Monday, February 27, 2006

To Whom is Bush Selling Our Ports?

As a follow-up to the post highlighting Bush’s threat to use his veto against any congressional legislation aimed at stopping the sale of shipping operations of six major U.S. seaports, here is some information about the buyer: Dubai.

As U.S. News and World Report puts it, Dubai “serves as the region's criminal crossroads, a hub for smuggling, money laundering, and underground banking” Here are some excerpts:

“There are Russian and Indian mobsters, Iranian arms traffickers, and Arab jihadists. Funds for the 9/11 hijackers and African embassy bombers were transferred through the city. It was the heart of Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan's black market in nuclear technology and other proliferation cases. Half of all applications to buy U.S. military equipment from Dubai are from bogus front companies, officials say. 'Iran,' adds one U.S. official, 'is building a bomb through Dubai.' Last year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents thwarted the shipment of 3,000 U.S. military night-vision goggles by an Iranian pair based in Dubai. Moving goods undetected is not hard…

U.A.E. rulers have taken terrorism seriously since 9/11, but Washington has a half-dozen extradition requests that they refuse to honor. The list includes people accused of rape, murder, and arms trafficking,…

'All roads lead to Dubai,' says former treasury agent John Cassara, author of Hide and Seek, a forthcoming book on terrorism finance. Cassara tried explaining U.S. concerns about Dubai to a local businessman but got only a puzzled look: 'Mr. John, money laundering? But that's what we do.'"

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