Man, the Hatchets Are Out

Check the subtle phraseology in this MSNBC article after the blockbuster headline.

McCain advisers lobbied for Airbus
…’Aesthetics are not good,’
McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in waiting, has been a key figure in the Pentagon’s yearslong attempt to complete a deal on the tanker. McCain helped block an earlier tanker contract with Boeing and prodded the Pentagon in 2006 to develop bidding procedures that did not exclude Airbus.

Wow. It’s hard to be more slanted and still truthful at the same time. In this paragraph alone, they’ve left off the “after Boeing executives went to prison” etc., as well as mentioning Airbus, vice the fact that McCain wanted to insure a fair COMPETITION. That would mean, uh, yeah, that Airbus wouldn’t be excluded because who else could compete with Boeing? They sort of get around to that point a little further down…

…EADS retained Ogilvy Government Relations and The Loeffler Group to lobby for the tanker deal last year, months after McCain sent two letters urging the Defense Department to make sure the bidding proposals guaranteed competition.
…”All I asked for in this situation was a fair competition,” he told reporters Monday at Lambert Field in St. Louis, home of a Boeing fighter jet plant.
On Friday, he defended his aggressive oversight: “I never weighed in for or against anybody that competed for the contract. All I asked for was a fair process. And the facts are that I never showed any bias in any way against anybody — except for the taxpayer.”

Then there’s THIS gem:

It is unclear what EADS hired the lobbyists to do. Loeffler and Airbus officials did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages left late Monday.

Perhaps…lobby? Does Boeing have lobbyists? Well, damned if they don’t! I’m shocked!! And is MSNBC calling to ask what they do? Maybe they’re not because we already knew the answer years ago.

Documents Show Extent of Lobbying by Boeing
In a last-ditch effort to block a controversial $20 billion proposal by the Air Force to lease a fleet of Boeing 767 aerial tankers…documents showing a high-level lobbying campaign by the Air Force and Boeing to fend off critics as well as potential competitors.
The documents, made public over the holiday weekend and first reported in The Washington Post and elsewhere, come as two Senate committees are planning to hold hearings this week on the $20 billion leasing plan, which Senator McCain, an Arizona Republican, has long criticized as corporate welfare.
In releasing the documents, which include Boeing and Air Force e-mail messages and internal memos culled from some 8,000 documents, he is trying to show that the Air Force and Boeing assisted each other in structuring the program, promoting it in Washington and setting requirements so that no other competitors could qualify.

The Air Force and Boeing have been winkwink, nudgenudge, cheek-by-jowl cozy for so long, they’ve forgotten what the concept of competition even IS.

…One of the more revealing memos among the newly released documents showed that Darleen Druyun, then the principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition and management, told Boeing to ”keep in mind” that an Airbus bid was $5 million to $17 million cheaper per airplane than a basic Boeing 767. The information was disclosed in an April 1 meeting of Air Force and Boeing officials after Boeing had been selected over Airbus.

Ms. Druyun is now deputy general manager of Boeing’s missile defense systems.

(One hand washes the other.) And really, who needs a paid lobbyist, when you’ve got an good friend on the inside?

…”The Pentagon has been saying Ms. Druyun was a tough negotiator,” Miller continued. “Ironically, while she was working for the Air Force, as we initially suspected, she was actually negotiating on behalf of Boeing.”

Well, she’s not so much any more.
So who caused this big rumpus back in 2003 that crashed the pajama party?
John McCain.
I guess they’re hoping the memories fade and no one thinks to Google “boeing lobbyist”.

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