Richard Shelby Held Up

Remember that Richard Shelby hold? Where he was holding the Senate hostage so Airbus could get a tanker refueling contract?

Well, given that Airbus withdrew from the competition yesterday, I thought it appropriate to see what Shelby has to say about all this…

The Air Force had a chance to deliver the most capable tanker possible to our warfighters and blew it.  This so–called competition was not structured to produce the best outcome for our men and women in uniform; it was structured to produce the best outcome for Boeing.  The Air Force’s refusal to make substantive changes to level the playing field shows that once again politics trumps the needs of our military.

What I’m particularly interested in is Shelby’s accusation that the Air Force blew it.

But they blew it (according to Shelby) without the three Air Force appointees that Shelby placed a hold on.

Fat lot of good it did you, Shelby, huh?

See, not only was Shelby’s little fit obstructive and wasteful, but it didn’t even serve Shelby’s purpose.

8 replies
  1. klynn says:

    I ask myself daily what kind of parenting choices creates a fit throwing, obstructive, does no good, and wasteful adult?

  2. Loo Hoo. says:

    So we’ve got kooks going after the Air Force and the Justice Department. Can’t somebody hate apple pie?

  3. Arbusto says:

    Aside from Shelby and his 95 +/- room temperature IQ brothers and sisters of the Senate, why the “F” are we even asking for a “New” tanker and the bizzions of assured cost overruns. The 747 is already configured as a tanker to fight forest fires. The purchase by Boeing of the STC (supplemental type certificate) license, added to the latest 747 configuration with more economical engines could have tankers in the air in a quarter the time required for a new design. And I don’t even want to talk about the “F”ing 22/35 boondoggle.

    • sundog says:

      Because the tankers we have are too damned old to keep flying anymore. We’ve stretched them out as far as they can go. Eventually, it becomes too old to keep them flying because you can’t get spare parts, maintenance is much higher than newer aircraft, etc.

      The forest fighting 747 is not a “tanker.” It isn’t even remotely similar to what’s required for air to air refueling. Also, it doesn’t meet the specs. It’s too big. It would also be way more expensive than the 767 they’re using as the basis.

      It should also be noted this doesn’t have a chance of ending up like the F-22 or F-35, since it doesn’t involve the use of new technology. They’re using modified 767’s, of which there already are tanker variants in service with Japan and, I think, Italy.

      Although, I should point out that there are differences, due to the requirement differences, between the existing tanker versions and those required for the USAF. So, it isn’t exactly the same 767 tanker configuration in existence. But it will still use all of the development that went into that version for the USAF variant.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    I would never include “effectiveness” in the list of reasons for Republican obstructionism. But it is good for the public to see the damage that obstructionism brings.

    In this case, the damage seems to be to Shelby’s client, Airbus. If the Air Force wanted the Airbus aircraft, it would ask for it or restructure its bidding process to allow it to reenter the field. They and their sister services are masters at that sort of pro-defense contractor shuffle.

    The odds seem pretty good that Shelby was in this for his corporate sponsor – Airbus – not to improve the resources available to the Air Force or to our men and women in the field. Will a Democrat ever make that clear to his or her voters or would that risk being caught later at the same game?

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Shelby quote, in part: “…The Air Force’s refusal to make substantive changes to level the playing field shows that once again politics trumps the needs of our military”.

      Oh, what I’d give to see some good, hard questioning of Shelby — under oath — discuss the previous incidents that he means by ‘politics trumps the needs of our military’.

      No doubt that ‘history’ of Shelby’s includes his ability to control all appointees who might be engaged in the government contracts process…. or would his memory suddenly magically vaporize?

      I’ll go with ‘vaporize’ for $100.

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