That’s how many Glock 19′s and other pistols the GAO figures have gone missing among the 190,000 weapons that are “lost” in the Iraq War zone.
Newsweek offers a thoughtful examination of the history of how this hemorrhaging of weaponry is helping to destabilize the Middle East.
– A fifteen year old Muslim with a “grudge against the West” used one such gun to murder a Catholic priest in a coastal Turkish town….
– Another Muslim fanatic used a Glock last May to shoot up the Turkish Supreme Court. One justice was killed and four others were wounded….
Turkish – and American – authorities have since learned from Glock, the weapon’s Austrian manufacturer, that the guns used in these attacks were only two of thousands that have streamed into Turkey and other countries from Iraq. And that the serial numbers on the guns match those assigned to “US Mission Iraq.”
The American military has repeatedly investigated the loss of these guns originally intended for Iraqi governmental forces (both military and police). The investigations, which many believe led to the suicide of Col. Theodore Westhusing, the highest ranking soldier to die in Iraq, and an ethics professor from West Point, reveal that massive corruption infests the Iraqi government. Worse, Westhusing found out the weapons distribution program, overseen by the State Department and handled by private contractors, was engaging in widespread fraud – including sending weapons to the black market for re-sale to insurgents, terrorists, assassins, and criminals not just in Iraq, but across the Middle East. Simply put, the weapons that are supposed to be used to bring law, order, and stability to Iraq are instead being used to destabilize the entire region:
In e-mails to his family, Westhusing seemed especially upset by one conclusion he had reached: that traditional military values such as duty, honor and country had been replaced by profit motives in Iraq, where the U.S. had come to rely heavily on contractors for jobs once done by the military.
The contractor of record in the Westhusing case, USIS from Virginia, owned until recently by The Carlyle Group, has just received a new 21 million dollar contract from the Department of Homeland Security. The Carlyle Group, of course, has ties to the George H. W. Bush. Some have speculated that Westhusing’s involvement in investigating USIS fraud and corruption drew him into conflict with powerful forces that harassed him and drove him to his self-destruction.
Whatever the truth is concerning Westhusing, 80,000 Glock 19′s are circulating in the Middle East and being used to wage jihad when they were supposed to make Iraq safer for both its citizens and our troops. And thus far, while possible explanations for such behavior have been offered, no one has been held responsible.