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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Curt Weldon, Arms Dealer?

I was going to blog about this on Thursday, but I'm out of town and nowAtrios beat me to it. It seems that my former congressman, "Crazy" Curt Weldon, is now running arms between Russia and Libya. Weldon's been working hard to bring the crazy since he left office, and this doesn't surprise me at all.

Actually, this latest episode isn't so much crazy as it is slimy. My favorite of Weldon's earlier antics was when he planned to go all Indiana Jones and dig up Iragi WMDs in Syria. This time, according to, Weldon is " helping broker deals between Russian and Ukranian weapons suppliers and the Iraqi and Libyan governments as part of his new job with a private American defense consulting firm."

As Atrios insinuates sarcastically, this is precisely the kind of thing that congressmen do. The revolving door between government and the private sector raises all kinds of conflicts, and congressmen know that if they are "good" to a company then they have a lobbying job or consulting job waiting for them.

Apparently, this enterprise centered around an American company (and Weldon) serving as a front for Russian arms sales to Iraq and Libya. Russia, for political and legal reasons, can't easily sell directly to Iraq. So Weldon's company buys from Russia, and sells to Iraq, keeping a little bit for themselves and my former congressmen.

Money quote:
"The administration, he acknowledged at the time, did not welcome the idea of an American company selling Russian weapons to potentially unfriendly countries. But two years later, Weldon, now a private citizen and chief strategic officer for Defense Solutions, appears to be working on precisely that sort of deal. And whether illegal or not, Defense Solutions' business represents a new phenomenon in the international arms trade business.
Curt Weldon should be proud that his international arms dealing may not be illegal.

Interestingly, Weldon used to teach a course here at Drexel, and was friendly with some of the College Republicans. I wonder what they think of this whole episode? Actually, I think I can guess: 1) It's not true and/or is being misreported by the "liberal media." 2) Of course he's an arms dealer! the world needs weapons! Freedom! 3) Admiration, as they all aspire to squirm their way into congress and use their office and connections to profit from international arms sales.