This literally makes me so angry that my hands are shaking as I type this. For all the rhetoric that gets spun out in the media that the anti-war movement is hurting the troops, here is very real, very tangible proof that the troops ARE being hurt. But not by those of us who want them out of harm's way. No, they're being hurt by those who decided to send them there.
A study completed in late June by the Pentagon's Inspector General concludes that the Department of Defense (DoD) has risked the lives of U.S. troops in Iraq due to malfeasance in awarding and monitoring contracts for badly-needed armored vehicles.
The study, which was requested by Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter of New York, found that since 2000 the DoD has awarded "sole-source" contracts valued at $2.2 billion to just two companies, Force Protection, Inc.(FPI) and Armor Holdings, Inc (AHI).
Inspector General auditors found that the Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) made these two companies the sole providers of armored vehicles and armor kits for troops, despite knowing that other suppliers may have produced the equipment so desperately needed in Iraq substantially faster. Both manufacturers fell far behind delivery schedules, while AHI also produced inadequate and faulty equipment.