Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wow - have I been busy!

My job and social life have really picked up since the weather turned into the nice 70's and the women started walking around in bikinis on the beach... and in nightclubs...

Meanwhile...

You don't mess with the Zohan!

Amir Kaminer, movie critic for the Yediot Ahronot daily, said Sandler's Zohan is the most prominent Israeli character out of Hollywood since Paul Newman played the Jewish fighter Ari Ben Canaan in "Exodus" in 1960. But that's where the comparison ends.

He said it was natural Israelis were excited about the fanfare, but that the movie was "vulgar and stupid" and an inaccurate depiction of Israel.

"We're not all about eating hummus, killing Arabs and fornicating. We do other things as well," he said.


This quote is just too funny!

"We're not all about eating hummus, killing Arabs and fornicating. We do other things as well," he said.


I am still working on my next big post, in which I will basically put myself on trial as to whether I am an anti-semite or not.

Stay tuned!

advanced web statistics

1 comment:

Greg Bacon said...

Think i first read about AEY on your blog, so here's an update on their doings and it's not pretty.

Documents produced to the Committee show that federal agencies terminated, withdrew, or cancelled at least seven previous contracts with AEY, as well as four additional delivery orders under an eighth contract. Under these contracts, AEY provided potentially unsafe helmets to Iraq, failed to deliver at least 10,000 pistols to Iraq, and shipped poor quality ammunition to U.S. Special Forces. Government contracting officials repeatedly warned of “poor quality,” “damaged goods,” “junk” weapons, and other equipment in “the reject category,” and they complained on several occasions that AEY was “hurting the mission” and had “endangered the performance” of government agencies.

Army neglected problems with 22yo contractor before granting $300M contract

By Nick Juliano | Uncategorized | Tuesday, 24 June 2008

A 22-year-old defense contractor had delivered faulty helmets, malfunctioning ammunition and failed to provide 10,000 pistols to troops in Iraq before the Pentagon handed him another nearly $300 million contract that resulted in illegal shipments of Chinese ammo to Afghan troops fighting the Taliban, according to a congressional investigation.

Effraim Diveroli, CEO of Miami-based AEY, Inc., was listed on a State Department watch list, as were other company officials and virtually everyone else involved in providing the ammo to Afghan fighters, according to a House Oversight Committee report.

The Army apparently failed to check that list before delivering the contract to supply ammo to Afghanistan. That contract, which could have been worth $298 million, was canceled last month after AEY had been paid $66 million.

During a committee hearing Tuesday, lawmakers had essentially one question for Pentagon and State Department officials: How on earth did such a colossal screw-up happen?

Excuses outweighed forthcoming explanations.

“The contracting officer is not required to go to the watch list,” Assistant Secretary of State Stephen D. Mull told the committee.

“I don’t disagree,” added the Pentagon’s Jeffery Parsons, executive diretor of the Army Contracting Command. “What I’m not sure of is whether that watch list is accessible to people outside of the State Department.”

It turns out the list isn’t handed out far and wide, because some of its 80,000 entries are listed based on classified information, but Mull said State has and will continue to check the list for potential contractors. They just need to be asked first, which they weren’t in the case of AEY.

Questions raised about continued contracting with AEY

Although the Pentagon has said it stopped doing business with AEY since news about the company’s potential law-breaking became public, one member of the Committee suggested that might not be the case.

“I was in Iraq at the Taji weapons depot a few weeks ago and I asked a commanding general there about the AEY contract. He said ‘yeah, they’re shipping into us.’ … It looks like they’re still performing in this contract, and that doesn’t jive with the testimony and documents I have before me,” said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), said at Tuesday’s hearing. “So can you tell me, is AEY still performing on some contracts in Iraq?”

Parsons said he “would have to get back to you on whether they are still performing.”

Lynch was unsatisfied: “That’s not good enough.”


Bipartisan grilling greets witnesses

Even the committee’s Republican members didn’t let their witnesses off the hook easily.

“A 22-year-old CEO … that doesn’t set off any bells?” asked a skeptical Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), the committee’s ranking member.

“Sir, as part of the solicitation process we don’t ask for — or even know — what the age is of the owners of the companies,” Parsons said.

Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA), who accompanied Lynch to Iraq, endorsed the Massachusetts Democrats harsh comments aimed at the Pentagon and State Department.

Report traces past problems with contractor

A 28-page report released before the committee hearing Tuesday called the AEY contract a “case study of a dysfunctional procurement process.” The report also found extensive evidence of past failures on the part of AEY.

Documents produced to the Committee show that federal agencies terminated, withdrew, or cancelled at least seven previous contracts with AEY, as well as four additional delivery orders under an eighth contract. Under these contracts, AEY provided potentially unsafe helmets to Iraq, failed to deliver at least 10,000 pistols to Iraq, and shipped poor quality ammunition to U.S. Special Forces. Government contracting officials repeatedly warned of “poor quality,” “damaged goods,” “junk” weapons, and other equipment in “the reject category,” and they complained on several occasions that AEY was “hurting the mission” and had “endangered the performance” of government agencies.

In addition to the Oversight Committee, federal prosecutors are interested in Diveroli and AEY’s misdeeds. The arms dealer and his associates were indicted last week on an array of fraud charges.

The Committee’s investigation also might not yet be over. Its report indicated that the departments of State and Defense were still combing through their archives for documents related to the committee’s investigation.

State Department investigating ambassador’s involvement in Albania

Waxman wrote to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on Monday alleging the US Embassy in Albania was involved in covering up the Chinese origin of weapons sold from that country.

The State Department announced after Tuesday’s hearing that it was opening an investigation into its top diplomat in Albania.

Tom Casey, a department spokesman, said Tuesday that the agency’s inspector general has been asked “to go and look at these charges and conduct a thorough, fair and transparent investigation of these allegations.”

Henry Waxman of California, who is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Monday that John L. Withers II — the U.S. ambassador to Albania — approved a plan to remove evidence that the ammunition being supplied by AEY Inc. was made in China. AEY purchased the gear in Albania before transporting it to Afghanistan.

The State Department then attempted to conceal Withers’s role from the committee, Waxman charged.

Tuesday’s hearing was aimed, lawmakers said, at preventing another AEY fiasco from happening in the future. Although the officials who appeared seemed leery to admit that mistakes were made, they did acknowledge that, in retrospect, handing AEY a $300 million contract might not have been the best idea.

“Knowing what we know now,” Parsons said, “it was not a good decision.”