BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Holy Fucking Shit

CRAZY, crazy, James Bond stuff from the LA Times. The headline:

"U.S. Contractor Slain in Iraq Had Alleged Graft - The weapons dealer had accused officials in the (Iraqi) Defense Ministry of a kickback scheme"

Whoa.
An American contractor gunned down last month in Iraq had accused Iraqi Defense Ministry officials of corruption days before his death, according to documents and U.S. officials.

Dale Stoffel, 43, was shot to death Dec. 8 shortly after leaving an Iraqi military base north of Baghdad, an attack attributed at the time to Iraqi insurgents. Also killed was a business associate, Joseph Wemple, 49.

The killings came after Stoffel alerted senior U.S. officials in Washington that he believed Iraqi Defense Ministry officials were part of a kickback scheme involving a multimillion-dollar contract awarded to his company, Wye Oak Technology, to refurbish old Iraqi military equipment.
Totally fucked up.
Stoffel, of Monongahela, Pa., made his allegations in a Dec. 3 letter to a senior Pentagon official and in a meeting with aides to Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). Soon after, Stoffel was SUMMONED to the Taji military base in Iraq by COALITION MILITARY OFFICIALS to discuss his concerns about his contract. He complained about payment problems with a MYSTERIOUS LEBANESE BUSINESSMAN designated by the Iraqis as a middleman, sources said.
"The American pig-dog has been...talking."

"You know what to do." (click)
As Stoffel, Wemple and an Iraqi interpreter left the Taji base in a car Dec. 8, ANOTHER VEHICLE RAMMED theirs head-on. Two masked men jumped out and EXECUTED THE TWO AMERICANS in a fusillade of bullets, according to news accounts at the time. Their interpreter fled and is missing.
"Where is he?"

"That should not be a concern to you." (click)

Stoffel was an interesting cat, too.
Stoffel's killing drew scrutiny from investigators not only because of his whistle-blowing activities but also because of his mysterious and controversial past. Stoffel worked on a top secret U.S. program in the 1990s to buy Russian, Chinese and other foreign-made weapons for testing by the U.S. military, according to documents and interviews.

Stoffel's Iraq deal was the FIRST LARGE-SCALE CONTRACT issued and funded directly by the Iraqi government for military purposes, and was crucial for training and equipping the Iraqi army, considered a key component of the U.S. strategy for exiting Iraq.
Stoffel tried to cash in on a "great opportunity" and got more than he bargained for.

Another bad, b-movie element of the story goes something like this:
As part of the contract, senior Defense Ministry officials required Stoffel's payments to be processed through a LEBANESE MIDDLEMAN appointed by the ministry, according to the Dec. 3 letter.
That's a part for...who? Andy Garcia? Michael Madsen? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
By November, Stoffel was seeking a payment of $24.7 million, submitting invoices directly to the Defense Ministry. The ministry, in turn, cut three separate checks, sending each of them to the Lebanese businessman for "processing," people familiar with the contract said.
"That ain't right. That's not the way we do things in the US of A."

"My fren, een case ju have not notice, dees...ees not the US of A."
The middleman's role was to act as a sort of escrow account for the financial transactions, reconciling invoices and dispensing the payments, sources said. But after the businessman failed to send him the money, Stoffel complained to U.S. officials in Washington that he suspected that the middleman's true role was to route payments back to Iraqi officials in the form of kickbacks, people familiar with the contract said.
This is just a small glimpse into the business of war, folks. The "privatized" part of the war. And it ain't pretty.

In a related article from PittsburghLIVE.com, Stoffel was described in the following manner:
"He was an experienced military SPECIAL FORCES guy who knew what he was doing, how to handle weapons and was always heavily armed," said Irey. "He always felt if ever there was an altercation, he'd get them before they got him."
Not this time.

Crazy.

Read the LA Times article by clicking on the link above.

More later...

1 Comments:

  • Don't say fuck so much! It takes away from your content - especially for "more mature" readers. Your Dad was telling me about your site while I was visiting a friend. We logged on and the first thing we saw in bold block was "HOLY FUCKING SHIT" - I was a little embarrassed I must say. Even though she's a democrat, and quite liberal (I'm surrounded), she was dismissive of your blog and wanted OUT. However, I logged on at home and have to say your writing is impressive. Of course you consider me a little right of Genghis Khan so I won't comment about the rest, but enjoyed every bit. NOW, in order for me just to tell you this I had to go through the process of creating a !%&%* blog. (See, no cursing.) So, be afraid. Love you, LINDA

    By Blogger MOMLIN, at 5:34 AM  

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