Last week, it was revealed that the U.S. Coast Guard had warned of “many intelligence gaps” concerning the potential for Dubai Ports World “to support terrorist operations” if it assumed control of U.S. ports.
Bush administration officials insisted the Coast Guard’s concerns had been addressed before the deal was approved. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte testified that DP World had sent a “letter of assurance” pledging to turn over any information that was needed to fill the gaps cited by the Coast Guard.
But in sharply-worded letter written this week, Senate Homeland Security Committee chairs Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) say the “letter of assurance” did no such thing. The Coast Guard’s concerns over intelligence gaps were never addressed:
A careful review of the “assurances letter” reveals that DP World is not, in fact, bound to provide the U.S. government with the information it would need to close the intelligence gaps the Coast Guard identified. … The language is weak. … Indeed, the assurances appear to amount to little more than a restatement of what the FBI or other law enforcement agency could gather anyway in the course of an investigation.
ThinkProgress has acquired a copy of the letter, which you can read here.