Exports of defense articles to repressive Arab regimes by the United Kingdom have re-ignited a debate as to whether Parliament should have the right to approve certain defense — or should I say “defence”? — exports utilizing a process similar to the Congressional notification procedure required by the U.S. Arms Export Control Act. To illustrate a story on this debate, The Guardian used the photo below, allegedly showing ammunition that was found in Benghazi and had supposedly been exported from the U.K. to Gaddafi in Libya prior to Gaddafi’s final stand.
A reader points out the ammo box bears the markings of the Imperial Chemical Industry Metals Division. But before you get out your pitchforks and torches and storm the gates of that company, you should understand that the Imperial Chemical Industry Metals Division ceased to exist in 1962, when it was renamed Imperial Metal Industries Ltd., as you can read here on IMI’s website.
So one of three things happened here. IMI was sending stuff out in 60-year-old wooden crates with the wrong name on it. Or, perhaps, someone at Imperial Chemical Industries had a flux-capacitor equipped DeLorean in 1960 and drove the ammo through time and space to Benghazi, Libya, in 2010. Or, finally, the editors at the Guardian were knocking down pints at the local pub when they should have been on Google.
We report, you decide.