Thursday, March 27, 2008

Things Just Too Insane to Be True (JM)

Hey there Jewish parents, proud your kid's interning on the Hill this summer? Maybe they've got a nice summer job at an i-bank? Perhaps they're paralegaling Wachtell? Wellity, wellity, impressive, but not that impressive. You see, 22 year old Efraim Diveroli has an awesome company named AEY, they were given a 300 million dollar defense contract to supply our troops in Afghanistan with arms.

It's not like this is a smaller branch of some corporation his dad owns or anything, according to Paul Kiel over at TPM (via NYT reporting) it is run out of an unmarked building somewhere in Miami. Unsurprisingly, the quality of materials they shipped to Afghanistan were less than inspiring. For instance, one shipment was apparently Albanian cartridges from 1950. When hearing about this, John McCain probably though that 1950s military technology was a bit too cutting edge and wondered aloud, "Why we couldn't just use catapults and trebuchets, like in a normal siege."

Anyway, I am not sure what I am more impressed with, the fact that this just seems totally banal with the administration or that even for Team Bush this seems pretty weird. Seriously, where's the benefit here, I mean I could understand horrible corporate corruption, but these are 22 year old kids and generally they kind of like the military. I guess they just ran out of money padding Halliburton's profit margins, so they went to the BJ's wholesale club for arms.

But honestly, this is just totally enraging. Securing Afghanistan is clearly one of the top priorities we have in the international arena. In the long run an unstable Afghani state might be even worse than instability in Iraq. Yet here we are, seven years later, paying 22 year olds millions of dollars to purchase arms from ALBANIA to give to our troops. This isn't America, this isn't even Mexico...

Also, just a final addendum, how is this filed only under the Asia Pacific desk at the NYT. Why would a story of this seeming importance be buried. I agree that the election is important, but it feels like Bush is just running out the clock and getting away with it. I think there are a lot of interesting (you know interesting as in, "she's really nice and has a really interesting facial deformity that I am sure you'll find unique") choices being made by major newspapers these days. Ones that continually affirm my stance of getting news only from the internet and listening to people yelling outside my apartment.

No comments: