The Truth about the Port Scandal

This entry first appeared on the Huffington Post.

The more you read about the UAE port security scandal, the more it becomes patently obvious this is about far more than just one deal with one company or one country. The harsh reaction from the Bush administration to the proposal to rescind the deal should be a red flag. This administration is unquestionably the most corporate-controlled administration in recent history, meaning its reactions are usually tied directly to the reactions of Corporate America. And the fact that the White House is ignoring its own security experts and reacting so negatively to Congress's opposition to the deal means this cuts to the much deeper issue of global trade policy -- an issue that trumps all others for Big Money interests, even post-9/11 security.

In a previous post, I noted how the Bush administration is simultaneously negotiating a "free" trade agreement with the UAE -- the country tied to the terrorists who attacked America on 9/11. The administration was negotiating this deal at the very same time it tried to quietly slip this port security deal under the radar. It's not surprising few in the media or the political system have mentioned that simple fact -- as I note in my upcoming book Hostile Takeover, the political/media Establishment's devotion to "free" trade orthodoxy is well documented, and the Establishment's desire in this current scandal to make sure a discussion of trade policy never happens is obvious.

But as the coverage continues, the true motives of Bush's position are starting to slip out, almost inadvertently.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said about the UAE deal that "We have to balance the paramount urgency of security against the fact that we still want to have a robust global trading system." Similarly, the New York Times today quotes a corporate consultant saying that "The location of the headquarters of a company in the age of globalism is irrelevant."

So we are expected to believe that nothing should matter -- not even security concerns -- other than preserving the corporate America's trade agenda. When you realize that, President Bush's threat to use the first veto of his presidency on the UAE port security issue suddenly becomes not so surprising. He is proudly defending what Jeff Faux calls "The Party of Davos" or John Perkins calls the "corporatocracy" -- that is, the multinational interests who really run the show.

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