Just when you think that King is right on an issue, he falls back to his usual self.
The troubling idea that major US Ports will be run by a company owned by the United Arab Emirites who have had ties to radicals has come under fire by Sens. Schumer and Clinton of New York and Sen. Menenedez of New Jersey. Local representatives inculding Peter King have expressed dismay at the choice and want to know how this deal came about and why it was authorized.
King said "I would urge the president to freeze this contract, to hold this contract until a full and thorough and complete investigation can be conducted."
and "The United Arab Emirates, they're one of only three countries in the world that, prior to September 11, recognized the Taliban. In the days after 9/11, they were not overly supportive, as we were trying to track down terrorists' financial transactions.
What's more, U.S. officials have said the UAE was an important transfer point for shipments of smuggled nuclear components sent to Iran, North Korea and Libya by the Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan.
Nonetheless, the Bush administration calls the UAE an ally in the war on terror. And counterterrorism officials say it is cooperating more and consistently since 9/11."
King also says "I'm aware of the conditions and they relate entirely to how the company carries out its procedures, but it doesn't go to who they hire, or how they hire people... They're better than nothing, but to me they don't address the underlying conditions, which is how are they going to guard against things like infiltration by al-Qaida or someone else? How are they going to guard against corruption?"
The problem with King is that while he is critical of the plan, he has fallen back to his "protect Bush" mode. He did it with the Hurricane Katrina failures (which we will be covering more of soon) and now according to CNN's Lou Dobbs, King might be trying to do it again.
Will King do it? We'll see...
Lou Dobbs had this to say about one of King's responses,
"DOBBS: Understandably, perhaps, in a political sense the suggestion by Congressman King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, that this is a mistake on the part of midlevel bureaucrats. This has been approved by the Treasury secretary, the CFIUS Committee, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, and fully endorsed by the secretary of Homeland Security, who actually the temerity to say, Ed Henry, "We have to balance the paramount urgency of security against the fact that we still want to have a robust global trading system."
Those are the words of the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Not a midlevel bureaucrat, we should point out.
HENRY: That's right. And those words are frustrating a lot of people like Peter King. There's obviously going to be a question about whether King and others are insulating the president a bit, though, by suggesting its midlevel bureaucrats. I think what he was referring to is the fact that he thinks is took too long for some of the lower level bureaucrats to kick it upstairs. You're right, certainly higher level officials like the cabinet secretaries have gotten involved, but he's saying that they pushed it upstairs too late in the game, and it became a fait accompli -- Lou.
DOBBS: This is a failure at every level. Let me be clear, Ed Henry. This is a failure of leadership. This is not a failure of midlevel bureaucrats, period."