Air Force defies Congress, spends anti-terrorism money on "comfort capsules" with "aesthetically pleasing wall treatments/coverings"

From the WashPo:

The Air Force's top leadership sought for three years to spend counterterrorism funds on "comfort capsules" to be installed on military planes that ferry senior officers and civilian leaders around the world … Air Force documents spell out how each of the capsules is to be "aesthetically pleasing and furnished to reflect the rank of the senior leaders using the capsule," with beds, a couch, a table, a 37-inch flat-screen monitor with stereo speakers, and a full-length mirror.' Congress told the USAF twice that they could not spend the money on this frivolous project, but they did it anyway…

Changing the seat color and pockets alone was estimated in a March 12 internal document to cost at least $68,240… Air Force documents about the SLICC, dated June 8, 2006, emphasize the need to install "aesthetically pleasing wall treatments/coverings" — in addition to the monitor, footrests and a DVD player. The beds, according to one document, must be able to support a man with "no more than 50% compression of the mattress material." The seats are to swivel such that "the longitudinal axis of the seat is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft" regardless of where the capsules are facing, the document specified…

The e-mails state that McMahon ordered that the seats be re-covered, and one e-mail complains that the contractor "would not swap out the brown seat belts for replacement blue seat belts." The changes delayed the project by months and added to its cost.


(via /.)