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Bomb Sniffing Snake Oil Exposed

by christian on November 3, 2010

There’s nothing like a Hobbesian conflict zone to smoke out the bottom feeders of the defense industry. And when the car bomb and suicide vest are top killers in your country, who wouldn’t grasp at straws to find an easy solution.

The Washington Post ran a story today that should remind DT readers what’s wrong with defense industry scam artists and their callous profiteering on the worries of a war ravaged populace.

The ADE-651 bomb detecting device has been debunked by Western experts and media investigations for years, but in its desperate attempt to stem the rash of bombings across the country, Iraqi security services, until very recently, deemed the device a success.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry inspector general recently determined that wands used by police as the frontline defense in the country’s fight against bombs are worthless.

His finding was unsurprising. But in today’s Iraq, it had the potential to be politically explosive. What the ministry did in response to the inspector general’s conclusion speaks volumes about how the Iraqi government works these days — and why so often it doesn’t.

For years, U.S. military officials have called the devices a scam. The British government this year jailed the manufacturer of the ADE-651 gadgets on fraud charges and banned the company from exporting more.

Whether it’s pure stupidity, blind faith, pure corruption or embarrassment over the $85 million dumped into this bomb-sniffing alchemy, the Iraqi interior ministry has still not removed the devices from checkpoints. No need to get on your hands and knees and do a proper search for carbombs Ahmed, just point this antenna and it’ll find it for you…

Be sure to read the rest of the Post’s story on the ADE-651.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sammy November 3, 2010 at 12:23 pm

This news is a little late, BBC covered it in-depth months ago!
Corruption on part of the Iraqi Interior Ministry has led to these being fielded in such numbers. The fact that the ‘devices’ have been proven to be ineffective, yet they remain in use shows the powers that be in Iraq are only concerned with lining their pockets. Its not like they aren’t educated and don’t have their own specialists out there who are capable of taking a look at these ‘devices’.
The UK Govt. knew about these devices and banned them being used by UK forces, how they felt it was ok to allow the export of these to Iraq where there was a real and prevalent bomb threat on a daily basis is beyond comprehension.

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Paul November 3, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Let's put Jim McCormick, ATSC's managing director, in a room with a bomb buried under the floor and let him find it with his ADE 651. If he can, the bomb doesn't blow; if not, it's bye-bye to Jim.

Seems fair enough, doesn't it?

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Sammy November 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm

When the ADE 651 was effectivly banned from being used by British and CF troops, and the company in question had been 'flagged' by agencies in the US, why did the UK Govt. allow the ADE 651 to be exported to Iraq?

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Sammy November 3, 2010 at 1:19 pm

And also W. Post is rather late in bringing this news to the masses, its been covered in depth for quite sometime by the BBC…

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blight November 3, 2010 at 2:01 pm

It’s stupid that the Iraqis ignored the general consensus amongst American and British law enforcement (who were likely advising Iraqi Police) and bought bogus equipment. Every bomb that goes off kills civilians, weakens the Iraqi government and makes the counterinsurgency effort look like buffoonery, which only makes AQ look better.

If these were pharma products in the US, the FDA has the power to shut down a factory producing poor product indefinitely. Surprised similar protections aren’t in place for essential military/law enforcement hardware…

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medicinehorse179 November 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

dude, the poison *pharma* sells in this country, has been killing folks for years…look how many kids are on "adderall", "ritalin", etc…FDA only encourages the drug makers…There's too much $$$ involved…That is the problem. That, and you know how the "Republican party" is always pushing for *MORE* "gov't regulation"???….Maybe THERE is your problem…Too much Republican-backed rules & regulations…And the "Dems" just let them get away with it, right?….Right?…whatever…

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Christopher Bloom November 3, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Put him on trial for murder.

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DockScience November 3, 2010 at 4:52 pm

The good news is that these wands are finding thousands of new water wells.

Where's James Randi when you need him?

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RobH November 4, 2010 at 6:39 am

Q: "Where's James Randi when you need him?"
A: Right there among the first people to sound the alarm, back in August 2008.
http://www.randi.org/site/swift-blog/211-swift-au

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Oblat November 4, 2010 at 7:30 am

Only $85 million ? With crates of US$ being shipped out of Kabul airport this is should be considered a success story.

At the end of the day the British company made a fortune the Iraqis collected a nice bag of kickbacks and the US government paid for it all. Sounds like business as usual.

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nraddin November 5, 2010 at 2:04 am

People will just believe anything. Stay skeptical the truth usually finds it's way out. Never stop using your logic and science to understand everything and anything, no matter how much those with the divining rods, alien stories, or clothing of the church tell you otherwise.

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Oil Tank Services October 30, 2012 at 12:12 am

I think it's because of their way of thinking or let's say it has something to do with the influence of the media since it seems like most people tends to believe what they see on the news.

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mortgage lender August 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Let’s put Jim McCormick, ATSC’s md, in a space with a blast hidden under the ground and let him discover it with his ADE 651. If he can, the blast doesn’t blow; if not, it’s bye-bye to Jim.

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