Sunday, March 19

Sanborn-Snow-Bush Conspiracy 'Dot' Connectors have Dull Pencils

I just noticed that a number of left-leaning sites are trying to 'Connect the dots' on some sort of maritime conspiracy running around the Bush White House that the Dubai Port Deal has somehow brought up to the surface. Of course it is the Democrat members of Congress who seem to think that this might be the next thing to throw against the wall to see if it will stick against the President. After all, word has been out for a while that the Democrats plan to impeach the President 'when' they get control of Congress in November. Thankfully that won't happen, but try telling them that. So they continue to build their list of charges against him.

Enter David Sanborn, who is the President's nomination to be the next Maritime Administrator (MARAD). Democrat Senator Bill Nelson does not like the President's pick and is going to see if he can increase the Dubai Port kill-zone by torpedoing the President's pick to head the Maritime Administration, a part of the US Department of Transportation. Senator Nelson gives us this classic concern:

Nelson said he is troubled that if Sanborn is confirmed as head of the US Maritime Administration, Sanborn would be overseeing his former employer's work at US ports. But the Maritime Administration issued a statement last night saying it ''does not regulate US ports, their operations, or their security." Instead, the administration said, it collects port traffic data and advises on issues such as dredging, congestion, and environmental guidelines.

Apparently the Senator has NO CLUE how small the US Maritime Community is. It's small. Really small. Everyone knows everyone else. When you go to training courses you run into many people you have met before. Instead of 'Six Degrees of Separation' American Merchant Mariners (Seafarers) have Three Degrees of Separation. (any US Merchant Mariner can be connected to any other US Merchant Mariner through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than one intermediary.) To compare, the US Naval Academy admitted 1,220 Cadets this last year. The US Merchant Marine Academy admits about 275 Midshipmen each year. A much smaller group, but then again, your only putting a handful of seafarers on each ship, not hundreds like in the Navy. Don't think that those who leave the Navy end up in the Merchant Marine or the maritime industry. Few make the transition. The training and experience in the two fields is completely different.

I find this conspiracy theory very amusing since I too:

- I Have worked for SEA-Land Services. (which was owned by CSX)
- I Have worked for P&O Containers.
- I have also spent two weeks assigned to MARAD (All before my 34th birthday)

To put things in perspective. SEA-Land was the shipping line started by the creator of Containerization. Many of the country's Maritime Experts (Container-shipping related) have worked for SEA-Land. What really gets the conspiracy theorists going is that Secretary of the Treasury, John Snow, is a former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CSX Corporation, the former owner of Sea-Land. He took the position in January 2003. In late 2004 CSX sold it's "CSX World Terminals" to DP World. Now lets look at Mr. Sanborn's Bio from his nomination:

The President intends to nominate David C. Sanborn, of Virginia, to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation. Mr. Sanborn currently serves as Director of Operations for Europe and Latin America at DP World. Prior to this, he served as Senior Vice President for North America Service Delivery at CMA-CGM (America) LLC. Mr. Sanborn also served as Vice President for Network-Operations for American President Lines, Pte. Ltd. Earlier in his career, he served as Director for Operations for Sea-Land Service, Inc. Mr. Sanborn is a retired Lieutenant Junior Grade for the United States Naval Reserve. He received his bachelor's degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

All we have here is a person with a career full of experience relevant to the position he is being nominated to. Strange, the Democrats were just complaining that the President is making appointments of unqualified persons. (F.E.M.A's 'Brownie' for starters.) This is yet another non-story. Too bad Senator Nelson and Senator Kerry have bought into it. Remember Senator Kerry?

Kerry, in a letter to Snow, wrote that, ''As you know, the CSX rail corporation, where you previously served as chief executive officer, sold its port operations to DP in 2004." Congress needs to learn ''whether administration officials could have unduly influenced CFIUS's approval process," Kerry wrote.

I tried to find Senator Kerry's 2004 comments about the sale of CSX to a Dubai firm on his website, but the search for "CSX" came back with no hits. Guess he did not find a problem with it at the time (At what point after 9/11 did port security become important?) Did you notice that Kerry is suggesting that Mr. Snow might have committed a crime? Nice guy eh?

So far none of these conspiracy theorists have managed to link White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card to the conspiracy yet. That surprising since:

- Mr. Card served as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Transportation (92-93)
- He attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy

The 'moonbats' have had Rove stuck in their sights for years. I have always believed that Rove is the decoy. It is Card that is the Ringleader of the whole Administration.

If you really whant to find a conspiracy in the UAE Port Deal, how about looking at how the Clintons tag-teamed DP World, the company buying P&O Ports.

Mrs. Clinton, Senator from the State of NY raises a stink about the Company buying Terminal Operations in the US. Enter her Husband and ex-President, Mr. Clinton, who takes in anywhere from $0 to $400,000 in consulting fees to help steer the company through the Congressional objections to the deal. Technically, nothing illegal was done as Mr. Clinton didn't infuence Mrs. Clinton to change her mind. Neither one of them has any knowledge of ports, or port terminal operations, or containerzation. Yet there they were right in the middle of this mess. Now President Clinton explains how he was always on the same page as his wife.

“I told them I couldn't understand why they wanted to do this, given all the problems we have with port security,” said the former president. “I thought there would be tremendous public and Congressional opposition. If they were determined to press ahead, I thought they should not push the process, but should open it up, and they should actually propose things that would increase port security.”

Clinton says he never asked anyone to support the deal, and he says Dubai Ports World never compensated him. - NY1

Where did all those other stories about the ex-President's involvement in this deal on behalf of the UAE Company come from? Now, if the press bothers to check, it seems that President Clinton might have broken the law advising them, even for free.

Apparently, Department of Justice lawyers from the Office of Legal Counsel want to know if Clinton registered as an "Agent of a Foreign Principal." According to the American Prowler, "Federal statute requires that anyone -- even a former President -- doing political or public affairs work on behalf of a foreign country, agency or official must register with the Department, and essentially update his status every six months. It was not clear Clinton had done so." - NMJ

The newest information available is from the second half of 2004 at it does not appear that Clinton's firm is listed. It will be interesting to see if Clinton's Business is registered. Don't wait for the press to tell you. Now lets all forget all the American Businesses sold to foreign entities while Clinton was in office.

UPDATE: 28 March 2006
Mr. Sanborn has withdrawn his nomination.

MarAd candidate Sanborn pulls out

DAVID SANBORN has asked President Bush to withdraw his nomination to head the US Maritime Administration and the While House has complied, pulling his name from consideration. The announcement came late Monday as Bush sent four unrelated nominations and one other withdrawal to the Senate. Sanborn, a former executive with Dubai Ports World wrote in his letter to Bush that “the convergence of a number of factors bring me to the conclusion that I cannot effectively serve my country, you, and the U.S. maritime industry." He was nominated to head MarAd in January, before the DPW furore began, but became caught up in the hysteria when Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida democrat, held his nomination hostage to the company’s sale of US terminal contracts. Sanborn, a Merchant Marine Academy graduate and navy veteran, had over 30 years experience in the maritime field and also said in his letter that his “background makes me one of the most qualified people there is for this position” of MarAd director. No replacement nominee has been tendered, leaving acting administrator John Jamian in charge of the Department of Transportation agency that he has run for over a year since Capt. William Schubert resigned. Lloyd's Register - 28 March 2006

Agency nominee taking Senate heat - Boston Globe
Climate of Corruption II - New Media Journal
Foreign Agents Registration Unit (FARA) - US Department of Justice

1 comment:

Fred Fry said...

OK, so Blogger publishes this with the date that you drafted the post. Not when you actually publish it.

This was published Monday evening. Not Sunday night.....