Dubai’s Port of No Return
Don’t jump to conclusions, but there are ties between the UAE, bin Laden, and the Taliban by James Ridgeway
February 22nd, 2006 9:42 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C.—No matter what Bush and his supporters say, there is indisputable evidence of tight connections between the United Arab Emirates and leadership of both the Taliban and Al Qaeda. The country is the center of financial activity in the Persian Gulf, and has next to no laws controlling money laundering.Two of the hijackers came from the UAE and hijacker money was laundered through the UAE. The details are spelled out in documents in the government’s case against Moussaoui.
The ties with bin Laden and the Taliban reach far back into the ’90s. Prominent Persian Gulf officials, including members of the UAE royal family, and businessmen would fly to Kandahar on UAE and private jets for hunting expeditions, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2001. In addition to ranking UAE ministers, these parties included Saudi big wigs like Prince Turki, the former Saudi intelligence minister who now is ambassador to the U.S.
General Wayne Downing, Bush's former national director for combating terrorism, was quoted on MSNBC in September, 2003 saying, "They would go out and see Osama, spend some time with him, talk with him, you know, live out in the tents, eat the simple food, engage in falconing, some other pursuits, ride horses. One noted visitor is Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktum, United Arab Emirates Defense Minister and Crown Prince for the emirate of Dubai.''
I’m having a bitter reaction to this entire thing. In the first place, I find it infuriating that the same people who have exhorted this country to see Muslims as our enemies who “hate us for our freedoms,” are now trying to claim the moral high ground and accuse everyone who raises questions about this deal with Dubai as racists. Maybe I should be amused by it, but I’m long past being amused by this kind of shit. Katrina still seethes in me. This bunch has no right whatsoever to play the race card in any situation. They sure as shit have no right when it comes to the people they have labeled “Islamofascists.”
I’m fed up with being called a traitor for opposing blowing up every single middle easterner who looks at the USA cross-eyed. To now be called a traitor for raising security concerns over selling control of our ports to the UAE is too much.
There are serious questions this pending deal is now raising that have little if nothing to do with xenophobia. The administration tried to slide the deal in under the radar – and that alone tells me they knew going in that this wasn’t going to be a popular decision. So there have to be reasons why Commander CooCoo Bananas insisted at the start that he’d veto any attempt to stop the deal. I want to know what those reasons are. The Bush Family’s ties to the big money in the middle east are a legitimate consideration here, and they need to be discussed in detail right this fucking minute.