Monday, July 21, 2008


Project on Government Oversight - We recently ran pictures of flight accomodations (top) for high Air Force brass provided by the Project on Government Oversight. POGO has now come up with the enlisted equivalent. Troops have sat for hours on long flights in mangled seats and on netting inside cargo aircraft. This photo (bottom) was taken at Al Udeid Airbase in Qatar. Al Udeid is a major logistics hub for U.S. operations in Afghanistan, and is a command center for operations in Iraq. It is home to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing of the U.S. Air Force.

- On July 25, 1963, the [Post] featured a story about how Air Force officials had spent $5000 on top-of-the-line bedroom furniture (from the Jordan Marsh Company) for a northeastern air base's hospital, in case the famously pregnant Mrs. John F. Kennedy would decide to have her baby there, should she be in Massachusetts when the time came. (Indeed, Patrick Bouvier Kennedy would be born, following premature labor and emergency caesarian section surgery, on August 7 of that year at Otis Air Force Base, the Massachusetts facility in question on the JFK tapes. The baby would die two days later in Boston Children's Hospital.). . .

The tape recorder was rolling when JFK telephoned two people just after seeing a photo in the morning's Post of an Air Force officer with the furniture. An absolutely furious JFK told Arthur Sylvester, the press spokesman for Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara: "I'd just like to send that goddamn furniture back. . . to Jordan Marsh in an Air Force truck this afternoon with that captain [who made the furniture purchase] on it. . . What about transferring his ass out of here in about a month?. . . for incompetence, not for screwing us. And that silly fellow who had his picture taken next to the bed, I'd have him go up to Alaska, too." . . .

To his Air Force aide, General Godfrey McHugh, the President exploded: "Did you see the Post this morning?....You just sank the Air Force budget!" Kennedy predicted, "Any congressman's gonna get up and say, 'Christ, if they can throw $5000 away on this, let's cut 'em another billion dollars.' "

About the "silly bastard" featured in the Post photograph standing next to "Mrs. Kennedy's bed, if that's what it is. . . I wouldn't have him running a cat house!"

McHugh tried to respond, "Well sir, this is obviously a..." JFK didn't wait for McHugh to finish "Well, this is obviously a fuck up!"


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