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NEWS: 'Marine Corps Times' Exposes Massive Recall of Faulty Marine Vests

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posted on May, 10 2005 @ 06:49 AM
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An eight-month investigation by 'Marine Corps Times' revealed that 5,277 interceptor vest from 11 lots failed government ballistic test. This is more half of the total number of issued vest from these government lots.
 



www.editorandpublisher.com
NEW YORK Proving that you don't have to be a major big city newspaper known for investigative scoops to get dramatic results, a probe by the Marine Corps Times apparently triggered the recall of more than 5,000 ballistic vests issued to Marines despite tests indicating they might be flawed.

Many of the vests were issued to Marines in Iraq. The reporter on the story told E&P today that officials tried to "steer" him away from the story.

"Faced with the imminent publication of this story, the result of an eight-month investigation by Marine Corps Times, the Marine Corps on May 4 issued a Corpswide message recalling 5,277 Interceptor vests from 11 lots that failed government ballistic performance tests — slightly more than half the total vests issued to Marines from questionable lots," Christian Lowe, a Times staff writer, wrote in the weekly.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is completely unacceptable. What's even more shocking is that within the documents obtained from the FOIA, Marine managers responsible for the protection of our marines signed waivers stating that they understand the vest are faulty, yet they would still like to use them. As far as replacement vest, forget about it. The serial codes were written by hand and have probably worn off due to the rigors of war. The best we can do is hope that these marines make it out of there alive and in one piece.




posted on May, 10 2005 @ 06:57 AM
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Follow the money on this one. Let's find out who profited from selling this crap and who authorized a waiver so that our soldiers could get killed all nice and legal like. Then put them in one of their vests and shoot the bastards.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 07:12 AM
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follow the $$....exactly!!!!! what is realy baffeling is that they knew they were defective and signed waivers!!!! what!!
these were ballistic vests!!
what has America turned into?? corporate and personnal greed have taken over...like we did not know that. ig euss....what can i say, it is the NEW AMERICA.......................



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 07:54 AM
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mythatsabigprobe

Not sure how I feel about quoting your name all the time
But 'Follow the Money' is exactly right. If this were a corporation then you would have to look at the faulty vest in a 'Cost-analysis' model. Simply put, if you benefit more from settling each possible case of a marines death in court as opposed to recalling all vest, then in a business sense, it would be better to just leave the vest exactly how they are.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 08:10 AM
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Sure, and if you can get some idiot to sign a waiver then you're off the hook for any related deaths and can just go on making and selling second rate crap at a huge profit (minus kickbacks). I wonder how many of those flag draped coffins are due to this little money making scheme?

And please, just call me myth or something.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 11:20 AM
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This is where the money trail starts. "Point Blank Body Armor" is the company that made and sold the vests, and Lt. Colnel Patricio is the guy that signed the waiver when they failed government tests - despite warnings from the Defense Contract Management Agency. Here's the waiver form and you can see they didn't even have to reduce the price for these pieces of junk.

Excepts from the Marine Corps Times article.



In all, the Marine Corps accepted about 19,000 Interceptor outer tactical vests from Point Blank Body Armor Inc. that failed government tests due to “multiple complete penetrations” of 9mm pistol rounds, failing scores on other ballistic or quality-assurance tests, or a combination of the two.

“Since these are lifesaving pieces of equipment and are being used in support of the Iraq war, I urge immediate action since this technical office has little confidence in the performance of the items to provide the contracted levels of protection as defined in the performance specification,” wrote ballistics expert James MacKiewicz in a memorandum rejecting two lots of vests on July 19, 2004.

A second government agency, the Defense Contract Management Agency, backed Natick’s conclusion and also recommended against the waivers.


Then along comes Lt. Colnel Patricio (now retired and working as an "independant acquisitions consultant").



“I did not ignore warnings or advice from my staff. I simply looked at all the factors involved as the program manager and made the decision that I needed to make based on all the information that I had,” Patricio said in a May 3 telephone interview. “The decision was mine and within my immediate authority as program manager” to waiver and accept the rejected vests. Patricio recently retired from the Corps and now works as an independent acquisitions consultant.

While each vest has a unique serial number on it, Point Blank would not provide a list of serial numbers from the lots Natick said should be rejected. Point Blank said that information was “proprietary.”

Corps officials initially would not provide lot or serial number data to Marine Corps Times; when Patricio was asked in the May 3 interview if he could locate the vests and recall them if ordered to do so, a Corps spokesman abruptly ended the interview and hung up.


So, who is "Point Blank Body Armor, Inc"? Well, looking at their corporate reports it seems they're a wholly owned subsidiary of DHB Industries, which started out as a mom & pop (actually husband & wife) operation in 1992.

Here's Point Blank getting an award for "quality" from the military...
www.pointblankarmor.com..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">
www.pointblankarmor.com...

According to DHB's own website, they've received over $120,000,000 in contracts for the "interceptor" vests and supplied 19,000 of them - approx $6,500 per item.

www.dhbindustries.com...

So, what did DHB Industries gain by getting that waiver signed? Let's look at what happened to their stock value that month... Well well.. it jumped from a 52 week low of $6.83 to $22.70 and who were the principle traders? David Brooks (Owner DHB), Sandra Hatfield (President Point-Blank) and Dawn Schlegel (Partner Point Blank).

The three of them dumped 9.9 million shares in one month, for a payout of $194 Million. Brooks took the lion's share of over $185 million. And looky looky... They dumped 4 million shares the day before the waiver was signed.

Mon eycentral.com

I can't tell if the trail goes any further, but it's clear that they made a huge profit off getting those vests accepted and traded stocks with inside knowledge. Patricio should be investigated along with Brooks' companies in my opinion, it's hard to imagine he didn't get his palm well greased for selling out our soldier's lives.

edit/ Well, it just gets better and better. It turns out you can buy tactical vests to the same specifications that Point Blank's product doesn't meet for $900 - $1200. Bulletproofme.com

[edit on 5/10/2005 by mythatsabigprobe]



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 11:34 AM
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You have voted mythatsabigprobe for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.


'Atta boy, myth, take it to 'em!

Zip



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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Nice investigative work mythatsabigprobe, you get a Way Above from me too.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 11:57 AM
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Sadly- faulty military gear is not new neither is covering it up.

Since the Revolutionary War, America has suffered the same profiteering that has plagued armies throughout history.


US Quartermaster Corps
. . . the American Revolution where a similar catastrophe completely undid a less capable British commander. "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne found himself isolated at the end of a fractured supply line. Faced with a starve-or-fight situation at the battle of Saratoga, NY, he wound up surrendering his entire force to the American patriots.


I imagine Roman Legions suffered from faulty armor and gear as well.

In the American Civil War the Lincoln and Davis administrations suffered greatly from bad equipment. From bad horses to cannons that failed, caps that failed and bad powder. Clothes with no buttons and shoes with poorly sewed soles, both armies were plagued with profiteers.

In WW II the US Navy had unarguably the worst torpedo of any combatant at the beginning of the war. Many stories exist of failed torpedoes and large caliber naval shells failing to explode.


Smirking chimp
The main companies that were awarded billions of dollars worth of contracts in Iraq have paid more than $300 million in fines since 2000, to resolve allegations of fraud, bid rigging, delivery of faulty military equipment, and environmental damage.

For example, according to a review of documents conducted by the Associated Press, American tax payers are paying more than $780 million to one British firm that was convicted of fraud on 3 separate federal construction projects and was banned from US government work as recent as 2002.



English Militia
Militia assessments were also resented. Everyone was assessed for a contribution of weapons in accordance with their income but rates were often unfairly apportioned and cheating was common. Those assessed often supplied faulty weapons and lame horses and those who served sometimes made off with militia equipment.

War profiteers include small business and large corporations. From Boeing to Joe's Garage the public has been bilked and cheated.

Fines and jail terms don't seem to have dented any of this. Profiteering and military officers willing to go along with it seems as pervasive now as ever. This affects every nation. The Germans and Russians suffered with the problem as much as the Allied powers.

mythatsabigprobe another WATs-

Outstanding work.


Are they a minority enterprise or otherwise getting favorable treatment? (sec. 8(a))



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 12:10 PM
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Well, I can't give a Way Above vote, but I will issue an Applaud..



This is completely unacceptable. What's even more shocking is that within the documents obtained from the FOIA, Marine managers responsible for the protection of our marines signed waivers stating that they understand the vest are faulty, yet they would still like to use them.


To be honest though, a faulty vest is likely better than no vest at all, and that's probably what they were thinking....knowing full well replacements would be "on order" while their boys are getting shot at....



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 12:15 PM
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Excellent work, mythatsabigprobe. It is really difficult to respond to this without screaming and swearing - just because it has happened in the past does not justify it in the present. I'd like to see this Yahoo Patricio stand up in front of a room full of Marines and tell them about his decisiion-making process, I'd wager they would have to scrape him up with a spoon afterwards. In my opinion, it is a clear example of one of the most serious problems we are confronted with as Americans - the conflict between greed and morality, and the seemingly inevitable triumph of greed. Absolutely sickening. Unfortunately, it is not surprising.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 01:07 PM
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Wow, thanks everyone.. *blush*

It really wasn't anything to find this stuff, they have to file records of company officers and stock trades. I just googled it.

I wish it meant we'd get to see some justice, but I doubt it. They've probably still signing contracts for more of the same junk. My next question is how come only 19,000 vests were bought for 145,000 soldiers?


Report for Congress March 2005
As of March 4, 2005, according to DOD officials, approximately 144,875 U.S. forces are in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). There are currently 100,291 active duty, 33,030 National Guard, and 11,554 Reserve forces deployed in Iraq.1 Also, approximately 23,900 non-U.S. coalition forces from 25 countries are in Iraq contributing to stabilization operations.


I don't know if it means they already had equipment or they draw straws to see who gets to wear one?



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 01:15 PM
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Great job, bigprobe.


This is absolutely atrocious, bordering on traitorous. And funny, these companies are the kind that say "We Know Who We Work For (Lockheed Martin)."

Great idea. How about we pull our real soldiers from Iraq and send all of America's corporations to Iraq and have them handle the situation? They can hire private security forces and purchase mercenary services easily with their extensive capital. And I'm sure they'll do a great job.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 01:21 PM
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Good Morning America, how are you, don't you know me I'm your native son! Their treating these soldiers just like another group, the ones who fought in Vietnam.
Next we will be hearing their going to put screen doors on the subs.


[edit on 10-5-2005 by goose]



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by mythatsabigprobe
Follow the money on this one. Let's find out who profited from selling this crap and who authorized a waiver so that our soldiers could get killed all nice and legal like. Then put them in one of their vests and shoot the bastards.


Speaking of which, my friend in Moscow told me that in the early 90s, he saw a TV infomerical for an R&D company specializing in advanced alloys. It involved a fashion model decked out in a vest made with the alloys, and a guy with an AK-47. Reportedly he proceeded to shoot up the girl who then proceeded to smile
God knows what bruises she got, but she survived.

It sounds crazy, but exaclty the kind of things Russians would do.



posted on May, 10 2005 @ 03:00 PM
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they've received over $120,000,000 in contracts for the "interceptor" vests and supplied 19,000 of them - approx $6,500 per item.


Mythatsabigprobe, You said it man...right on, However...just to clear somethings up:

The $120,000,000 paid for alot more than 19,000 vest.
As stated in the story, it was 19,000 Interceptors (name of the vest)
that failed inspection.



In all, the Marine Corps accepted about 19,000 Interceptor outer tactical vests from Point Blank Body Armor Inc. that failed government tests


The $120,000,000 actually paid for a Corps wide transition from the old "FLAK" vest (from the early 80's) to the new Point Blank Intercecptors.
There were alot more than 19,000 bought. Every Marine in Iraq had one....that's just the ones over there not including the ones back in the states and other places.....

Which leads me to ask......How many more vest could be "bad" and signed off as "good"? Probably alot more that we do not know about.

Overall the Interceptor is an awesome vest cappable of stopping a 9mm, 45 or something along that lines. But a SAPI plate can be inserted into built in pockets on the front and back. SAPI plates I think have been rated upto 7.62. The vest alone without the plates can also stop shrapnel.




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