01 March 2006

Media Misquotes Coast Guard

Once again, the MSM runs with a story before fully understanding the breadth and scope of an investigation or audit. In the constant struggle to beat the competition, MSM --– particularly the print media --– rush to press without having all the facts. This is a classic example. The text below includes excerpts from a WaPo article dated 28 February 2006 and statements made from senior U.S. Coast Guard officials on 27 and 28 February 2006.

Coast Guard Saw 'Intelligence Gaps' on Ports– Washington Post
The U.S. Coast Guard, in charge of reviewing security at ports operated by a Dubai maritime company, warned the Bush administration it could not rule out that the company's assets could be used for terrorist operations, according to a document released yesterday by a Senate committee.
Now that we have what the Post thinks the U.S. Coast Guard reported, let's go to official statements from official Coast Guard officials, which are officially posted on the official U.S. Coast Guard public affairs site.

Statement by Coast Guard Spokesman Cmdr. Jeff Carter on Port Transaction Analysis 27 February 2006 -- U.S.C. G Headquarters News Site
Washington - "What is being quoted is an excerpt of a broader Coast Guard intelligence analysis that was performed early on as part of its due diligence process. The excerpts made public earlier today, when taken out of context, do not reflect the full, classified analysis performed by the Coast Guard. That analysis concludes ‘that DP World's acquisition of P&O, in and of itself, does not pose a significant threat to U.S. assets in [continental United States] ports.’ Upon subsequent and further review, the Coast Guard and the entire CFIUS panel believed that this transaction, when taking into account strong security assurances by DP World, does not compromise U.S. security."
Statement by Vice Adm. Terry Cross on Coast Guard Due Diligence in Support of the CFIUS Process 28 February 2006 -- U.S.C.G. Headquarters News Site
Washington - "Early in the CFIUS process, the Coast Guard's initial review identified potential intelligence gaps. Since completing its initial intelligence assessment, the Coast Guard has continued its due diligence by auditing all P&O operations in the United States, examining DPW operations outside the United States, obtaining formal assurances from DPW regarding ongoing access to information on personnel and operations, and further evaluating the proposed transaction in conjunction with other elements of the intelligence community. These additional efforts have reinforced the conclusion of the Coast Guard's initial assessment, and the Coast Guard continues to believe that, 'DP World's acquisition of P&O, in and of itself, does not pose a significant threat to U.S. assets in [continental United States] ports.' In fact, the Coast Guard will have more information about the affected terminals under DPW ownership than it currently does under P&O's ownership. During the 45-day review period, the Coast Guard will continue to work diligently within the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence community to ensure that port security concerns are fully raised and objectively analyzed."
I think I'll go with the official version this time around.

Open Post Thanks to Don Surber, Stuck on Stupid, Bloggin' Outloud, Freedom Watch, Third World County, The Mudville Gazette, and THM's Bacon Bits.

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