Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sacrificing Soldiers' Security

In January 2007, Iraqi insurgents sneaked inside a US Military base in Karbala in a deadly raid that killed five US Servicemen. The insurgents were in complete US Military uniforms that were authentic down to the last stitch. There is no trace of where and how these uniforms were obtained. Today, the US Government Accountability Office discovered, by posing as buyers, that they could purchase a dozen prohibited military items on E-Bay and Craigslist.

The items purchased could have easily been delivered somewhere in the Middle East, perhaps to the camps of the insurgents or Al Qaeda, and could be used directly against US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The items include Night Vision Goggles made according to special military specifications that could identify US troops at night time, Army combat uniforms, specially enhanced body armor vests that are not made available to the public, and F-14 Fighter Jet components. The US has retired its F-14 planes, and only Iran is using these currently.

E-Bay's excuse is that it handles 113 million items and around 7 million others are added daily, but banned items manage to get through their control mechanisms. Craigslist stated that they use similar measures and relies on users to police the site as it has only 25 employees. The items are alleged to have been stolen and sold on these online selling sites, but when and how these were taken could not be ascertained.

America is spending around 3 billion dollars weekly on the war in Iraq, and yet it's forces are put in harms way by commercializing items that could penetrate soldiers' ranks and decimate their number; as well as damage their equipment, obtain weapons and ammunition and demoralize their ranks. This mindless lust to make profit from stolen items that would put young soldiers' lives in peril is not only unpatriotic but scales the level of treason. If the excuse that it is difficult to monitor items put up for sale is to be accepted, it is tantamount to accepting that the lives of the soldiers are dispensable in the name of profit. Craigslist's claim that it relies on users to police the site is pathetically lame and utterly irresponsible. Suspension of operations until the sites can be cleared of such items and an assurance that these would be effectively policed is the least that could be demanded from these online sites.

The worst part of this whole caper is that most of these items were stolen from US Military facilities, and a Defense Department Official admits that "They don't even know if they have the ability to know, that they have a serious theft problem". The thefts can be expected to continue. The US Soldier will therefore lay his life on the line fighting for his country and its way of life, suffering to diligently and effectively perform his duty, only to have all these difficulties traded in his own country's websites, sacrificed to obtain profits from theft. If this is the way America treats its heroes, it will only have mercenaries to rely on in the future; if not unscrupulous businessmen of dubious integrity.



Debbie said...

The internet is a great thing, but for all the good it brings, there are many negatives. In this case, selling US military equipment, soliciting and training terrorists, illegal drugs, pornography, and on an on -- so many negatives. Just proves that mankind can use any good thing for evil.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Zhu said...

On this one, I think Ebay and similar websites should take its responsibilities...

I support the idea of a free market but I found lately Ebay's politic is basically "we make money and we don't care how". How responsible is that!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

HI Debbie,

You're right. There are those members of the human race who will transform what is essentially a worthy activity into something sinister.

Sometimes it makes you wonder if they are human at all. :-)--Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

The liberties that a free market provides must adhere to a strong sense of responsibility and propriety.

As Debbie says, there are people who would always opt for using it on something evil, thus careful attention must be given to how activities are conducted.

Such an attitude as you mentioned will abuse the freedoms that are given and could lead to stringent regulations that could limit growth.

A careless and negligent mindset that cares only for profit should be removed from operating in a free society since it provides no benefit and endangers others to boot. :-) --Durano, done!

WazzupManila said...

This article reminds me of a person who tried to sell an entire F-16 through ebay. The FBI checked on him but he had papers showing ownership of the plane.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi JD,

Really! How can anyone personally own an F-16 airplane when it's a military equipment used for combat missions?

America is indeed a weird place at times. Might it have been a dis-armed version - if there's such a thing? Otherwise, corruption has gone haywire in that country.

The only like weird thing I know that happened here was when a Tank used by coup plotters during Cory's time was overpowered by the masses is Sta.Mesa Manila, and the whole thing disappeared. It must have been dismantled by the people there and sold as scrap iron or sold in parts back to the military. :-) --Durano, done!