Feb 23, 2006- Kaptur Calls for Special Congressional Hearings and Treasury Inspector General
In a letter sent today to House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis and Ranking Member Henry Waxman, Kaptur urged the committee to conduct a series of hearings to explore these matters to determine whether appropriate processes were followed, conflicts of interest explored, and whether or not American companies were solicited in this process.
"The Treasury agreement raises serious ethical questions regarding those directly responsible for this decision," wrote Kaptur. "In particular, given that Dubai Ports World acquired CSX World Terminals in 2004 for $1.15 billion, a company of which Secretary of the Treasury John Snow was Chairman prior to coming to the Administration, should raise questions about both the acquisition of the CSX port operations and the recent awarding of the contract." Now, as chair of the U.S. Treasury Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., Secretary Snow and the Treasury Department had lead authority in approving the Dubai transaction.
Secretary Snow holds a deferred compensation package and a special retirement pension from his days as CEO of CSX Corporation. In 2004, CSX World Terminals was acquired by Dubai Ports World, the successful bidder on this contract
"Given that Secretary Snow had previously disclosed a deferred compensation package with CSX valued at between $5 and $25 million and $33.2 million from a special retirement pension, one would expect that any financial benefit from the sale of CSX World Terminals to Dubai Ports World, including any stock holdings, would have been revealed, especially if there might be any residual from subsequent actions such as these," Kaptur stated in her request of the Treasury Inspector General. The Congresswoman added, "the President's assertion that he had polled his Cabinet Secretary's on the Dubai deal, causes concern for me that at least one, Secretary Snow, should have removed himself from the decision given his business connection to CSX and Dubai."
Kaptur went on to say that United Arab Emirates doesn't share America's political values, pointing out that the country is an undemocratic nation that cannot assure infiltrators will not breach security. "On 9-11, two members of the hijack team that simultaneously downed the twin towers in New York City and killed hundreds of Americans at the Pentagon were from the Emirates," said Kaptur. "As the 9-11 Commission reported, those same terrorists laundered much of the money for their operation through UAE controlled banks."