Ex-congressman finds second career as international arms trader
Joe Raedle/Getty Images With “merchant of death” Viktor Bout out of the picture, who will step in to keep the international arms trade humming? How about an ex-U.S. congressman? Wired’s Sharon Weinberger, also author of last week’s FP web exclusive, recently reported that former Pennsylvania Congressman Curt Weldon has found a new job brokering arms ...
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Wired’s Sharon Weinberger, also author of last week’s FP web exclusive, recently reported that former Pennsylvania Congressman Curt Weldon has found a new job brokering arms deals between Russian and Ukrainian arms suppliers and the Iraqi and Libyan governments.Though he’s currently under FBI investigation for corruption during his time in office, Weldon hasn’t let that slow his private-sector activities. He’s now the head of Defense Solutions, a Pennsylvania-based firm that is starting to make a name for itself as a weapons-trading middleman.
Companies like Defense Solutions allow the U.S. government to circumvent regulations by contracting with an American company, which then buys arms from Eastern European countries to deliver to Iraq. The company is also planning deals with sketchier customers like the blacklisted Russian company Rosoboronexport and the government of Libya, which is still under a US arms embargo. And Weldon isn’t the only Washington insider with links to the trade. Another Defense Solutions team member that might ring a bell is former White House drug czar General Barry McAffrey.
The U.S. government doesn’t seem too inclined to stop these guys. While someone in Congress might have thrown a red flag in years past, the war on terror has apparently made the rules a bit more flexible, allowing companies like Defense Solutions to contract with governments and agencies that the U.S. considers dangerous. Good to know there’s still a place for America’s worst congressmen.
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