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A North Dakota manufacturer has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a suit saying it had repeatedly shortchanged the armor in up to 2.2 million helmets for the military, including those for the first troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Twelve days before the settlement with the Justice Department was announced, the company, Sioux Manufacturing of Fort Totten, was given a new contract of up to $74 million to make more armor for helmets to replace the old ones, which were made from the late 1980s to last year.

Just to make sure this is very, very clear. The Defense Department knew the company provided defective armor and in fact sued the company over it. They knew that the kevlar the company was using in the helmets it created did not meet "critical" minimum standards. But while that very suit was pending, they ordered more armor.

Our VetVoice and VoteVets friend Brandon Friedman has more here.

By the way, 3,948 American troops have died in Iraq as of today. I wonder how many had helmets given to them by the Defense Department after they knew they were defective.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 06:54 PM PST.

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