The Bush administration has insisted that the law requires all information about the review of the United Arab Emirates port deal to be kept secret. State Department spokesperson Adam Ereli:
All departments are called upon to bring to the table derogatory information that they may have that would bear on the decisions of the committee. I would say that the deliberations are confidential so there’s basically not much I can share with you about what the specific deliberations were.
Jim Flurio, the co-sponsor of the law that created the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States – the panel that reviewed the Dubai port deal – said, under the law, most information could be made public:
In an interview, Florio said he did not like how application of the 17-year-old law had evolved, particularly the confidential nature of the CFIUS deliberations. “The confidentiality was designed to protect trade secrets. It was not designed to protect the deliberations and evaluations” of the government, he said. “The deliberations of this committee should be public and Congress should be engaged.”
Instead, he said the Republican Congress “has gone brain dead on oversight.”
In other words, there is no legal reason why the vast majority of the deliberations and evaluations of the UAE port deal could not be made available to the public and Congress. (That goes for the 30-day review that has already been conducted and the 45-day investigation to come.)
If this information establishes that there is no security risk associated with the deal, as the administration insists, it would be in their interest to do so.