ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) – President George W. Bush said on Tuesday that a deal for a state-owned Dubai company to manage major U.S. ports should go forward and will not jeopardize U.S. security.
Bush told reporters traveling back to Washington with him from Colorado that he would veto legislation to stop the deal from going through.
“After careful review by our government, I believe the transaction ought to go forward,” Bush said. He added that if the U.S. Congress passed a law to stop the deal, “I’ll deal with it with a veto.”
Bush called reports at about 2.30 aboard Air Force One to issue a very strong defense of port deal… MORE… He said he would veto any legislation to hold up deal and warned the United States was sending ‘mixed signals’ by going after a company from the Middle East when nothing was said when a British company was in charge… Lawmakers, he said, must ‘step up and explain why a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard.’ Bush was very forceful when he delivered the statement… ‘I don’t view it as a political fight,’ Bush said.
Looks like there might be a showdown on Capitol Hill.
Tuesday PM Update: John McIntyre at the Real Clear Politics bloghas up a must read post on this that touches on the issue of profiling:
The Financial Times has a well balanced and thoughtful editorial on the uproar over the deal on the U.S. ports and the UAE. I don’t agree with their conclusions, but if you want a more balanced understanding of this proposed transaction it is worth the two minutes to read it. This issue is more complicated than the cheap political demagoguery we have seen, especially from Democrats now preening about how tough they are on national security – and particularly from those who resist any profiling of young Arab men, but now somehow “know” this UAE company is a security threat. Isn’t this a degree of profiling?
I ask those politicians who want to “profile” this company why can’t we profile young Arab males. What’s the difference? It seems pretty common sense that if Arab companies should probably not be allowed to be contracted to run the operations at U.S. ports given the current environment, then young men from those same Arab countries should probably receive a higher level of scrutiny as well.
Hat tip to AJ Strata.
Other bloggers who are urging calm and/or are taking a second look at this deal: The Glittering Eye, Blogs For Bush, Homeland Security Watch, Junkyard Blog, Will Collier at Vodkapundit, Squiggler, California Conservative, Expose the Left, Lorie Byrd at Polipundit