Thursday, March 02, 2006

Veterans On The Dubai Port Deal
Veterans On The Dubai Port Deal
Stephen Elliott

Here's a press release the Band of Brothers put out today. I think it's pretty interesting. I'm trying to work with these guys, a group of veterans running for Congress as Democrats against incumbent Republicans. I'm hosting fundraisers for them in San Francisco and New York. Stay posted.

Band of Brothers, a PAC dedicated to helping over fifty veterans running for Congress as Democrats in 2006, released the following statement today regarding port security. Contact Director Mike Lyon at 804.263.0717 or


Democrats have always been stronger on security than Republicans. Since before the attacks of 9/11 port security has been a major issue for Democrats. Charles Schumer, the Senator from New York, has repeatedly called for better port security and port security was a major plank on John Kerry's presidential bid.

Following the sale of operations in six American ports to Dubai Port World, a wholly owned subsidiary of the United Arab Emirates, we now know that not only have we not properly funded port security - only inspecting five percent of all cargo coming in to America - we are also selling off port assets to foreign nations.

The Band of Brothers finds this approach to securing our nation's borders unacceptable. Instead of spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a war of choice in Iraq we should be spending the money at home on things like inspecting cargo and installing radiation detectors at all major America ports.

Further, we take issue with Senator John McCain's statements on This Week (ABC) calling removal of foreign owners of our ports an "overreaction". It is agreed upon among security experts that weapons entering our country through our ports is one of the greatest threats we face. We do not consider taking those threats seriously an "overreaction". McCain also stated that it would help al-Qaeda's cause for us to leave Iraq. McCain and others in congress need to take responsibility for leading us into a war that had nothing to do with al-Qaeda and everything to do with weapons of mass destruction that do not exist. A war that has sucked our resources dry while we sell our ports to foreign countries.

A week ago Democrat and Veteran Dr. Bob Johnson who is challenging incumbent Republican John McHugh in New York's 23rd District was not allowed to board a flight to Florida. He was put on the "no fly" list. McCain has so far not made any statement in defense of Dr. Johnson, preferring to spend his time defending the sales of our ports to Dubai.

Senator McCain was instrumental in the push for war in Iraq and campaigned heavily for George Bush in 2004. The war in Iraq has cost over two thousand American lives but has done nothing to stabilize the Middle East. The two elected officials most responsible for this war are now telling us it is OK to sell our ports to foreign nations. The Democratic veterans running for Congress this year could not disagree more.