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IT’S WELL KNOWN that Israel is the world’s top recipient of U.S. military assistance, but not so often noted that most of the annual $3 billion in aid can be spent only on U.S.-made weapons. Below, a guide to the top industry beneficiaries along with their ethics records.
UNIT COST, NUMBER IN ISRAELI ARSENAL
2005 LOBBYING EXPENDITURES
NUMBER OF LEGAL SETTLEMENTS OR FINES, TOTAL PAID*
F-16 fighter planes
Two years ago, when Lockheed was considering buying Titan Corp.—the contractor whose employees were implicated in the Abu Ghraib scandal—a vice president told investors the torture allegations “were not significant to our strategic decision.”
Destroyer mobile rocket launchers
Multiple-Launch Rocket Systems
AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles
This year, CEO William Swanson was busted for cribbing most of his best-selling booklet, Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management, from a 1944 book on engineering, as well as from the writings of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Raytheon’s board responded by freezing Swanson’s salary at a mere $1.12 million (while leaving his $2.6 million bonus untouched).
Maverick air-to-surface missiles
Sidewinder heat-seeking air-to-air missiles
GBU-28 5,000-pound bunker-buster bombs
Black Hawk helicopters
In the late ’90s, United Technologies settled charges that it had conspired to divert $10 million in U.S. military aid into a slush fund subject to the exclusive control of an Israeli air force officer.
AH-64 Apache helicopters
In 2002, Air Force procurement official Darleen Druyun negotiated a deal with Boeing to lease tanker planes for $23.5 billion—$6 billion more than the Congressional Budget Office found they should have cost—while she was in secret job talks with the company. Druyun and Boeing CFO Michael Sears were sent to prison, and CEO Phil Condit was forced to resign.
F-15 fighter planes
Joint Direct Attack Munitions (“smart bomb” kits)
AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter
In an early test of Textron and Boeing’s vastly over-budget and behind-schedule V-22 Osprey, the $100 million tilt-rotor plane plunged into the Potomac in front of a crowd of congressmen and killed seven people. Two more crashes in 2000 killed 23.
During the 1980s, a series of government investigations revealed massive overbilling, such as $9,609 for a 12-cent hexagon wrench; at one point the company charged the government for a $571 mattress delivered to a hotel for a “very large” executive.
Additional research by Carl Gutierrez, Eric Hundman, and Jennifer Wedekind. *1991-2006