US military officials have been fighting for years to spread information about this, even giving misleading answers that contradict their internal records.
The report revealed that “military guns not only disappear, but those stolen weapons are used in repeated shootings in the United States, or used in threats to a large number of civilians, and a large number of them have been sold to street gangs.”US military officials cited information indicating the disappearance of several hundred firearms during the first decade of the twenty-first century, as internal Army memos obtained by the Associated Press show much higher losses than was disclosed.
Efforts to suppress information go back nearly 10 years, and have been hiding information since 2012, when the Associated Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request for lost gun records, where all four armed services are supposed to report lost firearms. or stolen.
She pointed out that “the former official who supervised this record, how he was directed by his superiors to prevent the release of this record, and to hide all the information in it.”
The Associated Press filed legal challenges to obtain those records, forcing military officials to release a list of the missing weapons, which was apparently incomplete, and later disavow that list, only to release a second set of records that also did not provide a complete number. .
The secrecy surrounding this sensitive topic extends to the rest of the US military, where the Air Force has not provided data on the missing weapons, saying the answers are in federal records published 1.5 years ago.
Also, “the Ministry of Defense has not issued reports on the losses of weapons, which it receives from branches of the armed forces, and provided only rough totals.”
The internal memos of the army reveal a high number of lost firearms, as the number of lost weapons was much higher in the army’s internal memos, according to confidential documents seen by the US agency.
The Pentagon has regularly stopped sharing information about missing weapons with Congress for years, apparently since around the 1990s.
Defense officials said they would still notify lawmakers if the theft or loss met the definition of “substantial,” but no such notification has been given since at least 2017.
On Tuesday, when the Associated Press first published its investigation, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connector Democrat, demanded during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that the Pentagon revive periodic reporting.
In a written statement to the Associated Press, the Pentagon said it “looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to ensure appropriate oversight.”
Blumenthal also challenged Army Secretary Christine Wormott about her branch’s release of the information.
“I’d be happy to look at how we deal with this problem,” Warmot replied, describing herself as “open” to a new reporting requirement, and saying the number of military firearms that civilians have likely acquired is small.
“However, obtaining data from the registry requires a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act,” she added.
It seems that the reason for the US military’s concealment of this matter, what a source in the Pentagon said, is that the matter is much more than the mere loss or theft of firearms, and therefore the Pentagon is afraid of revealing this information to the public.
The source asserts that “the lost weapons include heavy weapons, machine guns, automatic weapons, high-powered explosives, and a huge number of ammunition. Its destination is unknown and where it went.”
Army spokesman Lt. Col. Brandon Kelly said the records are “the Army’s most accurate physical casualty list,” noting that again, the total of records provided was about 230 guns or handguns missing during 2010, or clearly less.
When asked in an interview whether the military is analyzing trends in lost weapons, the US military official said there can be murders, rapes and property crimes in the US military, but not weapons lost or stolen.
But in fact, in 2019 and 2020, the military circulated “internal” memos in which it described the loss of military weapons as “of paramount importance,” as the numbers of “weapons and weapons components lost remain the same or increase.”
The “Associated Press” confirmed that the matter suggests widespread suspicions of corruption being practiced in the cadres of the US military, which plays a role behind the disappearance of these weapons.