On Tuesday, August 28th, I reported on DKos on the NY Times article by James Glanz and Eric Schmitt related to thousands of missing weapons that in late 2004 and 2005 went through the supply chain at Taji base near Baghdad. Many of these weapons have now been produced in Turkey and were used by the PKK in their efforts to support independence for Kurds in southern Turkey.
Now, today James Glanz and Eric Schmitt report more details on this expanding investigation. This NY Times article involves bribes for military contracts from two Kuwait based companies Lee Dynamics International and American Logistics. Both of these companies are partially owned by father and son George Lee and Justin Lee.
In the first article we learned that a close aide to Gen David Petraeus has been implicated in the thousands of missing weapons including over 100,000 AK-47's and thousands of hand guns like the Glocks that have been surfacing in Turkey. These handguns matched the serial numbers for guns that came into the Taji base during 2005 but there are no records of who received them. Even David Petraeus has confessed that during his tenure as head of logistics for this base, there was a mad rush to give out these weapons to "loyal" Iraqis from the police and security details. Lt. Col Levonda Selph was Gen Petraeus's loyal aide that is now being questioned by Army investigators and DOJ lawyers.
With this newest article, Glanz and Schmitt expose that one Lt. Col Kevin A Davis is cooperating with investigators over receiving $50,000
in bribes from Lee Dynamics. In fact, since he has now retired from the Army, he has gone to work for Lee Dynamics. That's very convenient! It sounds like former members of Congress. But I'll speak about that later.
The association with Gen David Petraeus is less clear with Lt. Col Kevin A Davis but we do know from the article that Lt. Col Levonda Selph and Lt. Col Kevin A Davis worked together. In fact Selph worked for Kevin Davis as well as Gen Petraeus. Please take the time to read both articles if you haven't caught up on this fiasco because it will grow legs and envelope hundreds of contractors, owners of servicing companies and military officers.
The difference in this type of problems from those we have formerly reviewed is critical. It is the money. Killing innocent civilians belongs to the grunts in the service that have to walk the streets of Baghdad daily. Some are guilty. Some are scared as hell and make mistakes. The abuses of Abu Ghraib was restricted to military police, CIA, and a few low ranking sickos according to Rumsfield, Myers and others. You and I both know the truth but it has not been proven yet. A diary yesterday implored us to speak of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield as "war criminals". I concur.
But here we have money. Huge dollars just lying around and waved in front of your face. One casualty of this sordid war is one Maj Gloria Davis (no relationship to Kevin A Davis). She supposedly committed suicide on December 12, 2006 the day after being questioned by Army personnel. The research I did on Gloria reveals some problems for me. She admitted to taking $225,000 in bribes to award contracts to Lee Dynamics and American Logistics. Based upon the quick research I did, Gloria had a strong religious background. She called almost daily from Baghdad to her family and her daughter. Her desire to be a leader in the war on terror appears legitimate. Here's what I don't understand. She only arrived in Taji in September, 2006 and then she committed suicide on December 12th. Either she was already involved in problems or she got sucked in very quickly after arriving in Taji. One link I have yet to work on is that she also has a son who is working as a contractor in Iraq. Based upon her age of 47, I don't believe he is involved but I will try to resolve it.
The Army has already begun proceedings to reclaim the money from Gloria's family. So not only do they have the trauma of her death to deal with but now they have the Army moving legally on her estate. I would love to see if the estate does have huge dollars hidden away that came from this $225,000 bribe. It should be easy to trace.
My theory is that crimes of large sums of money is not played out by the lower ranking military. Yes, they may sell a gun they take off a dead Iraqi but they can't and won't be involved in huge high dollar crimes.
This is why this investigation is so important. It will only go up the chain and not down.
As was noted in my last diary, the parsing of words by Glanz and Schmitt was very precise. They made very clear that there was "not yet" any evidence to link these problems with Petraeus. This article makes the same disclaimer but without the "yet". It is more factually developed but the facts are still damning for our war effort and the criminal behavior of this administration.
Here's where I get philosophical so if you want to quit reading now and move on to the comments, please feel free. How does this tie back to us here in the US? First, it is tax payer's money. Secondly, we have hired representatives to oversee this money and the conduct of this war for us. There are two basic companies that we have hired. One is the Democratic Party and the other is the Republican Party. It was the latter that has bought us this war, these deaths, the visions of trauma and fear on the faces of the young and old in Iraq. We see it daily on the tube.
Our Democratic candidates are now debating the issue of lobbyist. Here on DKos, there has been fierce debate among supporters of Edwards and Obama and not so much Hillary because we know her stance. Edwards (whom I support) has focused like a laser on insurance, pharmas, and large drug companies. My contention is that these are important but unless we attack, yes attack, the military lobbyist around Congress we will never solve this nation's issues. Health care, poverty, infrastructure, education, ethics reform will always take a back seat to the MICC. Watch the increasing number of ads on TV recently by Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Army recruitment and others connected to the continuation of our American Empire. We are an empire. It is run by and for the military. Not you! Not I!
If we follow the money, this will not stop on the low level. Hell, it is already bringing in Lt. Col's and by implication our close Bush ally Gen David Petraeus. We went into this war with no plan. We currently have no plan. Yet Bush is about to ask for $50 billion more as a supplemental to toss out to his friends. Please, please, I beg you to help with this fight against the MICC. This nation is crumbling from neglect of its poor, its minorities, its immigrants, and now the middle class. When will we stand up and declare, we will take no more!