CYA Pentagon-Style


The lead story at this morning adds a bit of clarity to why the Pentagon ordered mothballed Tomcats to be crushed into little bits: They were covering their asses.

A GAO report issued yesterday states that roughly 1,400 parts that could be used to fix F-14s were sold in February. These sales happened after the Pentagon announced it had suspended sales of all parts that could be used on the Tomcat while it reviewed the security situation.

According to the article “the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service, the Pentagon’s surplus sales division, told investigators the parts were sold because it failed to update an automated control list and remove the aircraft parts before they were listed on its Internet sales site.

“A Democratic senator said the investigation shows why legislation he proposed that would ban the sale of all F-14 parts is needed.

“‘The Pentagon’s system is still riddled with holes,’ Sen. Ron Wyden said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. ‘These are the very parts that they said they wouldn’t be selling, and they still are, and so you’ve got to make sure the changes are going to actually have teeth and work.'”

Sen. Wyden also added that his legislation recognizes “that the Pentagon has bumbled to the point where they can’t make the distinction” between sensitive and innocuous surplus.

So, again, the crushing of Tomcats was in essence a grand closing of the barn door after the livestock had escaped. As the GAO report circulated around the Pentagon (weeks before you and I knew it was coming out) the powers that be knew they had to do some damage control to keep other pesky lawmakers like Wyden from making a big deal of their fumble. Okay . . . now it makes sense.

Of course, as members of the savvy DT audience have pointed out before and as anyone who’s every worked around Tomcats knows firsthand, it’ll take more than a few Black Market items to keep the ridiculously old Iranian Tomcat fleet airborne. Remember these are first-gen airplanes . . . like 158XXX bureau numbers. Can you imagine their maintenance man hour per flight hour stat? Good friggin’ luck keeping those puppies FMC.

I say we slip ’em just enough parts to keep the maintainers pulling their hair out while the aviators twiddle their thumbs in the ready room.

Here’s an AP video report on the GAO report:

Play Video
Pentagon Sold F-14 Parts Sought by Iran
Associated Press - (APTN)
Aug. 01, 2007. 11:13 PM EST
Government investigators say roughly 1400 parts that could be used on F-14 ‘Tomcat’ fighter jets were sold to the public in February, a move that could jeopardize national security because Iran is seeking such components. (August 1)

— Ward

  • Foreign.Boy

    The video clip mentions that missile parts were sold too. My initial reaction was “So what, 1,400 parts… probably enough to fix 1 jet….”
    But missile parts? That could be bad if they can reverse engineer them.
    Honestly…. is the Tomcat that good of a jet that it’ll hamper US pilots with their new tech?

  • Grandjester

    Effing ridiculous. Look at the article below this one, Iran buying 250 SU-30s and they have 25 Tomcats. Hmmmm, why don’t we SELL them the parts and remaining airframes with the caveat that they don’t buy the Suhkois? Facing 10X more in 4th Gen fighters seems like the more dangerous option.

  • Ward

    Very good point, Grandjester. A cohesive approach to foreign policy would be nice, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately we have too many organizations (DoD, State, NATO, UN) and not enough coordination.

  • AK

    So no F-14 warbird ever?? Pity. Would be an awesome display plane. Not as unrealistic as it might appear maintenance-wise (assuming bits somewhere) given there’s a flying English electric Lightening, F-104, and mebbe a bunch of others people know about?

  • Nied

    There’s been credible evidence that the IRIAF has been able to domestically reverse engineer most of the parts they need to keep their Tomcats flying. And while they are old they have lived considerably easier lives than our Tomcats (nice soft flared landings on comfortably long runways instead of hundreds controlled crashes into a carrier) so while I don’t doubt they’ve become harder to keep flying I’m sure they’re in a lot better shape than our F-14s at the end of their service lives.

  • Roy Smith

    This is the work of international bankers & the neo-con men working another neo-con job on all of us.The above mentioned culprits are propping up Iran,just like the bankers propped up Germany so that World War I could keep going on.While Iran is being propped up,our own forces are being emasculated.We are destroying weapon systems left & right which only serves to weaken our nation so it can be absorbed first into a NAFTA super state & then One World Government.Meanwhile,like I said,Iran is being given newer weapons to further the Hegelian Dialectical thesis + antithesis = synthesis.I have yet to see that F-35 Carrier jet or VTOL Marine jet.I have yet to see any quality weapon systems replacing the weapons we retired,scrapped,&/or sunk.I still don’t know why the F-22 Raptor was considered better than & chosen over the F-23 Black Widow.First the Comanche helicopter is cancelled & now the ARH is cancelled,or at least close to it.I guess there is nothing more fearful to the New World Order than an independent USA with weapons that actually work & who can defend itself.Open your eyes & look,our own government is destroying the quality of our weapons & running them done without replacements.I wonder if Rome was so blind before its fall.

  • Clint

    He Ward… On the neo-con bit. Are you a modern Rip Van Winkle or a Lilliputian. I have dealt with this methodology for more than 35 years. It is the product of an entrenched bureaucracy. Wake up and understand Gov is not inclined toward solutions and money invested gains returns inversely proportional to the amount invested.

  • Bradley

    OH here we go with the infamous NAU/SPP paranoia… America is going to lose all soverignty and become part of a one world govt…
    Nothing in the article proves the NAU anymore than it proves Roswell has ufo aliens in some storage facility.
    ufo’s, crop circles, the NAU conspiracy, proof that pharmaceutical companies are a great long term investment

  • JC

    More propaganda from the left. After hearing on talk radio, that the democrats’s will be dissapointed if the United States wins the war because it will put a big hole their plan to take the White House in the next election, I do not put anything pass the Dems and reporters (including those in this paper).

  • Harry

    I almost wish someone would drop a bomb on the congress and the senate buildings, they are destroying tha American way of life by their self serving ways and complete disregard of the American tax paying citizens.
    They can destroy usable materials that any fool could do, but they can not solve the immigration problems……what a bunch of “lawless lawyers” we have governing our country. They should all be arrested for treason……

  • 22lr

    If Irna really wanted F-14 parts, why cant they just make em, any part can be made if you really want it. And why the heck do they even fly airplanes that were made by the “lesser satan” is it maybe that there own airplanes SUCK, HMMM. Big deal, let our f-22s go blow up a few f-14s, and all is well.

  • Anonymous

  • ?????

  • rigma

    That proves my apprehension of Iranian ability!
    We don’t hate em…But Individuals do!We=Nation/divisions…Not all America is America!
    Foreign interests suck.