by CIO Staff

Coast Guard Concerns Stir Up Ports Debate

Feb 28, 20062 mins
IT LeadershipSecurity

On Monday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) released a Coast Guard assessment of the deal that would shift operations of six major U.S. seaports to a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based company, further igniting an inflammatory debate that seemed to be subsiding, the Associated Press reports via Yahoo News.

The assessment showed that the Coast Guard had expressed its own security concerns weeks before the deal hit the national news.  It stated that U.S. intelligence gaps made it impossible to determine whether or not Dubai Ports World, the UAE-based company, supported terrorists, the AP reports.

The Bush Administration claims all the Coast Guard’s concerns were resolved, according to the AP.

Sen. Collins, Senate Homeland Security Committee chairwoman, released the assessment to her committee just days after Dubai Ports World made an announcement requesting an additional 45-day security review.  The additional review was meant to quell some of the fears expressed by politicians and the American public regarding the takeover, and on Sunday, the Bush Administration quickly accepted the offer.  For more, read CIO sister publication, CSO’s Dubai Ports Takeover Delayed, Selling U.S. Ports to Dubai: Bad Security or Just Bad Politics and U.S. Accepts 45-Day Review of Dubai Deal.

“I am more convinced than ever that the process was truly flawed,” Sen. Collins said.  “I can only conclude that there was a rush to judgment, that there wasn’t the kind of painstaking, thorough analysis that needed to be done, despite serious questions being raised and despite the involvement of a wide variety of agencies.”

Today, Dubai Ports World’s Chief Operating Officer, Edward H. Bilkey, is slated to testify at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing to review the deal, the AP reports.

For related coverage, check out Customs Rattles the Supply Chain.

Keep checking in at our CIO News Alerts page for updated news coverage.