February 22, 2006- Dubai was a Hub for A.Q. Khan's Nuclear Weapons Smuggling Network
Washington, DC - Representative Edward J. Markey, senior Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee released the following statement in response to remarks by President Bush that he would veto any attempt to block the operation of major ports in the United States by a company controlled by a foreign government – the United Arab Emirates.
"If this were a foreign government-controlled company trying to take over a U.S. broadcast station, the U.S. would not allow that. The President is wrong to act as if our ports are a less sensitive target for terrorism than our telecommunications system.
“Moreover, he is wrong to suggest that the Coast Guard and Customs manage security in our ports. The fact is that, day-to-day, security in our ports has been largely delegated to the private sector, which means, in this case, we would be relying on the United Arab Emirates, not the U.S. Coast Guard, to keep America safe.
“Americans are concerned about a nuclear bomb entering the U.S. through our ports – did the Bush Administration consider that the United Arab Emirates was the central hub of A. Q. Khan’s work-wide nuclear weapons smuggling operation? The Bush Administration should not be placing commercial interests over common-sense.
“The President asked for us to treat this deal ‘fairly’ but the facts are not friendly, in fact the facts are frightening when you look into the details of how A.Q. Khan – the Johnny Appleseed of nuclear terrorism - had a company based in Dubai that shipped enriched uranium and other materials needed for manufacturing nuclear weapons through the UAE to terrorists around the world.
“Did the President realize that just two years ago the UAE was incapable of addressing this web of nuclear terror in its own ports – let alone in ours?
“The single greatest threat the United States faces is the possibility of a nuclear weapon detonating on American soil – the President is turning his back on the severity of the threat posed by this deal – I will work with members of Congress to put an end to this dangerous path that the President is leading us down.
“The President has lost touch with the concerns of average Americans if he thinks this deal should go through.”
For more information on Rep. Markey’s work on securing America’s ports check out http://markey.house.gov/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Tara McGuiness