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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

'Total dishonor' Sen. Saxby Chambliss

Speaking on KCRW's To The Point yesterday, Winslow Wheeler, Director of the Straus Military Reform Project, Center for Defense Information, had some harsh words for Sen. Saxby Chambliss and his failed effort to save the Marietta-made F-22 fighter jet.

Wheeler described Chambliss's failed maneuvering to save the pricey-but-unusable jet as "disingenuous" and a "total dishonor" because Chambliss proposed paying for the plane with money set aside for vital support of U.S. troops in battle.

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A partial transcript:

Q: Would the money save by not building more F-22s necessarily go to helping the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wheeler: Yes, in this case, because of the very disingenuous way that these airplanes are paid for in Sen. Saxby Chambliss's amendment. He didn't add money to the bill to pay for [the F-22]. He raided other accounts.

And to his total dishonor, one of the accounts he raided for $850 million was the operation and maintenance account. That's the kind of thing that pays for training, and depot maintenance and gasoline –the kind of thing that is the true hard-core support for troops deployed in the field.

You can hear the entire program at KCRW's web site. The conversation with Wheeler about the F-22 starts about one minute in and lasts for about six minutes.

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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