Pentagon selling weapons for use against Oregon National Guard

T.A. Barnhart

From the Army Times:

The Pentagon plans to sell up to 4,000 sets of high-tech night-vision goggles to Iraq, despite U.S. government audits showing that the deal could leave a critical U.S. military asset vulnerable to theft or diversion to insurgents fighting American forces.

The previously unpublicized sale is sparking concern from members of Congress.

The goggles are part of a major, $1.4 billion proposed sale of weapons and other military gear for Iraqi forces, which have been faulted along with their Pentagon supervisors for being unable to account for thousands of firearms and other battlefield equipment provided by the United States in recent years.

Bravo Company, with & thru nvg'sThere are already Oregon troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and a major deployment of 3,500 National Guard troops is scheduled for early next year. This deployment will include my older, son, Alex, a member of Bravo Company out of Corvallis. I am horrified to think my own country is preparing to send weapons to Iraq that will — not may, but will — be used against him and his comrades. I've called Sen Wyden and Rep Blumenauer to demand they take action, and I hope others around the state will call their Congressional representatives.

If an American soldier was to sell his gun to an enemy soldier and that weapon was used to kill Americans, that soldier would be guilty of treason. What, then, of an administration that provides weapons that it knows will be used against our own people? The administration and the Pentagon know that billions in funds and equipment has simply disappeared without trace, and yet they are willing to piss even more away. Worse, it's not even as if the desire to sell these weapons is in service of winning this unwinnable war. You cannot win a war that's an illegal invasion and will be opposed beyond our tolerance by the people of the land we are occupying; can you say "Vietnam?"

Instead of being a reality-based strategy to achieve a worthwhile goal of any kind, this sales seems to be little more than a defiant, belligerent refusal to acknowledge the total clusterfuck that the invasion has become. The Iraqis don't want us there. Their Parliament wants us to get the hell out. Most Americans want to bring our people home. We'll never defeat an enemy we cannot find — again, we're talking Vietnam here. Yet until the day Barack Obama is sworn into office, our government will be dedicated to pretending this is World War II and we are the saviors of Western Civilization.

And they don't give a good goddamn how many of our kids they slaughter in the process.

So they are selling the tools of our children's death directly to those who will pull the triggers. As those weapons disappear from inventories as previous weapons did, and as those weapons begin to kill and maim Americans, the crimes of George Bush and his gangster clan will grow more dire. But we have a chance to stop this from happening. We are hearing from pundits and others with little knowledge of the real world that Americans are tired of the war, tired of news about the war. I think what Americans are tired of is something that is so out-of-hand, so catastrophically fucked-up that it defies simple rationality.

This story is simple: We are sending weapons to our enemies. It makes an easy phone call to your Senators and Representatives: "This sale will put weapons and NVGs in the hands of insurgents who will use them to kill Oregonians." It takes less than two minutes to call one of their offices and deliver this message. This is not "Bring the troops home now," a message that has no basis (sadly) in reality. This is "Don't let the Pentagon supply our enemies."

Please take 5 minutes today and call Sen Wyden and your Member of Congress. Here are their websites with contact info: click, dial & repeat.


3,500 Oregonians are heading to Iraq early next year. Hundreds are over there right now. As a member of Military Families Speak Out, I can attest to the fear and pain we feel for our children, spouses and siblings who are serving their country. But to add to that "normal" level of anguish the knowledge that our own government, civilians and military alike who are sworn to defend the United States and uphold the Constitution, are instead preparing to betray that trust by supplying our enemies is just unconscionable. And, in my opinion, treasonous.

Please take 5 minutes to call Congress and demand this sale be stopped. The Iraqis don't need our best weapons, and they don't need night vision goggles: those are needed right here in this country and are in short supply because of the war. To send 4,000 of these precious and deadly instruments directly to people we know we can't trust and have proven willing to use our own weapons against American troops is certainly both a high crime and a traitorous act. And you can keep it from happening. Make a call. Tell your friends to make that call.

5 minutes. For my son, and for 3,500 brave Oregonians who deserve both your 5 minutes and the chance to escape this war alive.

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    Will do, T.A. Will also circulate this to anti-war movement folks in town.

    Relatedly though invertedly, part of the deployment of the Oregon Guard next year, beginning earlier than the main deployment, I think in January, is that all of the Guard's Blackhawk helicopters in the Metro area are to be sent over to Iraq. I.e. unavailable for rescue or firefighting or other home emergencies that are supposed to be the primary function of the guard.

    This is all sick, and we have to stop it.

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    This will certainly lead to a lot more US military funerals for Bush to miss.

  • scott ryan (unverified)

    the money disappeared because it goes to secret stuff, like DAPA, cia, army, it does not just disappear, some probliy, but billions would go to places like that 100%, its a good way to get them big money.

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