Ducking a Bitch Slap
Schumer said Monday he is skeptical of the review panel's ability to evaluate the deal, saying the panel has been more focused on economic development rather than national security.
Now, while the AP thinks it's an opportunity to "sidestep a battle with members of his own party and to tone down bipartisan criticism of the deal", I have a different view of the reason behind the second review. My thinking is that Bush was about to be bitch slapped by a bi-partisan Congress on this one. He'd offered to veto legislation, and they essentially said 'bring that weak shit on'. And of course, if they dig into the deal (which may now happen), it could look even worse for our Chimperor, so he's trying to avoid any serious problems by buying time.
And it does already. The Coast Guard weighed in on this one yesterday, saying that they had issues.
"There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment" of the potential merger, the unclassified Coast Guard intelligence assessment said.
"The breadth of the intelligence gaps also infer potential unknown threats against a large number of potential vulnerabilities," the assessment said.
Of course, they were told 'trust me' by the administration so they shut up. But that admission that they were unable to do a full threat analysis has only poured gasoline on the fire in Congress.
Under the agreement congressional GOP leaders negotiated over the weekend, the Bush administration agreed to the company's request for a highly unusual 45-day national security review of its business deal.
But a bipartisan group of senators on Monday introduced a bill anyway that would delay the deal and give Congress an opportunity to block the takeover. Separately, Democrats introduced legislation that would prohibit companies owned by foreign governments from controlling operations at U.S. ports.
Not looking good for King George IV... but it could get worse. A lawsuit filed in Britain could kill the deal too - remember that the company selling the operations is British. This whole thing could be outside of Bush's ability to control it at all. Something he can't control or buy - what a shock that will be to him.