The strange and curious case of the Iraqi fake bomb detector debacle.

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The truly amazing part of the ‘fake bomb detectors in Iraq story’ is not the fact that UK business man James McCormick once sold millions of dollars worth of fake bomb detectors to the Iraqi government.

Nor is the amazing part the fact that the $ 40,000 bomb detectors were actually $2.99 repurposed golf ball detectors, made from plastic, a small antenna, and an inventory control sticker, like you find inside a video game to discourage shoplifting. In other words, the Iraqi forces would have a 87.65% better chance of detecting IEDs with a ferret tied to a stick.

But no, cats, the truly amazing part of the story, is that after Mr. McCormick got thrown in jail for fraud, after the Iraqi government and security forces knew the $40,000 bomb detector was utterly and completely worthless, that they had been conned, in a cruel and despicable shell game that preyed upon people’s fears …

the Iraqi security forces kept using the fake bomb detectors.

Some still do, in fact.

I don’t know if real bomb detectors would have made any difference at all in the huge bombing that ISIS just hit Baghdad with. But at least give people a fighting chance.  Yikes…

Here is a great article about this debacle. in The Atlantic.

 

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