Letters from the Issue of February 12, 2009
He's a great arms dealer: Your February 5 story "Armed Again" is the most biased piece of sensationalist writing I have ever seen. The author, Penn Bullock, intentionally misleads readers. For example, anyone who was following the AEY story knows that although there were eight contracts that didn't go well, the company successfully completed more than 200. Even firms such as General Dynamics have a failure rate higher than that. And how is Ammoworks supposed to know to whom their customers are selling? Ammunition is unregulated; therefore no one is required to know who the end customer is, even if it is the U.S. government. So how is the indicted arms dealer "making money off you and me," as your paper states? He's just giving his customers a good, legal deal. This article is utter tabloid crap. Though Efraim Diveroli seems like a sleaze, everything he has done seems to be legal. The prosecutors rushed into a very legally shaky case because the New York Times embarrassed them. Which is why they're giving Diveroli his money back. They don't have a legal leg to stand on.
He's a horrible arms dealer: AEY failed on 11, not eight, transactions with the government. The government paid AEY no money on about half of its contracts in 2005; it seized some of AEY's money too. The indicted arms dealer got $10 million for two contracts after he was indicted. So that's how he made money off of you and me.
It was illegal for Diveroli to sell Chinese ammo. The contract said so. Diveroli's defense lawyers have apparently not contested that he shipped it anyway. He is also accused of misrepresenting the ammo as Hungarian, which is fraud... That's also illegal.
Then there are the watch lists... and the prior investigations of Diveroli, including two times for shipping Chinese war materiel to Iraq. Not to mention that Diveroli shipped ammo that was often extremely old in cardboard packages that sometimes broke apart in cargo planes.
Just don't think of him as a Jewish arms dealer: Mr. Diveroli is neither an agent nor a resident of Israel. If he were, he might have thought twice about selling the moderate Afghans faulty ammunition. They are, after all, on the front lines of the struggle against the very elements that would most enjoy seeing Israel pushed into the sea.
Diveroli is manifestly not a creature of Israel. He is the product of a uniquely American worldview: that in which the fast buck and the situational ethic go hand in hand. In the kibbutz, the priorities are different.
Some people have obviously decided to judge the nations of the Middle East on a sliding scale. In only one of those nations could people debate matters of international rights and wrongs as openly as they do in your newspaper. So what's up with the hatred of Jews? Why the instinctive loathing of the Middle East's lone moderate, semi-secular state? And why assume Diveroli is in league with some nefarious Israeli conspiracy, when his actions directly harm the Israeli cause?
At Least Tibor Isn't Shady
This guy ruined Miramar: In response to Tim Elfrink's January 29 story, "The Man Who Built Miami": Tibor Hollo also helped destroy Miami — or at least set it back a generation! Look at the beautiful and historic Trinity Episcopal Cathedral near the Miami side of the Venetian Causeway — if you can see it. The church founded by Julia Tuttle is surrounded by looming concrete parking decks and overshadowed by ugly high-rise buildings on three sides, which his various business entities built. The old Miramar neighborhood down the block in the 1970s was a tree-shaded community of shops, cafés, and art galleries that occupied many of the old boom-time mansions — all killed by the concrete sprawl.
Yeah, the man built a lot of Miami, and most of what he built is forgettable urban junk architecture. Thank goodness the recession hit before he could build yet another parking garage on steroids!
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