01/19/2006: Update on the Body Armor Scandal
At Main and Central, Jeff follows up on the Army body armor story I mentioned yesterday: Point Blank War Profits. As I should have guessed, the reason for the promotion of the inferior product by the Army is as much a story of war profiteering (a fine American tradition) as anything else:
The history of the Point Blank Interceptor OTV body armor vest and the company that manufactures it is a shameful tale of the state of war profiteering in the Rumsfeld age.Go read the whole thing. Just be prepared to get angry. Rightfully so.
The Interceptor OTV is the body armor jacket recently revealed by Defense Watch to have been identified by a U.S. Marine Corps forensics report as being responsible for the deaths of "as many as 42 percent of Marines who died from isolated torso injuries." The Point Blank vest is not only inferior in design--it leaves the shoulders and upper arms unprotected--it was fielded despite that fact that it did not pass tests of its designed capabilities.
As The Army Times reported, senior officers in the Marine Corps Systems Command knew that and bought and fielded the Point Blank body armor anyway, without telling commanders in the field about the vests' shortcomings.
And the company that manufactured the vests made a whole lot of money.
Len on 01.19.06 @ 12:14 PM CST