One important fact left out

Re: The Truth About Those Jets, Jan. 24.

Since we’re discussing the truth about the F-35s, let me add that there was an important fact left out of the article by Gen. (Ret’d) Paul Manson and Lt.-Gen. (Ret’d) Angus Watt.

While the generals’ credentials listed at the end of the article are impressive, Gen. Manson neglected to mention that since leaving the air force in the ’80s he has been involved in many private aerospace companies. This includes serving as the chairman of Lockheed Martin Canada, the Canadian branch of the U.S.-based multinational that is building the F-35 stealth fighter that will profit handsomely from the $16 billion to $21 billion of taxpayers’ money the program will cost.

While this fact in no way disqualifies the generals from sharing their opinion, it is an important truth about the F-35 debate that the stealth fighters’ strongest backers are the military and the aerospace companies. In fact, it’s getting awfully hard to tell them apart.

Steven Staples,

President, Rideau Institute

This letter was published in the Ottawa Citizen on January 26, 2011

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