Friday, March 10, 2006

It ain't over, till it's over (part 2)

Dubai of the United Arab Emirates has announced that it is divesting itself of the controversial port operations to a U.S. entity. Something does not seem right to me. The Democrats, led by Chuck Shumer and Harry Reid, are saying the devil is in the details. I think they are onto something. My bet is that there will be details that will embarrass the administration.

One thing that struck me as strange is that the White House Press Secretary, Scott McClellan refused to reveal the details of concessions that the UAE made to allay concerns about security. McClellan said the information was “proprietary.” I can understand if the particular line items in a bid are kept confidential in order to not reveal a company's competitive tactics. And I can understand that certain information would be classified confidential for security purposes. But it is hard for me to wrap my head around how information about security measures can be proprietary.

I also recall that part of the deal with the UAE company was that they would be allowed (required?) to keep their books off-shore. This is more than passing strange. If my recollection is correct, there's still a lot of explaining to do. The old reporter's question cui bono? might be a good starting point. Who benefits from a law that says the business records of a company that is intimately involved in port security should be kept beyond the reach of subpoenas?

I am moving this story as fast as I can, because my sixth sense tells me that the breaking news ain't done breaking.

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

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