Archive for March, 2008

Game Over

Americans do not worry too much about a war with Iran because they assume that we and/or Israel will quickly snuff out any Iranian response. Even Admiral Fallon (today is his last day on the job, btw) said, “Get serious. These guys are ants. When the time comes, you crush them.” (Read about it here.)

Smug people everywhere think that starting another war is not that big a deal, but they are wrong. A few days ago I linked to this George Galloway audio explaining a few important points: 1) Iran has military targets spread all over it’s country, and these would require near simultaneous strikes to disarm; and 2) we should fully expect Iran to respond to an attack, and to respond hard, and to retaliate on sensitive Western interests (he named London, for example).

Consider this scenario:

Phase III is the Israeli air attack against the Iranian nuclear facilities using American supplied bunker buster bombs. The Iranians have said they will respond by firing 11,000 missiles and artillery shells in the first 60 seconds. The Iranians have Russian made Sunburn and Yakhonts anti-ship missiles. They also have Chinese designed rocket artillery with a range up to 150 kilometers. This phase will be very brief lasting only a matter of hours as Israel will allow America to do most of the fighting and dying.

Phase 4 is the justification of World War III to the American public. We have 17,500 sailors and marines on aircraft carrier task forces in the Persian Gulf. Their ships are well within the 120 and 180 mile range of the Sunburn and Yakhonts. The Iranians also have 1,000 fast rubber boats to capture our sailors and marines. If Bush and Cheney wanted to protect the lives of those sailors and marines, they would put them in the Indian Ocean out of harms way when Israel attacks Iran. Our aircraft carrier task forces are in the Gulf precisely so they can be sacrificed for the greater good of Israel and the Bilderberg Society. The goal of WW III is to exterminate the Muslims so Israel and the Bilderbergers can have all of the Mideast oil.

Meanwhile, Russian intelligence reports on the flurry of US Armed Forces activity on the Iranian border and the buildup of ships in the Persian Gulf. This is not some academic exercise.

And there are the domestic consequences to consider.

The final phase or aftermath of WW III is the destruction of the United States so what remains can be folded into the North American Union. The Iranian response to the Israeli air strike will include the cut off of all oil from the Persian Gulf which should raise the price of oil to $300 or $400 a barrel. That would bankrupt more than 50% of all American families as they would have no means of buying gas to get to work. The destruction of the dollar will make food unaffordable too.

Bush would declare martial law. Here you can read about all the preparations which have already been made.

Note To The Reader: This paper addresses the possibility of a coup d’état by national emergency before the end of Bush’s last year in office, citing recent institutional actions that can be reasonably interpreted as being consistent with and preparatory to such an undertaking. These actions, all occurring since Bush’s reelection, include among others:

  1. Claiming by executive order emergency powers unauthorized by Congress;

  2. Conducting nation-wide mass arrest exercises in 2005, 2006 and 2007;

  3. Obtaining from Congress removal of legal impediments to the indefinite detention of US citizens without trial;

  4. Obtaining from Congress the authority to use federal troops for domestic police duties, by nullifying the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878;

  5. Obtaining from Congress the authority to use national guard units, without the consent of state’s governor, in that or any other state;

  6. Establishing programs to assist in the implementation of martial law using business community, academics, and clergy;

  7. Authorizing by executive order seizing assets of anyone “undermining efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq”; and,

  8. Contracting for the construction of high capacity detention centers throughout the country.

Right now people think they have freedom, but they also say they have no time to really understand what’s happening in the world. Soon we may have lots of time on our hands but no freedom to find out anything.

Stop passively accepting what’s happening in our country. Don’t wait until your own family suffers privation and death to start paying attention. It will be too late then. The time to act is now.

If you think about it, it’s the not speaking up, the submission, the not sharing of our discoveries, the not pointing out that the emperor is naked that allows the psychopaths in power to continue their predatorial ways and for the situation to continue on its downward spiral. As with so many problems in life, the problem here is one of fear-based faulty thinking. People fear that “they” will come for them if they speak out, but the paradox is that by not speaking out and facilitating our continued slide towards “Armageddon”, people vastly increase the chances that a jack booted agent of the Pathocrats will one day kick down their door. Because when “they” seek to imprison us, defame or attack us in one way or another, their first targets of choice are always those who speak out against “them”.

Efraim has left the building

Where could he have gone?

Concentrate now. Here are some clues…names and logos from the Diveroli family businesses: Botach Defense/Botach Tactical and Kley Zion.

But remember, it’s rude to notice that any of this unfortunate scandal might have anything whatsoever to do with Israel. Therefore, your corporate media outlets will tread very gingerly around this story. They will dispose of the whole thing just as soon as possible.

As I said a few days ago, this is a story about networking. As someone who really does not like to network and will do just about anything to avoid it, I understand that Efraim networks. More than that, he was born into an existing network of wealth and privilege. People with money already have a network, and people who want to make money network, and that’s how AEY landed a $300M contract. Very occasionally a person will just get discovered, but usually that happens to people with some unusual talent. Efraim is no Charlotte Church — he was taken care of by people. So the real story lies in his network whether they be contractors in the US Government, the military, his family, Israel, etc. Who are they, and how do they know each other?

That’s where the story gets very interesting. There are many tidbits to savor and confirm, like this one:

How do they afford it? The Botachs own much of downtown Los Angeles. They live under the radar in the modest Pico-Robertson neighborhood. They send their kids to Hillel and YULA and get scholarships because of their large families. No one dreams of the vast amounts of money this family accumulated. Yoav (Shmuley Boteach’s father) is the largest owner of warehouses in California. Rumored to be Israelis, their roots are Iranian.

The Botach roots are Iranian? OK, well, that could be important. As could be the rumors that the Diverolis are in the ecstasy business. And another thing, why did Efraim need a family member to post his $1000 bail if he makes so much money? Or is that just the equivalent of us working stiffs buying a round of Buds down at the bar? And who does this family know over at Banc of America Investment Services in Miami?

A relative paid Mr. Diveroli’s $1,000 bail as his bid for the Afghan contract was in its final review.

To be accepted, the company had to be, in Army parlance, “a responsible contractor,” which required an examination of its financial soundness, transport capabilities, past performance and compliance with the law and government contracting regulations.

The week after a relative paid his bail, the Banc of America Investment Services in Miami provided Mr. Diveroli a letter certifying that his company had cash on hand to begin buying munitions on a large scale. It said AEY had $5,469,668.95 in an account.

I think the original NYT reporters did a great job, but you know they can’t go past a certain bright line. In fact, I’m pretty amazed this story got through the firewall at all. These other questions will be answered in the blogosphere if anyplace, where people don’t have corporate minders to suck all the juice out of the story.

Good News, Bad News

Good News: This writer has great analytical skills. Read all three articles.

The reader is therefore asked to give this careful consideration because the eternal vigilance necessary to protect our liberty is better served by reasonable suspicion than by enduring trust or inattention.


Bad News: These three articles together make a very compelling case for an imminent attack on Iran resulting in the declaration of a national emergency.

When might Bush declare a national emergency under NSPD-51? My own guess would be Spring 2008, after Bush is “forced” to attack Iran, perhaps with nuclear weapons, and Iran then fails to cooperate, attacking US ships in the Gulf and Mediterranean instead of accepting our offers of assistance. Or this might come after a UN Security Council resolution authorizing boarding Iranian ships for inspection, thereby creating an opportunity for a casus belli the Bush administration has been transparently pressing to create. Even if Iran denied Bush his basic objective by refusing to be goaded into reacting beyond its own borders, the resulting global economic chaos and spontaneous popular reactions beyond Iran to such attacks could compel Bush to invoke NSPD-51, quite apart from whatever our new enemy might undertake.

On the other hand, under NSPD-51 any provocation of Bush could lead to him creating a pretext for declaring a national emergency. For example, Ralph Nader quotes Massachusetts Rep. John W. Olver (D), who has a PhD from MIT, when presented with the votes of 13 Town Meetings [real Town Meetings, not the media events staged for candidate performances] in Olver’s congressional district calling for impeachment of Cheney and Bush, Olver responded that he opposed any impeachment move against Bush because “the current autocratic executive [Bush] would attack Iran from the air, declare a national emergency, institute martial law, and call off the 2008 elections were the Democrats to initiate impeachment.” Or, perhaps we have a national emergency for as yet unknown reasons, maybe in the late summer when likely replacement administrations are judged by Bush/Cheney to be unacceptable; and then, as the national emergency begins to unravel, we attack Iran. The essential assessment is that we have reached a point where the possibilities are vast and unpredictable precisely because its all up to Bush; he is The Decider.

…Should Bush declare a national emergency and begin exercising the many powers available to him in law, as well as the ever expanding “inherent” powers he claims by fiat, our nation could swiftly cross into a world increasingly difficult to predict, largely beyond our national experience, except perhaps for our revolution and civil war, subject to ad hoc, unchecked decision making, with genuine rule of law no longer an available guide. It would likely become increasingly difficult, in the absence of reliable information, to understand and deal with the originating crisis, however real or contrived. And to distinguish it from the difficulties arising from the declaration of a national emergency itself.

However, this sort of thing has occurred in many countries, with much the same result likely here: a self-sustaining crisis, in which the chief rationales for continuing the national emergency are the effects of the national emergency themselves, compounded by errors in governance and crimes by those who seized power, sustained by supporters profiting from it and their fear for what would happen to them should they end it.

There’s so much more in these articles.

The political calculus informing the decision to declare a national emergency would include the assumption that a state of crisis would itself provide substantial support, however temporary, among the populace for the nation’s leadership, as it always does. However, the endemic level of distrust toward the current government, and Bush in particular, is such that resistance to starting a war with Iran or to staging a coup d’état by national emergency would likely spread once begun and be difficult to contain. This, however, is more relevant is assessing the likelihood of either a wide refusal of orders or a general insurrection rather than in predicting Bush’s appreciation of the situation before he acts.

In other words, Bush has proven time and again that he does not behave like a normal person. Whether this results from his own psychopathy, from hidden agendas, from the control of others, or from some combination of these things doesn’t much matter. The point is that just because many people consider a course of action crazy (e.g. starting preemptive wars) does not at all mean it won’t happen. We have recent history to guide us. What’s crazy and immoral to you and me may strike Bush, Cheney and others as deliciously exciting and profitable.

That’s the problem with psychopaths - they don’t experience normal human emotions and constraints. Remember, they comprise 6% of the population and can achieve high levels of success and power. This tiny slice of the human population has caused untold suffering throughout history. They will continue to do so if we let them.

Imagine - if you can - not having a conscience, none at all, no feelings of guilt or remorse no matter what you do, no limiting sense of concern for the well-being of strangers, friends, or even family members. Imagine no struggles with shame, not a single one in your whole life, no matter what kind of selfish, lazy, harmful, or immoral action you had taken.

And pretend that the concept of responsibility is unknown to you, except as a burden others seem to accept without question, like gullible fools.

Now add to this strange fantasy the ability to conceal from other people that your psychological makeup is radically different from theirs. Since everyone simply assumes that conscience is universal among human beings, hiding the fact that you are conscience-free is nearly effortless.

You are not held back from any of your desires by guilt or shame, and you are never confronted by others for your cold-bloodedness. The ice water in your veins is so bizarre, so completely outside of their personal experience, that they seldom even guess at your condition.

In other words, you are completely free of internal restraints, and your unhampered liberty to do just as you please, with no pangs of conscience, is conveniently invisible to the world.

You can do anything at all, and still your strange advantage over the majority of people, who are kept in line by their consciences will most likely remain undiscovered.

How will you live your life?

Chances are you will live it like any number of people: with cut-throat enthusiasm to seek your own gratification regardless of the cost to others. Six percent of the population is roughly one in every 30 people. Once you realize that these people exist, and they have always existed, and that given sufficient intelligence and opportunity they will naturally rise to positions of power, then you begin to understand what’s really wrong with the world. Psychopaths rule the world, and they have no intention of relinquishing control.

Minimal cost to whom?

Oh crap.

Russian Intelligence sees US military buildup on Iran border

MOSCOW, March 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russian military intelligence services are reporting a flurry of activity by U.S. Armed Forces near Iran’s borders, a high-ranking security source said Tuesday.

“The latest military intelligence data point to heightened U.S. military preparations for both an air and ground operation against Iran,” the official said, adding that the Pentagon has probably not yet made a final decision as to when an attack will be launched.

He said the Pentagon is looking for a way to deliver a strike against Iran “that would enable the Americans to bring the country to its knees at minimal cost.”

He also said the U.S. Naval presence in the Persian Gulf has for the first time in the past four years reached the level that existed shortly before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov, vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, said last week that the Pentagon is planning to deliver a massive air strike on Iran’s military infrastructure in the near future.

A new U.S. carrier battle group has been dispatched to the Gulf.

The USS John C. Stennis, with a crew of 3,200 and around 80 fixed-wing aircraft, including F/A-18 Hornet and Superhornet fighter-bombers, eight support ships and four nuclear submarines are heading for the Gulf, where a similar group led by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower has been deployed since December 2006.

The U.S. is also sending Patriot anti-missile systems to the region.

The Russians would know since they will probably have to get involved. This is complete insanity.

Dance of the Seven Veils

Another short installment in my ongoing series: What the %^&$ is going on over there?

I so appreciate American Goy explaining this:

You’ve seen the reports on TV about the fighting going on in Basra and the surrounding area? You do realize that the fighting is between two groups of Shia? There is no background given on American TV on exactly who is fighting whom and for what… American Goy to the rescue!

[go read it]

So now, when the NATIONALIST al-Sadr is fighting the PRO-IRAN Hakim and Prime Minister Maliki, who does the United States military support with aircraft sorties and armored cars?

Why, the pro-Iran Hakim and Maliki of course.

Repeat that FACT: American soldiers are dying for Iranian interests in Iraq. This is horrifying to the rest of the Sunni Arab world, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan… Because they want to LIMIT Iran’s influence in the region, unlike the Americans, who fight now to expand it.

So…do we hate Iran or do we love Iran? How does one reconcile the Bush Administration’s rhetoric with the reality on the ground?

Remember the Map of the New Middle East. For those who drew up the map (apparently the US military), everything must inexorably lead toward making it a reality. Most of the land surrounding the Persian Gulf falls under Shia (Iranian) control in the new map. That doesn’t happen without bloodshed because people don’t take kindly to having their country’s borders redrawn and their resources stolen.

So big heists like this require years of planning and much patience. How do they keep the people on board in the meantime and predisposed to accept the final outcome? Here in America they use the TV, the War on Terror, al Qaeda, etc. You know how they manage the long queues at Disney? It’s simple. They just give people something to watch as they twist and turn through the line. Same thing here.

Oh, and over there we just use our military.

Key word: use. Sick.

Get the Zantac and the Clicker

Clearly Young Efraim’s story will cause a bad case of heartburn for some people. The fact that Efraim & Co. have these Hebrew names naturally leads people to the conclusions that they are Jewish and perhaps even Israeli.

But surely that has nothing do to with anything.

So I don’t really watch tv, but someone who doesn’t read alternative news heard about AEY so it must be breaking through the media firewall. Major heartburn. Take another Zantac.

I would imagine the pressure in the corporate media to bat this story down must be immense. A sampling of rebuttals picked up in the blogosphere include:

  • Efraim got lucky landing those $300m government contracts. Nothing more to it than that. This family just got a little enthusiastic with their business-dealings.
  • The AEY people didn’t donate money to Republicans so therefore none of this is a political scandal that can possible affect Republicans. In fact, uncle once gave $1000 to Edwards so HA! It’s the Democrats fault, if anything.
  • People who suggest that this has anything at all, whatsoever, to do with Israel are completely anti-Semitic because the only reason the arms-dealing industry is full of Israelis is because poor Israel was forced to get into this line of work to protect itself from vicious Arabs. Don’t you know anything?
  • Actually, it’s anti-Semitic to even notice whenever Jews do anything wrong. Don’t even go there. Sheesh.
  • Mossad? Never heard of it. What is it, some kind of dessert?
  • Let’s watch American Idol.

There. That should cover it.

A fair question

Young Efraim has certainly garnered some attention. He’s called to testify before Henry Waxman and the House Oversight Committee. (Not that necessarily means anything…but still.) Also called to testify on April 17th are David Packouz, VP and Levi Meyer, GM both aged 25 and both of AEY. Dear Condi and Robert Gates have been asked to send representatives “with knowledge of the Department’s contracts”. This should be interesting.

Efraim has another website called AmmoWorks which specializes in reselling foreign ammo, a business filed with the State of Florida. The paperwork lists a Yeshaya Diveroli as secretary. The marketing style is…well, how shall I describe it…softcore porn?

Ammoworks has produced hundreds of millions of dollars worth of firearms, ammo, and tactical gear among other things for our special forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ammoworks is a huge supporter of our troops and does everything in its power to not only insure a quality product but a product that functions extremely well in battle situations.

Huge supporter of the troops, whatever the hell that means. People sure do have some strange ways of showing the love.

I think it’s fair to ask, since Efriam, Levi and Yeshaya are definitely Hebrew names, are these gentlemen Israelis? If so, does that have any bearing on their amazing ability to secure lucrative government contracts after spending a grueling two or three years in the industry? And while I’m speculating, what do you suppose the media reaction to this story would be if their names had been Abdul, Rashid and Habib?

Look, a Unicorn

via What Really Happened, you won’t often see this admitted:

“We know that some of the rockets launched against Israel are launched by Fatah militants. The objective is to push Israel to punish Hamas in Gaza” - Crisis Group interview, Hamas official in exile, November 2007, found at page 23 of ICG Report No. 73.

Keep your friends close but your enemies closer

Justin Raimondo weighs in on the mystery of Iran benefiting from the situation in Iraq, and how that perhaps happened. It’s along the same lines as my musings here but with the advantage of making much more sense and having lots of supporting links. Personally, I have no problem believing the Iranians could outfox US and Israeli intelligence. Heck, that’s probably one reason why the Israelis complain so bitterly about Iran hiding their supposed nuclear weapons program — the Iranians showed them up and they just can’t stand it. Now we have to listen to the Israelis and neocons whine nonstop about the sneaky Iranians.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. The original plan of the neocons was to install Ahmed Chalabi, their own personal Iraqi puppet, but that soon fell through – and Chalabi, it turned out, had strong links to Iranian intelligence agencies. Accused of divulging American secrets to Tehran, Chalabi had his Iraq headquarters raided by Iraqi and U.S. personnel. Unfortunately, the horse was already out of the barn.

… When Chalabi’s shenanigans were exposed to the light of day, and his extensive interactions with the Iranians were revealed, a theory was floated by several in the intelligence community that we were basically suckered into the Iraq war by its chief beneficiaries, the Iranians. Using their chief asset, the double agent Chalabi, they and their neocon allies fed us ersatz “intelligence” via the various Iraqi “defectors” rounded up by the Iraqi National Congress and paraded across the front page of the New York Times by Judith Miller and her editors.

The consolidation of a strong Iraqi state is the last thing the Americans want, for that would threaten their occupation and lead to their swift exit from the country. It is also in the Iranian interest to keep Iraq divided and stop the nationalist Sadr and his brutal militia from taking power in Baghdad. And, as Robert Parry points out, another factor played a key role in tricking us into war:

“Israeli governments have long made a high priority out of forging alliances with countries like Iran on the periphery of the Arab world to divert Arab antipathy that otherwise could be concentrated on Israel. Plus, Israel and Iran had an important enemy in common: Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. Both Israel and Iran had a lot to gain by convincing the United States to remove their hated adversary.”

Find many links in the original piece at Still, how this all plays out is anyone’s guess. Perhaps the Iranians have proven themselves very smart, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have to grovel at least a little. Maybe they bruised some egos, and they will have to assuage them before we move on to some arrangement of grudging respect.

Think George Steinbrenner and the Yankees. He could afford the best talent, and he bought it. The fact that everyone hates the Yankees was simply beside the point because the Yankees won. I think this is how the US and Israeli power brokers view themselves, and a smart country like Iran needs to be brought into the fold - no question. If not they’ll work for Russia. Now whether the US and Israel can still pull this off…that is another thing entirely. And that power instability, I think, is what makes the situation so perilous. It’s not a done deal, not by any stretch.

Young Efraim

Remember when the Walter Reed story broke? I hope this munitions story has the same effect, as in exploding in the Bush Administration’s faces. People will understand this story. May it travel far and wide, and may it hang around George Bush’s and the Republican party’s necks like a bloody stone.

AEY is one of many previously unknown defense companies to have thrived since 2003, when the Pentagon began dispensing billions of dollars to train and equip indigenous forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. Its rise from obscurity once seemed to make it a successful example of the Bush administration’s promotion of private contractors as integral elements of war-fighting strategy.

But an examination of AEY’s background, through interviews in several countries, reviews of confidential government documents and the examination of some of the ammunition, suggests that Army contracting officials, under pressure to arm Afghan troops, allowed an immature company to enter the murky world of international arms dealing on the Pentagon’s behalf — and did so with minimal vetting and through a vaguely written contract with few restrictions.

Which contracting officials? What are their names? Please note - so far they remain protected from public scrutiny. This story probably has deep and interesting roots. As any working stiff struggling to pay the mortgage knows, some 22 year old kid doesn’t land a $300 million government contract because he’s a business prodigy. This is a story about networking.

In purchasing munitions, the contractor has also worked with middlemen and a shell company on a federal list of entities suspected of illegal arms trafficking.

Moreover, tens of millions of the rifle and machine-gun cartridges were manufactured in China, making their procurement a possible violation of American law. The company’s president, Efraim E. Diveroli, was also secretly recorded in a conversation that suggested corruption in his company’s purchase of more than 100 million aging rounds in Albania, according to audio files of the conversation.

…But problems with the ammunition were evident last fall in places like Nawa, Afghanistan, an outpost near the Pakistani border, where an Afghan lieutenant colonel surveyed the rifle cartridges on his police station’s dirty floor. Soon after arriving there, the cardboard boxes had split open and their contents spilled out, revealing ammunition manufactured in China in 1966.

…In January, American officers in Kabul, concerned about munitions from AEY, had contacted the Army’s Rock Island Arsenal, in Illinois, and raised the possibility of terminating the contract. And officials at the Army Sustainment Command, the contracting authority at the arsenal, after meeting with AEY in late February, said they were tightening the packaging standards for munitions shipped to the war.

And yet after that meeting, AEY sent another shipment of nearly one million cartridges to Afghanistan that the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan regarded as substandard. Lt. Col. David G. Johnson, the command spokesman, said that while there were no reports of ammunition misfiring, some of it was in such poor condition that the military had decided not to issue it. “Our honest answer is that the ammunition is of a quality that is less than desirable; the munitions do not appear to meet the standards that many of us are used to,” Colonel Johnson said. “We are not pleased with the way it was delivered.”

Several officials said the problems would have been avoided if the Army had written contracts and examined bidders more carefully.

No shit. But that still doesn’t answer the question: how did young Efraim get the contract in the first place? Surely somebody must have brought him forward and approved his contract. After all, we are talking about the War on Terror here, which everyone knows is Extremely Important. Western Civilization hangs in the balance. Furthermore, American soldiers and our coalition forces deserve the Very Best because we Support the Troops.

Public records show that AEY’s contracts since 2004 have potentially been worth more than a third of a billion dollars. Mr. Diveroli set the value higher: he claimed to do $200 million in business each year.

Several military officers and government officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the investigations, questioned how Mr. Diveroli, and a small group of men principally in their 20s and without extensive military or procurement experiences, landed so much vital government work.

“A lot of us are asking the question,” said a senior State Department official. “How did this guy get all this business?”

Now you must go and read about the charming Diveroli men. First they helped themselves to the customer base of a relative running a police and military supply company. Then within the space of a year (2004-2005) they had a whole stable of US government agencies under contract. The Diverolis must have some great contacts. This success appears all the more remarkable because AEY (what does that stand for anyway?) quickly developed a reputation as unreliable and full of excuses. Young Efraim, perhaps suffering stress from his incredible good fortune, took to terrorizing a young woman and ended up in court. But Efraim has the Best Hallpass Evah.

Mr. Diveroli sought court delays on national security grounds. “I am the President and only official employee of my business,” he wrote to the judge on Dec. 8, 2005. “My business is currently of great importance to the country as I am licensed Defense Contractor to the United States Government in the fight against terrorism in Iraq and I am doing my very best to provide our troops with all their equipment needs on pending critical contracts.”

He got a new girlfriend and terrorized her, too. Unfortunately, after Efraim and his partner got in more trouble beating up a parking attendant, he was charged with a misdemeanor (simple battery) and a felony (possession of a stolen or forged document - a fake license). Since his ‘business’ requires a federal firearms license, this felony charge posed a real problem. But he wriggled off that hook too thanks to his great contacts, whoever they are, and wouldn’t we love to know.

The week after a relative paid his bail [$1,000...couldn't he afford that himself?], the Banc of America Investment Services in Miami provided Mr. Diveroli a letter certifying that his company had cash on hand to begin buying munitions on a large scale. It said AEY had $5,469,668.95 in an account.

AEY was awarded the contract in January 2007. Asked why it chose AEY, the Army Sustainment Command answered in writing: “AEY’s proposal represented the best value to the government.”

Oh my gosh. You get what you pay for. It seems that the Army allowed this garbage ammunition because it went for foreign weapons, primarily Russian, and therefore it’s Not Our Problem. (Hey, that’s the way to help your allies in the War on Terror. The bullets we gave you are 50 years old? So?) The Albanians were looking to get rid of this ancient ammunition before it exploded (too late), and AEY helpfully bought 100 million cartridges to fill the Pentagon’s order.

And now, after all that background, comes the part where AEY gets involved with shady foreigners dealing illegal arms. I’m not going to try and summarize it except to say that clearly, young Efraim is in way over his head, and he’s looking for a good Administrative Assistant on Craigslist. The Army suspended his contract and all his former colleagues, including pops, have moved on.

Michael Diveroli, the company’s founder, told a reporter that he no longer had any relationship with the company. Mr. Packouz, who was AEY’s vice president, and Levi Meyer, 25, who was briefly listed as general manager, had left the company, too.

Mr. Meyer offered a statement: “I’m not involved in that mess anymore.”

The most important questions: Who helped the Diveroli’s get all those contracts with the US Government, and who protected them from the consequences of their bad reputation? Why did they do this? Cui bono?

Indeed, who benefits from this whole affair? Certainly not our American soldiers or our allies fighting the War on Terror. If the Pentagon was serious about the War on Terror, would they allow such a joke to supply something as critical as ammunition? Doesn’t this whole episode illustrate the real reasons for the War on Terror: to keep Americans afraid, the world in turmoil, and the profiteers swimming in cash?

I think it does.

I think it would be very interesting to know who used Young Efraim and all these other cocky punks in their 20s, for surely they were tools for people who remain safely ensconced behind layers of security and plausible deniability. The handlers simply dissolve their shell companies and move on, laughing, having siphoned streams of US taxpayer money into their Swiss bank accounts and without regard for any related deaths.