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Li Ka-shing:
New Ruler of the Information Superhighway

Global Crossing, Enron's evil twin, is about to be "rescued" by a Chinese billionaire with ties to the People's Liberation Army. 
Why not?  He already controls the Panama Canal.  Will it threaten national security to have a Chinese company controlling the fiber-optic network our defense department uses to communicate and store data?
That's something we should be asking.

In 1999, several Republicans on Capitol Hill were worried about the fact that the Panama Canal had fallen into the hands of the Chinese.  After almost 100 years of US control of this vital port for moving goods and troops around the world, the time had come to withdraw our troops and give the canal back to Panama.  By that time, Panama had already leased the ports at both ends of the canal to a Hong Kong company owned by Chinese billionaire Li Ka-shing in a deal many considered to be underhanded.
By that time, too, control of Hong Kong was returned from the British government to the People's Republic of China, making the Li Ka-shing's company a Chinese company.

It made Trent Lott and a few others nervous, as it had in 1997 when Hutchison-Whampoa, Li Ka-shing's company, originally sought to control the ports.  That year Lott wrote a letter to Secretary of Defense William Cohen saying, "U.S. naval ships will be at the mercy of Chinese-controlled pilots and could even be denied passage through the Panama Canal by Hutchinson, an arm of the People's Liberation Army." Moreover, "the Chinese Communist Party will gain an intelligence information advantage...."

Nancy Dorn Lott and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) fought vocally against the lease of the ports, but Li Ka-shing had one important thing going for him, a lobbyist named Nancy Dorn from Texas.  This seasoned foreign agent had been a Defense Department official under Ronald Reagan and was Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil) under George Bush, Sr.  Her responsibilities included matters associated with the Panama Canal Commission With Li's bankroll and Nancy's experience, she easily convinced Congress that Hutchison-Whampoa would be no threat to commerce or national security and the company secured a 25-year renewable lease. 
Incidentally, Nancy Dorn now holds the job of Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, appointed by President Bush in December and confirmed in February.  Her job responsibilities are "the preparation, management and administration of the federal budget."
Which brings us to Global Crossing, "the world's most extensive fiber-optic network."  Although Global Crossing's bankruptcy received less attention, it mirrored the Enron Saga in every way, right down to the document shredding.  
In July of last year the company was awarded a $400 million defense contract to provide "advanced wide area network Internet service to the Defense Research and Engineering Network [DREN], which links more than 6,000 scientists and engineers at defense laboratories, test centers, universities and industry sites." 

The contract was suddenly pulled away in August, amid security concerns and rumors of influence peddling during the Clinton administration.  Global Crossing, a larger campaign contributor than Enron, donated more to Democrats than to Republicans.  After playing golf with President Clinton, Global Crossing founder Gary Winnick donated a million dollars to the Clinton Presidential Library.  Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McCauliffe turned a $100,000 investment in Global Crossing into $18 million. 

Although the allegations are under investigation, Congressional investigators have been ordered not to comment on the case.  Surprisingly, in October DREN quietly announced that it was reopening bidding, and that Global Crossing is still in the running.  According to a Washington Post report in February, things are looking pretty good for the bankrupted telecommunications giant.
Li Ka-shing, with 79% control of the company, will get a bargain with plenty of important work lined up to get Global Crossing back on its feet. 

Also see:  The Axis of Corporate Evil

But wait! If you don't like the sound of this, take action at once:


Details Filed for Global Crossing Buy  February 6, 2002
Heritage Foundation  August 19, 1999
Letter  of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
To Senator John Warner, Chairman,
U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee
Nancy Dorn Confirmed as Deputy Director of the OMB
Office of Management and Budget News Release
Hill probers mum on work taken from Global Crossing
Washington Times  January 31, 2002
DOD Starts Over on Contested Telecom Contract
Government Computer News  October 11, 2001

Global Crossing's Second Chance
Washington Post  February 12, 2002

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