Monday, July 25, 2016

The magic wands in Iraq

Hamza Hendawi (AP) reports, "For nearly a decade, anyone driving through one of Baghdad's many checkpoints was subjected to a search by a soldier pointing a security wand at their vehicle and watching the device intently to see if its antenna moved. If it pointed at the car, it had supposedly detected a possible bomb."


It's the magic wands.

From the May 20, 2013 snapshot:

Violence slams Iraq today.  Brisband Times notes (in a video report),  "Washing the blood off the streets, the clear up begins after another deadly day of violence in Iraq."  Fiji Broadcasting Corporation observes, "Baghdad was the worst hit."  This morning,  Al Jazeera noted, "Eight car bombs in mainly Shia districts of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, killed 20 people on Monday."   By the end of the day, AP reported the bombing toll was up to 10 and the death toll to 48 (with over 150 injured).  On this AP video report, a Baghdad man states, "We have become accustom to such explosions.  We have seen blasts every day. These attacks will never frighten us, God willing."  As Baghdad is slammed with bombings, it's worth dropping back to the May 10th snapshot:

Alsumaria reports that cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr declared his sympathy for the Iraqis who've lost family members as a result of the purchase and use by Nouri's government of 'magic' wands -- which have been known not to work since 2009.  Moqtada urged the families who lost loved ones and those who were injured as a result to sue the person who purchased the items. (That would be Nouri.)  April 23rd (see the  April 24, 2013 snapshot), James McCormick, the man who made and sold the wands, who was on trial for those wands, was pronounced guilty on three counts of fraud.  And still Nouri has allowed -- no, insisted that the wands be used.   May 2nd, McCormick was sentenced to a maxium of 10 years.  Jake Ryan (Sun) quoted Judge Richard Hone stating, "The device was useless, the profit outrageous and your culpability as a fraudster has to be placed in the highest category.  Your profits were obscene.  You have neither insight, shame or any sense of remorse." And yet last Friday, Ammar Karim (AFP) reported that the 'magic'  wands to 'detect' bombs (and drugs and, no doubt, spirits from the other world) are still being used in Iraq.  He spoke with a police officer in Baghdad who admits that everyone knows that they don't work but that the police are under orders to use the wands.

Last Saturday,   NINA reported,  "Leader of the Sadrist Trend, Muqtada al-Sadr, demanded Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to apologize and stand before Parliament to answer about the deal of the explosives detection instruments."  Moqtada suspects some Iraqis were bribed in this deal and wants names he also demands that the 'magic' wands stop being used immediately stating that they are "an insult to the Iraqis' intelligence."  Moqtada and Iraqiya have called for Nouri to appear before Parliament and explain why the wands were purchased, who profited from them and the various details of the deal that was made for them.

Al Mada reports that the Ministry of the Interior claimed today that they would recover all the money spent on the magic wands.  Ministry of the Interior Inspector General Aqeel Turaihi states that they have known and acknowledged since October 2010 that the magic wands do not work.

Regardless of whether money is recovered for the purchase, as Moqtada al-Sadr points out, lives have been lost and people have been injured.

So in 2010, it was known that the magic wands were not working?  No.  It was known before that.  May 11th,  Alsumaria reported  that new documents from the Ministry of Interior (reproduced with the article) demonstrate that a Ministry committee said the wands were not working and, in 2009, recommended that they not be purchased anymore.  There were calls for Nouri to appear before Parliament to answer questions.  He needs to.  But he has refused all calls so far -- despite the Constitution on this issue.  He continues to violate and ignore the Constitution.   Kitabat  also coverd the revelations about the 2009 recommendation at length here.  May 12th,   Alsumaria reported Parliament's Integrity Committee held a hearing to determine the details surrounding the purchase of these wands and Committee Chair Bahaa al-Araji states that the Integrity Commission appeared before the Committee and offered names of "top officials" involved.  Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) reported that even after Nouri was personally warned by a British commander "Colonel Powell" that the devices did not work, an order was still place and Al Mada reproduced that order -- it came from Nouri's office. Last Thursday, National Iraqi News Agency reports that Iraqiya MP Nada al-Jubouri is calling for an emergency session of Parliament to address yesterday's bombings, "These repeated security breaches came as a result of the lack of a way to detect car bombs, which claim the lives of people, in addition to the weakness of the intelligence information."  May 3rd, Ammar Karim (AFP) reported that despite the wands being found not to work, despite the conviction and sentencing of their seller and maker in a British court, the wands were still being used in Baghdad.  May 2nd, the seller and maker was sentenced:

The Belfast Telegraph notes that [James] McCormick "showed no reaction as he was told his 'callous confidence trick' was the worst fraud imaginable."  Jake Ryan (Sun) quotes Judge Richard Hone stating, "The device was useless, the profit outrageous and your culpability as a fraudster has to be placed in the highest category.  Your profits were obscene.  You have neither insight, shame or any sense of remorse."

The use of these 'magic' wands in Iraq still is criminal.

And yet, even with the court verdict, Iraq continued to use these useless magic wands.

The wands did nothing to protect anyone.


According to Hamza Hendawi (AP), the wands are no more but they've sung that song before.

Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Debbie's Parting Words" went up last night.

New content at THIRD went up late last night:

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