Bush Family, Dubai Ports World and the Carlyle Group: More incest than a village in Appalachia*
UPDATE 3/10/06: roundup and discussion of yesterday's "resolution" to the PortGate debacle here.
I heard about this first via Randi Rhodes, the Goddess of Progressive Talk Radio. [I love you Randi, my Queen! Thanks for linking. Welcome RR listeners!] BTW: Air America is a great way to keep up on things if you can't read blogs at work. But keep the volume down or you might get questions from co-workers like "what is she bitching about now?".
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The oil-rich United Arab Emirates is a major investor in The Carlyle Group, the private equity investment firm where President Bush's father once served as senior adviser and is a who's who of former high-level government officials. Just last year, Dubai International Capital, a government-backed buyout firm, invested in an $8 billion Carlyle fund.
But there's much more:
Another family connection, the president's brother, Neil Bush, has reportedly received funding for his educational software company from the UAE investors. A call to his company was not returned.
Snow: Who knew?
Then there is the cabinet connection. Treasury Secretary John Snow was chairman of railroad company CSX/. After he left the company for the White House, CSX sold its international port operations to Dubai Ports World for more than a billion dollars.
In Connecticut today, Snow told reporters he had no knowledge of that CSX sale. "I learned of this transaction probably the same way members of the Senate did, by reading about it in the newspapers."
It just doesn't stop:
Another administration connection, President Bush chose a Dubai Ports World executive to head the U.S. Maritime Administration. David Sanborn, the former director of Dubai Ports' European and Latin American operations, he was tapped just last month to lead the agency that oversees U.S. port operations.
Conspiracy theory? Let's follow the gagillions of dollars and let the players speak for themselves:
December 2002-February 2003: Carlyle Group Purchases CSX Lines, LLC
February 27, 2003
CSX and The Carlyle Group Complete Conveyance of CSX Lines
Jacksonville, FL, and Washington, DC - CSX Corporation (NYSE: CSX) and The Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm, announced today that they have completed the conveyance of CSX Lines, LLC, from CSX to a venture formed with The Carlyle Group. CSX received $300 million, consisting of $240 million in cash and $60 million of securities issued by the venture.
As part of the transaction announced December 17, 2002, former CSX Lines President and CEO Charles G. (Chuck) Raymond and his management team will lead the Charlotte, N.C.-based ocean carrier, now named Horizon Lines, LLC.
January 2003: Bush Nominates John Snow, Chairman and CEO of CSX to be Treasury Secretary
President George W. Bush nominated John William Snow to be the 73rd Secretary of the Treasury on January 13, 2003 . The United States Senate unanimously confirmed Snow to the position on January 30, 2003 and he was sworn into office on February 3, 2003 . As Secretary of the Treasury, Snow works closely with President Bush on a broad array of economy policy issues.
Before coming to Treasury, Snow was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CSX Corporation, where he successfully guided the global transportation company through a period of tremendous change.
December 2004: DP (Dubai Ports) World announces agreement to purchase CSX's shipping terminals
In December 2004, DP World - International made it's most ambitious move to-date, with the announcement that it had signed a definitive agreement with CSX Corporation to acquire the international terminal business conducted by CSX World Terminals and other related interests for a cash consideration of US$ 1.15bn, completion of this transaction is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2005.
The CSX World Terminals container terminal portfolio consists of interests in 9 terminals with 24 berths and a combined future capacity of 14.6 million TEU across operations in Asia, Europe, Australia and Latin America.
December 2005 - Early 2006: DP World makes bid to purchase Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company ("P&O"), a UK company that operates some US ports
The increased recommended cash offer is a revision to the terms of the original recommended proposals in respect of the Deferred Stock (the "Revised Proposals"). With the exception of the price and the timetable, the Revised Proposals are subject to the same terms and conditions which apply to the Deferred Scheme as set out in the document posted to P&O Stockholders on 20 December 2005 (the "Scheme Document").
"Scheme Document"? You really can't make this shit up.
To sum it all up, Lou Dobbs lays the smackdown on the Chimp:
President Bush has put forth a challenge tonight that I simply can't ignore. The president yesterday said he wanted those who are critical and questioning of this port deal to "step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company."
Well, first of all, Mr. President, to equate any country to your principal partner in the coalition ignores that special relationship this country's enjoyed with the United Kingdom for decades and decades. This also is not just a British company and an Arab company, as I think you well know.
Peninsula and Oriental Steam Navigation is a British privately owned company. Dubai Ports World is a UAE government controlled and owned company. You see the difference, of course.
And furthermore, the money used to fund the 9/11 attacks, most of it, in fact, was sent to the hijackers through the UAE banking system. In fact, two of the hijackers were originally from the UAE.
The UAE stonewalled U.S. efforts to track al Qaeda bank accounts after 9/11. In addition, the Emirates does not recognize Israel as a sovereign state. And the UAE was a transfer point for shipments of nuclear technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.
And if those aren't good enough reasons, I would just suggest I'm at a complete loss to offer what might be considered good reasons.
*UPDATE 2: No disrespect intended to people who live in and around the mighty and beautiful Appalachian mountains. It's supposed to be a joke based on a pop culture stereotype. Maybe I should have said "...than a cocktail party in Westport, Connecticut" or "..than a dinner with the Saudi Royal Family." No disrespect intended to those groups either.
UPDATE Welcome Knitter's Review readers. --Lambert
UPdate 3: Oh yes, welcome Morons.org readers.