Thursday, February 23, 2006

Blow Up

Using an arty, surreal palette, Antonioni's 1966 film, Blow Up, tells the story of a photographer who catches something on film while he is taking pictures in a park, though he is entirely unaware of it at the time. In developing and printing the film, Hemmings' character notices this something and begins to enlarge the shot to ever smaller scales until what is captured by the silver grains is finally revealed.

And so it seems with the increasingly surreal Bush administration, that with every daily move they make, there is something lurking within, at scales not quite visible except by magnified examination. And when that examination proceeds, as it most assuredly will, something more sinister is revealed than what the everyday White House rhetoric would have us believe.

The DPW ports deal has probably been blown up way beyond the proportion that the White House expected, as all sorts of details and backdoor agreements are prying their way into the public realm, onto the print of the page.

No one was really surprised to learn of administration connections to DPW, some very direct connections to say the least.
DPW also appears wired into the Bush administration. Last month, George Bush nominated one of DPW's senior executives, David C. Sanborn, to serve as maritime administrator.
This appointment would have occurred on or about the same time the DPW deal had been approved by Treasury Secretary Snow's department.

Then it came out that neither Bush, Rumsfeld, Joint Chiefs Chairman Pace nor even Secretary Snow,whose own committee approved the deal, knew anthing about it until just a few days ago.

Most recently, the revelation that the White House -- or at least someone in the White House -- contrived a "secret agreement" with DPW, which clearly shows a Bush rhetoric that has maintained DPW will have nothing to do with security, to be utterly empty. Which is nothing new, of course:
[DPW] promised to take ``all reasonable steps'' to assist the Homeland Security Department, and it pledged to continue participating in security programs to stop smuggling and detect illegal shipments of nuclear materials.
So, why does a company that Bush insists has no input on security issues need to agree to participate in security programs? Of course, most reasonable notions of port operations would obviously expect that some security elements would be involved in handling of cargo. How, praytell, can it not?

Within the agreement, more interesting blurbs pop out:
The administration did not require Dubai Ports to keep copies of business records on U.S. soil, where they would be subject to court orders.
Odd. Operations on US soil normally require records to be kept on that soil just for this purpose. Of course, we all know what the Bush administration thinks about court orders and judicial review.

There may yet be more to be discovered within the depths and subtler dimensions of this business. But it seems clear that the story is blowing up in White House faces to a far greater degree than they had probably expected. Which sounds rather familiar, really.

Looks like it will soon be time for, oh, I don't know ... Rumsfeld? Condi? someone ... to go on a hunting trip this weekend.


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