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I have Cookie doing a little Nexis search. I have asked her to go back in the Nexis database, which is a database of gazillions of newspapers and magazines and newsletters and so forth around the world, and I said, “Cookie, I want you to go out there and I want you to find the first story on the Dubai ports deal.” And she has found it. Do you know when it was? Do you know when the first story appeared? It appeared in the Times of London on October 30th, 2005. The Wall Street Journal ran the story the next day, October 31st, 2005. Not a word of fear, protest, or whatever resulted for months.
Now, admittedly, the story on October 30th was just about Dubai’s effort, Dubai’s desire to buy the port. They had hired Deutsche Bank to advise them on their bid. “Banking sources in Dubai said this weekend that a preliminary meeting between the two sides was likely to take place within days. The Middle Eastern firm is understood to have contacted banks about financing a bid for the British ports operator,” blah, blah, blah. So this is before the deal was even done. We knew before it was even done. It was in the Times of London; Wall Street Journal, the next day. So we knew, folks, that this was happening, and we know members of Congress read the Wall Street Journal, and we know members of the media read the Wall Street Journal because the Wall Street Journal is the media.
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Greetings and welcome back, great to have you. Rush Limbaugh here, the Excellence in Broadcasting Network, at 800-282-2882. Now, I told Cookie, “Okay, now, tighten the search. Get me the earliest date of the story within the past three weeks.” I want to find out, because it was a week ago today that all hell was raised — well, actually it was Friday, it was the Friday a week ago, about ten days ago is when all hell started to break loose, and that coincided with the Cheney story, which they tried to keep alive last week, fizzling out on them. I just want to find out how much time went by here, because I remember asking you one week ago today about this port deal, at some point last week, “Do you feel a little manipulated by this story?” Because it’s been out there for so long, now all of a sudden it is getting all of this attention and focus, long after it’s been done. There wasn’t anything secret about it. There wasn’t a thing secret about it, not when it was known to be in the works before it was consummated, and we can probably get the story that was published on the day it was consummated, and I’m guaranteeing you that’s more than three weeks ago.
So there’s just all kinds of manipulation going on with this. But the word “secret” has been attached to this, and it couldn’t have been. It may be that it didn’t interest anybody, and it didn’t. I wonder why that is. Why didn’t it raise the red flags back in October that it’s raising today? Why didn’t it raise the red flags a month ago or two months ago that it is raising today? This is the kind of stuff I’ve been suspicious of, and I told you all last week. I don’t like being manipulated, and I don’t like joining the crowd of conventional wisdom, and I’m not going to get on this tsunami until I start looking at the thing, which I did last week.
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The earliest story on the port deal in the month of February was February 15th in the Philadelphia Inquirer, February 15th, which was the Wednesday of Cheney shooting week. This story happened on that Wednesday of Cheney shooting week and it was a couple days later that it blew up. Here’s the basic thrust of the story. “The purchase of the port unit of a renowned British maritime company has given a United Arab Emirates company a half interest in a firm that loads and unloads ships in Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Camden. Delaware River Stevedores has been jointly owned by Stevedoring Services of America, Inc., of Seattle and P&O Ports, Limited.” That’s the Brits.
“On Monday P&O shareholders approved the sale for $6.8 billion of its maritime terminals and ferries to Dubai Ports World, lifting the United Arab Emirates company into the top three marine terminal operators on Monday.” So the sale was consummated I guess on the 13th of February, and it wasn’t until the 17th that all hell broke loose on the story.
Now, listen to the last paragraph of this story. “Pennsylvania State Representative William Keller, Democrat, Philadelphia, who is chairman of the Delaware River Maritime Enterprise Council, a leading advocate for the deal, said he is aware of the change and is working to make sure this doesn’t hurt the port of Philadelphia.” And from that we arrive to where we are today, with the first story on this being October 30th of last year, when the deal was rumored to be in the works, the next day the Wall Street Journal had that story, from October 31st. I don’t know what happened in the interim. I didn’t go back beyond the month of February in our Nexis search because I wanted to find out within this most time frame just when all this got ginned up versus when it was first known, and it’s been known since the fourth quarter of 2005.
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