Okay, so either President Bush is insane or he and his Administration believe that the American people are not just stupid, but have short memories. According to an article in the New York Daily News, President Bush is now saying that he had no clue his administration was signing off on a deal to grant control of six American ports to Dubai.
Isn’t this the same man who of late has been strongly defending the very same deal? A deal that will let a government-owned United Arab Emirates company,
Dubai Ports World, run six major U.S. seaports? Hasn’t he been telling reporters that he will veto any bill that tries to hold up the agreement? He’s threatening to veto any effort to stop the deal that he now says he knows nothing about?
“He learned about it in the last few days,” said White House spokesman Scott McClellan, adding that none of the 12 federal agencies that reviewed the deal balked. “There was no objection raised by any of the departments during the review process, or any concerns expressed about potential national security threats. And that’s why it didn’t rise to the presidential level,” McClellan said.
If it didn’t rise to the presidential level, why has President Bush been so angry about it? Wouldn’t he do his usual shell-game and peddle this off, saying that it needs to be looked into? No. He’s been very forceful in supporting this deal.
The White House clearly doesn’t get it. Their foremost concern has been in covering their asses. They’ve learned enough to think that if they come out and pretend to accept responsibility for the controversy, they’ll get good points with the high-steppers in the Republican rank and file.
Aides admitted they should have tried to head off a potential firestorm by briefing key members of Congress to explain that intelligence and counterterrorism officials screened the company and that the United Arab Emirates now plays a role in anti-terror efforts.
But it’s not working. Many Republicans concerned with winning reelection in November said the White House is politically out of touch.
“They’re off their rocker,” said one, adding that the GOP rank and file were seizing the opening to separate themselves from the President.
Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) wrote the White House; “In regards to selling American ports to the Arab Emirates, not just ‘No’ but ‘Hell no!’”
The Conservative talking heads are even turning against the President.
Cal Thomas of Tribune Media Services (TMS) said in his column: “There have been some dumb decisions since the United States was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001.” The United Arab Emirates, wrote Thomas, was “used as a financial and operational base by some of the 9/11 hijackers,” was “an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components bound for Iran, North Korea, and Libya,” and was ”one of only three countries to recognize the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate government before the U.S. invasion toppled it.”
Joseph Farah, the nutjob behind WorldNetDaily, wrote: “I don’t know what’s crazier and more politically inept — the original decision to contract the management of six major U.S. ports … or the White House’s continued defense of the idea in the face of overwhelming criticism. You tell me: Is Bush tone deaf or brain dead?”
Most of the rest of us have been asking ourselves that same question since President Bush was annointed King by the Supreme Court in 2000.