Why Now?
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
  Corporate Welfare
Senators Slam Boeing Deal
Among them were former Undersecretary of Defense Edward "Pete" Aldridge, who oversaw Pentagon purchasing and approved the tanker deal in May 2003; former Air Force Secretary James Roche, who resigned under fire for his role in the Boeing deal; and Gen. John Jumper, the current Air Force chief of staff.
The 256-page report also connected Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to the proposed arrangement, recounting a statement by Roche that Rumsfeld had called him in July 2003 to say "he did not want me to budge" on the tanker deal, despite criticism.
The report is the most sweeping in a series on the failed tanker deal, which military and Boeing officials have long sought to blame on Darleen Druyun, a former Air Force acquisitions official now serving a nine-month federal prison term.
There were references in the report to White House officials but their names were blacked out.

Ms. Druyun and a Boeing official took the heat for this, but anyone familiar with the military contracting process knew that two people couldn't pull it off. It's the same "rotten apple" excuse this administration continues to use.

Does the Air Force need to begin replacing its KC-135 fleet? Yes, there are a lot of old airframes with a lot of hours on them that should be replaced, but they weren't all bought at once and they don't all need to be replaced at once. They have seen a lot of use recently, but their replacement needs to be a competitive process to get the best new airframe to fulfill this vital role. The specifications on the 767 say it had major deficiencies that weren't being addressed and there is no reason to lease in any case.

This was a rip-off, start to finish. If Boeing can't make a go of it, Boeing should fail. The concept is called capitalism. They aren't going to bail out the dry cleaners located near the bases they're closing, so why are they bailing out Boeing?


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