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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Shopping the Black Market

Old story, new twists:

Leaks of Military Files Resume

Despite security efforts, flash drives stolen from U.S. base in Afghanistan are still sold at bazaar.

"C'mon, Joe. I sell to you. Cheap!"
BAGRAM, Afghanistan — Just days after U.S. troops were ordered to plug a security breach at their base here, the black market trade in computer memory drives containing military documents was thriving again Monday.

Documents on flash drives for sale at a bazaar across from the American military base over the weekend contained U.S. officers' names and cellphone numbers and instructions on using pain to control prisoners who put up resistance.

A study guide on one of the drives describes tactics for interrogating and controlling detainees by pinching or striking nerve and pressure points on their face, neck, arms and legs.
Having said that, Abu Ghraib was the result of a few bad apples.
Traders at the bazaar near Bagram's main gate were openly displaying pilfered U.S. military memory drives in their shops Monday, two weeks after the Los Angeles Times reported on the black market in computer equipment, some of which contained American military documents marked "Secret."
"Fruits! Nuts! Secret US military documents!"
U.S. soldiers spent thousands of dollars later that week buying scores of flash memory drives from the bazaar. The soldiers walked through the black market with a box of money, purchasing all the computer equipment they could find.
"I'll give you five US dollars, man."

"C'mon, Joe. Is new. Not used. You geev me ten."

"Five. The guy over there has 'em for five."

"C'mon, Joe! Eight."

"Five...and I won't kick your ass."

"What are you, Joe? Some kind of Jedi knight or something?!"
For several days afterward, no more memory drives were available.

But an 18-year-old Afghan man who works on the base said that by Friday, memory drives were being smuggled off the base again. The devices are smaller than disposable lighters.

Several shopkeepers have said in recent days that they are eager for the military to return to the market so they can sell their new stock for premium prices.
"Check this out, Joe. Top stuff, Joe! Zeep drive. For computer."

"I know. It's from my freakin' desk."

"Then you need, Joe!"

More later...

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