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[From the diaries - BarbinMD]

THIS IS AN ACTION DIARY.

Action Item 1. Please watch this video:

The body armor you have just seen stop 40 rounds of 7.62-mm AK-47 ammo from 20 feet, and 150 rounds of 9-mm Uzi ammo from 10 feet, has been forbidden to our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is, however, worn by President Bush's Secret Service bodyguards.

THIS IS AN ACTION DIARY.

Action Item 2. Please read this diary.


Kossacks, I need your help. It's a matter of life and death.

I've diaried on this four times before now,  and evidently nothing's been done about it yet. So I think we need a really big push.

Given that our troops are still being sent into harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would be criminal if they were being denied the best equipment available to keep them safe.

Well, they are being denied it. I think.

For nearly six years, Pinnacle Armor has been trying to convince the Pentagon that Pinnacle's Dragon Skin is a superior product to the Interceptor Body Armor that has been in use since the early 1990s. The Pentagon has been very reluctant to give Dragon Skin a fair shake, and only after much wheedling, cajoling and some negative press did the Army finally consent to new tests of Dragon Skin. Those tests were commenced in May of last year, but were never completed. The person conducting the tests for the Army stopped the tests about 30% of the way through; the tests have never been resumed.

In the meantime, soldiers are dying in the field.

There is much anecdotal evidence to support the contention that Dragon Skin is a much superior system to the Interceptor system that is currently being issued to our troops (but not, I guess, to George Bush's Secret Service bodyguard detail, since they use Dragon Skin). Pentagon officials, however, refuse to admit this. And you know what? Dragon Skin just might not be a better system; no one knows for sure.

But there's a ridiculously easy way to find out. So what I am proposing is this: a simple, quick, inexpensive, elegant, indisputable, transparent way to settle the question -

Conduct an open, fair, side-by-side test, in front of Congressional investigators and representatives of the news media, of both Dragon Skin and Interceptor.

If Dragon Skin fares better, it should be put into use immediately by our armed forces. If Interceptor prevails, the debate will be silenced.

This is a very simple proposal. No one who truly has the welfare of our troops at heart can possibly object to such a test. If nothing else, it would remove the cloud of doubt that has been hanging over the Army's testing procedures of the Dragon Skin system.

It'll take, what, three hours of testing to settle the issue. And you know what? I'd be willing to bet Pinnacle Armor would be happy to absorb 100% of the costs of the testing if their armor is not demonstrated to be superior to Interceptor.

Allow me to outline the history of this situation since last January (when I first learned of it) in very simple political terms:

  • A year ago, in January 2006, the Pentagon, through its various field commanders, spread the word that our troops were not to wear any body armor other than that supplied to them by the military, in spite of the fact that another body armor type might be much more effective at stopping multiple rounds from penetrating the armor. The government-issue armor is supplied to the military by a couple of companies that are big Republican campaign contributors.
  • In spite of a large outcry about the unofficial banning, the Pentagon came out with a Safety of Use Message (SOUM) in late March 2006, expressly requiring the use only of the standard-issue armor made by a big Republican donor, and expressly prohibiting the use of Dragon Skin.
  • After much cajoling, the Army agreed to retest Dragon Skin (it had maintained that Dragon Skin had failed earlier testing). The testing was conducted on May 19 at a private testing facility. The tests were conducted by the individual who is the lead engineer on the Interceptor program for the Army. The tests were stopped about a third of the way through with no explanation. They have never been completed, and the Army has never offered an explanation.
  • In the meantime, the companies that supply body armor for the military have continued to receive contracts running in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Since the testing was halted on May 19 of last year - well, here I'll quote (and update) from my December diary:

Since the Army’s test of Dragon Skin body armor was abruptly halted without explanation on May 19, 2006, 505 651 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq (as of this writing). Since March 17, 2006, when the Pentagon issued its Safety of Use Message (SOUM) specifically forbidding the use of Dragon Skin, 639 785 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Since January 15, 2006, when word first got out about the military's order not to wear non-regulation body armor, 739 885 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq. Would better body armor have saved any of them? I don't know - but I do know that the fact that the question can even be reasonably asked is unconscionable.

Oh – and once those open, side-by-side tests are completed, and if Dragon Skin should be proven superior to Interceptor? Well, then,

If it turns out that the earlier testing of Dragon Skin was conducted in a dishonest manner, those responsible for such dishonesty  must be held to account.


Following the money is never a bad idea when it comes to politics or military procurement; when the two intersect, it is imperative. If you look at what happened to the disposition of Armor Holdings' stock after the aborted Dragon Skin testing in May (i.e., its major shareholders sold off all of their Armor Holdings stock after the tests; see December's diary), and you realize how much money Armor Holdings has been giving almost exclusively to Republicans for the past several years - the notable Democratic exceptions being Hillary Clinton, Marty Meehan and Bill Nelson - it wouldn't be too great a stretch to imagine that perhaps AH, having seen the handwriting on the wall on November 7, has been suddenly showing more love to the Democrats - but that reporting is not yet in for the 2008 election cycle. In any event, I would hope that any such contributions would not deter any Democrats from doing the right thing, and pushing for fair, open, public testing of the two types of body armor.

I'm not going to rehash all of the background as to why the Army has refused to properly test Dragon Skin - I covered those pretty thoroughly in my December and July diaries (I'd strongly urge you to read those if you haven't). Suffice to say that some of the biggest financial backers behind the current Interceptor body armor are big-time Republican campaign donors. Also note that the person charged by the Army with running the tests on Dragon Skin was the lead engineer for the Interceptor program.

Yeah, I know - it stinks to me, too.

With the recent airing of an episode of "Future Weapons" featuring Dragon Skin, buzz has increased about the armor. Pinnacle, whose body armor was awarded Level III certification by the National Institutes of Justice in September, is working to create a Level IV standard for flexible body armor, and should have it tested within a few months.

As for Armor Holdings? Well, because of its purchase of a Texas-based armored-vehicle company during the year, Armor Holdings' profits for 2006 were flat. But not to worry. BushCheneyMcCain's war policy is great for Republican cronies’ bottom lines:

Stephen Hoedt, an analyst with National City Private Client Group in Cleveland, is bullish on Armor [Holdings] because of increased government spending.

"The outlook looks very bright for companies that have exposure to the U.S. Army, in particular," he said.

Gee, now, there’s a noble cause worth dying for in Iraq.

It’s been long enough. Our soldiers deserve better.

[Action information below the fold]



THIS IS AN ACTION DIARY.

I need your help in contacting congressmen and news media about this issue. We must bring to bear so much pressure that Congress has no other choice but to conduct these tests. So -

Action Item 3. Please fax - FAX - your congresspeople (i.e., your two senators and your representative) a note along the lines of the one just below about this issue. You can find their contact information here and here.

Here's what your note might look like:

Dear Senator/Representative _____________________:

It has come to my attention that our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are being denied the best available body armor because the Pentagon refuses to test it.

As long as our troops are being sent into harm's way overseas, and are facing extremely dangerous situations while there, it is our duty to provide them with the best possible equipment, especially equipment as vitally important as body armor.

Dragon Skin body armor has been demonstrated to be superior in many respects to the Interceptor armor currently issued to our soldiers. Yet the Pentagon halted testing on Dragon Skin last May and has refused to resume it, or to answer questions about why it was halted. In the meantime, our soldiers are dying.

I urge you to push for open, fair, unbiased testing of both body armor systems side-by-side: Dragon Skin and Interceptor. The testing should be conducted in front of congressional investigators and the news media, so that there will be no question about which is the superior system, and which should be protecting our soldiers.

This is a life-and-death matter for our fighting men and women in uniform. Your attention to it will be appreciated not only by them, but by every citizen of this country.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

(your name)
(your address)

Action Item 3.a. If you’re really ambitious, you can print out the Permalink version of the December diary and include that with your fax.

THIS IS AN ACTION DIARY.

Action Item 4. Please fax the same note to some or all of the committee members listed below.

Action Item 5. After you've sent a fax or five, please e-mail as many congresspeople as you can. (E-mail addresses are provided below each congressperson's name at the bottom of this diary.)

Here's what your e-mail might look like:

Hon. Xxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Dear Senator/Representative Xxxxxxxxxxxxx:

It has come to my attention that our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are being denied the best available body armor because the Pentagon refuses to test it.

As long as our troops are being sent into harm's way overseas, and are facing extremely dangerous situations while there, it is our duty to provide them with the best possible equipment, especially equipment as vitally important as body armor.

As detailed in this article that appeared online in December (http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/12/21/183232/14) Dragon Skin body armor has been demonstrated to be superior in many respects to the Interceptor armor currently issued to our soldiers. Yet the Pentagon halted testing on Dragon Skin last May and has refused to resume it, or to answer questions about why it was halted. In the meantime, our soldiers are dying.

The remarkable performance of Dragon Skin can be seen in this online video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQPGDFdkDlw), as well as this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuMHhw_w1qs).

I urge you to push for open, fair, unbiased testing of both body armor systems side-by-side: Dragon Skin and Interceptor. The testing should be conducted in front of congressional investigators and the news media, so that there will be no question about which is the superior system, and which should be protecting our soldiers.

This is a life-and-death matter for our fighting men and women in uniform. Your attention to it will be appreciated not only by them, but by every citizen of this country.

Sincerely,

(your name)
(your address)

(I have only included contact information for Democratic congresspersons.)

Action Item 6. We need to get the major media on this. Anyone have good contact info for this? If so, please let me know in the comments and I'll update the diary to include it - then we can inundate those media outlets with the story.

Action Item 7. I have never before done this for one of my own diaries, but - please, please recommend this diary. We need for as many people to see it for as long as possible, in order to achieve maximum effect.

Thanks so much for your support in this. Your efforts will be very much appreciated.

Peace


Here are the Democratic members of the House Armed Services Committee:

Chairman:
Ike Skelton (MO-04)
E-mail

John Spratt (SC-05)
E-mail

Solomon Ortiz (TX-27)
E-mail

Gene Taylor (MS-04)
E-mail

Neil Abercrombie(HI-01)
E-mail

Marty Meehan (MA-05)
E-mail

Silvestre Reyes (TX-16)
E-mail

Vic Snyder (AR-02)
E-mail

Adam Smith (WA-09)
E-mail

Loretta Sanchez (CA-47)
E-mail

Mike McIntyre (NC-07)
E-mail

Ellen Tauscher (CA-10)
E-mail

Robert Brady (PA-01)
E-mail

Robert Andrews (NJ-01)
E-mail

Susan Davis (CA-53)
E-mail

Rick Larsen (WA-02)
E-mail

Jim Cooper (TN-05)
E-mail

Jim Marshall (GA-03)
E-mail

Madeleine Bordallo (GU-01)
E-mail

Mark Udall (CO-02)
E-mail

Dan Boren (OK-02)
E-mail

Brad Ellsworth (IN-08)
E-mail

Nancy Boyda (KS-02)
E-mail

Patrick Murphy (PA-08)
E-mail

Hank Johnson (GA-04)
E-mail

Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01)
E-mail

Joe Courtney (CT-02)
E-mail

David Loebsack (IA-02)
E-mail

Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-20)
E-mail

Here are the Democratic members of the Senate Armed Services Committee:

Chairman:
Carl Levin (MI)
E-mail

Edward Kennedy (MA)
E-mail

Robert Byrd(WV)
E-mail

Jack Reed (RI)
E-mail

Daniel Akaka (HI)
E-mail

Bill Nelson (FL)
E-mail

Ben Nelson (NE)
E-mail

Evan Bayh (IN)
E-mail

Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY)
E-mail

Mark Pryor (AR)
E-mail

Claire McCaskill (MO)
E-mail

Jim Webb (VA)
E-mail

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 03:39 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar (111+ / 0-)

    Support our troops. Really.

    As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

    by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:45:53 AM PST

    •  Recommended (14+ / 0-)

      This is really a no brainer.
      What a great issue for Dems to push through. Make the inudstry-bound Republicans vote against it.
      Election fodder for years and years.

      Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism - Rocky Anderson

      by librarianman on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:56:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, librarianman (10+ / 0-)

        I appreciate any help you can give.

        And yes, this could prove to be very bad for Republicans. Mostly, though, we need to do right by our troops. As usual lately, it will have to be Democrats showing the way.

        As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

        by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:02:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Already did locals (4+ / 0-)

          Ga. Sens and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland. Will work on the committees.

          -4.00 -5.44 "A man who chooses not to read, is just as ignorant as the man who cannot read"

          by TexDem on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:03:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  A caveat... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          occams hatchet

          While the company making Dragon Skin (Pinnacle Armor) has been very successful in getting positive buzz for their product, some of their claims may have been... how shall I say it politely... overstated. The controversy is not particularly new either.

          This USA Today article on the subject raised doubts about both the quality of the armor and the company's ability to deliver it in sufficient amounts...

          Army Lt. Col. Scott Campbell said the Army has asked Pinnacle to provide 30 sets of the full Dragon Skin armor so it can be independently tested. He said Pinnacle has indicated it won't be able to provide that armor until May [2006 - k], and the company said that is still the plan.

          Campbell said initial military tests on small sections of the Dragon Skin armor had disappointing results. He said Pinnacle has received $840,000 in research funding to develop improved armor.

          The PBS feature on the subject of armor was somewhat inconclusive as well - one of the experts Jim Lehrer had invited showed Dragon Skin and said that it offered better coverage than Interceptor (the standard armor), but it was also said that...

          And, you know, the contracting people as well as the Army scientists say, look, be careful with dragon skin because it's good for a knife fight but we don't want to take it to Iraq because of the ballistic issues. And they're not comfortable with it yet, but perhaps in the future.

          For further confuzzlement, here is an article on Pinnacle Armor from defensetech.org (not favorable). Apparently, the results from these tests are not quite as good as Pinnacle Armor guys purport them to be...

          I cannot definitively say that Dragon Skin is great  or that Dragon Skin is crap - some very strange decisions have been made in the past by the US Army as far as equipment was concerned. But I think that a bit of caution might be called for.

          •  kalmoth - (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kalmoth

            You might want to read all of my previous diaries on the subject - everything you cite was linked to in those.

            In order, they are here, here, here and here.

            You should also be sure to read all the linked sources, and the comments.

            And yes, caution is called for. That's why I support open testing witnessed by uninterested third parties.

            As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

            by occams hatchet on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 05:55:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occams hatchet

      I've posted a link to this on a gamers' site my husband frequents.  At least one of them is active duty USMC, and a few are ex-Army.  I think they'll forward this widely elsewhere.

      "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18

      by Noor B on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:32:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't forward until you learn the whole (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth

        story.

        Here is a start:

        Pinnacle Armor FAILED Army Tests

        The Army's struggle to find a new, more flexible body armor was dealt a setback Friday when a California company's high tech Dragon Skin vests failed to pass military testing, a senior defense official said.

        After three days of testing this week, the Army determined that the body armor does not meet military specifications

        The DOD has already funded Pinnacle Armor

        Campbell said initial military tests on small sections of the Dragon Skin armor had disappointing results. He said Pinnacle has received $840,000 in research funding to develop improved armor.

        •  Hmmm... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          splashy, exmearden, occams hatchet

          You know, I doubt R. Lee Ermey would use his show "Mail Call" to test Dragon Skin if he thought it didn't merit a live fire test.  The episode will air on the History Channel on Friday, 16 February.    

          I'm doing some digging, and I do find it highly suspicious when one of the guys testing it says he won't continue the test because he doesn't understand the armor system.  To me, that is not grounds for stopping a test.  It's a really lousy excuse and doesn't pass my intellectual-integrity test.  It is grounds for finding other testers and continuing the process.  That is what OH is asking for -- a full, comprehensive, and impartial testing process, conducted by the military, not the competition.

          "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18

          by Noor B on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 07:17:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Question for you boss.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occams hatchet

      How light is the Dragon Skin armor?  I haven't seen the video yet (it's still loading), but my armor weighed a ton when I was in the desert!  It almost killed my back!

      Children are just lobbyists who get political favors in return for being adorable-Stephen Colbert

      by djtyg on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 06:12:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  djtyg - (0+ / 0-)

        I think it depends on the exact configuration you're set up with. Their website has has some info, and if you read through some of my old diaries on it, I think there are some references to it. If I recall correctly, for a given coverage area (i.e., total square inches covered), Dragon Skin is lighter than the equivalent coverage of Interceptor.

        What was your experience of Interceptor?

        As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

        by occams hatchet on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:00:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Do you own stock in this company? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occams hatchet

      Or have any interest in it financially?

      If you don't want it printed, don't let it happen.

      by EZ writer on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:41:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brilliant! (6+ / 0-)

    you'd do Feynman proud!

  •  Recommended, with question (11+ / 0-)

    I live in Charleston, SC (SC-1), and f--king Henry Brown is my Rep, along with Huckleberry Graham and crazy Jim DeMint as my Senators.  Do you think it's worth sending these letters to Republicans as well?

    I'm also thinking about sending this letter to my local paper, but we'll see...

    The South Will Rise (Blue) Again Blue Dawn Politics

    by cfaller96 on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:08:17 AM PST

  •  THIS is why I come to dailykos! (18+ / 0-)

    I freaking HATE the things that are going on in our country and I want to DO something.

    Thank you OH. I have printed out everything from your diary. I don't have a fax machine, but my brother does. I have to watch his kids later today and will use his fax machine while I am there. I was already planning to go to my local Democratic Party meeting tomorrow night, I will certainly bring these papers with me when I go. This is important and I thank you for bringing this to our attention.

    I feel so frustrated most of the time... but this... I can actually do something about this.

    "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

    by MichiganGirl on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:10:55 AM PST

  •  Recommend this diary! (5+ / 0-)

    Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism - Rocky Anderson

    by librarianman on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:12:20 AM PST

    •  Yup, ek - (7+ / 0-)

      That and some other bandage-type stuff (the name eludes me right now; someone mentioned it in the comment thread to one of the earlier diaries) warrant looking into. Right now, the only thing I really know about is the Dragon Skin issue. If we can nail that down, perhaps this whole military procurement cesspool will be opened up for examination.

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:22:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  When I can get my hands on a fax I will (6+ / 0-)

    I at least rec'd, and I'll make some phone calls.

    I'll try and dig up that media contact page for LTEs, but no promises there.

  •  Quick Comment (8+ / 0-)

    First off, thanks for this diary. I had never heard of this before. Rec'd and action forthcoming.

    My one comment is that Marc Dayton is no longer in the Senate, and Sen. Claire McCaskill (e-mail) is now on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    Just an FYI. Thank you again for a great diary.

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something." -the last words of Pancho Villa

    by Shef on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:31:59 AM PST

  •  Would you be interested in talking about this on (13+ / 0-)

    a radio show?  I have an hour on Fridays at 5pm on WRFW, a station that reaches about 1/4 of the Twin Cities radio market.  If you would be available for a live interview Friday, or could pre-tape before that time please e-mail me at my address in profile.  Good info, thanks

    trying to thing of something new - watch here for results

    by norahc on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:32:48 AM PST

  •  Any idea what Blackwater troops are wearing? (12+ / 0-)

    If it's Dragonskin, that would be pretty damning. Then they'd be telling us that it's good enough for Bush's mercenaries, but too good for our own US soldiers?  I'd really like to know about that.

    My son may be heading over to Bush's noble war on terror hell before the year is over.  You'd better believe I'll try to get him the best body armor there is.

    Thanks for keeping an eye on this!

  •  Tests (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, occams hatchet, lemming22

    And if the test results are inconclusive, or a "tie" within reasonable margins, it would at least be nice if the Pentagon would lift its existing ban on Dragon Skin, so that all of the troops who already bought their own (and who may still be wearing it covertly) can use it without fear of punishment.

    •  Why isn't a margin of safety a good idea? (0+ / 0-)

      When in doubt, stick with what is safe.

      The problem isn't caution on the part of the military if tests are inconclusive.

      The problem is that the military isn't providing its troops with equipment they need -- if it was, everyone would have regulation body armor and there wouldn't be debates over soldiers who had to go into their own pockets to buy gear for their job.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

      by ohwilleke on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:10:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You sure about that senate list? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    Mark Dayton is no longer in the Senate, and I'm not sure that Amy Klobuchar sits on it either.

    "Support the troops, especially after they come home; that's the hard part." Garrison Keillor, 11/11/06.

    by vome minnesota on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:58:56 AM PST

  •  Support our Troops -- REALLY!! sb repeated often (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet, Mary Mike

    and LOUDLY]

    Not just words.  Not just yellow ribbon magnets.  Action is needed, and you can count on one more Democratic former-flower-child-gone-to-seed for this!

    OH, thanks for another important diary

    Comfort the afflicted. Afflict the comfortable.

    by FindingMyVoice on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:14:20 AM PST

    •  Damn dirty hippie :) (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for pitching in, FMV.

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:18:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  and PROUD of it! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occams hatchet

        gotta keep on keepin' on

        [ot: a couple years ago my teenage son started to tell me about "this incredible guitarist - wait til you hear what he can do!!!"  and proceeded to put a Jimi Hendrix cd on. Wish I couldv'e told him I saw Jimi when he was alive, but I did show him an LP or two. Talk about feeling like part of history - again!]

        Comfort the afflicted. Afflict the comfortable.

        by FindingMyVoice on Sat Feb 10, 2007 at 07:35:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Recommended; and letters going out. Lieberman, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet, Mary Mike

    I'll ignore; but Joe Courtney gets one; and I'm pushing Dodd too.

  •  Occams hatchet--how about sending this onto Keith (5+ / 0-)

    for some really big exposure??
    Link to Countdown page

    I'm sending my own email.

  •  thanks for this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    I don't have access to a fax at the moment, but emails, at least, will be sent in a moment.

    •  Terrific, Fraggle. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fraggle

      Thanks very much.

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 02:13:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dude. If you use Windows... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occams hatchet
      ...and have a modem in it, you can send a fax directly from your computer.

      You can also send internet faxes, if you sign up for one of the services.  Google it.

      JF

      It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you.

      by Jaime Frontero on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:47:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occams hatchet

        I don't have Windows.  I did google it, per your suggestion.  It's not transparent to me which internet fax services are reliable.  If you have any recommendations I'd love to hear them.  

        •  Internet Faxes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          occams hatchet

          I haven't personally used this yet; heard about it from some computer shows I watch, and planned to try it out:

          www.efax.com

          I've also recently heard Efax's commericial on AirAmerica Radio where there's a promotion of a free 30-day trial.  At the website, in the middle of the page, it says, "Heard about us on the radio?"  Click that, and type in    Winter Special

          Like I said, I haven't used it, but it's been highly recommended to me, and I plan to try it out soon so I can get rid of my dedicated fax line's extra cost.  It will be cheaper and easier....  I think.

          Just reread your post; not sure if it's Mac/Linux friendly.  

          Oh, and it helps AirAmerica... as far as proving their advertising works.

          •  I used to use eFax when it first came out (0+ / 0-)

            and was still free. Great service; invaluable.

            As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

            by occams hatchet on Thu Feb 08, 2007 at 06:05:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              occams hatchet

              Thanks for the input.  I definitely will try it out.

              Just to let you know, I will be taking all the actions you recommended on Friday.  Couldn't do it until then.

              Thank you for informing me of something so important and letting me know what I can do about it.  To be honest, I've read and heard things here and there, but never really knew the entire story... well, as much as is available to be known.  I'm so glad you wrote what you did.

              Okay, now back to "much more important" things like Anna Nicole Smith.  (I hope you know I'm being facetious.)

  •  OK, I'm in. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet, Mary Mike

    Will send to IL senators & my good-for-nothing republican representative.  Will also work down the committee list via emails.

    Thanks.  This is important.  This is what it means to support our troops.

    "Overcome anger by love, evil by good, the greedy by generosity, and the liar by truth." - Buddha

    by madame defarge on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 03:41:49 PM PST

  •  Sounds like some people need to be up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Five of Diamonds, occams hatchet

    against a wall for some live fire tests of body armor efficacy.

    I'm going to ask you a few questions. Since time is short and you may lie, I'm going to have to torture you. But I want you to know, it isn't personal.

    by Cartoon Peril on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 03:43:28 PM PST

  •  There is overwhelming evidence... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    that this administration values their profiteer contractors more than the safety of our troops.  This is further evidence.

    Bush and the Kleptocracy's business model is held together with defense contracts, and no amount of American or Iraqi blood will change their minds.

  •  Dragon skin deserves an up or down vote! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    Well, at least an up or down test.

    War is not the continuation of politics by other means. On the contrary, it represents a catastrophic failure of political skill and imagination. - Kofi Annan

    by Arclite on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 03:49:40 PM PST

  •  Waxman Lacy Bremer (0+ / 0-)

    This is from german msn. i couldnt find an english parallel. the author is agence france press.


    The US congress criticizes the spending of enormous sums in Iraq. Among other things, billions of dollars were flown in cash into the country. The whereabouts r not clear. With the newly constructed houses neither the sewers nor electricity work. The former Iraq administrator Bremer means modern filing wasnt possible in Iraq.

    When politicians speak of grilling, they dont think of a normal barbecue. The term describes the sharpened questioning of incumbents in front of a senate committee.

    The dems started out with a true grill party on tuesday in congress to digest the hitches and to come to terms with the mishaps of the Iraq war.

    in the center, in the focus are the whereabouts of all those billions with what the us taxpayer financed the war. president bush is threatened by embarassing uncovering about bitchin and bad managment. First victim: Paul Bremer, the former US administrator in Iraq.

    Disregarding all the lapses and failures in the execution of the Iraq war president Bush and his administration hadn´t to fear too much from the representatives of the people. Bush´s Republicans blocked any attempt by the dems with their majority to xray the iraq debacle by an inquiring committee. But since January the dems got a majority thanks to their victory in the vote for congress and with this majority they want to examine the failure of the government - with media coverage.

    In Iraq there was big scale ´waste of money thru fraud and deception´, abuse and incompetence said Waxman.

    http://news.yahoo.com/...

    Democrats grill US point man in Iraq over missing billions

    "The CPA laid a solid foundation for waste and fraud, with its lack of transparency and accountability," said Democrat Lacy Clay said.


    yahoo


    During Bremers 13 months in Iraq the US government stapled about 12 billion

    dollars on wooden pallets and flew them into Iraq.more than 280 billion

    in notes with a net weight of 360 tons were flown into Iraq without any knowledge about

    where they are left at

    Waxman said up to $12 billion in Iraqi money was converted to dollars, held in the
    Federal Reserve Bank in New York and shipped in pallets to Baghdad that totaled 363 tons.

    http://news.de.msn.com/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=2847453.

  •  letters sent to my reps (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    I will now begin on your list of members of the Armed Services Committees.

    "The revolution is just a t-shirt away" -- Billy Bragg

    by kainah on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 03:50:47 PM PST

    •  an annoying number of representatives (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occams hatchet

      will only allow correspondence from their own constituents.

      "The revolution is just a t-shirt away" -- Billy Bragg

      by kainah on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:05:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Keep plugging. (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks, kainah.

        And remember - they can't block a fax.

        As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

        by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:08:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  moved on to Senators (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          occams hatchet

          with this new computer, I haven't yet figured out a way to fax. Maybe that will have to be on the agenda for later tonight.

          At least I have my WY and WV residences (sister littlesky's house) to exploit. That at least gives me two "representatives" -- unfortunately, neither of them are worth 1/10 of their salary.

          Gotta give credit to Neil Abercrombie, Marty Meehan and  Rick Larsen who actually, really, still take DIRECT email. Gasp!!!

          "The revolution is just a t-shirt away" -- Billy Bragg

          by kainah on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:12:39 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  OCCAMS RAZOR APPLIES (0+ / 0-)

    simplest solution is best fit - bring the troops home and there is no need for the armor.

    ALl this activist work for body armnor?

    Have folks put in half this to stop the war???

    •  Let's walk and chew gum at the same time. (6+ / 0-)

      And maybe bring some criminals to justice, even, so they can't do more harm.

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 03:57:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  half this to stop the war? (5+ / 0-)

      good heavens, it just took me less than half an hour to contact my representative and senators, plus all the representatives (who would allow email from non-constituents) and all the senators on occams hatchet's list.

      I have spent more than that every single Friday night since January 2003 standing on the street corner in Laramie, WY, trying to turn public opinion against this war.

      And that's not nearly the beginning of how many hours I've spent doing what I can to stop this war. Perhaps your comment applies to yourself, civil society, but I doubt seriously that most of those who will take part in this action alert haven't spent way more time -- not to mention money -- than this expressing their opposition to this war.

      And if you don't think this is a worthy action and would rather spend your time trying to stop the war, then take advantage of occams hatchet's work and use that list to write those reps and senators and tell them you want the war stopped NOW!

      "The revolution is just a t-shirt away" -- Billy Bragg

      by kainah on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:28:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I will be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    contacting my rep and my senators-

    This reminds me of The Pentagon Wars with Cary Elwes-

    black comedy of sorts-I watched with a Bradley tank operator after Persian Gulf I, and the tank operator said some things that weren't very flattering to the Bradley, and army machines in general.

    Here's the link to the movie

    http://http://tinyurl.com/3blrll

  •  I've heard that the new Interceptor plates are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    lighter and stronger. There was a story in my local paper a few months ago about a soldier who was shot in the back with a round from a Dragunov sniper rifle.  He got up, and was able to walk away (though he had a big bruise).  The Dragunov uses the longer 7.62 x 54mm rifle round, not the less powerful 7.62x39 AK round, so I was surprised to read that the round was stopped.

    In any event, a fully disclosed, repeatable, independently reproducible and verifiable series of tests which approach real world conditions is the only way to determine which armor is superior.

    We need these tests!

    War is not the continuation of politics by other means. On the contrary, it represents a catastrophic failure of political skill and imagination. - Kofi Annan

    by Arclite on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 03:57:16 PM PST

    •  Have you seen the "Future Weapons" episode? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occams hatchet

      Discovery Channel has a show call Future Weapons and they did a segment about dragon skin.  I found a link to a youtube video of the dragonskin episode.  Its not emperical but it does speak volumes.  I don't know if Intercepter armor is any less effective but from all the outcry my guess would be it is not as good as this stuff.

      "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

      by Quanta on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:05:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't know about that, Arclite, but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AndyT, Arclite, lemming22

      here's some commentary on the new Marine vest:

      But Army officials in November said the Corps' new vest offers the same protection as the last one and is two pounds heavier to boot.

      I don't doubt the Interceptor's ability to stop one round. The main distinctions of Dragon Skin are its multi-hit capability, its weight, its flexibility and its durability.

      The side-by-side tests will answer many questions.

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:06:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I totally agree side-by-side tests are necessary (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occams hatchet

        The previous test sounds like it was completely biased.  

        I just wanted to point out that I heard that there was a newer version of the trauma plate than the one that had initially gotten the bad press.  We still need public tests on these as well to determine their feasibility.

        War is not the continuation of politics by other means. On the contrary, it represents a catastrophic failure of political skill and imagination. - Kofi Annan

        by Arclite on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 07:59:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  some useful links to make contacts... (0+ / 0-)

    THE COMPLETE LIST OF E-MAIL ADDRESSES & FAX NUMBERS:
    http://www.conservativeusa.org/...

    http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/...

    Write Your Letter to Newspaper Editors ...
    http://www.democrats.org/...

    From another Kos Diary today...very useful contact info:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Qui tacet consentire viditur. Who remains silent appears to consent. "Go out and raise hell" dearly beloved Molly Ivins

    by Thought I Was last Screamin Liberal on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 03:57:25 PM PST

  •  I saw this on discovery channel (2+ / 0-)

    It's on the "future weapons" program. Funny I was thinking the same thing: why don't they give this product to the troops?

  •  Profits over people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    That is the Republican way. They talk like they care about the people, then deliver profits for their buddies regardless the impact it has.

  •  Great work, o.h.! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    I'd say that given the facts in the case that you've done a fantastic job of laying out here and the fact that the Secret Service wears Dragon Skin we probaby have more than a good idea what the real issue is here.

    As if we needed it but here's more proof of what it is that motivates Republicans.

    I still say you should send this to 60 Minutes. Damn you've done most of their work for them.

    Also, look up 60 Minutes in Australia. They have the same show with Aussie's doing the reporting. They will take on issues like this even though it's not Australian.

    -4.25, -6.87: The next great step will be taken from here.

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:08:00 PM PST

  •  This has been blogged a lot in military blogging (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kalmoth, occams hatchet, Bronx59

    circles and it is not at all clear to me which side is right after reading at least a dozen posts, all full of comments, on the issue.

    There is a very credible argument that the needs of the Secret Service are different than those of soldiers in Iraq.  Secret Service agents are likely to face a modest number of rounds, very likely from a semi-automatic weapon of .45 caliber or less.  They are also close to good medical care at all times and they have to look presentable in a suit.

    Soldiers in Iraq are likely to face automatic weapons fire, are much more likely to face large caliber ammunition and armor piecing rounds, are often far from good medical care, and don't have to consider fashion.

    Thus, the "Secret Service agents use it" argument is largely bogus.

    This isn't the end of the story, of course.  The testing process has undergone twists and turns, and there are all sorts of accusations about whether this has involved bias or not.  Ongoing evaluations are in place.

    But, when a testing official in procurement tells a general that body armor doesn't work as advertised, that general is acting very reasonably in banning it for our soldiers in Iraq.

    It could be that the testing process was in error.  It could also be that a disgruntled defense contractor with a marginally effective product is using the blogs to shill for them in an actively orchestrated P.R. campaign that has been going on for months.

    I'm not prepared to resolve that question and I don't think that you should either.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

    by ohwilleke on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:08:55 PM PST

    •  I'm not proposing to resolve that problem. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dburn, exmearden, pacotrey

      I want an open, honest testing, side-by-side, of the two systems.

      I think there won't be any questions after that, at least as far as the performance of the two systems is concerned.

      Logic tells me that "a disgruntled defense contractor with a marginally effective product" would stand to lose a lot more than they would gain by continually pressing for a side-by-side test, and then actually getting one, if they knew they had an inferior product. But that's the beauty of open testing: No Argument.

      Who could possibly object to that?

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:13:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good idea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occams hatchet

        I think we should go one step further. Live human tests- after all, that's where the real tests are. I'd be interested in how soldiers are able to maneuver wearing the complete set of both armor after taking a hit. I'd be  interested to see what threats they could defeat and how many. Certainly climate has to be in play. Is the weight distributed properly so they don't die of heat exhaustion wearing it?

        Lot of questions. No answers. Just Bullshit from the Shills that come on here for the defense contractors.

        Pinnacle armor has been willing to put it all on the eline, just like our soldiers have. The contract holder is nowhere to be found but he sure has a lot of protection at the pentagon and on sites like this. Billions buys the contractor protection, and kills our soldiers. Makes a whole lot of sense to me.

        Diebold, the hand of God
        Oversize Rants Available Overnight at
        The Image Factory

        by Dburn on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:08:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Body Armor and David H. Brooks's Mitvahpaloosa (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    I remember David H. Brooks... he had a celebration for his daugher and
    a fabulolus musical lineup came. Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac...
    it was obscene.
    Read about it here
    http://commonsense.wnymedia.net/...
    and here
    http://www.mainandcentral.org/...
    Let's give this story some legs.

    See my art at http://cafepress.com/peaceangel/ and http://cafepress.com/algore08

    by Tigana on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:10:09 PM PST

  •  This is the epitomy of Republicanism - REPEAT (4+ / 0-)

    I have a neighbor's son who was in Iraq.  Didn't need the Dragon Skin for himself (out building a new base), but had some fund raising for Marine friends who needed/wanted the better armour.  BTW, they would use it on the sly, as it could revoke their death benefits!

    This is the epitomy of Republicanism.  When the choice is a profitable contract for wealthy Republican donors verus getting better armor to our troops (and saving lives), Republicans value their personal profit over American lives.  Seriously. No nuance or spin.  That's what it boils down to.

    Bremer could have put in real diplomats and experienced beaurocrats to rebuild Iraq (not 26 year old right wing think tank interns); could have kept most of the rebuilding contracts in local Iraqi hands verus KBR who used Pakistanis & West Africans to cut costs; could have NOT fired 1.2M Baathists (including 50K teachers!) in late 2003.

    I have hammered this home to staunch Republicans. Told DittoHeads  to their face (with other people present) that they valued their tax cuts and Republican fund-raising more than the blood of working stiffs dying in Iraq.  Yes, it made everyone uncomfortable, and it didn't enhance my office standing.  Fuck them! I can't tell you how angry it makes me to see a $40K per year construction worker parent of a soldier collecting $5, $10, $20 a pop from other working class friends to go and buy $4500 worth of Dragon Skin that our Republican CIC won't authorize - instead keeping the gravy train going for existing contractors and Republican donors. How many of these people (the guy I called out proudly went to $1000 plate Bush fundraisers) give to the troops?  

    I'm that mad, and this story needs to be repeated and repeated. Fuck being polite. This is crass greed at its worst and its being paid for in blood. Repeat this story but, more importantly, confront those remaining 30% right wingers.  Make them squirm, its the least they can do.

  •  Lobbying money and bad armor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    See my art at http://cafepress.com/peaceangel/ and http://cafepress.com/algore08

    by Tigana on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:16:35 PM PST

  •  What I want to know is why isn't there testing (3+ / 0-)

    going on on all of their gear all of the time?  Why is Cher buying padding for soldier's helmets to reduce brain injury and not the government?  Why isn't this an ongoing committment that we should expect from our government.

    Personally, I really think we should just bring our defense industry back into the fold of government.  We would have no mark up on equipment and services; and real accountability (the kind with teethn where people do go to jail and don't have enough money to run off to Brazil to escape the law) for the people who screw up because they would take oathes and be employed under our government rules instead of Wall Street rules.

    Yes and Wall Street rules is an oxymoron.

    Watch out Military Industrial Complex - you get your asses too far out of line and we'll simply take control of your companies and run them publically.  I am not afraid to say that.  Most people are, but you are really pushing your luck.  It won't be long before you tip the scales away from your favor.

    •  What you said, ih. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      inclusiveheart

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:18:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It really pisses me off. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occams hatchet, belindapope

        BushCo constantly insist that it is their job to protect us from evil threats and yet they essentially contract out that responsibility.  I understand that they don't really give a shit (pardon my French, but this is a hot button for me), but people in this country should be able to connect the dots on this one.  BushCo = NOT protecting The People.  BushCo = NOT protecting or supporting the troops.

        I was thinking a lot today during the Waxman hearings about how people rationalize this sort of shit.  I mean our volunteer military sign up to defend this country and die for it if necessary, but that does NOT mean that they are freakin' suicidal.  There is a difference between being courageous and suicidal.  There really is.

        There is a great book (and a play that I worked on based on the book) profiling Medal of Honor recipients called Beyond Glory.  In all those profiles there was not one suicidal maniac.  They were men who had a love for life so great that they were driven to save their mate's lives and preserve our country.  Those people were not suicidal - they were not blood thirsty - they were people who rose to their challenge and prevailed.  We should be meeting or exceeding their committment to us if we make them fight for us.  We owe that to them.

  •  I'm another one who... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    ... doesn't have access to a fax, but I just e-mailed all three of my congress critters.

    Here's hoping something gets done on this. Our troops deserve better.

    MDC

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." Benjamin Franklin

    by mcronan on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:17:22 PM PST

    •  you can email all of the senators (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occams hatchet

      It is possible to send emails to all of the senators on OH list.

      And the following three representatives on the list have direct email addresses:

      Neil Abercrombie:  neil.abercrombie@mail.house.gov
      Marty Meehan:  martin.meehan@mail.house.gov
      Rick Larsen:  Rick.Larsen@mail.house.gov

      Claire McCaskill also takes direct email:
      mccaskilltransition@mccaskill.senate.gov

      "The revolution is just a t-shirt away" -- Billy Bragg

      by kainah on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:32:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So how much does this dragon stuff cost? (0+ / 0-)

    You know, if you're saying the military should make a rather large change in its standard issue equipment, it would make more than a little sense to include how much that would cost. In principle, the military could probably fight its wars with remote control robots too so that there is virtually no chance of bullets penetrating any military personnel, but the question of whether that would actually be economically feasible is of central importance in considering whether that's something that ought to be seriously pursued.

    Similarly, one would expect a video illustrating the effectiveness current armor -- again, for obvious reasons.

    What I see here is something that's sloppily presented, leaving out crucial details. Suspiciously sloppy, even. Why would such basic information be left out if it didn't make the situation much murkier than the author would like the reader to realize?

    •  Read all of my earlier diaries, (0+ / 0-)

      all linked in the main story. Plenty of details there.

      Read all the links in all the diaries, too.

      If you still have questions about why I think open side-by-side testing is needed, I will be happy to answer them.

      P.S.: The unit cost of Dragon Skin right now is about $4,500, versus, I understand, about $1,000 or so for Interceptor. I suspect mass production would quickly bring that cost down.

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:21:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree...but, (0+ / 0-)

        I remember reading that many of the troops families, support back home had already bought them the Dragon Skin Armor & they had it in Iraq.

        They were ordered NOT to use it!

        I remember, reading of Officers upset that they had to enfore these "NEW RULES".

        I'm stilll looking for direct quotes.
        Sorry, I can't back it up, yet.

        Qui tacet consentire viditur. Who remains silent appears to consent. "Go out and raise hell" dearly beloved Molly Ivins

        by Thought I Was last Screamin Liberal on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:29:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  See (0+ / 0-)

          my January and April diaries, and follow the appropriate links.

          Hope that helps.

          As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

          by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:34:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I did see that Discover Cheannel show... (0+ / 0-)

            On testing Dargon Skin Armor!
            It was on that night or the day after...they even tested for a granade.
            ie: dummie on top of a granage in Dragon Skin.
            I'm not a DR. or in military...but I'd be sending that frotage to everyone & everyone in Congress, and the Media.
            I'd personally call Jack Mertha office to start the battle.
            But, if it's on tv...why don't our boys have it?!

            Qui tacet consentire viditur. Who remains silent appears to consent. "Go out and raise hell" dearly beloved Molly Ivins

            by Thought I Was last Screamin Liberal on Sun Feb 11, 2007 at 07:49:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The reason they were ordered not to use it (0+ / 0-)

          Is because the company that produced the Dragon Skin refused to submit the body armour to the Army for testing.

          The ARmy was not going to authorize rogue gear in threater that had not and (the company had refused to submit) their product for ballistic testing.

          They Brass (Rumsfeld) skewed up in the beginning by sending alot of the Reserve units with the equipment they had on hand and did not provide them with the current version of the Saper plates.  However, alot of people have worked hard to overcome that directive and since November, 2003 there has been a process in both equipment units for deployment and also replenishing equipment in theater called RFI (Rapid Fielding Initiative).

          Unleash the potential to make a difference

          by totallynext on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:50:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  So they are 4.5 times as expensive. (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks.

        •  But, that was probably per unit price. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          occams hatchet

          Individuals are always going to pay a higher "retail" price.  If Dragon Skin holds up through a thorough, objective testing scheme, then it is entirely possible that the price could come down for a large order.  That is, provided BushCo allows price negotiations to occur.  And frankly, if it's better armor, I will gladly endure a tax hike if it means our troops have armor that gives them a better chance of coming home in one piece.  

          "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, volume three, issue 18

          by Noor B on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 07:27:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  What are Levin & Skelton's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    positions on this? DO they even HAVE a position on it? This needs to be put front and center of their respective committees in the senate and house and the administration & Pentagon have got to be made to answer for it. Like so much else these days, it is both the militarily and morally right thing to do AND the politically smart thing to do.

    I will do a bit of research on this (only to be better informed when I contact the above reps and senators) and then contact them all via email or phone. I will try to do the same with the GOP ones as well. They need to feel the heat. It's the only thing they listen to, it seems.

    Thanks for bringing this up. It's important both specifically and generally.

    He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

    by kovie on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:18:18 PM PST

    •  Good call, kovie. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      The links in all of my previous diaries will provide a good start.

      The whole issue of procurement is unbelievable. If you read through the comment threads in the earlier diaries, you'll come across some amazing stories - including, as someone mentioned upthread, an Israeli anti-RPG system that supposedly kicks Raytheon's product's ass, and some medical supplies (can't remember the specifics) where the inferior product was given the contract.

      And we are talking BIG bucks here.

      Go for it. Good on ya!

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:25:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This Pentagon is run by Milo Minderbinders (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        occams hatchet

        if you know what I mean--ask Major Danby.

        And the folks responsible for this need to be hauled before congress ASAP and then impeached (if that still applies to them), put on trial, convicted and put away for a very, very long time. No more Watergate or Iran-Contra slaps on the wrist.

        If this whole dark chapter in US history is to truly end, this MUST happen.

        He who troubles his own house shall inherit the wind. The foolish shall be servant to the wise of heart. -- Proverbs 11:29

        by kovie on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:03:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pax Americana (0+ / 0-)

    All the mercenaries working for companies like Halliburton and KBR get all the best equiptment and flak jackets that our troops don't.

  •  Cost and supply? (4+ / 0-)

    IIRC Dragon Skin is about $5,000 per set, whereas Army issue is about $1100. Dragon Skin began showing up on soldiers in Iraq, paid for by themselves or relatives, but that seriously upset the brass, because the deal was you could buy your life if you were rich, but the poor folks were as usual screwed. So the brass forbade wearing the Dragon Skin. It's like the nobles used to get armor 'cause they could pay, but the peasants only got leather. I know that's not what the military says happened, but that's what I think happened.

    The recent Dragon Skin tests were supposedly stopped because the armor failed the early testing. However, the results are classified, so we don't know what really happened. So the money might be an issue, the political connections of the Interceptor armor supply chain might be the issue, or adequate supply might be the issue. Dragon Skin is trickier to make than the Interceptor ceramic plate armor that's issued. We have to supply everyone pretty quickly once we start to supply some, or we get some serious discipline and morale problems. You know we've had some really severe supply problems with the Interceptor armor now in use.

    Now, if there are top brass who are wearing Dragon Skin in defiance of regs, that really needs to be exposed and stopped. And we're not going to find out the results of the testing already done, because of it being classified. Maybe if the armor had passed, they wouldn't have classified the tests? However that may be, Dragon Skin is now Level III certified. So maybe there's funny business and maybe there's not. Hard to say.

    I think it might be smart to investigate the politics of the supply chain of the present armor, and the politics of the testing of the Dragon Skin. For sure, the military is not going to supply something to the troops that has not passed military testing. They'd be fools to do that.

    I don't think you're going to get public testing of armor that's presently in use in Iraq. Are you serious? But a classified retest should definitely be done, after an investigation into what happened in the first and second round of military testing.

    In case you're really wondering, Pentagon investigators concluded that up to 80% of Marine deaths could have been prevented by better armor.

    Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why we win. -Syriana

    by CarbonFiberBoy on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:22:34 PM PST

    •  Thanks, CarbonFiberBoy - (1+ / 0-)

      I'm aware of the study about the Marines' armor; it addressed more the coverage issue, as opposed to the type of armor used. They did have early problems in OIF with defective armor, as well.

      I agree with most of your post; my focus is very narrow: which system performs better? Period. Let's settle that, then we can have a discussion about the rest.

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:27:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dragon Skin vs Interceptor (0+ / 0-)

      This link seems to indicate the Dragon Skin is better than Interceptor:

      http://www.defensereview.com/...

      This link talks about the 'failure':

      http://www.pinnaclearmor.com/...

    •  You are incorrect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      occams hatchet, California Joe

      The reason the brass was upset is because Dragon Skin lost the bid, did not produce any body armour for test when requested and instead started whinning about how they were being screwed.

      In case you do not know - there is a specific process of acquiring and procuring tactical gear especially blastic gear under the law.

      Dragon Skin basically wants the contract without going through the legal steps to test and bid under the laws of the land.

      I personally know something about this - so be very careful with your statements.  

      Unleash the potential to make a difference

      by totallynext on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:43:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Care to elaborate? (0+ / 0-)

        I would really appreciate any light you can shed on this.

        As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

        by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:50:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The issue was on CNN (0+ / 0-)

          I am trying to find the info - On Cnn about a year and half ago.  Plus I know a little something about this - lets just say personnel @ PEO Soldier

          Unleash the potential to make a difference

          by totallynext on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:54:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A year and a half ago? (0+ / 0-)

            Current developments are since May 06.

            •  Here is the status (0+ / 0-)

              The testing has not been halted - currently on hold do to problems that Dragon system had and are awaiting response to continue the current phase.

              On the testing that was done - it had problems in the envirnomental testing phase to include extreme conditions of hot and cold.  Could not hold up

              Lets look at the current theater extreme temperatures of hot and cold.  The system had issues lets leave at that.  The manufacture knows the problems - it has to ensure that it can meet all components of the testing phase to include the environment.  

              Unleash the potential to make a difference

              by totallynext on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:06:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Do you have anything more than that? (0+ / 0-)

            Again, any light you can shed would be welcome.

            As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

            by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:04:46 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Huh. (0+ / 0-)

        "Incorrect." That's kind of a blanket statement. Incorrect about what? What bid? What terms? No sh*t it's more expensive than IBA! I don't think that's in dispute. Yeah, some of us know something about military procurement. That's one of my points.

        BTW, Dragon Skin is a trademark for armor produced by Pinnacle Armor. It sounds to me like Pinnacle wants the contract after going through testing. The problem is that they can't seem to get the testing done by anyone except an employee of their only major competitor, or maybe any testing done at all.

        Your statements don't seem to match news reports. They say that Pinnacle produced 30 sets of armor for testing, even though the military kept changing the spec on them as they went.

        I have no personal stake in this. I'm not presently under arms. What's your stake? It seems to me that the brass didn't get upset until Dragon Skin started showing up on soldiers in Iraq. So why then did they order the troops not to wear it on penalty of losing death benefits and Article 15? Where's the logic? They sure as hell allow the troops to scavenge armor for their vehicles. Tell me that Dragon Skin side armor is worse than no side armor at all.

        If you personally know - then is it true that US General Officers currently use Dragon Skin in theater?

        Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why we win. -Syriana

        by CarbonFiberBoy on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:08:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I stated above (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          California Joe

          At the time the Dragon system started showing up in theater was during the time that the RFI and the fielding intiative had not caught up with the Units that had already been deployed.  Again this was from the mentality that you "go to war with the army you have not the Army you want".

          Alot of great people worked tirelessly to get the latest "tested" body armour to the units that had not been equiped.  You will find a good majority of the individuals who acquired Dragon skin were from reserve units.  It was really frustrating the way that they went in.

          The reason that the Army told them that they could not use the system is because during that time - Dragon skin had not been tested by the Army.  In addition, while they understood that alot of the reserve units had outdated systems - they established RFI and reissuing of the latest sappy plates to deploying units and units in Iraq

          Unleash the potential to make a difference

          by totallynext on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:25:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the clarification, totally. (0+ / 0-)

            This all still seems strange to me. Sets my BS detectors off. I mean, we're talking synthetic fibers, ceramic disks, and whatever holds it all together. This combination fails temperature tests which the human body passes? I know you can't comment exactly, but it does seem strange. Who knows, maybe it's fire resistance. That makes sense. Can't have those disks falling off all over the place.

            But it also makes a lot of sense that Pinnacle is media savvy and is making a lot of noise because they have a problem with their product. Noise is cheaper than research.

            Corruption is what keeps us safe and warm. Corruption is why we win. -Syriana

            by CarbonFiberBoy on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 06:02:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Re: so be very careful with your statements (0+ / 0-)

        That definitely goes double for you. You want to be very very careful here. You may be making money for posting. I'm not and when I see BS like that, I'm ready to rumble

        What I think is that you must be acquainted with Armor holdings intimately to put BS like this up. The facts are at www.sftt.org.

        DragonSkin is proven , tested and ready to go but Armor holdings is holding onto a lot more than a shit pile of money from contracts  for body armor and hummer armor. Where there is a lot of money involved there is usually a paid blogger who comes up with BS like the above and claims to know the facts.

        Well here are the facts, in fact an entire section of facts at www.sftt.org. Scroll down and Look for the section entirely devoted to the testing of Dragon skin. What should be of particular interest is that the Justice Dept passed Dragon Skin for all level three tests.

        The way I understand it, the army rigged it's test of Dragon Skin by firing multiple level four ( armor piercing rounds )rounds into Dragon Skin. When one pierced they proclaimed it a failure becuase it was not able to defeat level 3 threats which are rounds which have considerably less balassitic impact.

        Even stranger, Armor Holdings didn't subject their own armor to the level 4 rounds and on a very limited basis any level 3 as they know that they turn to mush after a single round or two if the wearer is lucky.

        Sounds like someone is posting for money and it ain't me.

        Careful indeed. Kids are dying wearing that crap. I hope you sleep well at night. But Like Sue Runyon who came before you, eventually shit rises to the top.

        Diebold, the hand of God
        Oversize Rants Available Overnight at
        The Image Factory

        by Dburn on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:28:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  In addition to this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      California Joe

      The Army rejected the body armour that the Marines approved, to different plates and manufactures. Apples and Oranges

      Unleash the potential to make a difference

      by totallynext on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 04:44:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What type of armor was used in the VoteVets ad? (0+ / 0-)

    I just watched the ad again, and poked around their site. I couldn't find anything that indicated what type of armor was used in their ad that was superior to what our troops are issued (assuming they are issued armor.)

    VoteVets Ad

  •  OOO MAGICSKIN (0+ / 0-)

    I hear it keeps you alive even when your helicopter is shot out of the sky! And it's great with IEDs and when you're shot in the head by a sniper! Yeah! Gonna get me some right now!
    Since it's widely accepted that there's no military solution to Iraq, why seek a logistical-supply solution that wouldn't directly affect either the greatest or latest killers of the soldiers? I just don't get it: future wars aside (and they sure seem to be coming), the time it would take to test and refit this armor would seem to at least be equal to some of the quicker redeployment schedules offered by various senators. This all just seems so desperate to me.

    •  As I said upthread, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AndyT

      we can walk and chew gum at the same time.

      Hey, if I knew our A-10 pilots were at greater risk because their planes had defective ailerons, would I say, "Y'know what - it'll take too long to fix that; we can redeploy in less time than it'll take to get that fix approved and through the system"? I don't think so.

      I'd love nothing more than for this to become a moot point, just as we were about to issue new body armor to our troops. Until then, though, I'm all for keeping the troops that are facing ballistic threats safe.

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:09:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Frontpage! What a Coup For a Defense Contractor! (0+ / 0-)

    Wow, a defense contractor got on dailykos a frontpage a request to get everyone to lobby congress to buy its products.

    That's quite impressive. Whoever handles this company's PR, I want to hire for myself.

    What's next, a diary for everyone to call their congressman to advocate more B-2 Stealth Bombers?

    •  I'm sorry - I must've missed the part (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AndyT

      about urging Congress to buy anyone's products? Can you please point me to that?

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:10:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you are shilling for a defense contractor (0+ / 0-)

        that lost out on a contract, and wants a second chance. the purpose of this second chance would be for the Pentagon to BUY THIS COMPANY's PRODUCTS.

        The real story is that the company you are shilling for failed the tests the Army put its products through.

        Flexible body armor fails Army testing

        By: LOLITA C. BALDOR - Associated Press

        WASHINGTON -- The Army's struggle to find a new, more flexible body armor was dealt a setback Friday when a California company's high tech Dragon Skin vests failed to pass military testing, a senior defense official said.

        full article

        •  Exactly! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          California Joe

          Again - the contractor is trying to push his wears outside the system and has from the start.  That is why they had to put a specific request for product testing out in general solicitation, because the contractor would not submit his product for the Army's testing.

          The group over individual equipment are stellar and I know they have been working this issue for 3 years with this guy

          Unleash the potential to make a difference

          by totallynext on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 06:31:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  What is in that article that OH didn't have (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dburn

          in the diary. after three days the tests were stopped with no reasons given. We have been following this here for a long time. Do you really think the brass and the SS would be wearing the inferior product. Also I appreciate how you fail to mention the fact that the current ballistic plates will only take one hit so much for protection from that double tap. Oh and by the way it's kind of interesting when you research how much the current contract holder has donated to the republican party .

          "every saint has a past, every sinner has a future" Oscar Wilde

          by buddabelly on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 07:31:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Every big defense contractor gives to Republicans (0+ / 0-)

            It proves nothing.

            There were reasons given to the end of the testing. The tests failed.

            •  Science, dear one... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dburn, occams hatchet

              You cannot legitimately fail a test that you do not complete.

              I am given a 100-question exam by my teacher.  If I pass the exam, I will beat out the teacher's daughter for a prestigious scholarship.  

              After I have completed 30 answers (luckily for me, correctly), my exam and answer sheet are taken from me.  My teacher tells my parents that I "failed" the exam, because I only correctly answered 30 out of 100 questions.

              Does this resemble a level playing field?
              Is this a fair test of my ability?
              Are the results accurate in any sense of the word?

              Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. -- Salvor Hardin

              by TexasAMC on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:44:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The tests were rigged (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              occams hatchet, Habitat Vic

              That's why they failed. No independent observation. But word leaks out that level 4 rounds were fired repeatedly until it failed and then it was proclaimed unfit while the contract holder with billions at at stake for not only body armor but vehicle armors product was not put through the same test.

              It would have hard time passing a lower threat level 3 round much less multiple level 4 rounds ( armor piercing)

              Again, when you people post shit where lives are at stake, you better be prepared with links  including test protocols, individuals present at tests, rounds fired at test, conditions of test and most importantly has the current contract holder been subjected to the same tests.

              If you can't , then don't post, not when kids are dying wearing that crap. If you are posting that despite all of that, then I smell money

              Facts are at www.sftt.org

              Including all the tests where Dragon Skin passed the level 3 Tests by the Justice dept in PDF and links to the Justice dept. It's strange that the army /armor holdings and others won't subject their armor to an independent test lab with Dragon Skin. They can and should design the protocols. But with as much corruption as there is in the system, they shouldn't be let anywhere near the place where the results are written up.

              But no, that won't happen not as long as the proper people have been paid. Apparently they are back posting here too.

              Diebold, the hand of God
              Oversize Rants Available Overnight at
              The Image Factory

              by Dburn on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:48:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well, you just proved your ignorance. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright

              Not every big defense contractor gives to Republicans - not even one of the biggest suppliers to the Interceptor program, Ceradyne, which supplied the ceramic SAPI and ESAPI plates.

              You might want to actually do some research next time. You could do worse than to read my previous diaries on the subject, including all the links. I did.

              As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

              by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:38:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Who is shilling for who? (0+ / 0-)

          Sounds to me like you have a stake in it. Armor holdings is a defense contractor. Pinnacle armor has a competing and superior product, but as far as I know is no defense contractor.

          Who pays you guys?

          Diebold, the hand of God
          Oversize Rants Available Overnight at
          The Image Factory

          by Dburn on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:57:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm shilling? HA! (0+ / 0-)

          That's rich. I have absolutely no dog in this fight except the welfare of our troops, the integrity of the military procurement system, and the prudent use of my hard-earned tax dollars. Whatever system is best, that's the one I want our soldiers to use.

          What's your objection to open testing?


          Anyone reading this who wants to know the full story, please read all of my previous diaries linked in this diary, and all of the links therein.

          As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

          by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 09:35:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  that has been there MO (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      California Joe

      Quite frankly that has been this contractors MO - delaying and sometime refusing to submit testing in the begining - going through media and congress.

      Unleash the potential to make a difference

      by totallynext on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:12:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes he has (0+ / 0-)

        When tests are rigged then he has no choice. Too much money at stake. You are defending the current contract holder with post after post. AS far as I'm concerned, I don't care if it's Dragon Skin are anything else. It has already been proven in combat under testing but the same pentagon where people are fired for calling out bid rigging , we are suddenly supposed to by this BS.

        Care to wear that crap  in a live test and show us you mean what you say?

        Diebold, the hand of God
        Oversize Rants Available Overnight at
        The Image Factory

        by Dburn on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:53:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Will be near a fax tomorrow, (0+ / 0-)

    and can email after that. Thank you.

  •  Dragon Skin solicited by U.S. Army RDECOM (0+ / 0-)

    The U.S. Government has a website that is the single government point-of-entry (GPE) for Federal government procurement opportunities over $25,000.

    I find it ironic that this announcement says, "In a continual effort to provide deployed soldiers the most capable body armor, the Army will procure 30 sets for evaluation to determine if Dragon Skin meets or exceeds existing soldier protection."

    Here is the link:

    http://www.fbo.gov/...

    This announcement is from March 2006. Does anyone know if this negotiation with Pinnacle Armor coincides with the abandoned "test" mentioned previously in the diary?

  •  Attention Democratic congresspersons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    Careful you don't cut off Bush's war funding - republicans might accuse you of hatin' the troops!

    More seriously, why can't democrats hammer republicans for not supporting the troops?  They have a full quiver of issues - body armor, veteran benefits, active duty family member support, and more - and yet I've heard jack squat from dems on the GOP's disdain for the troops.  Dems need to fucking hammer the GOP on this, make the public understand that when the GOP says they support the troops, what they really mean is that they support buying lots of hardware from defense contractors.  But when it comes to the proud Americans putting their lives on the line, well, they're cheap and easily replaced.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:57:17 PM PST

  •  This Kos diary may belong here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    See my art at http://cafepress.com/peaceangel/ and http://cafepress.com/algore08

    by Tigana on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 05:58:44 PM PST

  •  GAO's investigating this (0+ / 0-)

    Among other things. Link.

    Discovery Channel's Future Weapons did something on Dragon Skin as well. Here's a teaser video for those who are interested.

    Vote for Al, he pisses off wingnuts more than anybody!

    by Hannibal on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 06:43:50 PM PST

  •  Why not ask Consumer Reports to test the armor? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    Here's a link to Consumer Report's contact form.

    http://custhelp.consumerreports.org/...

    Formerly of Los Angeles, now in the FL Panhandle(Lower Alabama) I blog at ThisIsWhatDemocracyLooksLike.com

    by Thom K in LA on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:35:33 PM PST

  •  I am on board, and I have a testing idea... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    While only mostly serious, I swear am not meaning to sound glib about this.  Get Adam and Jamie from Mythbusters on TLC to supervise and produce the testing for television.  They always consider the setup, the alternatives, what might go wrong, and they strictly (if humorously) apply the scientific method.  After all, broadcasting the testing is only useful if it is viewed in such a way as to be understandable to the public.

    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent. -- Salvor Hardin

    by TexasAMC on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 08:38:35 PM PST

    •  Unfortunately, (0+ / 0-)

      Interceptor is only available to authorized military personnel. That's why you'd need a congressional investigation to shake some loose.

      As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

      by occams hatchet on Wed Feb 07, 2007 at 10:10:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are several criteria for military approval (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    occams hatchet

    In order to pass military testing, there
    are several categories the body armor will need to pass

    1. Ballistic performance, let's say dragon skin is better.
    1. fire resistance: Given IED's this is a big one. A body armor that burns

             quickly or melts to the skin is really a bad thing.

    1. Environmental fatigue: The armor must not lose strength after

        being in the desert for 6 months or exposure to cold weather.
       

    1. Weight: if it's significantly heavier then the baseline armor,

       that's a real big problem.

    1. human factors/configurability.

       Body armor tends to be a system, with plates and adjusting cinches.
       if the system can't handle 90% of men and women, it's not going to
       work for the military.

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