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Arab Company, Administration had "Super Secret" Agreement

And this year's award for the most misleading headline goes to... the Associated Press.

Check out this headline: Arab Co., White House Had Secret Agreement

That damned secretive White House at it again. First Cheney, now this... Tonight we learn the administration had a "Secret Agreement" with the Arab company they sold the ports to. Or then again, maybe not....

Arab Co., White House Had Secret Agreement

The Bush administration secretly required a company in the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with future U.S. investigations before approving its takeover of operations at six American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. It chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.

As part of the $6.8 billion purchase, state-owned Dubai Ports World agreed to reveal records on demand about "foreign operational direction" of its business at U.S. ports, the documents said. Those records broadly include details about the design, maintenance or operation of ports and equipment.

The administration did not require Dubai Ports to keep copies of business records on U.S. soil, where they would be subject to court orders. It also did not require the company to designate an American citizen to accommodate U.S. government requests. Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries.

"They're not lax but they're not draconian," said James Lewis, a former U.S. official who worked on such agreements. If officials had predicted the firestorm of criticism over the deal, Lewis said, "they might have made them sound harder."

The conditions involving the sale of London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. were detailed in U.S. documents marked "confidential." Such records are regularly guarded as trade secrets, and it is highly unusual for them to be made public.

They didn't have a "secret agreement" they had an agreement to keep trade secrets. The difference between the two is about as large as the difference between Billy Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.

The agreement (by the idiot reporter's own admission) was "routine." The exact terms of the deal were not made public. Imagine that. Terms of deals like this are never made public. Heck, terms of your average lawsuit in civil court are not made public.

The headline and the writer conspire to make you think the White House had a nefarious deal that the AP exposed when nothing could be further from the truth.

I tell ya, I didn't support this deal in the beginning but when I see the same people pulling the same stunts, it really makes me want to back Bush on this one.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Arab Company, Administration had "Super Secret" Agreement:

» Outside The Beltway | OTB linked with Dubai Company, White House Had Secret Deal

» The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 02/23/2006

» Mensa Barbie Welcomes You linked with No Secrecy Tactics Here

» Murdoc Online linked with The port thing

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with Bush: 'Ports Will Be Secure'

Comments (17)

I'm embarassed by the knee-... (Below threshold)

I'm embarassed by the knee-jerking.

Let me get this straight. ... (Below threshold)

Let me get this straight. You're saying that Bush has a secret deal to sell the White House to Billy Ocean?!

I'm calling my editor.

Could they try any harder t... (Below threshold)

Could they try any harder to CREATE cloak and dagger and problems? grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

(hates the MSM)

I saw that too! Unbelievabl... (Below threshold)

I saw that too! Unbelievably misleading.

I didn't support this eithe... (Below threshold)

I didn't support this either, at first. But since hearing the Tony Snow radio show, last night on Fox, I understand for the first time, what it's all about. And Blogs4Bush has a few myths exposed that helped me understand it too. Now I can say I support the deal, and actually hope the hype hasn't hurt the chances of this transaction from going through.

It amazes me that Bush gets... (Below threshold)

It amazes me that Bush gets criticized for his lack of "nuanced diplomacy"...and yet when he shows he CAN do "n.d.", he gets attacked by idiots on the left AND right! Bottom line...we either trust Bush to have our best interests at heart when it comes to security, or we don't! If we don't trust him...who? Hillary? She would probably sell us out for a campaign contribution...Bill did, and more than once!

Hmmm.Frankly I bla... (Below threshold)


Frankly I blame Michelle Malkin for this knee-jerk response. It's the same kind of hysterical nonsense that got us Frist. And what a wonderful trade that was.

Not to pound any nails into anybody here but perhaps it might be a good idea for Republicans to think twice before allying with Democrats to attack the President.

I think I'll suggest to the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy that perhaps we shouldn't be quite so eager to eat our own.

Hmmm.What... (Below threshold)


What??? From someone on the "christian right"? I thought you repubs were so morally superior? Yet another sign of the hypocritical right wing


Jesus H. Christ you liberals have lost your frigging minds.

ed I deleted that noise.</p... (Below threshold)

ed I deleted that noise.

Thank God I dont have to th... (Below threshold)

Thank God I dont have to think about the Cheney shooting for now....
Oopa there is my copy of Newsweek in the mail......

This is called a "confident... (Below threshold)

This is called a "confidentiality agreement," or a "non-disclosure agreement," not a "secret agreement." I'd think this was a matter of common English usage.

Which means that the reporter is both biased and barely literate!

Which means that t... (Below threshold)
Which means that the reporter is both biased and barely literate!

Increasingly, both traits seem to be prerequisites for a job in the establishment media.

I wouldn't be too hard on t... (Below threshold)

I wouldn't be too hard on the reporter. He may or may not have had anything to do with the headline.

I've got a question as I li... (Below threshold)

I've got a question as I listen to the latest round of hyperventilating on Capitol Hill. Can anyone tell me the what sort of national security secrets can be gleaned from a port operator? What information about the operations and running of a port can't be had be someone just working on-site? Think of our airports. What facets are there with regard to the loading and unloading of passengers, checked baggage, and such that aren't routinely known by people frequenting airports?

So how's someone with access to the company files at DPW gonna know more about the workings of a port than someone working as a longshoreman?

Those are exactly the quest... (Below threshold)

Those are exactly the questions I would like to have answered as well Gizmo.

To me this seems like one of those instances that is made for bad publicity, but is in fact not really an issue. The more I learn about this the more benign it sounds. Though I would still like those questions to be answered.

It's funny, because a coupl... (Below threshold)

It's funny, because a couple of weeks ago I was just talking to a neighbor who lived in Dubai for several years, and we were discussing how great it is that Dubai is becoming such a beacon for economic freedom in the Middle East. Also, how great it is that they are diversifying their economy. And then this hits. It's crazy that this issue got so distorted by the demogogues.

Here's the <a href="http://... (Below threshold)






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