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Beckwith

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Lawmakers to request probe of $418 million arms sale to Kenya on Obama's last day

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Kristina Wong (Breitbart) is reporting that a group of lawmakers is planning to request a congressional investigation of a $418 million U.S. weapons sale to Kenya approved by the Obama administration on its last day in office.

The sale, approved by the State Department and privately notified to Congress on January 19, would allow Kenya to buy 14 weaponized crop-duster-like planes -- including two trainer planes and services, for missions against terrorist group al-Shabaab.

The deal was publicly announced the Monday after Trump's inauguration.

A handful of lawmakers, led by Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), are questioning why the contract to produce the planes was awarded to major defense firm L3 Technologies -- which has never produced such a plane -- while a smaller, disabled veteran-owned company in North Carolina that already make those planes at a lower cost was not considered.

The Mooresville, N.C. company, IOMAX USA Inc., costed out 14 planes at $237 million dollars, according to a Budd aide.

"It looks like politics," Budd said in a phone interview with Breitbart News on Monday. "Why are they sending it to someone that's produced zero, for twice the price? This is inappropriate."

Later this week, Budd and several other GOP congressmen are planning to request the non-partisan investigation.

It is not just Republicans puzzled by the matter. Georgia Democrat Sanford Bishop will join Republicans in signing a letter being sent to the Kenyan ambassador to the U.S. on Tuesday.

The letter, obtained first by Breitbart News, says, "We believe Kenya would benefit by exploring its options in regard to this acquisition."

"We ask that the Government of Kenya take these facts, in particular the prospect of an ongoing congressional investigation of this sale, under consideration as it decides whether or not to proceed with this arms purchase," says the letter.

The request for an investigation comes after the lawmakers have unsuccessfully tried to figure out how the New York-based L3 received the "sole-source" primary contract, which means there is only one known source for the equipment requested, or only one single supplier that can fulfill the requirements.

IOMAX was unaware of the contract until the State Department, which approves all foreign military sales, publicly announced it on Jan. 23, the Monday after Trump was sworn in.

Typically, with a foreign military sale, an ally would notify and work with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, a Pentagon agency, to request weapons.

DSCA would then work with the nation to specify requirements and write a Letter of Request for the weapons. The letter would be sent to an "implementing agency." After price and other details are worked out, the Pentagon would issue a recommendation, and the State Department would approve or disapprove the sale. The DSCA would receive about a four percent cut of the total sale.

Lawmakers suspect, though have no evidence, that in this case, the implementing agency -- an Air Force acquisition office, known as the "Big Safari" at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, steered the contract to L3.

The Air Force directed all inquiries to DSCA and the State Department, which is in charge of the process.

A State Department official, in emails obtained by Breitbart News, said in justifying L3's selection that the Kenyan Ministry of Defense "conducted extensive market research." At the same time, the official said the State Department did not possess that research. An Air Force official also said in an email that it was not provided the market research.

Lawmakers question whether Kenya did its own extensive research. The aide said Kenya initially requested MOOG, an ordnance company, to produce the planes, according an Air Force response to congressional inquiries.

That request somehow got "clarified" to L3, who will modify the requested Air Tractor planes into weaponized versions.

"We believe that the Air Force likely did something that had MOOG get replaced with L3," the aide said.

The aide said it doesn't make sense, especially since IOMAX first began producing the weaponized planes in 2009 and has dropped more than 2,000 bombs on al-Shabaab already.

IOMAX had used the Air Tractor airframe in its earlier versions, but switched to Thrush, based in Albany, Georgia. It currently has almost 50 of the planes in service, including in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Jordan, the aide said.

The planes were first designed after the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment requested them for Yemen, the aide said. IOMAX's founder, Ron Howard, is a retired Army aviator with the unit. He founded the company with his son in 2001.

Budd said he is looking out for jobs in North Carolina. IOMAX, which takes in about $1 billion a year in sales compared to L3's $10 billion, has 115 employees in his district, with 49 percent of them veterans who make an average of $115,000 a year -- many of them special operations forces veterans.

"Our first interest is to look out for jobs in the district. These are guys who are cutting sheet metal and doing rivets at the same time as those who are installing weaponized system…It's a whole work force down there," Budd said. "It's infuriating that they'd be cut out of a deal like this."

"They have to earn this deal on their own," he added. "We can't get the deal for them. But we want them to have a fair shot at it…They shouldn't catch the brunt of politics."

The L3 contract would primarily benefit its Platform Integration Division in Waco, Texas. An L3 spokesman did not respond to a phone call asking for comment.

Budd said the current deal is not a good one for the Kenyans either. He met with the Kenyan Deputy Chief of Mission last Monday, who was allegedly "flabbergasted" they were potentially paying almost $200 million more than necessary.

"We've had several Kenyans reach out and thank us," he said.

Several Kenyan analysts also questioned the sale on Twitter, with the accompanying hashtag #KDFWeaponsScam. KDF is short for Kenyan Defense Force.

We could have bought 5 of these Bell Boeing V-22 Ospreys at the $418 million expenditure #KDFWeaponsScam pic.twitter.com/2XXdS9g7VT

-- The Muthoka® (@MuthokaTito) February 17, 2017

Although the 30-day notification period for Congress before a foreign military sale can go forth ended Sunday, lawmakers can still halt the sale by passing a resolution of disapproval.

Budd also introduced a joint resolution in the House earlier this month to halt the sale. If the resolution is adopted, it would be the first time Congress has voted to block a foreign arms deal since 1986.

Co-sponsors of the resolution include Reps. Meadows, Jones, Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), and Gary Palmer (R-AL).


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Claudia

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Reply with quote  #2 
gee, I wonder WHY Kenya, more so than any other needy country????  Could it be a little bit of bribery and oil for the Government that is ALL headed by his Half Brother and CO-Mulsim who shares the seat of President in Kneya (the other guy, can't remember his name??) who need a way to shut up those that really KNOW???  Remember his OTHER Brother who still lives on less than a DOLLAR a MONTH, why doesn't he slip some USAID his way....  or has he already, without US knowing??
Beckwith

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White House rolls out Kenya propaganda plan

Steve Peacock says now that the Obama administration is pouring vast amounts of money into Kenya, it’s going to need some help selling its spending to the people.

WND has discovered the U.S. Agency for International Development has devised a sophisticated scheme to sway public opinion on U.S. "investments" in the African nation, including strategies to "groom" targeted journalists for favorable media coverage.
 
The USAID/Kenya Strategic Communications Plan 2012-2013 emerges at a time when the level of U.S. government projects in Kenya has outpaced agency resources. As WND reported, U.S. spending in Kenya has grown ‘exponentially’ under Obama, forcing USAID to hire contractors to oversee it all.
 
On June 29 USAID attached the Kenya propaganda plan -- which itself is dated June 16 -- as an addendum to its procurement documents.
 
The Kenya strategic plan maps out its intentions in the context of the White House’s position that a "stable and prosperous Kenya is central to American foreign policy."
 
Indeed, the document’s first line establishes that "USAID/Kenya is playing a lead role implementing President Obama’s vision for global development, which sees development assistance as a pillar of foreign policy and crucial to America’s national security and economic interests."
 
The document repeatedly asserts that helping Kenya is crucial to safeguarding those interests, claiming that "U.S. development efforts can defuse the anger and injustice that fuel conflict." It declares that the U.S. government therefore must exert greater effort to influence how "targeted opinion leaders" in both nations portray U.S. assistance in Kenya.
 
The USAID/Kenya Development and Outreach Communications, or DOC, team -- in conjunction with privately contracted "implementing partners" -- must leverage tactics spelled out in the strategic plan to successfully sway those leaders. The agency also refers to those leaders as "message multipliers."
 
"Journalists, editors and media personalities are also opinion leaders," the document says. "They determine what gets written or talked about in the media."
 
Continue reading here . . .


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #4 

Note to the editor

 

It's OK to refer to Kenya as Obama's "home country" -- after all, the bride does.

 

At 42 seconds in this video, Michelle clearly says: "When we took our trip to Africa and visited his home country, in Kenya..." -- not his ancestral home -- not his father's home country -- "...HIS home country, in Kenya..." -- Here is the definition of "home country."

 

And during a fundraiser in Tampa in December 2007, wife, Michelle, in this video, discussed how hard it was for her and her husband to pay off student loans from "good schools," Michelle Obama said the following:

 

"What it reminded me of was our trip to Africa, two years ago, and the level of excitement that we felt in that country -- the hope that people saw just in the sheer presence of somebody like Barack Obama -- a Kenyan, a black man, a man of great statesmanship who they believe could change the fate of the world."

 

The reference to "Kenyan" starts about 2:05 minutes into the video. Use the slider.


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Seriously

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Reply with quote  #5 
Payback for something?

Kenya Sees Spike in Obama Administration-Funded Projects

Kenyan businesses lately are increasingly becoming recipients of U.S. government largesse, as the Obama Administration, among pursuing other endeavors, aims to expand "livestock-related economic opportunities" in that nation. Although this and other recently released presolicitation notices for unrelated programs serve as advance alerts to potential vendors—and therefore do not offer cost estimates and other details— a review of U.S. government contracting actions nonetheless indicates a spike of activity in Kenya in a variety of sectors.

The White House is committing to a five-year effort to "improve the inclusiveness and competitiveness" of the livestock industry specifically in Marsabit and Garissa counties, Kenya, according to a presolicitation notice released April 12 that U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor located via routine database research.

The Feed the Future-related initiative, known as the Resilience and Economic Growth in the Arid Lands-Accelerated Growth, or REGAL-AG, program, will be carried out by contractors hired by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), according to the document.

The agency did not disclose the project’s estimated cost: "No additional information regarding this planned RFP [Request for Proposals] is available at this time."

USAID that same day separately alerted potential contractors to the launching of yet another endeavor in that nation, known as the Kenya Agricultural Value Chain Enterprises, or KAVES, program.

The KAVES presolicitation notice simply states the agency’s intention “to use full and open competition for the contract, which will be performed in Kenya. USAID intends to release the solicitation within the next 45 days.”

The agency pointed out that the presolicitation number——will change upon release of a bid request, but the program name would remain the same.

Other recent contracting actions include:

The above-mentioned endeavors have taken place in recent weeks; however, other notable U.S.-funded Kenyan projects thus far in 2012 include the launching of a National Institutes of Health-led initiative to hire contractors to conduct genetic research of Kenyans with Type-2 diabetes. Separately, the U.S. Army embarked upon a market survey of potential vendors to provide helicopter flight-training simulators to the Kenyan government.

 Check out the note at the bottom from the editor.
  

"Note from the editor: The reference to Kenya as "the former home nation" of President Obama has been removed. The Monitor acknowledges this lapse in judgment, and intends to more vigorously ensure the editorial integrity of this site."


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"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." Thomas Jefferson
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