**Posted by Phineas
Couldn’t be. I’m sure there’s an innocent explanation:
A mystery with potential international ramifications is unfolding in Panama, where authorities discovered military equipment hidden inside a North Korean-flagged ship that originated in Cuba.
Cuba has long been at odds with the United States, and North Korea is banned by the United Nations from importing and exporting most weapons because of its nuclear ambitions. Suspicions were further raised when the ship’s captain suffered an apparent heart attack, and then tried to commit suicide, Panama’s president said.
These facts were sufficiently intriguing for President Ricardo Martinelli to travel to the port and examine the ship himself.
The president tweeted a photo of what he saw — a green octagon-shaped tube with a cone at its end and another similar-looking piece of equipment behind it.
Is it a missile, a reported asked?
“Maybe,” Martinelli said. “I am not familiar with that, but it would be good if such things didn’t pass through Panama, which is a country that loves peace and not war.”
The Panamanians originally became suspicious when they heard there was a load illegal drugs on the ship (North Korea regularly raises money through the drug trade). Boarding the ship, instead of heroin under all those bags of brown sugar, they found something a lot more worrisome. President Martinelli has asked the UN to examine the cargo to determine what it really is (I suppose they could be massive cigar humidors), but you can bet the CIA will be all over it, too, working quietly in the background. Don’t be surprised of this cargo spends a long time in a Panamanian warehouse because of “customs irregularities” –long enough for us to dismantle and examine the missiles– before the rest of the cargo and the ship are released back to North Korea. This happens whenever the weapons of one power fall into the hands of another.
(And can you imagine what will happen to that crew when they do get back to North Korea? Consider this guy’s fate.)
Aside from the likely intelligence boon for us, though, this discovery raises several questions: Where were the missiles headed? North Korea? Iran? What was Cuba’s role: a transit point, or are they cooperating with the Norks on missile development, something that would concern us greatly? How long has this been going on, and is anyone else, such as Cuba’s client Venezuela, in on the operation?
This incident has given us a brief glimpse of the deadly-serious game being played behind the scenes between the United States and its adversaries, something we don’t often see because the MSM is covering what’s truly important, such as Kim Kardashian’s baby and Wendy Davis’ shoes. It’s a game the other side is playing for keeps.
Which makes it a good thing we have President Lead-From-Behind in charge.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)