Dick Morris on port deal: Trust Bush

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On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, in response to co-host Alan Colmes's statement that the public may not be getting the whole story regarding the port deal involving a company owned by the Dubai government, Fox News political analyst Dick Morris said that "this is one area where he [Bush] has earned the right to be taken on faith."

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During the February 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, in response to co-host Alan Colmes's statement that the public may not be getting the whole story regarding the port deal involving a company owned by the government of Dubai, a member state of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Fox News political analyst Dick Morris said that "this is one area where he [Bush] has earned the right to be taken on faith."

Colmes told Morris that "the [U.S.] Coast Guard has said that their intelligence assessment says there are many intelligence gaps in this [port deal]." Colmes continued, "[Sen.] Susan Collins of Maine says it's astounding. In December, they have all these gaps; a month later, no more gaps. Clearly, we're not getting the whole story here." Morris replied, "Alan, like you, there are many things the Bush administration does that I do not approve of. But unlike you, the one thing I trust them on is the war on terror." He added: "I just do not believe that Bush would make a call this emphatically and this clearly if he felt that he was wrong."

Later in the segment, co-host Sean Hannity asked Morris to speculate on a possible deal between the Bush administration and the United Arab Emirates. He suggested that the Bush administration allowed the port deal to go through in exchange for the use of the UAE's Al Dhafra air base "if we need to protect the Straits of Hormuz and go into Iran at some point." Again, Morris replied, "I think that stuff is very possible. ... I believe this is one area where he [Bush] has earned the right to be taken on faith."

From the February 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

COLMES: So, what is the political price that the Bush administration will pay for this deal? Joining us now, former Clinton adviser Dick Morris. We just got word tonight, Dick, the Coast Guard has said that their intelligence assessment says there are many intelligence gaps in this. Susan Collins of Maine says it's astounding. In December, they have all these gaps; a month later, no more gaps. Clearly, we're not getting the whole story here.

MORRIS: Alan, like you, there are many things the Bush administration does that I do not approve of. But unlike you, the one thing I trust them on is the war on terror. And I believe we make a fundamental misconception -- which is, we assume that the war on terror is basically to be waged by homeland security as a defensive operation. A terribly important part of the reason why we haven't been attacked is the offense that's going on in Iraq and Afghanistan militarily and with the UAE and Kuwait diplomatically. They turned over the [USS] Cole bomber to us, and they are an important ally of the United States, even though they're Arabs.

[...]

COLMES: Look, [terrorism analyst] Steven Emerson points out that, as recently as last year, Hamas couriers were off to the West Bank and Gaza with UAE cash. We understand they have not always cooperated with the war on terror. They had a lot more to do as a staging area with 9-11 than anything to do with Iraq, yet we invaded Iraq. It just doesn't add up that this administration that was saying we're going to go against any country that supported 9-11, all of a sudden, they're best friends with UAE. It makes no sense.

MORRIS: Very rarely do you get a situation where you can genuinely say they know more than I do. Rarely do you get something where you sort of have to buy that assertion. But this is a situation like that. They can't reveal to us what the UAE is doing to help us. They can't reveal that in public. They can't reveal in public what their plans are and their operational procedures are, in terms of the port security. And I just do not believe that Bush would make a call this emphatically and this clearly if he felt that he was wrong.

HANNITY: Hey, Dick, you are the only one that has -- by stating that, it's been making a point that I have been making. On the surface, I don't like this at all, based on the UAE's history, based on their connection to 9-11 via the banking system, travel system, nuclear parts to some of our enemy countries, et cetera, but we've got to look at -- one of the most important theaters there in the Mideast that we have been using in the Iraq war is the Al Dhafra air base.

MORRIS: Right.

HANNITY: Is it conceivable that a deal was struck to use that air base if we need to protect the Straits of Hormuz and go into Iran at some point, with the UAE --

MORRIS: Yeah, I think that, that --

[crosstalk]

HANNITY: -- the deal had already been struck?

MORRIS: I think that stuff is very possible. And I think that there are so many levels of dealing with the UAE government that it is -- that Bush can't talk about, that I believe this is one area where he has earned the right to be taken on faith.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Dick Morris
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Hannity & Colmes
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