5 June 2009
US sells 'Nuke parts' to civilians
By Richard Norton-Taylor
Loopholes in the US regulations allow people to easily obtain and send overseas sensitive military hardware that could be used in nuclear devices, a government report says.
A US auditory report conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) watchdog agency revealed that military items -- like parts for making nuclear devices and guided missiles that could carry nuclear warheads, as well as night-vision devices, body armor and other hardware for ground combat -- could be easily purchased in the US and sent to other countries.
"There appears to be a gigantic loophole within our laws that makes it easy for our enemies to get hold of our superior military technology and use it against us," said Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, reported CNN on Thursday.
To show the "gigantic loophole" in the US regulation, GAO established fake firms to obtain military and dual use items -- which have both military and commercial use -- in the United States and ship them overseas.
It was proved that without requiring to violate any law these bogus companies could purchase the sensitive military hardware and send them abroad.
"The scandal here may be what is legal, not what is illegal," said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon.
Gregory Kutz, a GAO managing director who led the 13-month investigation maintained that it was impossible to check all travelers who want to leave the country as a result of their magnitude; hence, he suggested a ban on export of these items.
GAO warned that terrorist could capitalize on the legal loopholes and obtain sensitive military devices.
"The kind of front company we used and the kind of scheme we used is the kind being used by terrorist organizations today," Kutz said. "This was not a hypothetical situation; this is being done."