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Tax dollars well spent

The US Navy is caught in ANOTHER scandal where officers took bribes in exchange for overspending on port services by millions of dollars. It appears as though our military officers are better at lining their own pockets than they are at actually winning wars or avoiding collisions with other ships.

One reply on “Tax dollars well spent”

Fat Leonard’s actions were an open secret for years.

On the merchant shipping side, the US and sometimes Germany and the UK are the only nations where Baksheesh is absent for port calls. Call it what you want, Baksheesh, Cappabar or La Mordita, bribery is essential business to getting things done. In many places, it’s as simple as giving out cartons of Marlboros to linehandlers, and smokes and whiskey to tugboaters, pilots and lionehandling foremen, esp. in Muslim nations. The port ‘agent’ hired by the charterer, shipowner or government acts as an intermediary and will usually work as a go-between the captain and the outstretched hands. Bribing the agent to weigh your interests as much as possible is essential, and any choke point to operations will have someone who needs to be bribed. Guys like Fat Leonard and The Rat Fuck do the same sort of ‘expediting’ for merchant ships and the US navy for shipyard, stores and staying on the right side of Port State Control.
They are certainly not the only ones employed by shipowners AND Uncle Sugar to make things happen in the 3rd world. I’ve always wondered how American shipowners account for bribes and ‘presents’ in the ledger.

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