BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Crazy, Crazy James Bond Stuff

Okay...

Hope you read the piece on Dale Stoffel, the American "defense contractor" who was gunned down in Baghdad shortly AFTER blowing the whistle on possible corruption within the new Iraqi Defense Ministry. (Scroll down a few posts to get to the story.)

Quick recap. American-dude got pissed after the Iraqis failed to cough up $24,700,000 for his goods and services. The Iraqis told the dude to cool his jets and claimed that he'd be paid by a "MYSTERIOUS LEBANESE BUSINESSMAN." Dude figured that the Iraqis were taking kickbacks on that money and complained to American officials. Dude was summoned back to the Green Zone to talk with the Iraqis about the "situation" and was gunned down in the streets of Baghdad...right after that meeting.

So...

Here's the headline from yesterday's NY Times:

"Mystery in Iraq as $300 Million is Taken Abroad"

Taken where?
Earlier this month, according to Iraqi officials, $300 million in American bills was taken out of Iraq's Central Bank, put into boxes and quietly put on a charter jet bound for LEBANON.

The money was to be used to buy tanks and other weapons from INTERNATIONAL ARMS DEALERS, the officials say, as part of an accelerated effort to assemble an armored division for the fledgling Iraqi Army. BUT EXACTLY WHERE THE MONEY WENT, AND TO WHOM, and for precisely what, remains a mystery, at least to Iraqis who say they have been trying to find out.

The $300 million deal appears to have been arranged OUTSIDE the American-designed financial controls intended to help Iraq - which defaulted on its external debt in the 1990's - legally import goods. By most accounts here, there was no public bidding for the arms contracts, nor was the deal approved by the entire 33-member Iraqi cabinet.
Wink wink, nudge nudge? Eh, eh, eh?

Connect the dots. The $300 million bucks that was sent to Lebanon was to be used to buy weapons from international arms dealers...LIKE DALE STOFFEL.

And now...the money is gone. And at least two contractors (Stoffel and his partner) involved in this particular biz are dead.

Hey now!

Cue the James Bond music, and cut to a high-speed Humvee chase through the streets of Beirut.

Much more later...

Again - remember - Stoffel was told that he'd be paid BY A MYSTERIOUS LEBANESE BUSINESSMAN.

WTF?!

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