“We know that McCain influenced the tanker selection processagainst Boeing with multiple letters to Deputy SecDef Gordon
andSecDef Robert Gates. We also know that McCain, for good and/or bad reasons,stopped the original Boeing tanker lease deal from going ahead. We know thatpeople in McCain’s office have also worked as EADS lobbyists. At least onelobbied for EADS while working for McCain. Finally, we have the GAO document, whichaccuses the Air Force of favoritism and bias, yet doesn’t cite any rationale ormotive for this bias. There’s really just one. England
So far, no one has been able to connect these four datapoints and prove that McCain and his lobbyist associates pushed the Air Forceinto actively favoring the Northrop/EADS plane. McCain’s office has veryskillfully maintained plausible deniability.”
That’s a very remarkable — and politically explosive — analysis. Aboulafia appears to be asking: 1) Did McCain steer the KC-X contract requirements to favor Northrop Grumman’s bid, and 2) Were McCain’s actions improperly influenced by EADS lobbyists?