A United States firm exporting restricted items to a foreign country is not going to place the equipment into the hands of anyone and based on a letter which purports to originate from a foreign government.
Checks are going to be made. Export documentation has to be approved by the Bureau of Industry and Security and the requisite approvals granted. Unlike what the detractors of the government are saying, however, the process is not always as meticulous as they may feel.
In the case of military sales, this will inevitably involve detailed checks and clearance, but in the case of some device to locate from where a call originates, it is hardly likely that any detailed check would be made.
Today there are GPS systems commercially available. Thus, detailed checks on such purchases and on the authenticity of the requisite authorizations may not take place at all.
In fact, when it comes to the purchase of sensitive equipment requiring a licence, in excess of ten thousand applications are approved each year. It is impossible for meticulous checks to be made for all these applications.
The first thing that the critics should note is that there has to initially be the approval of the sale, for both domestic and export use. In fact, the overwhelming bulk of the applications each year, in excess of 10,000, are for use by foreign nationals within the United States of America. This too requires a permit.
It would be impossible for the US Government to carry out meticulous checks on all applications, including those specifically for exports. In many instances these applications are required for dual purpose items which would include the sort of computers that we learned was purchased and exported purportedly in the name of a Government Minister.
It is inconceivable for the government of Guyana to have purchased such sensitive equipment and to have gone through the diplomatic process and yet deny this. Why would the government deny that it was behind a purchase when there may be records to indicate that it did?
Why, also, it has equally been asked, would a foreign company under oath claim that it sold spy equipment to a sitting Minister of a government? Why would the government ask its Minister of Health of all persons to purchase that equipment? This makes no sense at all.
If the government was interested in purchasing sensitive equipment during a security crisis, why would it allow that equipment to be purchased by its Minister of Health and not its National Security Minister? Why would that equipment end up in the hands of someone outside of the government rather than in the hands of the government?
If this equipment was, as is being alleged, capable of intercepting phone calls, why would the government want it in the hands of someone who could use it against the government? Why would the United States authorities knowing that such equipment could be used for politically advantageous purposes grant an approval for it to be exported to Guyana?
It was in the defence’s interest to support the contention that the equipment was exported with authorization, for that will establish that the computer was not illegally obtained.