As much as I admire President Bush, there are a couple issues where I just can't figure him out. Lack of seriousness about controlling the borders is one such issue. Handing over control of our ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emirates is another. The President's willingness to look the other way on these issues is completely at odds with his otherwise admirably tough stance on fighting terrorism and protecting our country.
Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters zeroes in on the main issue troubling me: even if security at the ports continues to be provided by the Coast Guard and other American agencies, the UAE will have to have access to all details regarding port security in order to manage the ports -- and there's no telling where that security information will ultimately end up. This one angle in particular simply doesn't make sense to me, and I find it baffling that the President doesn't seem to understand the burgeoning bipartisan concerns regarding this issue.
If there is a reasonable case to be made that American security won't be compromised in any way, President Bush needs to make that case to the American people in very specific terms, not simply talk about not discriminating against an ally. Frankly, I don't think the case can be made, but I'd be happy to be persuaded otherwise.
In the meantime, I agree with Ed Morrissey: "Handing operational control over our ports to a state-owned corporation from the same region that generates the terrorists seems like an exceedingly bad idea at this time, and the administration has not done any work until now to make a case for the opposite."