Now, the New York Sun has an interesting insight on that question.
Somehow, it doesn't add up. Senators Menendez, Clinton, Lautenberg, Schumer, Dodd, and Boxer are up in arms over the Bush administration's decision to allow Dubai Ports World, a company owned by the United Arab Emirates, to take over operations at ports in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami, and Philadelphia. So are Reps. Vito Fossella and Peter King. One has to wonder, what makes this group, not particularly known for its hawkishness - in some cases known for abject dovishness - suddenly more hawkish than President Bush? It turns out their objections look to be less and less about American national security and more about plain old politics and political money and a labor union notorious for its ties to organized crime on the waterfront. ....
So what, one wonders, accounts for the sudden turnabout and interest of all these politicians in the UAE as a potential terrorist threat? The answer got a lot clearer yesterday afternoon when the International Longshoremen's Association, the AFL-CIO-affiliated union that represents workers at the six ports that would be affected by the Dubai deal, issued a statement praising the politicians complaining about the deal. The union's statement expressed "great concern" about the transaction. From there, it's easy to just follow the money - documented by The New York Sun's examination of Federal Election Commission records - from the political action committee of the International Longshoremen's Association into the pockets of the protesting politicians.
Mr. Schumer, the first to raise the alarm about the deal? He's collected $4,500 in campaign contributions from the trough of the Longshoremen. Rep. Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, who was one of the first big-name Republicans to break ranks with the administration over the deal? The Longshoremen's political committee donated $5,500 to the King campaign. It turns out that nearly every politician who has been at the forefront of the opposition to the Dubai deal is on the receiving end of some Longshoreman largesse.