Monday, April 21, 2008

A ThunderVision of a Bunch of Crooks

Part of a post found at In From The Cold

Almost two years ago, we noted growing number the ethical and accountability issues facing the U.S. Air Force. Struggling to repair its reputation in the wake of the Boeing tanker lease debacle, the service was confronted by more allegations of wrong-doing, some involving high-ranking officials.

At the top of that list was the "Thunder-Vision" scandal, charges that senior officers tried to steer a contract for video screens to a company that included a retired four-star general among its partners. The screens were to be used to "jazz up" airshows that featured the USAF Thunderbirds, the service's world-famous, precision-flying team.

And sure enough, the Air Force awarded a $50 million contract to the company (Strategic Message Solutions) in December 2005--despite the fact that the firm's offer was more than twice as expensive as a competing bid. The service also ignored the precedent established by the Navy's Blue Angels, who received video screens for free, in exchange for selling advertising on their projection system during air shows. The SMS contract was later cancelled, after protests from rival firms.

Are these guys idiots? It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that this whole thing stinks to high heaven. The arrogance of these folks is astounding...and that's the only way to describe what happened. They were so arrogant that they thought they could get away with wasting our money, by giving it to their friends...all for some quid pro quo no doubt. Disgusting.

Some people need to re-examine that oath they took once upon a know that whole "protect and defend thing."



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