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I believe The News & Observer was dead wrong Thursday morning about Senator Elizabeth Dole, her husband Bob Dole and the Dubai ports fiasco.

The N&O, like other news outlets, reported that Bob Dole “has been hired by Dubai Ports World to help shepherd the company through a $6.8 billion deal to control terminals at six U.S. ports.”

Then the N&O whitewashed her blatant conflict of interest:

“Despite her husband’s work for Dubai, Elizabeth Dole wrote in a letter Wednesday that she is concerned about turning port operations over to a Middle Eastern company.”

Senator Dole said in her letter:

“I do not believe that a transaction of this importance should be finalized until the Administration and the Congress have had an opportunity to thoroughly examine, understand, and resolve these concerns.”

Contrast that with N.C. Rep. Sue Myrick’s one-sentence letter:

“Dear Mr. President: In regards to selling American ports to the United Arab Emirates, not just NO — but HELL NO!”

In fact, Senator Dole – in the language of politics – is carefully leaving the door wide open to eventually support the deal.

But – as the mainstream media has done since she first ran for the U.S. Senate – the N&O continued to give her a free pass on her husband’s role as Sellout Former Senator Turned Big-Bucks Lobbyist No. 1.

Just as the North Carolina media has given her a free pass on her striking absence both from the state and from any leadership in the Senate. Not to mention her time spent as chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee – a role that I hear is being roundly criticized by Republicans in Washington.

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Comments

Gary Pearce
# Gary Pearce
Thursday, March 30, 2006 5:24 PM
4 Comments »
So now you guys are experts on seaport security too? It’s amazing how quickly people jump to conclusions nowadays about topics they’ve not spent ten collective minutes pondering in their lifetimes. And once again the media has done a half-assed job of partially reporting something that none of the reporters or editors fully understand.

I don’t know if this is a good deal or a bad deal for our security, or our economy. I strongly suspect that those braying loudest about it at the moment–both Democrat and Republican–have no better grasp of it than do I. Representative Myrick’s comments, for example, seem like little more than a purely political reaction. Even Senator Clinton, whose initial comments fit so well her predictable pattern of mindless Bush-bashing, is backing off now and calling for more study.

This looks like one of those issues that will force some politicians and pundits to eat (or more conveniently, forget they ever uttered) their words, somewhere down the line.

Comment by Jim Stegall — February 23, 2006 @ 3:57 pm


Jim,

The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES had no idea this deal was even being contemplated until HE SAW IT ON TV.

Now tell me again about this administration’s competence and how we should not criticize it?

Get your head out of your ____ and look around, ok, bub?

Comment by John Burns — February 25, 2006 @ 8:30 pm


And exactly why should the president know about this kind of deal before (or even after) it was done? Is a change in management companies at six U.S. ports (80% of our ports are managed by foreign companies) important enough to merit his attention? What do you know about the ramifications of having a UAE-based seaport management company, as opposed to a UK-based company, perform these tasks that no one else seems to know?

I have followed this story closely from the beginning and I have yet to hear just how this change makes any difference at all in our security. If it does, then I would agree with you that the president should have been informed. But so far no one has been able to explain what the danger is. In fact, most of what’s been made available publicly (and I listen to NPR every morning) seems to support the administration’s reasoning in approving the sale.

It’s beginning to look like once again the media has gone off half-cocked with a story they didn’t understand themselves, and the usual suspects (along with some un-usual company this time) took the bait and went flying off the handle. As with the NSA international intelligence operation ’scandal,’ the Cheney quail-hunting ’scandal,’ and so many others before, Bush’s enemies react like petulant children before the facts are in and wind up making him look good by comparison. At this rate, you guys are going to be responsible for putting him on Mount Rushmore.

Comment by Jim Stegall — February 25, 2006 @ 10:16 pm


“Bush’s enemies react like petulant children before the facts are in and wind up making him look good by comparison. At this rate, you guys are going to be responsible for putting him on Mount Rushmore.”

Bush has been blessed with the most thoughtless and hateful enemies any president could have been given.

Comment by johnb — February 27, 2006 @ 11:49 pm


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