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Ear to the Ground

The Case of the Missing Weapons

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Posted on Aug 6, 2007
AP Photo / John Moore

Bringing out the big guns:  An American-trained Iraqi paramilitary soldier wields an AK-47 near a Baghdad nursery school in 2004.

How exactly do some 190,000 pistols and AK-47 rifles go missing?  That’s the mystery the Pentagon is facing, according to the Government Accountability Office, which estimates that the U.S. military can’t account for 30 percent of the arms given to Iraqi security forces to help “spread democracy” since 2004.


About $19.2bn has been spent by the US since 2003 on Iraqi security forces.

GAO, the investigative arm of the US Congress, said at least $2.8bn of this money was used to buy and deliver weapons and other equipment.

Correspondents say it is now feared many of the weapons are being used against US forces on the ground in Iraq.

The Iraqi interior ministry has blamed the Americans for the disappearance of the weapons.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 7, 2007 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Follow the yellow brick road of lies, see the castings of integrity in the gutters.  Now accountability, that has long since been a word absent from our government.
After all someone must make money.

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By OleHippieChick, August 7, 2007 at 6:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where’s the $2.3 trillion DoD “lost”?

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By dmacgregor, August 7, 2007 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

Administration spokespersons have made big deals of suspected Iranian sourcing of IEDs and other weapons used in Iraq.  They’ve cited “careful” analysis to purportedly prove this allegation.  Though I don’t doubt some of these claims, I wonder when we’ll see these same spokespersons discussing U.S. sourcing when enemy weapons recovered in battles prove to be some of these “lost” U.S. weapons?

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By THOMAS BILLIS, August 7, 2007 at 12:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The insanity of Iraq continues.Everytime you think it cannot get anymore absurd it does.At what point do the democrats stand up on their hind legs and end this.Granted it would take the democrats growing balls to stand up to a President who has 28% approval rating but I am an optimist if Hillary et al sense that Bush dips below 15% they will pounce.
If these weapons were stolen by the insurgency we are supplying the weaponry and the targets{our fellow Americans}.I guess that is what they mean by total war.

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By Goffredo, August 6, 2007 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

Kind of like when L. Paul Bremer fired those 450,000 Iraqi soldiers and sent them away with their weapons and artillery.  Another brilliant move.

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By Don Stivers, August 6, 2007 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

I’m sorry!!  The Democratic Politicians.  THEY are Bush’s poodle.  I have meant the Democratic Politicians.  They are the one’s with the brass rings in their noses being lead around by that war criminal. 

I am sorry I inferred that the Democrats who voted the Democrat Politicians into office were poodles. 

It is our lying, “Impeachment is off the table” politicians who are George Bush’s poodle.

From an outraged Republican “I did not vote for that man” who voted Democratic to get the Republicans out of office.

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farmertx's avatar

By farmertx, August 6, 2007 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment

92661 by Don Stivers on 8/06 at 5:58 pm

Don, lots of outrage, especially from us Democrat’s. Alas, we have no $25,000 checks to enclose with our messages of plea’s for representation, so not much attention is paid.
Until after the next election, assuming that Shrub and/or the Shootist allow that to happen.

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By C.P.T.L., August 6, 2007 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If there weren’t so many sneakin’ NeoCons around with a Long War agenda, I might think the missing weapons resulted from a mistake. Hard to believe that the Pentagon, the organization that moves arms securely, keeps track of arms, deals with arms… would lose an outrageous number of concealable pistols and the weapon of choice for the discriminating Jihadi: the AK-47.

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By Enemy of State, August 6, 2007 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment

Thats sloppy I say, just bloody plain sloppy!

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By Don Stivers, August 6, 2007 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment

Do you think the Democrats are going to do anything about the missing weapons?  Sure there is going to be some lip service, but no punishment for wrong doing is going to happen.

The Democrats are George Bush’s poodle.  “Come here you dumb dog.  I’m the decider.  Go fetch the bone.”

I am a disgusted Republican who thought the Democrats were going to clean house.  But no!  They just roll over like the poodle that they are!

Missing weapons?  George sent his Attorney General to say there ARE no missing weapons.  Must be true.

Any outrage out there?  Anywhere?

Let’s start calling the Democrats George Bush’s poodle.  Maybe we can get them to WAKE UP.

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By Scott, August 6, 2007 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

America is doing a heckuva job alright.

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By QuyTran, August 6, 2007 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Just ask Rumsfeld and/or Cheney.

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farmertx's avatar

By farmertx, August 6, 2007 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment

Outraged has a good point.
I remember reading some time ago that the military wasn’t keeping serial number’s of weapons given to the Iraqi’s.
Given the Army’s habits about serial number’s (I bet that might even be a WarII vet who can remember his pieces’ serial number), that seemed a tad odd.
Maybe like they were expecting the Iraqi’s to lose/sell the weapon or just switch sides.
The conduct of this ‘war’ shows that there are some basic flaws in the US Military. Flaws that should have been dealt with after ‘Nam.
Many of the senior officers are more concerned about the consultant contract they will get upon retiring and make damn sure that they stay out of trouble.
With the notable exception of Special Forces officers. Unless Rummy re-invented them, too.

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, August 6, 2007 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

“How exactly do some 190,000 pistols and AK-47 rifles go missing?”

Uhhhh… lemme see. Maybe SOMEBODY is making a piss-pot full of money SELLING THEM?

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By Chaseme, August 6, 2007 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RFIDs can be used to track pets. They can be used to track products at Wal-mart. These chips are being pushed to track humans. But the bush administration and their supporters at the NRA would like to believe tracking weapons this way is a violation of our civil rights.

If they can create massive databases to keep track of humans, why can’t they create these databases to track the weapons? Does it have anything to do with the fact that the world largest gun dealer is the perpetuator of violence and wars around the world? And, in order to maintain that source of income, they have to arm both sides of rivals and gangs, while touting themselves as “peace keepers.”

Isn’t there a cure for this form of schizophrenia?

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, August 6, 2007 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

I’m curious, did anyone actually physically see these arms.  For all we know this could be a fictitious paper trail of “vanishing” equipment.  It’s fairly easy to hide non-existent equipment.  The article doesn’t elaborate as to where in logistical chain they vanished.

I say this because I argued with a satellite TV co. for months over a fictitious additional dish (for local stations) which was supposed to have been installed but wasn’t.  I was charged for the dish, the installation, and the use but had never gotten it.  The installer’s paperwork was correct, my paperwork was correct, but their paperwork said I had it AND WAS USING IT.  They also didn’t want to credit my fictitious service until I returned the fictitious dish.  There absolutely is money to be made in things which don’t exist, but are said to.

Then again, if they exist and the insurgents have them, how did THAT happen?

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By Goffredo, August 6, 2007 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

Quoting the cartoon characters off of the Guiness commercials, “BRILLIANT!”

You can’t even create material better than this.  Just when you think this administration has hit rock bottom, they continue to dig deeper.

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