A story broke this morning detailing an investigation last year into malfeasance by Boeing. The aerospace giant reportedly, during routine maintenance, contaminated to a potentially life-threatening degree the president’s (at the time that would have been Obama) Air Force One fleet of aircraft. But the timing of the release of the Air Force investigation was odd to say the least. The contamination occurred back in April 2016, and presumably the report was conducted quickly and wasn’t released until a year later. The Washington Free Beacon reports:
Airline mechanics assigned to perform critical maintenance on the fleet of Air Force One planes used to fly President Donald Trump and previous presidents were caught using contaminated tools on the craft, causing more than $4 million in damage that could have caused a fire to break out on the plane, according to a federal investigation.
And then, without making an overt suggestion, they include this:
Boeing, which has caused a firestorm on Capitol Hill over its efforts to sell Iran billions of dollars worth of planes that many suspect will be used to facilitate terrorism operations, caused more than $4 million in damage to the plane.
So, with a little digging, the Iran connection became clearer thanks to an op-ed written by Cliff May of The Foundation for Defense of Democracies:
President Trump should refrain from facilitating Iran’s support for terrorism and war crimes. For example: During the final months of the Obama administration, the U.S. Treasury Department issued a license for Boeing to sell 100 new planes to Iran Air, “The Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Treasury also issued licenses to Airbus for a similarly sized deal. Iranian officials claim these aircraft will be used for civilian purposes only. The evidence suggests they’re lying.
In fact, May writes, his colleague at FDD, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, has been tracking air flights between Tehran and Damascus, Syria and there have been, by his count, “768 since Jan. 16, 2016, the day that President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was implemented. Of those, 129 were on Iran Air.”
Dr. Ottolenghi believes few, if any, are ferrying tourists keen on sightseeing, shopping and fine dining. He believes they are supplying military equipment and fighters in support of Mr. Assad’s forces and those of Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanon-based proxy militia which has been deployed to help defend Mr. Assad’s regime.
The release of this new investigative report into how Boeing was mistreating the President’s own planes was no doubt timed to get in front of what looks to be a probable restriction (pure speculation but how else can it end?) on Boeing from conducting business as it was promised under Obama’s Iran Deal. Perhaps the Trump administration is finally figuring out how to message.