Tuesday, June 12, 2007

But Tom Cruise has One!

The FBI has a $40 million Gulfstream V jet packed that's supposed to be used for counter terrorism missions. The FBI asked Congress for $3.6 million to keep it flying in the last war spending bill -- and other budget requests are dotted with similar requests to support what the Bureau calls "crucial missions."

Turns out, FBI Director Robert Mueller considers his speeches, public appearances, and visits to field offices as "crucial missions." The Washington Post reports roughly 23% of the time it's in the air -- it's serving as Director Mueller's private mode of personal transportation.

Sen Charles Grassley (R-IA) says that's a good way for the FBI to lose funding for the pricey plane -- a favorite of jet setting celebrities. In the opening scenes of "Oceans Thirteen" which opened last weekend, George Clooney and Brad Pitt's characters are seen jetting into Vegas aboard a Gulfstream V.

Past Directors flew commercial -- or in a pinch, on a smaller corporate jet.

On top of that -- Director Mueller refuses to go to the plane -- and insists it come to him. So the Gulfstream has to leave a suburban DC airfield, land at DC's Washington Reagan National Airport and take off again -- adding about $1,000 cost to each flight.

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