News Release

Port Security

Dubai Ports World, a state-owned business in the United Arab Emirates, is slated to buy a British company, Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co., which runs major commercial operations at ports in six U.S. cities.

PRATAP CHATTERJEE
Chatterjee is executive director of CorpWatch and was in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates last month. He said today: “On the one hand, it’s protectionist and racist to prevent this because the company is based in an Arab country. But there clearly are factors of government secrecy and cronyism involved in this, as with so much of what the U.S. government does. The government of UAE is providing a defacto base for the U.S. military and private contractors in Dubai.”
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LAILA AL-QATAMI
Communications director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Al-Qatami said today: “Those who purport that ports can be securely run by a British company, but not an Arab one, are engaging in racial profiling on the corporate level.”
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CHARLES SHOWALTER
President of the American Federation of Government Employees’ National Homeland Security Union, Showalter said today: “As it is, we don’t have enough people on the ground breaking down as many containers as we should at our ports. That desperately needs to change. This should be a domestic function. Personally, I would prefer it to be a government entity mandated to protect the public safety.”

SAM HUSSEINI
Communications director for the Institute for Public Accuracy, Husseini said today: “While continuing to detain hundreds of Arabs and Muslims at Guantanamo without charges, Bush seems to suddenly recognize profiling — when the apparent victim is a multibillion-dollar entity. On the ‘other side’ of the debate, ‘security hawks’ suddenly find flaws with ‘government secrecy,’ and ‘free traders’ are going domestic. That so many political players are seeming to take on atypical attributes highlights that they invoke arguments because they are useful in a particular instance for whatever it is they actually believe in but don’t openly state.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167