Nope, it just wasn't enough for fed.gov to arm drug dealers and street gangs on the taxpayer's dime with the Fast & the Furious. With the ATF vying hard for the prized honor of the Most Incompetence Government Agency Award, the US State Department is stepping up its own efforts to get back in the running.
First, we just can't keep our nose out of other people's business, and the U.S. supplied conventional arms to the rebels and "liberators" (which included al Qaeda) who sought to overthrow crackpot Libyan dictator "Hey Moe" Gadhafi's regime. In the aftermath of the fighting, unguarded Libyan military warehouses and arms depots were looted at will. And just what kinds of weapons have the righteous warriors of the Religion of Peace gotten their dirty little mitts on? Among lots of other ordnance, SAMs. From ABC News:
"Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch first warned about the problem after a trip to Libya SIX MONTHS AGO. He took pictures of pickup truckloads of the missiles being carted off during another trip just a few weeks ago.
"I myself could have removed several hundred if I wanted to, and people can literally drive up with pickup trucks or even 18 wheelers and take away whatever they want," said Bouckaert, HRW's emergencies director. "Every time I arrive at one of these weapons facilities, the first thing we notice going missing is the surface-to-air missiles."
That's right folks, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. As many as twenty thousand of them. They used to just call them SAMs, but now they are MANPADs, Man-Portable Air Defense Systems. I really doubt they will see much "defensive" use.
For those unfamiliar with the SA-7 missile, the originally Soviet weapons were right up there with the Kalashnikov for exporting to Third World Hellholes. Now copies are made in numerous countries. Known as the Strela (arrow) by the former USSR, and dubbed SA-7 Grail by NATO, these are undoubtedly the improved Strela-2M or SA-7b models, weapons so simple even a jihadists can run one.
The gunner visually acquires the target, powers up the electronics, and tracks the aircraft with either open sights or improved optical sights. When or if the missile's IR heat-seeker locks onto the target, the gunner gets a light and buzzer to tell him to launch. Sa-7s are "tail chasers"; the aircraft has to have already passed by for the seeker to lock onto the hot exhaust. Then the 22-pound missile chases the aircraft for over 4 kilometers or to a 7,500 ft ceiling, where a 2-1/2 pound warhead detonates by impact or graze fuse or a timer. They're not too big of a threat to fast movers, unless fired in large numbers, but they're rough on helicopters and hell on civilian airliners. Which, of course, is a terrorist's favorite target.
One of the most infamous examples of this was the September 1978 shoot-down of Air Rhodesia Flight 825, a Vickers Viscount passenger plane out of Kariba, a popular tourist and vacation spot. The glorious "freedom fighters" of Joshua Mqabuko Obama Nyongolo Nkomo's Red-backed ZIPRA (Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army) fired a Soviet-made Sa-7 and hit the Viscount shortly after take-off, destroying both starboard engines and setting the bird on fire. The crew made a good belly landing in a farm field, but then hit an unseen dry creekbed, causing the plane to flip over and burst into flame.
In February of 1979, ZIPRA shot down another regularly scheduled passenger flight with an Sa-7. All 59 civilians aboard were killed when the plane crashed into a ravine and exploded.
So now there's 20,000 of these damn missiles floating around Libya (or already out of the country). Gee, you think maybe terrorists might just get their hands on a few of these things?
Not to worry, though. At the end of September, the White House assured reporters that they had ONE State Department official and FIVE private contractors on the ground in Libya looking into the problem. That comes out to about 1.1 million people, 113,226 square miles, and 3,666 missiles for each one of them to check. No problem.
Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro comfortingly reassures us that the government, "does not have a clear picture of how many missiles they're trying to track down." Not to worry, though. Now that the horses are all gone over the horizon, our government is talking about maybe considering looking into closing the barn door. A White House spokesman assures us:
"We expect to deploy additional personnel to assist the TNC [Libya's "transitional government"] as they expand efforts to secure conventional arms storage sites. We're obviously at a governmental level -- both State Department and at the U.N. and elsewhere -- working with the TNC on this."
Wow. The State Department, the United Nations, and a bunch of Muzzie revolutionaries all working together. If that's not a recipe for a giant cluster fudge, I don't know what is.
Meanwhile, TSA is probing toddlers at the airports, INS and the Border Patrol have instructions from on high to "catch-and-release", the ATF is arming criminals, the USDA is going after children's bunny rabbits, the FDA is beating down Amish dairy farmers, the FBI continues to investigate and/or create crimes by clowns like the Hutaree Militia, New York City Police are framing people on drug charges to make their arrest quotas, and the White House and DOJ are deeply concerned about "islamaphobia" and "domestic terrorists".
Don't you feel safer now that the government's on the job? You may have to worry about your flight being shot down in flames by a terrorist missile, but at least you know you're not carrying a bomb attached to your junk.