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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Swift

It turns out we're selling spare parts for an airplane that only Iran flies and for which it needs spare parts to any Tom, Dick, or Ayatollah on the internet:

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon accidentally sold to the public more than a thousand aircraft parts that could be used on the F-14 fighter jet — a plane flown only by Iran — after saying it had halted such sales, government investigators say.

In a report obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, says the Defense Department has greatly improved security in its surplus sales program to prevent the improper selling of sensitive items.

However, GAO 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 occurred 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 flyable, is aggressively seeking U.S. components for the jets.

The Pentagon's surplus sales division — the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service — told investigators the parts were sold because it failed to successfully update an automated control list and remove the aircraft parts before they were listed on its Internet sales site.

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