Leaked F-22 brief raises question: Did the USAF break the law?

WikiLeaks.org yesterday posted an internal Lockheed Martin presentation that could get the US Air Force into yet more legal trouble, albeit for alleged actions possibly committed almost a decade ago.

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 USAFincluded F-22 FMS logos and facts and figures mentioning the advantagesthat a foreign used F-22 brought to a coalition air campaign inexpected firepower and losses of the total effort. Obey or not, it ishard to believe that some U.S. government money was not spent to set upF-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 …

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3 Responses to Leaked F-22 brief raises question: Did the USAF break the law?

  1. RTLM 2 November, 2008 at 6:01 am #

    Let’s call it, Exporting good will.

    How much money? /Millions?

    Selling the F-22 to Australia and our other Asian allies, Japan and ROK, for example would accomplish two things immediately. One would be the befuddlement of China and their having to completely reorient their primary offensive focus away from Taiwan and dilute in a panicked frenzy to all fronts that own F-22s.

    Two: It would also lower the cost per unit dramatically.

    And about Israel. I say yes there too.

  2. Stephen Trimble 2 November, 2008 at 3:48 pm #

    There are those who say selling the F-22 to Japan or Israel is almost the same as selling the technology directly to China. Thoughts?

  3. RTLM 4 November, 2008 at 6:36 am #

    Israel in the past has passed US technology to China. The Lavi fighter jet is the glaring example. The US has passed US technology to China as well. But we are moving F-35 technology into Israel’s hands. My hopes would be that they would now see the importance of keeping the secret. Given the fact China would sell it to Iran in a minute.

    I am not aware of an instance where Japan did the same. It seems they would have every reason not to.

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