SFTT summarized a report yesterday from Wall Street Journal reporter Kristen Jones which reported that Body Armor King David Brooks was sentenced to jail for 17 years for a $200 million fraud scheme. In the article, it was suggested that the Justice Department decided not to pursue more serious charges of corruption in the military procurement process of body armor supplied to our brave young men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sadly, the stench of corruption and dishonest procurement process by our military far exceeds the 17 year “slap on the wrist” given to David Brooks. Found below is a more gut-wrenching account of the “real” story from former DHB President, Jim Magee.
This (sic the David Brooks story) goes deeper than “defective body armor.” I quit as Point Blank Body Armor’s president after designing the Intercepter vest, and managing the Arthur D. Little Modular Body Armor (Intercepter) program when my DHB boss, David Brooks agreed to a US Army procurement office demand that Point Blank meet the Army’s target price of $626 each, regardless of what had to be given up in wearer protection. The price was Army procurement’s ONLY concern. When I pointed out we would have to reduce the vest’s protective coverage areas to reduce the Kevlar costs, coverage required by the Army’s Natick R+D and PM-Soldier Intercepter spec’s, Army procurement’s response was “…that’s not our problem; make coverage changes to cut your costs if you have to, but we’re only paying $626 per vest.”
Brooks told me to cut out all of the Army’s Protection Area III, (244 sq inches of lower abdomen and kidney area coverage), “make the vest in size medium but mark them large, etc.” and cut way down on the side and shoulder coverage to make it cheaper to manufacturer.” I told him we’d be screwing the wearer, and that I would resign first.
He laughed, and I quit. Brooks was a horrible human being; consistently abusive of all around him; a belligerent, hateful person. In one particularly doped up incident (he was either over medicated or under medicated-read doped up), he yelled at me on the production floor to “fire all the niggers.” My thirty or so Haitian and Jamaican-born sewers went nuts until I physically pushed Brooks out of the plant’s loading dock, and then told them I’d give them a couple of paid hours of unearned overtime to defuse the atmosphere.
Making lots of money was Brooks only concern. He routinely told anyone who worked for him, “people were to be used.” He had no idea why short changing the war-fighter, and delivering a substandard vest – short of PM Soldier’s specs – bothered me to the point where I would walk away from a potential million dollars in income and stock. Integrity and honesty were unknown character traits in Brooks. He viewed them as “weaknesses.”
I still haven’t decided whether he was a sociopath or a psychopath. Either way, he had and has no redeeming qualities. Prison is too good for him. A violent death would have been more suitable.
While one can argue whether Brooks is a sociopath or psychopath, the fact remains that our military leadership knowingly sanctioned the use of defective body armor. The Inspector General has reported many body armor testing violations that have been conveniently covered up by our military leadership. In fact, the DoD continues to block favorable court rulings requested by SFTT to release the autopsy reports of military personnel killed in action wearing defective body armor.
More to the point, the public has been aware for quite sometime that “something is wrong in Denmark” when NBC’s Lisa Meyer reported on quibbling within the Army over the best body armor.
The corruption goes far deeper than the simple incarceration of David Brooks. The dreadful and dishonest sycophants who approved and promoted this defective body armor are – in my opinion – accessories to manslaughter or even worse. Why aren’t they in jail? I suspect that most have been promoted or are now in lucrative contracts as “outside consultants” perpetuating the merry-go-round of corrupt behavior or “business as usual” in our military procurement process.
How many more brave heroes have to die to feed the insatiable greed of people like Brooks?
Thanks for coming forward Jim. I know it has been painful. If more concerned individuals would do so, we could weed these monsters out of positions of trust. Our men and women in uniform deserve better.