Friday, March 07, 2008

U.S. Awards 2nd LARGEST MILTARY CONTRACT EVER 2 FRANCE!!! what the F' ??

The second largest military contract ever handed out by our government (for more than $35 billion) to build new air tankers for the Air Force to replace its aging KC-135 tankers, was just awarded to an American firm -- but the tankers will be built in their subsidiary in France, a company which also builds the Airbus, Boeing's major competitor. The states of Washington and Kansas, the two largest manufacturers of Boeing planes, have risen up in wrath against the government's awarding all this work for perhaps the next decade to a company in France, when the economy in our own country is presently in a recession, and probably headed for a depression under the present administration. Awarding contracts to firms with European ties is not unusual. Large military contracts have been manufactured in Italy as well as in Germany over the past decade. Let us take a look at the background of this contract. It was only a few months ago that Boeing entered into a contract to lease 100 air tankers to the Air Force for a period of 20 years, after which time the planes would still be owned by Boeing. Sen. McCain was probably the only senator objecting to this leasing arrangement, since he felt that the Air Force should own the tankers, since the purpose of these new planes was to replace the Air Force's aging KC-135 tankers presently more than half a century old, with the oldest of them stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane. The Fairchild planes would be the first ones replaced if this new contract proceeds. However, the leasing contract was turned down by the government because all of a sudden, an investigation showed that the key chief Air Force Procurement officer was being paid to make sure that Boeing received that contract -- further, she was to be hired by Boeing at a six-figure salary upon her forthcoming retirement from the Air Force. Both she and Boeing's chief officer who had arranged this sweet deal are serving time in federal prison today. Naturally, due to this history, Boeing's bid on the replacement air tankers was rejected. A new contract with more stringent requirements was put out for bid. When the bids came in, the successful firm, with its French partner, met the higher requirements in four out of five major components of the bid and tied Boeing on the fifth. All hell is breaking loose at this moment. Labor leaders are saying we need the jobs in this country more than France needs the jobs. They are saying also that Boeing is one of the finest military aircraft builders in the U.S.; that France for years has heavily subsidized its industries, including Airbus. Because of the subsidies to French farmers, Great Britain for years refused to become a part of the European Union. It was only half a century ago when I was in the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Ships that the Navy gave out a bid for destroyers to a French shipbuilding firm. The arguments then were very similar to those of today except that the French government had known Communists as ministers in their government, and we at the time were still in the heyday of McCarthyism. The Navy was obliged to back down because of the uproar in this country. But should we back down on the present air tanker contract? Should we reward corporations who lie, cheat and commit criminal acts to win military contracts? I, for one, felt that Boeing should not have been allowed even to bid on this contract at all. Boeing, which once had a splendid record of quality products and quality work a number of years ago, sort of lost its way when old officers retired, new ones took over and moved the headquarters from Seattle to Chicago; when they expanded into all sorts of military fields. Prior to that time, military contracts had been a very small part of Boeing's business. Should we reward a company that presently holds three large military contracts, but has had cost overruns of many billions of dollars? Should we reward a company that has been responsible for shoddy workmanship on part of a fence being built for national security purposes between Mexico and the Arizona/Texas border? Should we reward a company which doesn't care about either its employees or their morale, or the quality of the work it puts out, but only the size of its bottom line? It has been only a very few years since, my very good friend visited a friend in Seattle who is retired from a very responsible job with Boeing. He toldthem that the company is no longer the same. He has two sons plus two sons-in-law presently working at Boeing, all of whom say they no longer have any pride in their company, nor have they any faith in the product they produce. The forthcoming presidential election of 2008 is all about change -- change in the way we do business; changing from corporate control of the federal government to a people-controlled federal government. How can we expect to change the corporations as long as we kowtow to them on the basis of more jobs temporarily, rather than the morality of a good job done, backed by a corporation's hard-earned good name? Yes, Mr. Bush; let's create your legacy and accept the fact that the government should be run by the people, for the people, and not by the corporations, for the purpose of fattening their own bottom lines. The good you are doing in Africa won't wipe out the harm you have done to this country by your corporate-controlled government. PLEASE RESPECT,THANK,HONOR,SUPPORT & PRAY FOR OUR TROOPS,VETS,FIRST RESPONDERS and THEIR FAMILIES ;-)

No comments: