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OSPREY SCANDAL WIDENS - COMPUTER
FILES OF TWO MARINE GENERALS SEIZED

There isn't any one particular reason why the Marine Corps has had so many problems with the troubled V-22 Osprey aircraft program. But there are 40 billion reasons - all green - why the brass don't want to admit they have
a lemon on their hands.

The Marine Corps leadership want $40 billion of our tax dollars to buy 360 of the controversial aircraft even though there have been three crashes in recent years, killing 26 Marines and four civilians.

And now a Defense Department Inspector general investigation has for the first time reached into the flag ranks
with the seizure of computer records from two general officers. A Pentagon official said data from computer hard drives of Lt. Gen. Fred McCorkle, head of Marine aviation, and his deputy, Brig. Gen. James F. Amos are being studied to see if there is any evidence of a cover-up of the aircraft's deficiencies.

Along that line, the Washington POST reports that another senior officer, Maj. Gen. Dennis T. Krupp is under the microscope to see if his actions soft-pedaled reports that "computerized maintenance records were making the Ospery look bad." Krupp commands the aircraft wing including the Osprey squadron at New River, N.C.

Meanwhile, Col. Nolan Schmidt, manager of the Osprey program since 1997, has been informed he will not be promoted to brigadier general and plans to retire in June.

Another officer whose career has been adversely affected by the V-22 controversy is Lt. Col. Odin F. Leberman, commander of the New River Osprey squadron. The veteran officer was reassigned to desk duty in January when
an anonymous person claiming to be a Marine aircraft mechanic sent a letter and audio tape to the Pentagon.

The tape was purported to be of Leberman urging his men to "lie" if necessary, to improve the Osprey's maintenance.

Through his attorneys, the light colonel issued the following statement: "I am confident the pending investigation
will prove the comments recorded on the tape were taken out of context and in no way compromised the safety of
my Marines and airmen or the integrity of the Osprey program."

The families and survivors of those killed in the Osprey crashes might differ with that view. But, an informed source told MilitaryCorruption.com that "Leberman is a good officer caught up in a bad situation. Everyone knows he was under intense pressure from above. A huge amount of money is wrapped up in the success of the V-22. If it fails, there's going to be some very unhappy Marine brass and defense contractors."

So far, Leberman has "taken one for the team," meaning his beloved Corps. It is his hope, a colleague says, that he doesn't "regret" that posture after canceling his appearance at the last minute on the hard-hitting "60-Minutes
CBS-TV news program. Those in the know say Leberman may have had something entirely different to say on the show until something made him change his mind.


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