A question for uncritical war supporters

Just, in general. Merely a quick observation.

Now, let’s say, oh, I don’t know, that as part of supplying arms to folks theoretically aligned with us over in Afghanistan we let this sort of thing happen:

With the award last January of a federal contract worth as much as nearly $300 million, the company, AEY Inc., which operates out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach, became the main supplier of munitions to Afghanistan’s army and police forces.

Since then, the company has provided ammunition that is more than 40 years old and in decomposing packaging, according to an examination of the munitions by The New York Times and interviews with American and Afghan officials. Much of the ammunition comes from the aging stockpiles of the old Communist bloc, including stockpiles that the State Department and NATO have determined to be unreliable and obsolete, and have spent millions of dollars to have destroyed.

In purchasing munitions, the contractor has also worked with middlemen and a shell company on a federal list of entities suspected of illegal arms trafficking.

Moreover, tens of millions of the rifle and machine-gun cartridges were manufactured in China, making their procurement a possible violation of American law. The company’s president, Efraim E. Diveroli, was also secretly recorded in a conversation that suggested corruption in his company’s purchase of more than 100 million aging rounds in Albania, according to audio files of the conversation.

This week, after repeated inquiries about AEY’s performance by The Times, the Army suspended the company from any future federal contracting, citing shipments of Chinese ammunition and claiming that Mr. Diveroli misled the Army by saying the munitions were Hungarian.

And you can read all sorts of details from there.

Now, there’s plenty to be said about how perfection is impossible and all that. That something as involved and as large as the military might involve waste and corruption is not exactly a new scenario. So it’s not a question of this having occurred, that’s no surprise.

However, this was reported via an outlet of that dreaded mass media, the one that a lot of people have taken more than a few pot shots at over the moons, and sometimes quite justifiably — thus my link in the previous post to this one to the tale of a guy who, rather like our non-hero in this piece, came from Florida, dreamed big and apparently thought the law was for others. In James Sabiatino’s case, a lot of hip-hop names were pissed off and the LA Times look like goofs.

In this case, though, the goofs appear to be the Army and the government and…are people dead because of this? Is trust now eroded? A hoped for mission not coming off quite as planned? (Of course, I could apply that to the last couple of days in Iraq too, but that’s for another time.)

Ask yourself a bit — isn’t this a matter of national security and international peace, as the current administration has so often claimed? Therefore, theoretically, this kind of stuff should be looked into with an eagle eye at all times — it couldn’t take the prompting of the outside press to expose an error, or even a potential disaster, like this, could it?


To those who seem to think that the NY Times, or any other mass media outlet, consists solely of supposed traitors rather than, say, humans, flawed like the rest of us, who sometimes make mistakes and other time hit bullseyes: Going to blame the messenger again this time? Going to ask yourself what else is being missed? Going to ask for some actual accountability down the line on this and other matters no matter who is in the White House or who oversees the military, in the executive branch, in the legislative?

Or would it always be the case that because the ‘right’ people are in charge, everything’s being handled just fine, while the ‘wrong’ people would clearly let everything go to hell?

Just curious. Thinking out loud. A minor point, an obvious point, but one to note.

Meantime, you can always check out this dude’s Myspace page, for now at least:


Indeed. The world ain’t yours, pal.

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance


9 Responses to “A question for uncritical war supporters”

  1. Eve Says:

    Never trust a man named Efraim (or any variation on the spelling) they’re shifty.

  2. Eve Says:

    Oh! And they all have awful taste in movies.

  3. Ned Raggett Says:

    Sounds like you just need to beat some sense into yours. Which you would enjoy doing anyway.

  4. in2thefray Says:

    I’m lost on some of the references and titling but if I’ve got the core down here goes. The ammo the Afghanis need should be readily available “fresh” in many of the former Warsaw Pact nations that have some connections in the concept of coalition albeit none currently enrolled in NATO. So the US being the source of the crummy ammo and via a fly by night entity is sad. On a stretch that I fully understand one of your lines of questioning. (I need coffee) The MSM often does a good deed exposing things like this. I think some people get caught up in being curious/concerned over the motivation. Something like this or Walter Reed are great things top have light shone on. Do es the journalism initiate truly to find a good story or is it about tarnishing an administration or institutions.

  5. Ned Raggett Says:

    In that people can be prone to tarnishing reputations in all directions, no question it occurs — and no question this administration’s regular suggestions that criticism equals implicit treason is obnoxious, to say the least. That reporters can be motivated by spite as much as a desire for investigation is equally true — and let’s note that plenty of conservative journalists aren’t exactly going to be shy about it in the case of a Democratic president.

    The point is not to play out every example, though — though it’s good to keep in mind. As you note, this situation and that of Walter Reed, to name two notable examples, deserve the coverage and attention. I do think it would have been interesting had the initial exposure on both had come from, say, a report via Fox News, or the Weekly Standard (naming only two examples). And while I haven’t had the time to track it much in this case, what do folks like Rush, Malkin, etc. say in response to stories like this? Do they credit the reporters and institutions for the work done, or at most do they do some sort of grudging acknowledgment?

    It’s a side note, but I recall about a year back Michael Yon expressed deep concerns about how Afghanistan was turning out — concerns, not predictions of doom, though his language was strong. I forget the right-leaning site I was checking out in response to it, but a number of commenters there were, instead of talking about what this perspective might mean and what could or should be done, instead saying things along the lines of “Well I used to trust Yon but sounds like he’s turning into a defeatist.” I couldn’t imagine a more uncharitable response or a better portrait of a mindset that is always asking for a sole storyline (which of course has its parallel in a mindset asking for the opposite storyline) and finding it problematic to deal with grey areas.

  6. kayinmaine Says:

    Who wants to bet this kid dated Jenna Bush at one time? Hey, it’s her ex-boyfriends who seem to always get the good paying powerful jobs! Yeah, yeah, a government run by 22 year olds. Nice. Spit.

  7. Ned Raggett Says:

    Sometime all it takes is knowing how to hustle. Sadly.

  8. David Says:

    1) Reposting new stories isn’t “blogging”. It is a shame that everyone out there and their mom is copying and pasting news reports. Be original.
    3) Don’t always believe what is on CNN. I love how people think the media is there for them. They are not. They are there to put up stories that will give them ratings to they sell more ad’s. Yup the media lies.

  9. Ned Raggett Says:

    If you had a blog of your own, I might take your first criticism a little more seriously. Since you don’t, apparently, I will ignore it, as this appears to be all the originality you can show.

    Further, do you assume that the media always lies while you believe all that you read is always the truth? Very…gullible.

    But neither of your complaints seems to answer what you think regarding the abuse of government money and its potential impact on foreign policy decisions and actions at play on the ground, and the fact that it took the prompting of a media outlet to reach a stage of further investigation of stealing of money that is, in part, yours. So if you’re done with your random whine, perhaps you would like to address that instead?

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