What’s the Obama administration’s explanation for Wounded Warrior’s existence? How about the Republicans who control Congress? If it’s the case that the Wounded Warrior Project is centered on important and laudable supplemental services (such as “family support” or the “stress relief events” for hospital doctors and nurses described in the IRS filing) on top of the billions the government already provides, then someone needs to explain the seemingly basic services, such as physical therapy and counseling, that dominate the commercials and that are also described in the IRS filing.

Beyond that, if these are predominantly supplementary services meant to provide aid beyond what government can do, then why not put the arm on those in the private sector who profit the most when our soldiers go off to war?

Wounded Warrior spent $57.7 million in fiscal 2011, according to its IRS report. The Defense Department spends about $350 billion a year on all private contractors. That produces one of the most prosperous sectors of the private economy, yielding, for example, much of the $3.8 billion in operating income enjoyed last year by Lockheed Martin, the nation’s largest defense contractor.

If those contractors kicked in, say, five one-hundredths of 1 percent of what they get from the Pentagon - a nickel for every hundred dollars - the Wounded Warrior budget would be quadrupled. Why not ask some of the defense contractor CEOs if they’d be willing to do that?

3. Why wasn’t JPMorgan indemnified for the sins of Bear Stearns?

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s sued JPMorgan last week over alleged fraud by its Bear Stearns subsidiary in the marketing of mortgage-backed securities leading up to the Wall Street meltdown. Since then, the general narrative of JPM’s defense has been that the bank had bought the sinking Bear Stearns at the behest of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department, which hoped to avoid a systemwide meltdown. Thus, from JPMorgan’s perspective this is an example of no good deed going unpunished.

However, as Bloomberg’s William Cohan argued on Monday, another thread of the JPM-Bear narrative has to do with how hard JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon bargained to get a fire-sale deal when he took over Bear. Therefore, according to Cohan, Dimon and his bank should be responsible for the risks they took on along with the valuable assets they got at a lowball price.

Leaving aside who’s right, I have one basic question that I hope a reporter asks Dimon: If the government was so desperate for you to rescue Bear, why didn’t you insist that it indemnify you from suits exactly like this one? Did you and your lawyers screw up? Or, as I suspect is more likely, if you tried to get indemnification but couldn’t, how can you argue now that you didn’t willingly assume the risks?

 

Steven Brill , the author of Class Warfare: Inside the Fight To Fix America’s Schools, has written for magazines including New York, The New Yorker, Time, Harper's, and The New York Times Magazine. He founded and ran Court TV, The American Lawyer magazine, ten regional legal newspapers, and Brill's Content magazine. He also teaches journalism at Yale, where he founded the Yale Journalism Initiative.