Saturday, January 23, 2010

Those bomb detecting machines . . .

From yesterday's snapshot:

Whether they can trust Barack or not, it appears they can't trust 'bomb detectors.' Caroline Hawley (BBC Newsnight -- link has text and video) reports that England has placed an export ban on the ADE-651 'bomb detector' -- a device that's cleaned Iraq's coffers of $85 million so far. Steven Morris (Guardian) follows up noting that, "The managing director [Jim McCormick] of a British company that has been selling bomb-detecting equipment to security forces in Iraq was arrested on suspicion of fraud today."

Riyad Mohammed and Rod Norldand (New York Times) pick it up from there:

Iraqi officials reacted with fury to the news, noting a series of horrific bombings in the past six months despite the widespread use of the bomb detectors at hundreds of checkpoints in the capital.
"This company not only caused grave and massive losses of funds, but it has caused grave and massive losses of the lives of innocent Iraqi civilians, by the hundreds and thousands, from attacks that we thought we were immune to because we have this device," said Ammar Tuma, a member of the Iraqi Parliament's Security and Defense Committee.

Despite the turn of events, the machines continue to be used in Iraq but 'now' an investigation into them will take place. As opposed to months ago when they were first called into question. Muhanad Mohammed (Reuters) adds that members of Parliament are calling for an end to use of the machines.

From one legislative body to another, Caro of MakeThemAccountable has a critique of the US Congress.

The following community sites have updated since yesterday evening:

We'll close with this from Sherwood Ross' "AMERICAN ACADEMICS DISAPPOINTED WITH OBAMA" (Veterans Today):

Based on his first year in office, American academics are expressing disappointment in President Obama’s performance and believe he is headed toward a “mediocre” presidency.
That’s the term liberal historian Howard Zinn of Boston University uses in an article that solicited many viewpoints in the February 1st issue of The Nation magazine. Zinn adds that Obama’s foreign policy is “Hardly any different from a Republican…nationalist, expansionist, imperial and warlike.” And he adds that “mediocre” means “dangerous.”
Conservative Andrew Bacevich, professor of international relations at Boston University, writes, “Obama’s decision to escalate the war in Afghanistan indicates that he will not break with the existing national security consensus. The candidate who promised to ‘change the way Washington works’ has become Washington’s captive.”
Disappointment also characterizes the view of Glenn Loury, professor of the social sciences at Brown University. He says the high point of Obama’s administration was its inauguration “but it has been downhill since.” He complains “Obama has said little of substance about racial inequality” and “what he has said leaves much to be desired.”

The e-mail address for this site is

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends