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Monday, February 27, 2006

For Sale

Just because the jingo-all-the-way crowd is all over it doesn't mean there isn't real danger in the UAE ports deal. Pollyusa provides this link to a WaPo story that I think raises the legitimate fears a lot of people have:
Joseph King, who headed the customs agency's anti-terrorism efforts under the Treasury Department and the new Department of Homeland Security, said national security fears are well grounded.

He said a company the size of Dubai Ports World would be able to get hundreds of visas to relocate managers and other employees to the United States. Using appeals to Muslim solidarity or threats of violence, al-Qaeda operatives could force low-level managers to provide some of those visas to al-Qaeda sympathizers, said King, who for years tracked similar efforts by organized crime to infiltrate ports in New York and New Jersey. Those sympathizers could obtain legitimate driver's licenses, work permits and mortgages that could then be used by terrorist operatives.

Dubai Ports World could also offer a simple conduit for wire transfers to terrorist operatives in the Middle East. Large wire transfers from individuals would quickly attract federal scrutiny, but such transfers, buried in the dozens of wire transfers a day from Dubai Ports World's operations in the United States to the Middle East would go undetected, King said.
The article also says that the K-Street crowd have jumped in on the side of Dubai Ports World. Does anyone really think this administration is going to do due diligence once the chief thieves catch wind of a buck?

Hugh from the comments: "Due diligence in this Administration means counting the money before the bagman leaves."