Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Obama 'Admin' approves $2.5 million order of Tear gas for Egypt after after removing the company’s name and country of origin.
Obama 'Admin' approves $2.5 million order of Tear gas for Egypt after after removing the company’s name and country of origin.(WT).The United States has been exporting tear gas to Egypt in its effort to battle nationwide unrest. The Egyptian Interior Ministry has won U.S. approval to order 140,000 tear gas cannisters from an American company.
The Egyptian procurement was coordinated with the Defense Ministry, the leading recipient of U.S. assistance. “The permit from the U.S. government was obtained after removing the company’s name and country of origin written on the items,” an Interior Ministry memorandum said.
The memorandum, dated Jan. 28 by Maj. Gen. Magdy Gohary, said the tear gas order from the U.S. firm Combined System reached $2.5 million. Gohary said the tear gas shipment, which weighs 57,000 tons, was meant to reach Egypt in April.
Correspondence released by Egypt’s Al Masri Al Yom daily reported that security forces were running out of tear gas after months of battling pro-democracy opponents of the Islamist regime of President Mohammed Morsi. Gohary, head of the police supply department, said the administration of President Barack Obama was holding up orders for Egypt’s police and Central Security Forces.
“The U.S. government was stringent in issuing export permits for Egypt items that have been contracted since July, because of the unstable situation in Egypt and what was circulated by the media and rights groups about the U.S. company’s effect on protesters while using [the gas canisters] against rioters in Egypt,” Gohary said. On Feb. 25, the State Department confirmed the tear gas export to Egypt.
Officials said Washington was urging training of Egyptian security forces in the use of the tear gas. “When used appropriately these products can save lives and protect property,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said.
The Egyptian correspondence said the shipment — which consisted of 70,000 gas bombs and 70,000 long-range gas projectiles — was delayed, which required the intervention of the Defense Ministry. An Interior Ministry memo asked the Defense Ministry to deploy air force jets to transport the tear gas, arranged by Combined Systems’ agent in Egypt, Al Guindy Import and Export Co. “Due to the company’s failure in importing the shipment, citing the difficult procedures governing importing from abroad, and the Interior Ministry’s urgent need [for tear gas], we thought we would write to you to take the necessary steps to approve transferring the shipment on board of a military jet from the United States to Egypt,” Interior Ministry Maj. Gen. Osama Ismail wrote. “Al Guindy Co. is willing to pay for the shipping costs.”Hmmmm..........Morsi must be thinking 'It's nice to have friends in high places'.Read the full story here.