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Monday, February 20, 2006
Bloglines - Chris Wallace - Fox News Discussing Dubai Ports World Deal with Senators Graham & Bayh
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WALLACE: Let me ask you both about another program that just really sort of bubbled up to the surface this week. The Bush administration has just approved a company from the United Arab Emirates called Dubai Ports World buying and taking over some of the operations, as you can see there on the screen, of six of America's biggest ports.
Some of your colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, say that this is potentially a serious security breach.
Senator Bayh, should this sale be blocked?
BAYH: I think we've got to look into this company, Chris. I think we've got to ensure ourselves that the American people's national security interests are going to be protected. And frankly, I think the threshold ought to be a little higher for a foreign firm. There can't be a choice between profits and protecting the American people.
We have to do, even if it costs us a couple extra bucks, what it takes to protect this country. I'll give you one little example. About 80 percent of the magnets that make our smart bombs go are now made in China. It's not smart to rely on China to produce important weapons systems for this country, just like it's not smart to outsource our port security if there's any doubt.
So, look. We have to do what it takes to protect America. When in doubt, if it costs us a little more money, well, that's the price of freedom.
WALLACE: Would you like to see a congressional investigation of this?
BAYH: I think we need to look into it to reassure ourselves, yes.
WALLACE: Senator Graham, your view about the sale of this company to Dubai Ports World and whether or not Congress should take a role in either blocking or at least investigating it.
GRAHAM: We certainly should investigate it. I don't know if we should block it. But it's unbelievably tone deaf politically at this point in our history, four years after 9/11, to entertain the idea of turning port security over to a company based in the UAE, who avows to destroy Israel.
So I'm not so sure it's the wisest political move we could have made. Most Americans are scratching their head wondering why this company, from this region, now.
WALLACE: Well, given that, why even consider going ahead with the sale, sir?
GRAHAM: Well, because I don't want to make a judgment without all the facts. Just on its face, it sounds like the wrong direction to go. We did this a few months ago with a Chinese company trying to buy some energy resources in the country.
Americans right now want free trade, but when it comes to national security issues, we want to maintain the infrastructure ourselves. We believe we're under siege. We are. I don't think now is the time to outsource major port security to a foreign-based company.