What’s wrong with a $60,000 wand that can detect explosives and truffles from up to a kilometer away? Nothing, if it works. The U.S. military, technicians, journalists and people with eyes have been trying to get Iraqi officials to see reason, but that doesn’t bother one Gen. Jabiri, who says, “I know more about this issue than the Americans do. In fact, I know more about bombs than anyone in the world.”
This isn’t just a waste of money. If Iraqi officials value magic wands over blast walls, it stands to reason that average Iraqis will needlessly pay the price.
Forgive the colonial we know better than you vibe, but this is just nuts. Take the scene below, captured by The New York Times. There’s plenty more where that came from. —PZS
New York Times:
If, as often happens, no explosives or weapons are found, the police may blame a false positive on other things found in the car, like perfume, air fresheners or gold fillings in the driver’s teeth.
On Tuesday, a guard and a driver for The New York Times, both licensed to carry firearms, drove through nine police checkpoints that were using the device. None of the checkpoint guards detected the two AK-47 rifles and ammunition inside the vehicle.
During an interview on Tuesday, General Jabiri challenged a Times reporter to test the ADE 651, placing a grenade and a machine pistol in plain view in his office. Despite two attempts, the wand did not detect the weapons when used by the reporter but did so each time it was used by a policeman.
“You need more training,” the general said.