United Arab Emirates firm to operate six major U.S. ports SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM Monday, February 13, 2006 WASHINGTON The Bush administration has approved a deal in which a United Arab Emirates company would operate six major ports in the United States. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/06/front2453780.0986111113.html A U.S. government panel has determined that the UAE firm, DP World, would not endanger national security. DP World, based in Dubai, has offered $6.8 billion for the purchase of a British firm that operates the ports of Baltimore, Miami, New York, New Jersey, New Orleans and Philadelphia, Middle East Newsline reported. DP World intends to acquire the London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation [P&O] Co. The sale was expected to be approved on Monday. "The P&O directors have withdrawn their recommendation of the offer by PSA, which was announced on Jan. 26, 2006, and unanimously recommend that P&O Stockholders vote in favor of the revised proposals at the meetings, which are now scheduled to take place on Feb. 13," DP World said in a statement. The company said the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States "thoroughly reviewed the potential transaction and concluded they had no objection." The committee includes representatives from the departments of Treasury, Defense, Justice, Commerce, State and Homeland Security. The United Arab Emirates has been described as a leading military ally of the United States. In 2005, the UAE acquired the first 10 of 80 F-16E/F Block 60 multi-role fighters in a $6.4 billion purchase. But officials said the UAE has not fully responded to repeated appeals from the Treasury Department to halt money-laundering activities exploited by Al Qaida and aligned groups. They said that for years Dubai served as a base for Al Qaida operatives, including those who destroyed the World Trade Center and a Pentagon wing in 2001. "America's busiest ports are vital to our economy and to the international economy, and that is why they remain top terrorist targets," Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said. "Just as we would not outsource military operations or law enforcement duties, we should be very careful before we outsource such sensitive homeland security duties." -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hmmm, don`t want to come across as paronoid, but this seems a little strange, if not down right dangerous. I don`t care what spin is put on this, seems careless, and not in our best interest. Am I missing something here, or do others feel the same way?