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The Price of Freedom is a $100,000 Belt Buckle

Written by Subject: Military Industrial Complex

The New York Times this morning has a priceless story about a former military contractor who, it is alleged, was fabulously and gloriously corrupt.

Amidst the now-standard tales of accounting fraud and forged signatures, there’s a wild brazenness about what, exactly, David H. Brooks is said to have paid for with the grifted funds and how, exactly, said expenditures were justified.

DHB, which specialized in making body armor used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, paid for more than $6 million in personal expenses on behalf of Mr. Brooks, covering items as expensive as luxury cars and as prosaic as party invitations, Ms. Schlegel testified.

Also included were university textbooks for his daughter, pornographic videos for his son, plastic surgery for his wife, a burial plot for his mother, prostitutes for his employees, and, for him, a $100,000 American-flag belt buckle encrusted with rubies, sapphires and diamonds. …

His lawyers also defended the hiring of prostitutes for employees and board members, arguing in court papers that it represented a legitimate business expense “if Mr. Brooks thought such services could motivate his employees and make them more productive.”

Now that’s the type of creative, innovative incentives program you expect from a private contractor.

Sadly, the alleged huckster is not that David Brooks. But this is what a $100,000 belt buckle looks like. Chant that at your next protest.


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