.
Three years ago, the Bush administration effectively blocked a Hutchison subsidiary from buying part of a bankrupt U.S. telecommunications company, Global Crossing Ltd., on national security grounds.
And a U.S. military intelligence report, once marked "secret," cited Hutchison in 1999 as a potential risk for smuggling arms and other prohibited materials into the United States from the Bahamas.
Hutchison's port operations in the Bahamas and Panama "could provide a conduit for illegal shipments of technology or prohibited items from the West to the PRC (People's Republic of China), or facilitate the movement of arms and other prohibited items into the Americas," the now-declassified assessment said.
The CIA currently has no security concerns about Hutchison's port operations, and the administration believes the pending deal with the foreign company would be safe, officials said.
Hmm, so where is the outrage now by Republicans that this same owner of this same company will now have exclusive power over the inspection of our cargo containers out of the Bahamas?
NO U. S. Customs agents will be stationed at this port where carriers destined for the United States are scanned for nukes. Sorry, not acceptable to me.
I then wondered what relation any of them in this administration might have to Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. I also wondered if it were part of the Carlyle Group as well...
Seems they were both bidders for Global Crossing. The Carlyle Group has also hired "alumni" from Hutchinson Whampoa. I guess it's just one big happy family.
People were all up in arms about Dubai Ports World taking over our ports, and I can see why and think it was warranted. I also however, feel it is now just as warranted in this case. There is absolutely TOO MUCH buddy buddy cronyism and back room dealing involved where it concerns our security, and frankly, if there will not be U. S. Customs agents at this port that is being inspected for NUKES, I think we need to be very concerned.
I now wonder what deals were made reagarding this that we will never be told. Funny how people that once were up in arms about this man, can now look the other way when it suits their interests. However, these decisions are supposed to be in the better interests of the American people and our security. And in all honesty, I don't feel safe at all with this.