Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bush arming criminals in the Mideast

Something is on the march, but I don't think I would call it freedom.

American weapons issued to Iraqi security forces have been used in violent crimes in Turkey.

The discovery that serial numbers on pistols and other weapons recovered in Turkey matched those distributed to Iraqi police units has prompted growing concern by the U.S. defense secretary, Robert Gates, that controls on weapons being provided to Iraqis are inadequate. It was also a factor in the decision to dispatch the department's inspector general to Iraq next week to investigate the problem, the officials said.

Pentagon officials said Wednesday that they did not yet have evidence that Iraqi security forces or Kurdish officials were selling or giving the weapons to Kurdish separatists, as Turkish officials have contended.

It was possible, they said, that the weapons had been stolen or lost during firefights and smuggled into Turkey after being sold on the extensive Iraqi black market for firearms. Officials gave widely varied estimates - from dozens to hundreds - of how many U.S.-supplied weapons had been found in Turkey.
Even though the "Penatagon officials" interviewed for this piece say there is no evidence that American weapons in Iraq are being sold, it was only days ago that we learned that they are.

Investigators believe, sources say, that some weapons paid for by U.S. taxpayers were diverted and sold. Audits have already determined that more than 190,000 weapons are not accounted for.

Previously officials had argued this might have been due to bookkeeping errors rather than corruption necessarily.
The Bush administration seems to be having trouble keeping its stories straight.