One Veteran's Voice

06 January 2006

War Profiteer

From Wikipedia's entry on this subject
Making unreasonable profits from war is widely considered unethical and is deeply unpopular, so attempts to prohibit excessive war profiteering, such as the imposition of an excess profits tax, receive much political support in wartime. Defining 'excessive' accurately is difficult, however, and such legislation frequently allows some instances of profiteering to go unchecked while reducing the income of others' war-related business to loss-making levels.

This isn't exactly new news, but I have been thinking about it for awhile and wanted to post on it. Why isn't the MSM into this stuff, if they are really so "liberal" and want to end the war and all that shit? Why don't they report on stories like this, which might enrage the general populace enough to actually write their congressman? Instead we get "The War on Christmas," read as "The Fake War We Made Up So You Won't Think About the Real One."

A recent United States Marine Corps forensic study obtained by DefenseWatch slams the interceptor OTV body armor system, claiming "as many as 42% of the Marine casualties who died from isolated torso injuries could have been prevented with improved protection in the areas surrounding the plated areas of the vest. Nearly 23% might have benefited from protection along the mid-axillary line of the lateral chest. Another 15% died from impacts through the unprotected shoulder and upper arm," the report says.

Reported by Nathaniel Helms on Soldiers for the Truth

The interceptor vests in question are manufactured by DHB Industries. The CEO of DHB Industries is David H. Brooks. In 2004, David earned $70 million dollars, 13,349% more than his 2001 compensation of $525,000. This isn't the first time that the Marines have had problems with DHB, in May 2005 they recalled more than 5,000 DHB vests. All told, about 23,000 vests have been recalled.

For his daughter's bat mitzvah, Mr. Brooks threw a $10 million dollar party at the Rainbow Room, hiring everyone from 50 Cent to Aerosmith to perform.

I contest that Mr. Brooks is a war profiteer, charging unreasonably high rates to our government for a sub-par product.

Mr. Brooks, if you will donate $10 million of your hard-earned dollars to a charity for disabled veteran's, many of them disabled because you took your company's profits and lavished them on yourself and your family rather than using them to build a higher quality product, you could begin to redeem yourself in my eyes. Until that time, however, I will continue to call you what you are, a war profiteer, the worst kind of treasonous scum who makes money off of human suffering at a time when everyone should be pitching in and helping the war effort.

tags
David H. Brooks, War Profiteer, Iraq, DHB Industries

12 Other Voices:

NetAgra said...

It's my opinion the *media* isn't bringing this up so much for a couple of reasons. One, they're admin lap dogs. Second, if they do such stories, the conservative attack machine starts yelling they're liberal whiners and don't support the troops 'cause they're interested in hurting bush with lies about contractors.
Plus, it's maybe not that sexy for selling time on the air, you know.

1/06/2006 04:19:12 PM  
Elmo said...

The war profiteers are worst than the terrorist in my book. I don't care how many flags they fly or stickers they put on their cars.

1/06/2006 05:00:25 PM  
Gordon said...

Have you read this?

BTW, good blog.

1/06/2006 05:20:19 PM  
Have Skunk said...

Hey man. Just dropped in and found your page. Nice work. Let's keep the truth flowing... I worked in corporate media inside the beltway (as an editor at Army Times) for four years, since just before 9/11, before the smell finally drove me away. Halliburton and Kellogg, Brown & Root have been war profiteers since Vietnam. They're Texas-based.

1/06/2006 06:36:54 PM  
fbg46 said...

Brian:

The NYT article specifically refers to the Marines -- given your experience in country, do you think the findings are applicable to Army personnel in the same/similar numbers?
When you were there did different Army units use different types of body armor -- Cav vs. infantry, Regulars vs. NG/Reserves, etc. -- or were all the soldiers using about the same stuff?

1/07/2006 04:27:32 PM  
OneVeteran'sVoice said...

when I was there, almost everyone was using the interceptor OTV, regardless of army, marines, reserves whatever. The marines always seem to have a little bit of an edge on the army as far as the quality of their gear, but as you can see, even that gear is not the best quality they could be getting if these motherfuckers actually spent some of their profits on R&D.

1/08/2006 12:03:57 AM  
Gordon said...

Marines have better gear than Doggies? That's a switch. In my day ('60s)it was said that when a Soldier threw away a pair of boots, a Marine bought 'em. We had a lot of hand-me-down and leftover WWII stuff. We envied the Army for all their new gear that we didn't have. The Corps didn't have enough Hueys to waste 'em as troop carriers, for example.

On the flip side, we had a lot of stuff they didn't: the Ontos, Mighty Mite, and Mechanical Mule just to name a few. After McNamara commonized everything, as that stuff wore out it wasn't replaced.

1/08/2006 01:48:25 PM  
OneVeteran'sVoice said...

Interesting.

Today, it seems like the marines are always field testing the new shit (i.e. the digitized camo patterns that are now trickling down to the army).

As far as vehicles go, they weren't any better off than us. Personal gear-- I would say they got the newer shit. Whether it's actually better quality, hard to say.

1/08/2006 02:18:24 PM  
Branedy said...

Just a note, in case you hadn't seen this.

George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography

1/09/2006 05:11:01 AM  
dannyinwisconsin said...

War profiteering is simple treason, that's all there is to it.
And profiteering is what is being described here, and w/ regards the fucked-up body armor, etc.
10 million dollar fucking party.
Think good and hard about that.
What's the cost of the bullet that will kill or cripple the next American soldier?
This why we need to stay stay very angry, and very cool. Cuz this is pure bullshit people. Pure bullshit. Needs to stop. Now, eh?
D.

1/09/2006 12:27:49 PM  
Trevor said...

OK, so war profiteering is bad. If it's obscene, as it appears to be in the case you've mentioned. It sounds bad anyhow.

If the guy is purposefully producing crap product that gets people killed. But what he's probably doing is producing items to spec and the spec was probably written by the people who use the stuff, or their bosses. Who do you blame for that?

Cars get recalled all the time. I see no reason to think that combat protection systems which are also mass produced wouldn't.

I'm sure there are people who do bad things and take advantage of our system of bureaucracy. And they should be punished. But our weapons and protection systems are designed to specs that are internally produced by the government so I'm not sure why you're blaming the private company for not providing shoulder armor, etc.

I'll chew on this a while.

1/09/2006 11:33:12 PM  
OneVeteran'sVoice said...

Trevor, I would argue that the price DHB is charging our government is way too high for the crap that they are delivering, regardless of whether the product is basically what was promised and/or agreed upon (23,000 recalls is an unacceptable number for something as mission critical as body armor).

Furthermore, wartime government contracts usually go to whichever company has the capability to produce a shitload of product quickly- i.e. the whole scandal over troops having NO body armor, oh shit, let's get someone to build a shitload of body armor, ok well I know this guy over at DHB industries...).

I've read that the services are going to switch companies when the contract for armor with DHB is up. I've also read that David Brooks is under investigation by the SEC for unloading a bunch of company stock before it tanked (the same stock that paid for his precious daughter's little shindig).

Trevor, it's ok to feel outrage. Your life is on the line, and you deserve only the best gear. There are better body armor systems out there-- just take a look at what some of the civilians working security at Blackwell or Haliburton are wearing.

1/10/2006 02:18:29 AM  

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