It's becoming clearer and clearer that Darleen Druyun, an Air Force negotiator in the tanker deal who later joined Boeing, was not fighting on the side of the US tax payer, but rather on Boeing's side.
Read this article in the Seattle times:
In a June 2002 e-mail, Bob Gower, Boeing's vice president for tankers, wrote, "Meeting today on price was very good. Darleen spent most of the time bringing the (U.S. Air Force) price up to our number. We did not finalize the price because the USAF went to caucus on how to present the figures for the business case. It was a good day!"
Earlier the same day, an e-mail from Andrew Ellis, Boeing's vice president of Washington operations, described an effort by Druyun to keep the big liability that the government would face if it terminated the tanker contract early off the president's budget.
"She may be running her own covert operation on this one," Ellis wrote, "so we probably don't want to discuss openly."
The e-mail, congressional watchdogs say, shows that Druyun was on Boeing's team rather than fighting for U.S. taxpayers."
Just days later in April 2002, another Ellis e-mail that went out would prove pivotal in the tanker deal's tangled course.
"Darleen told us several times to keep in mind that EADS' proposed price on green A330 was $5 million to $17 million cheaper than green 767," the e-mail said.
European Aeronautic Defence & Space is the European parent of Airbus, Boeing's major rival in the commercial aviation business. "Green" refers to a basic aircraft model before it has been modified for refueling purposes.
EADS wasn't invited to bid on the tanker contract but volunteered that it could supply less expensive tankers that would save taxpayers billions of dollars.
It was that e-mail that prompted the Pentagon's inspector general to open an investigation of the tanker deal in September. Transferring proprietary price information from one bidder to another is not allowed under government procurement regulations."