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September 16, 2011

Company At Center Of Potential Obama Scandal Tries To Do Damage Control

Yesterday Eli Lake of The Daily Beast broke the story of an Air Force General who claims the Obama administration tried to get him to change his prepared congressional testimony in order to lessen the potential damage to a company with extensive ties to the Democratic Party.

Last night the company, LightSquared, spammed a bunch of reporters and bloggers (including me) on Twitter with a statement from the company's CEO that was "correcting the record".

It is, as the kids say, FAIL.

Special interests are trying to distract attention from the facts.

For eight years, LightSquared has navigated the regulatory process to win approvals to build America’s first privately funded coast-to-coast wireless broadband service. LightSquared’s plan to invest billions of dollars to use its frequencies for an integrated ground-space network has been supported by both Republican and Democratic regulators -- Michael Powell and Kevin Martin, FCC Chairmen appointed by President Bush, and Julius Genachowski, the FCC Chairman appointed by President Obama. In fact, the regulatory approvals that paved our way came in the mid-2000’s, during the Bush administration under Powell and Martin.

Ah yes, "special interests" and blame Bush. There's more but it's all along those lines. The statement address the telecom industry and their supposed objections to LightSquared's product. All very interesting but....not actually related to the explosive charge made by General Shelton, head of Space Command that the administration shared his proposed testimony with the company and that he was asked to soft sell his concerns that LightSquared's network would incapacitate the military's GPS which they rely on for just about every aspect of their operations.

I understand why LightSquared wants to protect it's business but Lake's original report was about the actions of the administration, not the company. For all I know, their system is the greatest thing since sliced bread and the military's concerns can be addressed. The problem for them is this statement is non-responsive to the brewing political scandal and only raises more questions.

After getting the Tweet, I replied via Twitter with with a few questions.

.@LightSquared Thanks for statement but it doesn't address charge...OMB provided you w/Gen. Shelton's prepared remarks prior to testimony.

.@LightSquared Was your company provided with the General's remarks by admin? If so, by who and what comments did you provide them on it?

Slu passed along this story from PJ Media which includes this little nugget.

Adding fuel to the explosive story: at one time President Obama was a personal investor, with $50,000 of his own money.

Damn that Bush!

I recommend reading the whole PJ piece for a good rundown on the telecom angle to the story.

If, and it's a HUGE if right now, this story goes somewhere, Solyndra could well be the least of Obama's worries.


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posted by DrewM. at 10:54 AM

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