I watched a report on NBC Evening News the other night. There was a very interesting, yet shocking investigative report by Lisa Myers that literally sent me over the edge.
One of the many problems for our troops is attacks by RPGs (Rocket-Propelled Grenades). These attacks have taken the lives of our sons and daughters. Earlier this year, General Dynamics announced they had completed testing of an Israeli system, named Raphael that builds a "hemispheric bubble" around vehicles, senses incoming RPGs and defends against them by intercepting and blowing them up. GD has field tested the system in Virginia. It is said to be 98% effective in completing its mission. According to Meyer's investigation, the Pentagon has officially blessed this program and its rapid deployment to our troops who need all the support we can give them.
However, officials at the Department of the Army are opposed to using this life-saving equipment. The reason? Because they have already awarded a $21 million contract to Raytheon to design and develop the same type of system and this would be a threat to that contract. No, I won't repeat that again. How could anyone in their logical thinking mind think this makes any sense at all? It sounds like a complete waste of taxpayer dollars, but more importantly, an overt and callous disregard for the lives of our nation's military forces in a war zone.
We need to scream bloody murder to our Senators and Representatives about these callous and despicable actions on the part of the Department of the Army merely to protect a defense contractor, whose CEO makes around $36,000,000 a year.
Links to applicable articles:
http://www.raytheon.com/newsroom/stellent/groups/public/documents/legacy_site/cms01_052438.pdf , Raytheon profile of William Swanson;
http://www.defense-update.com/products/t/trophy.htm , Defense-Update article (note this article is from Volume 1, 2004);
http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?list=type&type=13 , CorpWatch article about Raytheon's position as one of the top defense contractors.