Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, February 24, 2006

Focus On CFIUS, Not Dubai

It's a good thing Pres. Bush has bought a little time on the Dubai docks issue because even lefties like MoxieGrrrl are getting it right:
Telling people not to be concerned about security runs contrary to everything this administration has been saying since 9/11. From the beginning, it's been "stay aware of your surroundings," "report anything suspicious" (hell, I even called the cops when I found myself sharing the highway with a non-descript grey van that didn't have license plates), and "watch the terror alerts" (ooh the pretty colors!).

Why should we take them at their word that this is all on the up-and-up? Why should we trust that this doesn't impact our national security?
Of course, within a couple words of that she gets into routine Bush oil interests, family ties, selling out America for oil malarky, but I'm nodding my head though these two grafs (other than that "up and up" line -- I think its political stupidity, not a slimey deal).

The NYT reports (top link in this post) that the administration is saying because the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has passed it, nothing can be done.

Something can be done. The President has full discretion under CFIUS to protect the national security. And here's how he should do it: Change the focus from the Dubai deal to CFIUS, because in this case, it appears CFIUS endangers the national security.

The president should:
  1. Put the Dubai deal on hold pending an investigation of the CFIUS process.
  2. Appoint a special committee, like the 9/11 committee, to review this CFIUS process and other recent questionable processes, like China's attempted acquisition of Unocal and its earlier acquisition of port operations in LA.
  3. Use that committee's recommendations to change CFIUS from a trade-driven committee to a security-driven committee.
  4. Make the CFIUS process more public. As I read the regs, it's not subject to the Administrative Procedures Act, which requires public notice and comment. It should be.
And then, if -- and only if -- the Dubai deal can pass the review of a new and improved CFIUS, let the deal go through.