Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The Saudi’s will get their arms, the Liberals will keep it quiet

the Germans will help? This writer also has questions about the security of the shipment

In a first for what is a very young blog, I have managed to get my hands on a piece of news to break. Quiet from any public release it would appear the Liberals have begun shipping the controversial Light Armoured Vehicle or LAV to Saudi Arabia.
(A diagram of the General Dynamics LAV - this diagram
gives little doubt as to the cargo of the trucks spotted)

Recently departed from Halifax is the Saudi flagged vessel “BAHRI TABUK” a Ro-Ro container ship (meaning roll on and roll off loading) that was loading yesterday on the Bedford Basin pier. This vessel is headed for the port of Bremerhaven Germany, a city that could be a port of call for the ship, or it could act as a transportation hub as the German city carries a great deal of heavy freight including cars, containers, and food. This also means that if the vessel does not continue on to Saudi Arabia, it is likely the German government is complicit in shipping Canadian arms to their Saudi buyers, a revelation that was previously unknown.

What makes this vessels stop in Halifax noteworthy is early this morning, just after 7am at least two transport trucks with Ontario plates, carrying what was clearly four of the new General Dynamics LAV were spotted traveling toward the Bedford basin shipping pier, where only one ship, the Bahri Tabuk was docked. 

(Shot of the first truck)

(Shot of the second truck)

With no announcement one can only assume the Liberals hoped this transport would go un-noticed, although with this being said, there is not much obscuring the highly controversial LAV from view. Secrecy aside, here’s where it gets even worse. These highly sophisticated pieces of military hardware, were barely covered and had no visible security as is obvious from the above pictures. Not only are we shipping LAVs to a country who may use them for questionable purposes, but we aren't even being that careful while doing it. 

These transport trucks have presumably traveled from the General Dynamics factory located in Ottawa with little more than the turret obscured by plastic wrap. These vehicles, could have easily been tampered traveled across some 1,400 km and this careless transport of controversial and dangerous military hardware should not be taken lightly. If you don't think damage is possible let me remind you that in 2011, US military hardware was damaged by an anti-war protestor while stoping over in Ireland. The protestor that attacked the aircraft at Shannon Airport and had to breech far more security than was afforded to these LAVs, so in my mind its very plausible that something could have happened to this shipment, or could happen to future deliveries. 

Though the photos are not clear, the person who sent them to this blog said there were “arabic looking letters” along the side of the vehicles, meaning presumably those operating them would be speaking this language. Further, these appear to be the exact design that General Dynamics would be producing , giving leave to any doubt that this is the controversial shipment covered endlessly in the Canadian press.

With the Liberals lack of coherent defence policy its not a surprise to me they continued with the move to sell LAVs to the Saudis. They had much to lose from canceling the deal, and other defence policy wedge issues like Single Surface Combatant vessels, and the F-35s that are that they can be public about. What is surprising to me, is the lack of security surrounding the transport of what is arguably the most controversial arms sale in recent memory.

Here are some additional pictures taken of the LAVs in transit. 

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