The latest flap over body armor testing has certainly got the military brass and their agents spinning a lovely story that only aficionados of the Real Housewives of DC think is really “real” or even close to the truth.
This morning, I woke up and read an article on Yahoo’s news entitled “Is America’s Body Armor Defective?” The alleged author of the article is Charles Simmins. Now I have no idea who Charles Simmins is, but apparently there is a Yahoo contributor and freelance author named Charles Simmins who is an accountant. Nevertheless, if this Charles Simmins is the Charles Simmins of Yahoo contributor fame who wrote the article, one must question his credentials or ask the question: Is Mr. Simmins simply serving as a mouthpiece for the Pentagon Spin Doctors?
The central issue is not whether government-issued and apparently infrequently-tested body armor is “the best body armor in the world,” but whether our military leadership actually believes that it is. Surely, the Talking Heads at the Pentagon have more than adequate information on Interceptor body armor to determine its effectiveness and reliability, but they rarely share the facts with the public or the troops they equip.
When someone tells me they have the “best” protective gear available, I always ask, “What is the Israeli Defense Force, Mossad, CIA and SpecOpsCommand operatives wearing?” If it isn’t Interceptor Body Armor, I have a tough time believing our government-issued body armor is the “best in the world.”
The other thing that irritates me in the Charles Simmins’ article is the insinuation that Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, “a noted anti-war activist,” is somehow responsible for sloppy and largely non-existent testing of body armor supplied to US troops. The report documenting these irregularities and short-comings in body armor testing was from the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Defense. Ceramic plates have no political affiliation: they are either effective or defective.
Sleep well Beltway spin doctors, our troops are on the perimeter defending your liberties. Whether they have reliable body armor is still a matter of conjecture.
Richard W. May