The Air Force Scandal That Just Won’t Go Away

The timeline of the alleged cheating has stretched from two months to two years.

National Journal
March 27, 2014, 12:23 p.m.

The fal­lout from an Air Force cheat­ing scan­dal con­tin­ues to spread, and now a sig­ni­fic­ant por­tion of the lead­er­ship at a Montana nuc­le­ar base is get­ting sacked.

Nine of­ficers in lead­er­ship po­s­i­tions were re­com­men­ded for re­mov­al and are be­ing re­as­signed, with Air Force Col. Robert Stan­ley, who over­sees the mis­sile crew, resign­ing, Air Force Sec­ret­ary De­borah Lee James said Thursday.

The of­fi­cials wer­en’t in­volved in the re­por­ted cheat­ing, but James says “they failed to provide ad­equate over­sight of their crew force.”

And though Lt. Gen. Steph­en Wilson, com­mand­er of Air Force Glob­al Strike Force, couldn’t give the spe­cif­ic num­ber of lead­er­ship po­s­i­tions at the Montana base, he said the re­movals rep­res­ent a “sig­ni­fic­ant por­tion” of the chain of com­mand.

The duo an­nounced in late Janu­ary that 92 mis­silers — al­most half — at the base were be­ing in­vest­ig­ated for al­leged cheat­ing on a monthly pro­fi­ciency test, or for know­ing about the cheat­ing. James said Thursday that that num­ber had grown to 100 mis­sileers. So far nine have been cleared by in­vest­ig­at­ors.

The al­leged cheat­ing also went on sig­ni­fic­antly longer than the two-month peri­od of­fi­cials ori­gin­ally re­por­ted, with the in­vest­ig­a­tion sug­gest­ing that cheat­ing could have star­ted as early as Novem­ber 2011 and could have con­tin­ued un­til Novem­ber 2013.

But of­fi­cials re­main con­fid­ent after con­duct­ing an in­vest­ig­a­tion across the coun­try’s three nuc­le­ar mis­sile bases that the cheat­ing is only tied to the Montana base.

The Air Force’s in­vest­ig­a­tion poin­ted to four crew mem­bers “at the cen­ter” of the cheat­ing scan­dal in which test an­swers were re­portedly shared via cell­phone. Three of those four are also tied to an in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to il­leg­al drug use.

James and Wilson stressed that they re­main con­fid­ent in the nuc­le­ar-mis­sile crew, but they are in­sti­tut­ing a series of re­forms in the wake of the far-reach­ing scan­dal in­clud­ing re­vamp­ing test­ing pro­ced­ures; look­ing at ways to re­dir­ect fund­ing to im­prove read­i­ness and qual­ity of life for the nuc­le­ar mis­sile crew; and re­form­ing the crew force’s cul­ture.

“If one per­son had spoken up this could have been very dif­fer­ent, and so that’s why we’re really fo­cus­ing on what in­teg­rity means,” James said.

What We're Following See More »
NO INDICTMENTS SINCE JANUARY
Mueller's Team Down to 10 Lawyers
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"Mueller’s team, once filled with 17 lawyers, will soon be down to 10. The special counsel’s office confirmed in recent days that Zainab Ahmad’s detail has ended, and Andrew Weissmann will soon be leaving for the private sector. No one has been charged by the special counsel since longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone was indicted in January for allegedly lying to Congress."

Source:
HE PLANNED TO LEAVE MID-MARCH
Rosenstein Not Leaving DOJ Yet
2 days ago
THE LATEST
MANAFORT STEERED HIM WORK IN UKRAINE
Prosecutors Weighing Whether to Charge Greg Craig
3 days ago
THE LATEST

A long-running federal investigation into former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig "is reaching a critical stage, presenting the Justice Department with a decision about whether to charge a prominent Democrat as part of a more aggressive crackdown on illegal foreign lobbying." Federal prosecutors in New York have transferred the case to Washington. ... The investigation centers on whether Mr. Craig should have disclosed work he did in 2012 — while he was a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom — on behalf of the Russia-aligned government of Viktor F. Yanukovych, then the president of Ukraine. The work was steered to Mr. Craig by Paul Manafort."

Source:
AUTHORIZED TO UNLOCK PHONES
Feds Raided Broidy's Offices Last Year
3 days ago
THE LATEST

"Federal authorities raided the office of Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy last summer, seeking records related to his dealings with foreign officials and Trump administration associates, according to a sealed search warrant obtained by ProPublica. Agents were authorized to use the megadonor’s hands and face to unlock any phones that required fingerprint or facial scans."

Source:
REPUBLICANS SAID VOTE WAS A WASTE OF TIME
House Approves Resolution to Release Mueller Report, 420-0
1 weeks ago
THE DETAILS

"The House on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling on the Justice Department to make special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings and full report public and available to Congress. The 420-0 vote came after a fiery debate on the House floor, during which some Democratic lawmakers were admonished for their criticisms of President Donald Trump. Republicans said the resolution was unnecessary and a waste of time, but ultimately joined Democrats to approve it. Four Republicans — Reps. Justin Amash of Michigan, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky — voted 'present.'"

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login