Tag Archives | arms dealing

Obama Administration Selling Arms to Bahrain

Via Common Dreams:

As the Arab Spring unfolded last year, protesters in the streets saw something startling about the tools of repression being used on them. The Humvees, tanks, helicopters were from the US government; the canisters of chemical agents used to attack them said, “Made in the USA.”

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Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet and close ally of Saudi Arabia, brutally suppressed the uprising among their citizens. More than 40 pro-democracy protesters were killed and thousands more were arrested and tortured. While speaking out loudly on Libya’s brutality, the Obama administration remained largely silent on Bahrain.

Last fall the Obama administration announced plans to sell Bahrain $53 million worth of military weapons including bunker buster missiles, armored vehicles and wire-guided missiles. The Pentagon said at the time the sale “will improve Bahrain’s capability to meet current and future armored threats. Bahrain will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense.”

Congressional opposition to the sale forced Obama to delay the weapons transfer.

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How Two Bumbling Stoner Kids Became The Pentagon’s Favorite Arms Dealers

efraimdiveroli00_guns_local_embedded_prod_affiliate_56It sounds like the plot of a John Hughes ’80s teen comedy. Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz were a pair of underachieving kids from Miami (interests: football, “whisky”, and “chilling with the boyz”) until, as part of the privatization effort, they somehow landed a $300 million contract from the Bush administration to provide ammunition for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan.

Then things soured: greed pitted the friends against one another, all they could give the military were defective, Chinese-made munitions from Albania, and now Diveroli is in jail. Rolling Stone has the barely-believable saga:

Reassured by the e-mail, Packouz got into his brand-new blue Audi A4 and headed home for the evening, windows open, the stereo blasting. At 25, he wasn’t exactly used to the pressures of being an international arms dealer. Only months earlier, he had been making his living as a massage therapist; his studies at the Educating Hands School of Massage had not included classes in military contracting or geopolitical brinkmanship.

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