The Dubai firm that won Bush administration backing to run six U.S. ports has at least two ties to the White House.I was just chatting with a friend of mine who made a notable observation.
One is Treasury Secretary John Snow, whose department heads the federal panel that signed off on the $6.8 billion sale of an English company to government-owned Dubai Ports World - giving it control of Manhattan's cruise ship terminal and Newark's container port.
Snow was chairman of the CSX rail firm that sold its own international port operations to DP World for $1.15 billion in 2004, the year after Snow left for President Bush's cabinet.
The other connection is David Sanborn, who runs DP World's European and Latin American operations and who was tapped by Bush last month to head the U.S. Maritime Administration.
The ties raised more concerns about the decision to give port control to a company owned by a nation linked to the Sept. 11 hijackers.
"You know, I'm sure that things like this have been happening in the government for a lot of years. But when we were younger, it just seems like they used to make at least some effort to hide it or be sneaky about it. Now it's all just right out in the open and nobody does anything. I guess it all just seems normal now to most people."