Several statements in the alleged Lockheed presentation may indicate USAF leaders in the late-1990s spent taxpayer money to pursue exporting the F-22 stealth fighter to foreign governments, such as Australia.
The so-called "Obey amendment", tacked onto defense appropriations bills since 1997, says: "None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to approve or license the sale of the F-22A advanced tactical fighter to any foreign government."
Christopher Bolkcom, the Congressional Research Service's expert on military aircraft issues, says the brief "raises the question on whether the air force violated the Obey Amendment."
The same question has been raised before by blogger and former US airman Eric Palmer, now an ex-pat civilian living in Australia. Palmer published a 1,500-word article on F-16.net on 23 May entitled "The other F-22 export story". The article, which did not city any sources, contained several of the details later posted on the WikiLeaks report. Palmer's article concluded:
"F-22 FMS briefings and briefing slides by industry and the USAF included F-22 FMS logos and facts and figures mentioning the advantages that a foreign used F-22 brought to a coalition air campaign in expected firepower and losses of the total effort. Obey or not, it is hard to believe that some U.S. government money was not spent to set up F-22 FMS."Palmer's blog -- dubbed Worldwide War Pigs -- was the first yesterday to report on the F-22 presentation anonymously leaked to WikiLeaks.org.
Stay tuned for more information as the story develops ...