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back to article US defence biz fined for busting China arms embargo

A top US defence contractor has been fined $75m (£47.8m) for flogging software to China that was a vital component in the country's first attack helicopter. United Technologies and its two subsidiaries Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) and Hamilton Sundstrand 'fessed up to more than 500 violations of export restrictions in a federal …

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Unbelievable! One law for them ....

A US defense contractor breaks US arms embargo by selling software designed for miliatary use, lies to the US government about it and gets fined. Christopher Tappin gets extradited, locked up and faces 35 years for allegedly selling batteries that *might* be useful in a missile.

Why do USAians wonder why the rest of the world hold them in such contempt.?

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Pint

Re: Unbelievable! One law for them ....

Being 4th July...

Happy B-Ark Day!

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Anonymous Coward

It's Good to be the King^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H a Rich Corporation!

"Corporations" aren't sent to jail.

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Re: It's Good to be the King^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H a Rich Corporation!

Actually violating ITAR often does result in jail especially for a deal this big. In this case it looks like the US has chosen not to do so. They probably don't want to upset the company too much as they still need the software for the US attack helicopters.

It does make a joke of them applying US laws to the rest of the world though when they don't even follow it properly in the US!

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Re: It's Good to be the King^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H a Rich Corporation!

Hun > How are we applying US law to the reset of the world ? a US company was told the can not do some thing by the US government.

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Anonymous Coward

How are we applying US law to the reset of the world ?

well certain US politicians, who should actually know the law better, calling for the prosecution (and in some more extreme cases 'execution') of a certain white haired Australian shit-stirrer for acts of treason even though he's not a US citizen (who also didn't personally steal anything but simply made it available to the public much like many official and respected US media outlets which haven't come under the same sort of scrutiny) is maybe one of many examples he was referring to.

There's also the whole KimDotcom fiasco in NZ as well as many many more if you care to do some research.

Don't worry though, we all actually like and admire most things about the US, it's just that quite often we shake our heads and roll our eyes at the hypocrisy of many US government officials, much like we roll our eyes and shake our heads at our own politicians, yours just tend to have a greater reach and influence than ours which for the most part can simply be ignored with no real effect felt.

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Re: It's Good to be the King^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H a Rich Corporation!

Because if you buy an American defence product, you are forced to comply with ITAR, no matter that it is just a small component in for example your plane, the whole plane is now ITAR controlled. You cannot sell it to anyone else without permission, cannot use some else to service it without permission and need to do an unbelievable amount of paperwork all the time. Effectibvely the US can now control what you do with that plane even if you made it yourself or bought it outside the US.

That is how the US apply their laws abroad and ITAR is the worst culprit.

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Re: It's Good to be the King^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H a Rich Corporation!

Then don't buy a US product then.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Desk Jockey Re: It's Good to be the King^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H a Rich Corporation!

Sure, People have been jailed for ITAR violations. Back in the 90s, some Mexican nationals were put in US Federal prison for violating ITAR regulations. What did they actually do? They were moving back to Mexico, and among their posessions was a set-top cable box (cryptography inside).

But the executives of this company said, "Oops, Duhhhh... we're sorry....", and the corporation was fined. I'll lay money down which says the execs walk away from this with no jail time.

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Angel

Re: How are we applying US law to the reset of the world ?

Allow me to clear up a simple misunderstanding:

The "certain white haired Australian shit-stirrer" committed the unforgivable act of embarrassing the U$ Government and its elected elite. That is an act of treason punishable by extradition, death, or at the least, life imprisonment without parole.

The U$ defense contractor simply went beyond the boundaries of the playing field in quest of profits; that is an understandable breach, to be punished with a profit-slap and a return of a portion to encourage more careful rule-minding in the future.

U$ sons and daughters who might be blown away one day by Chinese armament developed with U$ military secrets? Not to mind ... we have a surplus of 'em and they're starting to clog the unemployment lines.

See the difference? Yes, I thought you would ...

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Mugs

They broke the law and sold the Chinese this technology on a promise they would get a lucrative contract out of it.

The Chinese took the tech and gave them the finger on the contract.

They were played like a cheap fiddle, the fine should have been much larger to hammer home the stupidity of the people in control.

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Mushroom

Re: fine should have been much larger to hammer home the stupidity of the people in control.

IMHO, the `fine` should be PERMANENT blacklisting of the affected companies from EVER getting any government contracts; and any existing ones revoked.

If those ID10Ts in Washington DC had any brains (and I seriously doubt that many do), if any company is found violating ITAR regulations, that should be automatic grounds for revoking the contract - no notice required.

And I agree, the Chinese probably said to them selves as they did this deal: "ah-so asshole!". No doubt they were laughing all the way to the bank.

Now, wait a minute, I wonder if any of these incidents occurred AFTER the invasion of Iraq/Afghanistan? Because, that would mean that since we are 'at war'; and treason during wartime is a capital offense; those involved could be executed?

Enquiring minds want to know?

<--- Because we better watch China closely.

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Re: Mugs

Mostly agree except I wouldn't have made it a bigger fine. I would have made it the corporate defense contractor death sentence: Cancel all existing military defense contracts and prevent them on bidding on new ones for five years.

I'm sure there's a clause somewhere in the contract that says the US maintains rights to use the software and even gets a copy of the source code if the company goes belly up.

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Unhappy

Re: fine should have been much larger to hammer home the stupidity of the people in control.

"IMHO, the `fine` should be PERMANENT blacklisting of the affected companies from EVER getting any government contracts; and any existing ones revoked."

1 word.

Consolidation. There are not enough separate govt con-tractors *left* to ditch one and go with another. USG has created a situation where there many defense item are (involuntarily for them) *sole* source.

"If those ID10Ts in Washington DC had any brains (and I seriously doubt that many do), if any company is found violating ITAR regulations, that should be automatic grounds for revoking the contract - no notice required."

One of the key features of doing business with USG is they can cancel *any* contract unilaterally *without* compensation. Most other governments do not.

The billions govt con-tractors (I'd call any business that gets >50% of its revenue as a con-tractor) on "managing" their relationship with USG (or more likely the various Senators and Congresspeople on the relevant committees) is a key distinguishing feature of this sort of business.

"Now, wait a minute, I wonder if any of these incidents occurred AFTER the invasion of Iraq/Afghanistan? Because, that would mean that since we are 'at war'; and treason during wartime is a capital offense; those involved could be executed?"

Don't be silly.

Execution is for the little people.

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Re: fine should have been much larger to hammer home the stupidity of the people in control.

You forgot your <sarcasm> tags. But, in this case, it was drippingly obvious.

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Anonymous Coward

What a bunch of

pratts...

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Unhappy

$20m fine!

Why are the people who decided to do this in jail? True you can't send a buisness to jail but just because you break a law while at work does not mean you are not responsible. The same goes for banks and their staff over this side of the pond.

If that's not the case, I'm off to rob a bank and claim it's a calculated risk, shame I'd have to pay corprate tax on it though if I don't get caught.

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Coat

"Z-10 attack chopper – a battlefield-ready beast capable of carrying 30mm cannons, anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles and unguided rockets" -- Dear Santa, for Christmas this year I would like ...

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RE: Dear Santa, for Christmas this year

JUST what your everyday BOFH needs to have on hand when dealing with an incompetent mangler.

I picture Simon with his remote controlled helicopter flying into the PHB's office, and letting a salvo loose.

Don't give me ideas!

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Coat

Re: RE: Dear Santa, for Christmas this year

Maybe I could ask my Boss for one on Sysdmin day.

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Anonymous Coward

If they wanted some software....

Surprised they didn't just go and 'download' it. That's usually their style.

(And that square thing was years ago. who gives etc.)

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It;s call high treason and all those involved need to be EXECUTED NOW.

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how about a trillion dollards fine? instead of a slap on the hand?

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Anonymous Coward

Too important to prosecute properly

A fine!!, They're lucky they weren't prosecuted under The Patriot Act. They should count themselves lucky that their software/company is valued as "too important to prosecute properly" by the US military and government, even after they LIED and gave FALSE STATEMENTS to the State Department.

Maybe Mr Assange should have spent some of his downtime writing and selling missile guidance software to the US under a company name so as to also be deemed "too important to prosecute properly"

Even better, maybe the Taliban should just fund a Washington lobby group as everything can obviously be bought for a price and would still leave room for The Patriot Act to remain in place simply to intimidate subversive non profit based entities that have nothing to offer/sell the currently sitting administration.

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One law for corporations...

... another law for individuals.

America truly is the land of the free(dom from prosecution if you've got your hands down enough senator's pants). I don't hate America, but I do utterly despise anyone who thinks this is right.

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Black Helicopters

Re: One law for corporations...

I've always felt that there should be a "corporate death penalty", with a substantially lower bar than for a human -- in the case of a corporation doing something of this nature that would have gotten some schmoe life without parole, the government should simply impound said corporation, and sell off their assets, and donate all the proceeds to charity. All employees let go, and any military secrets impounded by the government. I think that a corporation does have rights, but the number and quality should be less than what a human is endowed with, not more.

The stockholders need to sit up and pay attention to when their corporation is out of hand, and richly deserve this roundhouse kick to their financial 'nads. The employees need to learn that if they look the other way while Mr. Big violates the law, they'll be out on the street.

Maybe I'm the only US conservative that feels this way, but I do, so there.

...and don't even get me started on what ought to happen to the criminal banks that aren't banks anymore.

[putting teeth back in.]

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Silver badge

Re: One law for corporations...

You're not the only one. I'd guess you are typical.

And you should note that it is the International Progressives who are in charge at the moment. The same ones who like Mao's principle that all power flows from the barrel of a gun and wish they could emulate the Chinese in the USA so they could more efficiently implement their changes.

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Unhappy

Re: One law for corporations...

You seem to presume that the members of your govt and President are in charge of your government. Yet the US has a system of governance that effectively prevents that.

You have a highly homogenous group of politicians (Forget gender and ethnicity loot at their wealth, their inherit wealth and their employment) with what appears to be a very high level of autonomy and an agenda which usually starts "Get enough cash to get re-elected (by all means necessary)."

So in reality the President is "in charge" as much as his world view aligns with theirs. "W" did real well on this basis. How history will judge him is another matter.

Perhaps they should change the title from "President" to "Cat herder in chief"

Cynical? Moi?

Yes that is a copy of "Take back your government" sticking out of my pack.

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Black Helicopters

Re: One law for corporations...

Yeah, Codevilla said it all.

http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/16/americas-ruling-class-and-the/

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Bronze badge

Re: One law for corporations...

Maybe I'm the only US conservative that feels this way, but I do, so there.

Well, I would be considered a flaming liberal, and believe it or not, I agree with you.

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And those movers and shakers in the USA wonder why the rest of the world no longer trusts them or takes them seriously, or why they now get laughed at to their faces, rather than just behind their backs??

Perhaps if they spent less time worrying about the prospect of iPads getting to Iran or Assange getting to Ecuador, and more time monitoring their own defense contracting industry, they might retain greater control of their valuable military technology.

Wasn't it Lenin who said something like 'the capitalists will sell us the rope we will use to hang them'?

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Mushroom

US military - most corrupt leigons of doom money can buy.

Some 25% of the money going on military spending - that is trillions of it; cannot be accounted for.

And I don't just mean the $3500 ash trays for the AWAC's.

I mean Dick Cheney style of accounting..... "Lets invade Iraq, because they caused 9-11, and because we have irrefutable proof of Sadams's imaginary WMD's and we will give all my companies the contracts - now I am billions richer.... "

Great Job being Secretary of State for Oilman "Dubbya Bush" and his cartel of US oilmen buddies.... who just happened to be planning invading and dividing up Iraq, for some 9 months before 9-11.

I mean you know... so the Chinese get a few attack helicopters... but the USA has something like 1500 or was that 7500 nukes in the stock pile....

What is that? The Empire of Death has all of their systems hacked... the missiles won't launch... "Ohhhhhhhh dear."

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