For sale: One U.S. president. Will dicker with anyone.

No, we haven’t seen THAT in the classified ads yet. But we might as well. Dubya just slapped a major KICK ME sign on his country’s back, and Sherrod Brown has the goods:

Recently, the Bush administration approved the takeover of six United States ports’ security by Dubai Ports World, a state-owned company controlled by the United Arab Emirates.

The Bush administration has been outsourcing jobs for five years, and now they want to outsource our national security.


Republicans and Democrats in Congress have joined together to strongly condemn the Bush administration for this risky deal.

Such an agreement with the UAE in particular should raise eyebrows:

The UAE was one only a few nations to recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government.

Two of the 9/11 hijackers were from the UAE. It is also well documented that the UAE was used by terrorist operatives as a financial and travel hub.

The Congressional Research Service noted the UAE was named as a point of shipment for illegal nuclear components sold by Pakistan’s nuclear scientist, Dr. [Abdul Qadeer] Khan. Two Dubai companies were apparently involved.

Bush’s own State Department says Americans in UAE “should exercise a high level of security awareness.”

This issue teaches us something many of us already know — the Bush administration consistently chooses profits over people.

They cannot be counted on to notify Congress about secret dealings. They cannot be counted on to protect our ports or railways. They cannot be counted on to protect our people when negotiating trade agreements.

And as we all learned this week, they can’t even be counted on to know what is going on within their own administration.

In a post 9/11 world, trade agreements are no longer just vehicles for economic development. They are an integral part of national security and efforts to combat terrorism.

Added links are mine, although I’m sure Rep. Brown wouldn’t mind the liberties taken, as we’re on the same page on this issue.

So, let’s recap: BushCo would rather spy on innocent Americans, including Quaker pacifists, than take a closer look at foreign companies and countries it does business with. Even when just a cursory check would reveal strong ties to known terrorist networks.

It’s hard not to speculate that BushCo is just paying the UAE back for helping them to a major trifecta.

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