Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dudes, $300 million of awesome!

When you put people in charge of government who operate on the philosophy that government is essentially not a good thing, you should not be surprised if they govern poorly. They cannot even wrap their minds around the concept of government serving the people in any effective, competent, efficient, or desirable manner. They might view government as a means of channeling wealth from the masses into the hands of their allies. We call that a kleptocracy. But there is no motivation to make government actually work, to exhibit competence or integrity. Well, I'm rambling, so let's cut to the news:

David Kurtz at TPM writes:
Need a supply of mid-20th century Chinese ammo? Maybe some old Eastern Bloc munitions? Then has the Pentagon got a contractor for you: a couple of 20-something dudes in S. Florida who were the main supplier to Afghanistan’s army and police force -- until the NYT started asking questions.
Paul Kiel, also at TPM shares info from the lengthy work by the New York Times:
How does a 22 year-old get a multi-million dollar defense contract? you ask. “AEY’s proposal represented the best value to the government," the Army tells the Times. (Never mind that AEY was headed by a guy who'd been busted by the police for carrying a fake ID.)

AEY's fattest contract came in January of last year, when a Pentagon contract made AEY, "which operates out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach,... the main supplier of munitions to Afghanistan’s army and police forces." AEY's VP is 25 and a licensed masseur. AEY also had a $5.7 million contract for rifles for Iraqi forces, among others.
These guys delivered decades-old, often useless, ammo from sundry Eastern bloc countries and China. Not much use to our Afghan allies, but hey, why should the Pentagon pay attention to where and how taxpayer dollars are spent during wartime? Right? It's not like lives are at stake or anything.

Ammunition supplied by an American contractor to Afghan forces. Some of it was in such poor shape that it was not used. (NYT photo)

Now, if you click on the links you will see that this is one seriously sleazy story on every imaginable level.

I have worked for the federal government. The amount of tracking on every imaginable level is overwhelming. So how do we let things like this just slip through?

The NYT article notes:
Several officials said the problems would have been avoided if the Army had written contracts and examined bidders more carefully.
--the BB


The Cunning Runt said...

The sleazeballs who are running our country so disgust me as to render words totally insufficient. But they don't surprise me, not in the least.

These guys in AEY aren't even the problem; they're merely the Earthly manifestation of the evil which has its hooks in Our Great Country.

I heard Scott Ritter on the radio today, and actually made a decision in my heart and mind to be willing to give my life for my Constitution if it comes to that. And what these scumballs are doing is antithetical to our Constitution and every international law in existence.

This bullshit needs to be ended, and sooner rather than later.

Paul said...

The Constitution is a pretty damned good motivation, CR.

And these punks are not the problem, as you note. The stupidity and laxity of the Pentagon is symptomatic of deep sickness.

FranIAm said...

One could not make this stuff up.

The fact that it is not made up- well, what can I say.