With Wall Street protests popping up in many cities in the United States and over 150,000 signatures now collected on a new Constitutional amendment to “get the money out” of politics, it was a bit of surprise to read that Point Blank Solutions has recently received a new $30 million order to produce “Outer Tactical Vests” for the US military.
Why should I be surprised? Well, Point Blank Solutions has been in Chapter 11 (a court-sanctioned “voluntary reorganization” to avoid bankruptcy) since April, 2010. One of the reasons cited by Point Bank Solutions in soliciting the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for a Chapter 11 reorganization was the mounting legal costs associated with defending the former CEO and Founder of Point Blank Solutions, David Brooks, for tax fraud and securities fraud. While Point Blank’s current management insist that David Brooks has no role in the company, one must certainly be disturbed by the pedigree.
The Department of Defense may have very good reasons to award large contracts to a company in Chapter 11; however, equipment reliability and the integrity of body armor testing procedures don’t seem to be high of the list of priorities mentioned by military officials. As recently as August of this year, the Inspector General of the Department of Defense found serious flaws in the testing procedures of Interceptor Body Armor plates. This is just one of a series of disturbing reports issued by government auditing agencies over the last several years finding major shortcomings in the test procedures used to evaluate the reliability of body armor worn by US military personnel.
Let’s face it, our military and civilian leaders don’t give a damn! If they did, the people responsible for testing body armor and conducting fair and impartial testing would have long ago been fired. Furthermore, those who continue to quibble and provide false information to Congressional leaders and the public, such as, Lt. Gen. William Phillips (principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), Col. Cole, Project Manager for Soldier Protection, and US Army Brigadier General Peter N. Fuller, the Program Executive Officer of the Soldier Systems Center, should be relieved of command.
Will this happen? Of course not. The military industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned about continues to thrive in DC. The victims are gullible taxpayers and the young men and women who defend our country so valiantly. The blood of these brave warriors is on our hands if we don’t insist on accountability.
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Richard W. May