Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rummy is no dummy, he's just busy.

The WaPo has gotten ahold of a transcript of an interview then-Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz did with Rummy in his office on April Fool's day 2005 regarding the Air Force tanker leasing deal. That deal is probably the biggest DOD procurement ripoff to come down the pike in a while but Rummy apparently knows nothing about it.

"Rumsfeld cited poor memory, loose office procedures, and a general distraction with "the wars" in Iraq and Afghanistan to explain why he was unsure how his department came to nearly squander $30 billion leasing several hundred new tanker aircraft that its own experts had decided were not needed."

It's only $30 billion, that's chump change to Rummy and besides, he's busy mismanaging his two disasterous wars, give him a break!

Since the administration basically just shows up and puts the bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in front of Congress for their rubber stamp approval, there's no need to spend a lot of time watching where the money is going, which is apparently how they do business over there. The comptroller general of the United States, David M. Walker, said in a report about the procurment proceedures at the DOD that the department is "simply not positioned to deliver high-quality products in a timely and cost-effective fashion." DOD has "a long-standing track record of over-promising and un-delivering with virtual impunity."

This should come as no surprise to anyone; just look at all the boondoggles that the pentagon regularly wastes our money on like: the MV-22 Osprey , the Isomer Hand Grenade, and the biggest waste of money of all time: The Star Wars missile defense system.

We can't figure ou how to get enough armored plates to the Marines in Anbar, in fact, 80% of those who have died so far would be alive today if Rummy had been paying attention, but Rummy says, "My time basically in the department was focused on those things and certainly not on acquisitions or -- or what have you. Basically I spend an overwhelming portion of my time with the combatant commanders and functioning as the link between the president ... and the combatant commanders conducting the wars."

And he's doing a hell of job, isn't he?

John McCain wasn't so impressed when he had Rummy in front of him at an Armed Services Committee hearing back in 2005:

"Does it bother you when there are many members of the Defense Policy and Science Board were lobbying DOD and Air Force officials to approve the lease of 100 Boeing 767s? Some of them are mentioned in the Boeing e-mails: Richard Perle, Bill Schneider, General Fogleman, Admiral Jeremiah and Admiral Clemins.

MCCAIN: Doesn't all of this bother you, Mr. Secretary, that this incestuous relationship that went on between Boeing and the United States Air Force, and the secretary of the Air Force in particular, and Mr. Samber, that none of these people have been called to account for this kind of behavior?"

RUMSFELD: Senator McCain, I, personally, and we, the department, take seriously any and every allegation of wrongdoing.

MCCAIN: These are facts, Mr. Secretary. These are facts on paper of e-mails that were sent within the Department of Defense and by Boeing.

RUMSFELD: We -- as you are well aware, there's a Department of Defense inspector general's investigation of the entire aspect of this. And we are proceeding in an orderly and systematic way to try to come to the truth as to what took place. I assure you that if there has been wrongdoing, as there appears to have been, we will take appropriate action."

I'm so sure!


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