Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More progress reports from Iraq:

Newsweek reports that the Turkish officials are very worried about the sudden appearance of thousands of Glock pistols in their country. So far, killers have used Glocks to kill a priest and to shoot up the Turkish supreme court, killing one supreme court justice in the process. The government of Turkey has seized over a 1000 of these weapons from "criminals, guerrillas, terrorists and assassins all over the country, and authorities believe tens of thousands more have found their way onto the black market"

Gosh, where on earth could all these weapons be coming from? Well, according to the Austrian government, who cross-checked the serial numbers of the seized guns: "US Mission Iraq, address: Republican Presidential Compound, Ministry of the Interior, Baghdad, Iraq."

Hey, what do you know about that? Some of those 190,000 missing weapons General Petraeus originally gave to the Iraqi security forces in 2004 have made their way out of Iraq and into the hands of killers all over the region. Apparently, the great idea of giving plane loads of guns to the Iraq security forces began when Petraeus was in control of the Multi-National Security Transition Command -- Iraq (MN-STCI). Now, he's decided that arming Sunni insurgents is a great idea, too. Nothing could go wrong with that plan, right?

Interestingly, Christopher Dickey writes that one of Petraeus' subordinates, Col. Theodore Westhusing, received "an anonymous letter on May 19, 2005 which claimed there was outright fraud by government contractors. Among the alleged problems: Failure to account for almost 200 guns."

Less than a month later Westhusing was found dead. In a letter found near his body he wrote: "I cannot support a [mission] that leads to corruption, human rights abuses and liars. Death before dishonored any more. Trust is essential -- I don't know who to trust anymore." Dickey writes Westhusing's death was ruled by military investigators to be a suicide and the "complaints he leveled against commanders and contractors . . . 'unfounded.'"

Naturally, everyone knows military contractors wouldn't rip off the American tax-payer. The fact that the 60,000 or so contractors in Iraq involved in security and such aren't answerable to either Iraqi or American law wouldn't encourage any of them to walk off with several thousand Glocks or kill anyone investigating their extra curricular activities or anything. Stuart Bowen, the Pentagon's SIG for Iraq Reconstruction, found last summer that there were 13,180 Glocks missing, worth $46 million on the black market. More recently, the GOA found the number is closer to 80,000.

Don't worry though, a few weeks ago Sec Def Robert Gates sent the DoD's special counsel to Turkey, according to an anonymous source of Dickey's, to "Meet with the Turks, hear their concerns and convey that we take them seriously."

Wow, the special counsel. They are serious! I'm sure the Turks were very impressed


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