Sunday, February 17, 2008

And Let God Sort It Out 

If you have been reading our stalwart colleague J. Doolittle at Bad Attitudes, you already know about the substandard helmets supplied to our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere by Sioux Manufacturing of North Dakota, a cost-shaving measure which resulted in the company's receiving A) a $2 million fine from the DoJ, and B) a $74 million contract to make new improved helmets for the Pentagon. Now, from our equally stalwart colleague the Fixer at Alternate Braincomes another, similarly appalling tale of corners cut and American lives squandered:
Hundreds of U.S. Marines have been killed or injured by roadside bombs in Iraq because Marine Corps bureaucrats refused an urgent request in 2005 from battlefield commanders for blast-resistant vehicles, an internal military study concludes . . . .

Cost was a driving factor in the decision to turn down the request for the so-called MRAPs, according to the study. Stateside authorities saw the hulking vehicles, which can cost as much as a $1 million each, as a financial threat to programs aimed at developing lighter vehicles that were years from being fielded . . . .

An urgent February 2005 request for MRAPs got lost in bureaucracy. It was signed by then-Brig. Gen. Dennis Hejlik, who asked for 1,169 of the vehicles. The Marines could not continue to take "serious and grave casualties" caused by IEDs when a solution was commercially available, wrote Hejlik, who was a commander in western Iraq from June 2004 to February 2005.

Gayl cites documents showing Hejlik's request was shuttled to a civilian logistics official at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in suburban Washington who had little experience with military vehicles. As a result, there was more concern over how the MRAP would upset the Marine Corps' supply and maintenance chains than there was in getting the troops a truck that would keep them alive, the study contends.
Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason?
Why, if it prosper --
Ahhhhrrr, fuck it. You know the rest.

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