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McCain: Pentagon Stonewalls Tanker Investigation

January 31, 2005 


A new letter from Senator John McCain takes Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to task for the Pentagon's refusal to turn over documents he has requested regarding the Boeing tanker leasing deal scandal. To view the letter, click here.

The stonewalling "may amount to an obstruction of the congressional investigation," and continues "to call into question whether the DoD is proceeding in good faith," according to Senator McCain.

According to the letter, "partial production on only about 7 out of 36 request categories have been produced." Senator McCain demands to know who has made the decisions to withhold the documents. In particular, he wants to know who "countermanded the Deputy Secretary's instructions" to produce the documents. He also wants the identity of the person who withheld emails between former Air Force Secretary James Roche and White House official Robin Cleveland among other documents. The letter is copied to the U.S. Attorney who is handling the criminal investigation in the scandal and others.

"Senator McCain deserves great credit for demanding personal accountability from the senior players in this scandal. This is Congressional oversight at its best, something we rarely see anymore," said Danielle Brian, Executive Director of the Project On Government Oversight.

The list of casualties from the tanker scandal keeps growing. In November, Air Force Secretary James Roche and Air Force acquisitions chief, Marvin Sambur, resigned only a few days before Senator John McCain made public a series of Air Force internal emails that offered a disturbing glimpse into the mechanics of the tanker deal. Former Boeing CFO Michael Sears will be sentenced February 18, 2005 after pleading guilty. Acting Undersecretary of Defense Michael W. Wynne has been unable to win confirmation because of a "hold" placed on his nomination by Senator John McCain.  

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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