Department of Understated Headlines

Eric Schmitt and Ginger Thompson bring us “Broken Supply Channel Sent Weapons for Iraq Astray” which sounds pretty dull. The story, though, is not:

By all accounts, the businessman, Kassim al-Saffar, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war, did well at distributing the Pentagon-supplied weapons from the Baghdad Police Academy armory he managed for a military contractor. But, co-workers say, he also turned the armory into his own private arms bazaar with the seeming approval of some American officials and executives, selling AK-47 assault rifles, Glock pistols and heavy machine guns to anyone with cash in hand — Iraqi militias, South African security guards and even American contractors.“This was the craziest thing in the world,” said John Tisdale, a retired Air Force master sergeant who managed an adjacent warehouse. “They were taking weapons away by the truckload.”

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It seems to me that when you’re trying to establish security in a foreign country that making sure your own people aren’t complicit in supply weapons to the enemy ought ought to be a pretty high priority.