The Mother Of All Earmarks

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Hard to tell whose intern wrote this letter, but it went out from the office of Representative Todd Tiahrt, of Kansas, to a couple hundred of his closest friends whose congressional districts can get some taxpayer money if that $35 billion Air Force Tanker Deal is given to Boeing.

Try to forget that, in an earlier phase of this boondoggle, Boeing bribed the Pentagon acquisitions officer with the promise of a fat job (and then delivered). That was when Boeing was going to “lease” the tankers to the Air Force and make an extra $20 billion. Said officer did her bribed duty, then got the fat job, and then went directly to jail. Then Boeing fired its CEO when her deal didn’t go through.

And now Congress is supposed to be outraged, OUTRAGED, that the contract will go not to Boeing, but to a French outfit that makes a better product and, golly, isn’t in jail or bribing people!
OK, OK, you say, they ALL bribe people. But I know the people Boeing bribes (“strike that,” as Howard Baker would say to the guy transcribing his remarks on the Senate floor) — whom Boeing **contributes money to** in all sorts of curious ways. And those people never mention their millions of walk-around money from Boeing in their bylines, their speech intro’s, or their self-congratulatory tirades, worthy of the decade-of-greed crowd, shouting down objections as “unpatriotic” and worse.

A lot of these guys are even getting actual sales commissions on these multi-billion dollar contracts. Have they ever told us (as in full disclosure)? Will Boeing promise to tell us if they get the contract to build their inferior product? Maybe Congress can write that in as it earmarks $35 billion for the bribers.

Here’s the “please sign this letter to the president” letter from Tiahrt. Please note that Tiahrt is “baffled” by the decision, but not by the causes of the “time of economic uncertainty” that makes it so imperative that Boeing get the sweet deal.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The Honorable George W. Bush

President of the United States

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are outraged by the recent Air Force decision to award the KC-X Next Generation Air-fueling Tanker contract to a foreign competitor in the name of the Northrop Grumman/European Aeronautic Defence and Space Team. As you know, the decision to award this $35 billion contract has brought wide-spread concern and opposition across the nation.

We have strong reasons to believe that the tanker competition was clearly unfair and heavily weighted in favor of a foreign manufacturer. With illegal subsidies, waived regulations and unequal evaluations it is impossible for an American manufacturer to win. If not overturned it will negatively impact the United States for generations. An American tanker should be built by an American company with American workers. America must not outsource its national security.

This is yet another example of our own government putting the US at an economic disadvantage. During a time of economic uncertainty, it is baffling why the Department would decide to use American taxpayer dollars to send at least 19,000 jobs overseas.

Therefore, we strongly demand that the Department of Defense reverse this dangerous decision to award the KC-X Tanker contract to the Northrop Grumman/European Aeronautic Defence and Space Team.

Sincerely,

2:05 pm on March 7, 2008