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Dayside and Rep. Peter King Take the Proper Side of an Argument - But Refuse to Acknowledge Bush Administration Complicity

Reported by Janie - February 21, 2006

Rep. Peter King (R - NY), one of Dayside's favorite guests, appeared yesterday to discuss the Dubai port deal that has caused such an uproar among both liberals and conservatives alike. While basically taking what most Americans view as the proper stance on this issue, both the co-hosts of Dayside and King refused to mention the Bush Administration, who made the decision, or the UAE's 9/11 connections once during the entire discussion.

The interview opened with co-host Mike Jerrick questioning King:

MJ: "A lot of people are upset about this on so many levels. What's the number 1 level for you?"

PK: "The main one for me is that the government did not do a thorough investigation. We're talking about a company, that as you said, comes out of a country with very serious Al Qaeda connections. This is one of only three governments in the world that supported the Taliban prior to 9/11. There's been allegations about the port in Dubai itself which this company managed and to be turning over management of 6 major ports to a company such as this without a full and thorough investigation to me is just inviting disaster. One point I made, god forbid there is ever another tragedy, I don't want a future 9/11 Commission asking me why I didn't do anything when I became aware of the situation."

Comment: Note that King does not give the full story on the UAE to the viewers. As Donna reported yesterday the UAE:

- was one of three countries in the world to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan (which King did mention)
- has been a key transfer point for illegal shipments of nuclear components to Iran, North Korea and Lybia.
- according to the FBI, transferred money through their banking system to the 9/11 hijackers
- was not, according to the Treasury Department, cooperating in efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden’s bank accounts
(Hat tip to ThinkProgress for the initial investigative work!)

Another interesting piece of information that has gotten barely any noticeable play on Fox, or anywhere for that matter, was reported in the New York Times last week:

"In mid-January, President Bush nominated a senior executive of Dubai Ports World, David Sanborn, to run the Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration. Mr. Sanborn had been running the company's operations in Europe and Latin America."

King and Dayside chose to not provide this damning information to the viewers, as this would cause a serious blow to "Dear Leader" Bush's Administration, who has firmly stated the deal is final, dismissing concerns of Republicans and Democrats alike.

Co-host Juliet Huddy continued, "Congressman, this company is called DP World. As you said, it's based in Dubai, $6.8 million it's offered for the purchase of a British firm, and they would take over. The ports are in Baltimore, Miami, New York, New Jersey, New Orleans, Philadelphia, these are major terrorist targets, these would be considered major terrorist targets. You say that this company hasn't been investigated, but the government says they have, they have made sure there are security measures in place, what are they talking about?"

Comment: Again note that the Bush Administration, whose deal this is, is not mentioned at all but referred to as "the government".

King responded, "Well, first I really disagree with Secretary Chertoff on this. Let me just give you one example, the Port Authority of NY and NJ, which has a current contract with the British company that is being taken over by Dubai, they were never told about this until the middle of last week. They read it in the newspapers, so they weren't even contacted or consulted. Under the law, or at least the way the law is interpreted by the Treasury Department, all they look at is whether there is anything flagrant in the intelligence file, whether there are any red flags there, but they don't do an in-depth investigation, like if any of us were nominated to be let's say a sub-cabinet post in the government, we'd be subjected to incredibly intense scrutiny. Nothing like that happened with this company."

Comment: Certainly Secretary Chertoff agrees with the Bush Administration, but this is not Chertoff's deal, so why can't King come out and say that he doesn't agree with the Administration?

King also states that the Treasury Department has done a review of the deal, but only looks for things that are "flagrant" in the countries intelligence file - so am I to assume that all of the above referenced information about the UAE's ties to 9/11, does not fall under the classification as "flagrant", or is not considered a "red flag"? And we're supposed to feel "safer" under this administration?

The segment was opened to questions/comments from the audience, all of whom were incensed at this deal. The unbalanced segment ended shortly thereafter, and no Democrats were given the opportunity to voice their concern on this topic, because Fox just couldn't allow a Democrat to appear "strong" on National Security.

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