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Author Topic: Manufaturer supports the troops!  (Read 2901 times)
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unbreakable
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« on: February 07, 2008, 08:30:06 PM »

Another great story of no-bid contracts in action...

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A North Dakota manufacturer has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a suit saying it had repeatedly shortchanged the armor in up to 2.2 million helmets for the military, including those for the first troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jeff Kenner and Tamra Elshaug, former managers, filed a whistle-blower suit accusing Sioux Manufacturing of fraud and safety violations.
Twelve days before the settlement with the Justice Department was announced, the company, Sioux Manufacturing of Fort Totten, was given a new contract of up to $74 million to make more armor for helmets to replace the old ones, which were made from the late 1980s to last year.

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Lee
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2008, 12:54:46 AM »

I didn't see anything that said they had a no-bid contract.

More than likely they were awarded the contract because of numerous other factors that it takes to get a government contract and the fact they were the cheapest, which resulted in sub-standard products.
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Brendan
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2008, 01:03:00 AM »

Quote from: Lee on February 08, 2008, 12:54:46 AM

I didn't see anything that said they had a no-bid contract.

More than likely they were awarded the contract because of numerous other factors that it takes to get a government contract and the fact they were the cheapest, which resulted in sub-standard products.

Shouldn't hundreds of inspection violations (which may have resulted in American casualties) disqualify a company from having their contract renewed 12 days before the feds settled a two-year lawsuit with them?
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Lee
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2008, 01:07:47 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on February 08, 2008, 01:03:00 AM

Quote from: Lee on February 08, 2008, 12:54:46 AM

I didn't see anything that said they had a no-bid contract.

More than likely they were awarded the contract because of numerous other factors that it takes to get a government contract and the fact they were the cheapest, which resulted in sub-standard products.

Shouldn't hundreds of inspection violations (which may have resulted in American casualties) disqualify a company from having their contract renewed 12 days before the feds settled a two-year lawsuit with them?

It doesn't mean they didn't win a bid. Here is why they got the bid:

Sioux Manufacturing Corporation is 100% Tribally owned by the Spirit Lake Nation. Sioux Manufacturing Corporation is a self certified Small Disadvantaged Business and certified HUBZone Small Business Concern.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2008, 01:11:11 AM by Lee » Logged
Brendan
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2008, 01:10:58 AM »

Sure - I have no idea if there were alternate bidders.  I didn't say it was no-bid.  I'm just sort of surprised that that was your response to unbreakable's post, rather than "What fuckers - they don't deserve to receive seventy-four million dollars to continue making helmets for the US military."
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Lee
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2008, 01:17:47 AM »

Because this kind of thing is pretty common, so I wasn't surprised. The military gets crappy equipment because of their contract requirements. By saying it was a "no-bid" contract implies that someone got the bid because of self promotion or being friends of someone high up (which I would guess is what Unbreakable was aiming at). This more than likely wasn't the case, they got the contract for being a small business owned by Native Americans. The government wastes money and gets bad contracts all the time which would never fly in the business world.
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unbreakable
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2008, 02:52:42 AM »

Quote from: Lee on February 08, 2008, 01:17:47 AM

Because this kind of thing is pretty common, so I wasn't surprised. The military gets crappy equipment because of their contract requirements.

No... TFA is quite clear that the manufacturer was in violation of the contract requirements.

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By saying it was a "no-bid" contract implies that someone got the bid because of self promotion or being friends of someone high up (which I would guess is what Unbreakable was aiming at).

Or just that the "fiscal conservatives" aren't the model of fiscal responsibility they keep chanting they are.  And, you know, never have been to begin with.

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This more than likely wasn't the case, they got the contract for being a small business owned by Native Americans. The government wastes money and gets bad contracts all the time which would never fly in the business world.

So I say it was a no-bid, which isn't substantiated.... and your rebuttal is to say it's not, it's that damn libr00l minority-owned business manipulation, which isn't substantiated either.

Which is all neither here nor there, since the crux of the problem is that they had a contract to supply AT THE MINIMUM a 35x35 thread per square inch weave, and instead were supplying, at the most, a 35x34 weave, and most of the time it was much less, around a 32x34 weave:

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At the core of the investigation was the contention by two former plant managers that Kevlar woven at Sioux failed to meet the government’s “critical” minimum standard of 35 by 35 threads a square inch.

When properly woven, Kevlar, a polymer thread made by Dupont, is stronger than steel, and able to deflect shrapnel and some bullets. Government regulations call for rejecting Kevlar below the 35-by-35 standard.

The company “was underweaving,” Mr. Wrigley said.

“That is undebatable,” he said.

The factory’s own inspection records often showed weaves of 34 by 34 threads or as low as 32 by 34 and 33 by 34. Looms were “always set for 34 by 34, always,” said Jeff Kenner, who operated and repaired the looms and oversaw crews on all three shifts.

And of course, the typical response straight out of the conservative handbook:
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In a statement, the company president, Carl R. McKay, denied “any and all of the allegations originally brought to the attention of the Department of Justice by disgruntled ex-employees.”

Settling the case, United States v. Spirit Lake Tribe, filed in Federal District Court in Fargo, Mr. McKay said, was “a prudent business decision” to avoid legal costs and “should not be construed as an admission of wrongdoing.”

Disgruntled ex-employee, axe to grind, mistakes were made, lessons were learned, etc etc etc...

So it ends up being the typical corrupt corporate welfare state we get every time conservatives seize power.  Was it a no-bid?  Maybe, maybe not.  Does it really matter?  Not one iota.

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The potential harm is difficult to judge. Helmet damage depends on the projectile. Whether a damaged helmet would hold up better with a tighter weave is hard to calculate, experts said.

“You must have a certain amount of protection, and you can’t go below that,” said Gwynedd A. Thomas, associate professor of ballistics and protective fabrics at Auburn University.

Although the difference between 34 and 35 threads a square inch seems modest, the cumulative loss in layers of fabric is significant, Dr. Thomas said.

“Every time that you’re losing some mass, you’re losing some integrity,” she said.

The strength comes from crossed yarns, the points that disperse projectile impact. “The fewer crossovers, the less energy dissipation you’re going to have,” she added.

A 34-by-34 weave results in 5 percent fewer crossovers than 35 by 35, a difference Dr. Thomas called “quite a lot.”

“I’m surprised somebody is not pursuing that more vigorously from the government,” she added. Were she a soldier’s parent, she said, “I would want to give my son a better helmet.”

The $2 million settlement is far short of what the two former managers, Mr. Kenner and Tamra Elshaug, hoped for in 2006 when they filed a whistle-blower suit. The suit, for $159 million in damages, accused the company of defrauding the government and violating safety standards.

“I think they got away with it,” said Mr. Kenner, who worked at Sioux for 20 years and was the weaving supervisor. “Sioux Manufacturing basically got a slap on the wrist,” he said. “The Justice Department did a really good job, but the Department of Defense is really just downplaying this. They’re embarrassed and want it to go away and would not admit to anybody’s getting hurt or even killed.”

Mr. Kenner and Ms. Elshaug’s lawyer, Andrew J. Campanelli, challenged Defense Department contentions that it was unaware of injuries from defective helmets. “There are tons of injuries with shrapnel and bullets going through helmets,” he said. “My clients documented that American soldiers did not get the protection that the government paid for, that the taxpayers paid for.”

Seems pretty damn clear cut to me.  The contract said 35x35, and they didn't give 35x35.

I don't know what conservatives might call it, but in liberal-land we call that fraud.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2008, 02:55:55 AM by unbreakable » Logged
denoginizer
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2008, 03:14:59 AM »

Wait until we get some liberals in office !!!

I have no doubts that all government corruption and defense department waste will be a thing of the past !!!

It's gonna be great !!!
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unbreakable
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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2008, 03:21:42 AM »

Quote from: denoginizer on February 08, 2008, 03:14:59 AM

Wait until we get some liberals in office !!!

I have no doubts that all government corruption and defense department waste will be a thing of the past !!!

It's gonna be great !!!

It won't go away, but there will be two things which never exist under conservatives: oversight and accountability.

The conservative answer to corruption has always been to deregulate.  It can't be a crime if you take away the laws which criminalize what your campaign donors would like to do, or if you just look the other way when people commit crimes.  Or, you know, pardon them after they get tried and convicted and sentenced.

That's why they are called "E Coli Conservatives".  They live in some fantasy land where corruption doesn't exist (or rather, it's viewed as a good thing), companies never cut corners (or rather, it's viewed as a good thing), and the only problem with breaking the law is that those laws exist.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2008, 03:27:14 AM by unbreakable » Logged
denoginizer
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« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2008, 03:27:09 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on February 08, 2008, 03:21:42 AM

Or, you know, pardon them after they get tried and convicted and sentenced.

You mean like this...

http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/clintonpardon_grants.htm
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unbreakable
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2008, 03:34:28 AM »

Quote from: denoginizer on February 08, 2008, 03:27:09 AM

Quote from: unbreakable on February 08, 2008, 03:21:42 AM

Or, you know, pardon them after they get tried and convicted and sentenced.

You mean like this...

http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/clintonpardon_grants.htm

Were any of those people pardoned for committing crimes at the behest of Bill Clinton?  You know, kind of like what happened with Watergate, or Iran-Contra, or the S&L Scandal, or Traitorgate, or any of the zillions of other corrupt conservative activities?
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Brendan
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2008, 03:43:29 AM »

Jesus, we're on pardons again?  Didn't we cover this topic?

Maybe Bush would issue more pardons if his administration hadn't fucked up the pardon office.
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denoginizer
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2008, 03:47:55 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on February 08, 2008, 03:34:28 AM

Quote from: denoginizer on February 08, 2008, 03:27:09 AM

Quote from: unbreakable on February 08, 2008, 03:21:42 AM

Or, you know, pardon them after they get tried and convicted and sentenced.

You mean like this...

http://www.usdoj.gov/pardon/clintonpardon_grants.htm

Were any of those people pardoned for committing crimes at the behest of Bill Clinton?  You know, kind of like what happened with Watergate, or Iran-Contra, or the S&L Scandal, or Traitorgate, or any of the zillions of other corrupt conservative activities?

Nothing that complicated.  Just a very large donation to the Clinton Presidential Library.   slywink

Just to clarify.  I am not not condoning crimes committed by republicans.  I'm just think it's silly to think that all corruption and government waste is attributable to republicans and conservatives.  I am sensible enough to realize that democrats, libertarians, green party members, etc have committed crimes too.   The world is not nearly as black and white as you seem to think.  If we are fortunate enough to have Barrack Obama in office next year, I have no doubt that defense department corruption and federal government waste will still be rampant.
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Lee
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2008, 04:42:16 AM »

Quote from: unbreakable on February 08, 2008, 02:52:42 AM

Quote from: Lee on February 08, 2008, 01:17:47 AM

Because this kind of thing is pretty common, so I wasn't surprised. The military gets crappy equipment because of their contract requirements.

No... TFA is quite clear that the manufacturer was in violation of the contract requirements.

Which is not uncommon. Half assed jobs that take too long are not unusual for government contracts. As is over charging. That $35K hammer come to mind? (Or whatever the price was.) And I am not arguing that it's not ridiculous, I am arguing your conclusion that is was a typical "no-bid" contract when evidence points to the opposite.

Quote
Quote
By saying it was a "no-bid" contract implies that someone got the bid because of self promotion or being friends of someone high up (which I would guess is what Unbreakable was aiming at).

Or just that the "fiscal conservatives" aren't the model of fiscal responsibility they keep chanting they are.  And, you know, never have been to begin with.

Has nothing to do with fiscal conservatives, democrats, or anything else political. Has everything to do with the military and how they make their contracts. Believe it or not, when unit X needs something, they don't go through congress or the president, they do it themselves. The DoD made that contract for the helmets, not the politicians.

Quote
Quote
This more than likely wasn't the case, they got the contract for being a small business owned by Native Americans. The government wastes money and gets bad contracts all the time which would never fly in the business world.

So I say it was a no-bid, which isn't substantiated.... and your rebuttal is to say it's not, it's that damn libr00l minority-owned business manipulation, which isn't substantiated either.

Actually it is substantiated. It's in military regulations, that you don't know about, and don't care to research. Small business get benefits in bids as well as many other factors. I just took a class on it last week actually.

Quote
Which is all neither here nor there, since the crux of the problem is that they had a contract to supply AT THE MINIMUM a 35x35 thread per square inch weave, and instead were supplying, at the most, a 35x34 weave, and most of the time it was much less, around a 32x34 weave:

Completely agree, it's crap and things like this shouldn't happen. It does though, I just wasn't at all surprised by it.
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Brendan
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2008, 05:02:10 AM »

Quote from: Lee on February 08, 2008, 04:42:16 AM

Quote from: unbreakable on February 08, 2008, 02:52:42 AM

Quote from: Lee on February 08, 2008, 01:17:47 AM

Because this kind of thing is pretty common, so I wasn't surprised. The military gets crappy equipment because of their contract requirements.

No... TFA is quite clear that the manufacturer was in violation of the contract requirements.

Which is not uncommon. Half assed jobs that take too long are not unusual for government contracts. As is over charging. That $35K hammer come to mind? (Or whatever the price was.) And I am not arguing that it's not ridiculous, I am arguing your conclusion that is was a typical "no-bid" contract when evidence points to the opposite.

It was a $435 hammer.  It was, purportedly, a typo on a single invoice, and it was corrected before the government paid any extra in that case.

There were other excesses in DOD spending back then, but they occured in the 80s under Caspar Weinberger and a republican administration that increased defense spending precipitously.  The influx of excess cash caused corruption.  It was not a systemic problem with "government"; there are plenty of examples of militaries that don't waste ridiculous sums of money.

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unbreakable
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2008, 03:21:25 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on February 08, 2008, 03:47:55 AM

Just to clarify.  I am not not condoning crimes committed by republicans.  I'm just think it's silly to think that all corruption and government waste is attributable to republicans and conservatives.

And I think it's silly to not acknowledge that the vast majority of it is commited by conservatives and Republicans.  They ARE the culture of corruption, after all.

Quote
I am sensible enough to realize that democrats, libertarians, green party members, etc have committed crimes too.   The world is not nearly as black and white as you seem to think.  If we are fortunate enough to have Barrack Obama in office next year, I have no doubt that defense department corruption and federal government waste will still be rampant.

Of course it will.  There has to be a purge of the criminals.  The conservative appointees aren't going to stop stealing and trying to destroy the government from the inside just because a democrat is in the White House.
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2008, 03:48:56 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on February 08, 2008, 03:21:25 PM

They ARE the culture of corruption, after all.

...

There has to be a purge of the criminals.  The conservative appointees aren't going to stop stealing and trying to destroy the government from the inside just because a democrat is in the White House.

lol, anyone ever tell you you're an insightful, thoughtful person?
« Last Edit: February 08, 2008, 04:55:02 PM by VynlSol » Logged
unbreakable
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2008, 04:15:22 PM »

Quote from: VynlSol on February 08, 2008, 03:48:56 PM

lol, anyone ever tell you you're ate the fuck up?

What does that mean in English?
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2008, 01:10:42 PM »

Unbreakable- Really. Come on man.

Why do you have to turn EVERYTHING into a conservative bashing session?  The story had enough merits on it's own to warrant discussion, but you've now gone down the same path you always do -derailing your own thread I'd like to point out- and that's to blame the conservative boogey man for everything.

As for the topic at hand. I think they should be tried for treason and/or assisting enemy combatants in killing our troops.

They should also be sued into obllivion by anyone who's son/daughter died even potentially as a result of their not being enough armor on their crowns.
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