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2003-12-08

"It Really Is Unclear Where The Air Force Begins And Boeing Ends"

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From Richard Perle to James Woolsey, deep ties between Boeing and Washington highlight the revolving door of the military industrial complex. Internal emails reveal Boeing attempted to win an $18B Air Force contract by hiring top Air Force officials, giving money to key Pentagon advisors and ghost-writing editorials.

The Financial Times is reporting today that defense contractor Boeing had developed ties with at least six members of an influential civilian Pentagon advisory board as it attempted to win support for an $18 billion contact with the Air Force. Boeing gave millions to separate investment funds run by former assistant secretary of defense Richard Perle and former CIA head James Woolsey. Perle is also coming under criticism for writing an editorial in the Wall Street Journal in support of the Boeing deal without disclosing his ties to the project.

The ties between Boeing and the Defense Policy Board mark the latest in an ongoing series of potential conflicts of interest that have emerged between Capitol Hill and the arms manufacturer.

In late November Boeing fired Darleen Druyun. She was allegedly recruited by Boeing while working for the Air Force as one of the chief architects of the Boeing contract. Along with Druyan, Boeing has fired its chief financial officer Mike Sears.

Boeing CEO’s Phil Condit resigned last week.

On Saturday, The New York Times revealed that Marvin Sambur, an Air Force acquisitions officer, shared inside Pentagon information with Boeing during negotiations. He also continued to urge the Pentagon to sign the Boeing deal even after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had expressed concern over the project.

And U.S. News and World Report is reporting today that the Sen. John McCain plans to call for a congressional investigation to examine the large number of governmental officials who have left Washington to work for Boeing.

  • Keith Ashdown, vice president of policy and communications at Taxpayers for Common Sense. He has been tracking the Boeing-Air Force deal for the past two years.

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