Thursday, February 4, 2010

New York Times - Millions Disappear With Fake Technology

In probably one of the more creative and egregious examples of war profiteering in a war that has hundreds of examples of waste, corruption and excess, the New York Times writes about the now infamous ADE 651 "technology".

Basically the technology known as ADE 651, which is a hand-held wand, wielded by Iraq’s security teams at hundreds of checkpoints, is supposed to detect car bombs and weapons. However this technology which is a battery-free device — supposedly powered by the static electricity of a soldier’s body — turns out to be a very expensive hoax.

After widespread doubts, including warnings by American military officials who never used ADE 651's, Britain finally banned the devices’ export and arrested the manufacturer for fraud. But not before Iraq bought more than 800 wands, which cost $250 each to make but drew up to $60,000 each from the Baghdad government.

This boondoggle cost the Iraqi government $48 million, most of which probably came directly or indirectly from the US taxpayers.

The ridiculously obvious hoax is very frustrating to many within the technology sector who are developing very real and useful technologies that can be used in security, industrial and consumer applications.

The question is, how can such a crude and obviously fraudulent tool, fool an entire process, while very useful technologies, languish for years as they slog through a bureaucratic procurement process that seemingly rewards inaction over innovation?

Apparently greed and corruption in certain situations have little to impede their progress...

To read the New York Times Editorial, visit:

To learn more about a very real and effective technology that is being deployed around the globe that will protect millions, visit:

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