Roche Withdraws from Army Secretary Consideration
Air Force Secretary James Roche has asked that his nomination for Army secretary be withdrawn.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced the request today.
President Bush nominated Roche for the post in July 2003, but it has been mired in the controversy surrounding a $29.8 billion Air Force plan to lease refueling tankers from Boeing Co. As a result, the Senate Armed Services Committee recently suspended action on all nominations to top civilian Defense Department posts until the Pentagon turns over documents related to the Boeing deal.
Committee members have sought the documents since last fall, but the Pentagon has so far refused to turn them over. The documents include e-mail traffic between senior Pentagon officials and Boeing executives and lobbyists, which committee members believe will reveal that Boeing had an inappropriate degree of influence in the tanker deal.
The committee rejected the tanker deal last fall, saying it was about $5 billion too expensive.