Generals use counter-terror funds for nice chairs

Alternative headline: “Channelling Donald Trump”

Alternative headline #2: “What Color is “Air Force Blue”?


“Comfort Pods”


“I was asked by Gen. [Robert H.] McMahon what it would take to make the [capsule] . . . a ‘world class’ piece of equipment,” an officer at the service’s Air Mobility Command said in a March 2007 e-mail to a colleague, referring to the mobility command’s top officer then. “He said he wanted an assurance . . . that we would be getting a world class item this week.”  Article.  

Update 7/24/08: The New York Times editorial board has jumped, somewhat tardily, on the Post’s reporting.  They are somewhat mean about it.  No need to bring up those loose missiles.  


Congress never envisioned comfort-class counterterrorism, particularly with beds affording “no more than 50 percent compression of the mattress material”…  yet the [Air Force] still diverted $331,000 in counterterrorism money to cover last-minute design changes ordered up as the brass waxed stylistic over the color of seat belts, carpets and swivel executive chairs. (Apparently everyone was happy with the drapes and the full-length capsule mirror.)…

[The mean part:] Last year a B-52, carrying six nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, flew across the country without anyone realizing the weapons were missing. In another dangerous mix up, the Air Force shipped four nose-cone fuses for Minuteman nuclear warheads to Taiwan. Most recently, the Air Force bungled the bidding on a $35 billion contract for refueling tankers.

Mr. Gates is right to demand a lot more accountability from the Air Force. We recommend that the new leaders start by questioning at least four generals about how comfort capsules, with Air Force blue leather seats, will help defeat Al Qaeda.



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