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View Diary: Pentagon forbids troops to buy better body armor (259 comments)

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  •  Likely true but not a conspiracy (none)
    I very much doubt that this has anything to do with the likelyhood that the owner of the company is a Republican donor.  My suspicion is that this is just military bureaucracy on display.  The Dragon Skin armor probably hasn't been through any formal testing by the army (or hasn't concluded testing), and therefore, they are saying this as a standard CYA thing.

    --- If trickle down economics worked, Marie Antoinette wouldn't have lost her head

    by sterno on Mon Jan 16, 2006 at 12:06:48 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yep (4.00)
      This has to be largely about crap like MIL specs and certification. Not to imply that this whole sphere of commerce isn't entirely corrupt and dominated by campaign contributions etc. It's just that there is a bureaucracy involved--one that thinks it's looking out for the soldiers' best interests.

      But if an aircraft maintenance crew in the Persian Gulf "figures out" (hypothetically) that they can make their planes invulnerable by just repainting Fastener X with a different brand of primer--they are forbidden from doing so until the whole plane had been recertified with the modified fastener. It's crazy, but that's the way it is. It takes a hillion-jillion lawyers to make any change that could potentially put lives in more danger than they already are.

      Of course, the situation with this body armor sounds pretty straightforward. And I can't really imagine that--if it were a priority--the Pentagon couldn't expedite certification. Recertifying an airplane is a big deal because so many things can depend on an "insignificant" detail like primer.

      With the body armor, either it usually stops bullets and flak, or it doesn't. Either it usually breaks when you dive behind cover, or it doesn't. There's no long-term corrosion or "fretting" effects or any of that crap to consider. Certification shouldn't take years and years... unless it's just not a priority for Rumsfeld.

      Apply pressure. Rinse. Repeat.

      In my administration, we will ask not only what is legal but what is right, not just what the lawyers allow but what the public deserves.
      --Bush, Oct. 26, 2000

    •  who are you kidding! (3.66)
      The arguement isn't that some procurment officer said, "well I'll just let our boys die because this inferior armor is made by a Republican."  The arguement is that because this guy makes campaign contributions he can call congressmen who lean on the military to write milspec requirements that perfectly mirror the capabilities of the armor so the DOD can claim his company is the lowest bidder that meets their standards.  Or better yet, his friends in congress write some procurment bills that specify the military has to buy armor that has minimum capabilities matching those of the GOP donor's armor and, oh yeah, they have to go with the lowest bidder (in the name of efficiency) which procludes them from buying anything better as a matter of law.

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