AP Treats Secret Deals as Something New

The Associated Press headlines:

Arab Co., White House Had Secret Agreement

And follows with:

The Bush administration secretly required a company in the United Arab Emirates to cooperate with future U.S. investigations before approving its takeover of operations at six American ports, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. It chose not to impose other, routine restrictions.

Later in the story we read:

Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries.

"They're not lax but they're not draconian," said James Lewis, a former U.S. official who worked on such agreements. If officials had predicted the firestorm of criticism over the deal, Lewis said, "they might have made them sound harder."

The Associated Press doesn't claim the documents it obtained are the only ones the U.S. and the UAE have entered into concerning the port deal.

But none of that stopped the AP from running with the headline:

Arab Co., White House Had Secret Agreement

No anti-Bush bias at the AP?

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