Thursday, February 28, 2008

More shortchanging of the soldiers

From now on, anytime you hear a Republican claim that his party supports the troops, you should laugh in his face.

Of course, you should say the same when they claim to oppose increases in Government Spending and a less powerful Federal Government, too.

On February 6th, The New York Times reported that Sioux Manufacturing, which makes the Kevlar for helmets, has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company had shortchanged the armor in up to 2.2 million helmets for the military, including helmets used by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of Defense, aware of both the problem with Sioux's helmets and the company's efforts to cover it up, awarded another contract to Sioux a mere 12 days before the lawsuit was settled. That same day, CREW sent a letter to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees requesting an investigation into a Department of Defense $74 million contract awarded to Sioux Manufacturing.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW, said today, “How was Sioux Manufacturing allowed to make insufficient Kevlar in the first place and then once that was exposed how could the company be awarded a new contract? Are there soldiers who would have escaped injury or death if their helmets had met government standards rather than the inferior ones produced by Sioux? Frankly, the chairs and ranking members of Armed Services, Senators Carl Levin and John McCain and Representatives Ike Skleton and Duncan Hunter cannot be permitted to take a pass on this.”

As for how it happened, I'd like to lay a bet that the principles of Sioux Manufacturing were Bush's cronies, so whether or not they actually did a good job didn't matter. What are the lives of a few dozen soldiers compared to the importance of Bush enriching his friends?

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