Sunday, December 11, 2005

Can They Ever Spend Money Honestly and Wisely?

The $10M bat mitzvah that a Defense Contractor recently held for his daughter:

In terms of sheer outrage, millionaire defense contractor David H. Brooks is hard to top. The New York Daily News recently reported that Brooks spent an estimated $10 million on his daughter's bat mitzvah reception. Aerosmith performed at the reception (reportedly earning a cool two million dollars), and Kenny G, 50 Cent, Tom Petty and The Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh also played. Here's the kicker: Brooks has reportedly made more than $250 million in wartime profits as the CEO of DHB Industries-- which has had thousands of defective bulletproof vests recalled by the government!

According to a government investigation into the faulty vests that was uncovered by the Marine Corps Times, DHB's equipment saw "multiple complete penetrations" when 9mm pistol rounds were fired into the vests. One government ballistics expert quoted in the government's findings said he had "little confidence" in DHB's equipment

has been all over the internet , more here. I don't have much to add to the outrage that's been expressed (online) over a war profiteer, who's sold defective equipment, flaunting his wealth. Of course, I'm appalled that more outrage hasn't been expressed in the MSM, but I'm not surprised. I also find it amusing that David the Likeable has a namesake who's profited from the war that he helped promote, but so what?

What I do find amazing is how little attention this item (more here) has received:

WESTBURY, N.Y., Nov.15 -- DHB Industries Inc. (Amex: DHB - News), which principally operates in the field of body armor, announced today that its subsidiary, Point Blank Body Armor has received a new delivery order for $30.1 million from the United States Army for its Interceptor(TM) OTV (Outer Tactical Vests) System.
Commenting on today's announcement, General (Ret.) Larry R. Ellis, DHB's President, said, "We are pleased the U.S. Army continues to see the effectiveness and the value that our advanced body armor provides in this challenging marketplace.

The article did not say whether the general was able to keep a straight face. Frankly, I have no idea what kind of political connections DHB has. But considering that in May the Army recalled over 5,000 of the company's vests and then in November awarded it a new contract for more, one can draw a reasonable inference. Can this administration spend any money without patronage being involved?

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