TAKING TAXPAYERS FOR A RIDE

Yessiree, our Nation’s top officials will leave no dollar unspent in their unstinting effort to keep us safe from terrorists – including spending several million dollars on the essential need of transporting the FBI director to speaking engagements.

Yessiree, our Nation’s top officials will leave no dollar unspent in their unstinting effort to keep us safe from terrorists – including spending several million dollars on the essential need of transporting the FBI director to speaking engagements.

In 1999, the bureau persuaded Congress to buy a $40 million Gulfstream V jet for the agency as part of its growing role in counter-terrorism work. The sleek, fast, and posh Gulfstream is a favorite of corporate executives. But the FBI wanted it to zip agents abroad for rapid-response investigations. And that’s exactly how the bureau used the Gulfstream… until George W took office in 2001 and named Robert S. Mueller III as his FBI director.

Enjoying Hightower? How about a weekly email that gives you the full scoop?

The rationale for the jet has remained the same. This spring, for example, when seeking another $3.6-million annual appropriation to maintain, fuel, and fly it, the bureau reported that the plane was having a “tremendous impact” in the war on terrorism by transporting agents to “fast-moving investigations and crisis situations.” Unreported, however, was the fact that Mueller has been commandeering the Gulfstream about a fourth of the time for his own flights to make speeches and to visit field offices here in the U.S.

No doubt Mueller is a busy fellow – but his predecessor was, too, and he traveled either on commercial jets or by using a smaller jet the agency keeps. Well, snapped a spokesman, Mueller is “the CEO” of the FBI, and every trip he makes “furthers the operational mission of the bureau.” Hmmm – I wonder if that includes when Mueller uses the Gulfstream to fly to a speech event, then stays behind for a vacation? Even some Republicans are critical – as Sen. Charles Grassley says: “If the FBI wanted a jet to fly the director around, then it shouldn’t try to justify the plane as a weapon in the war on terror.”

Exactly.

“Mueller Often Uses FBI Jet Bought for Counterterrorism,” Washington Post, June 12, 2007

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

Never miss a word from Hightower– sign up today:

Send this to a friend