File Under: Situation Normal: All F#@ked Up. Is there a bigger oxymoron than National Security in the Bush Administration?
SFGate: (h/t Gregory)
The Pentagon sold more than a thousand aircraft parts that could be used on F-14 fighter jets - a plane flown only by Iran - after announcing it had halted sales of such surplus, government investigators say.
In a report Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said the Defense Department had improved security in its surplus program to prevent improper sales of sensitive items.
But investigators found that roughly 1,400 parts that could be used on F-14 "Tomcat" fighter jets were sold to the public in February. That came after the Pentagon announced it had suspended sales of all parts that could be used on the Tomcat while it reviewed security concerns.
Iran, trying to keep its F-14s able to fly, is aggressively seeking components from the retired U.S. Tomcat fleet.
The Pentagon's surplus sales division - the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service - told investigators the parts were sold because it failed to update an automated control list and remove the aircraft parts before they were listed on its Internet sales site.
The GAO's investigation focused on F-14 parts.
"One country with operational F-14s, Iran, is known to be seeking these parts," Greg Kutz, the GAO's managing director of special investigations, wrote in the report. "If such parts were publicly available, it could jeopardize national security."