Conservatives have engaged in a full-throated war of words against each other this month over the U.S. Air Force's ongoing effort to replace its Eisenhower-era aerial refueling tankers. First, U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., wrote in Human Events (the self-proclaimed "Headquarters of the Conservative Underground") Jan. 14 that "EADS has a long history of corruption and bribery around the globe that has cost thousands of high-paying, high-quality American jobs." He noted that former CIA director James Woolsey wrote in a 2000 Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that American spying found "Airbus agents were offering bribes to a Saudi official" and that Europeans "bribe a lot" because their companies' products are often pricier, less advanced, or both, than American offerings. Tiahrt also wrote EADS, Airbus' parent company, "is linked to bribery scandals in Canada, Belgium, Syria, Austria, India, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland," noted the recent World Trade Organization preliminary ruling that European subsidies to Airbus programs violated trade rules and said: "We also know that EADS has attempted to sell weapons to hostile and terrorists-sponsoring countries like Iran and Venezuela." Conservatives blast each other over tanker request This program has been the big cherry on the tree for a lot of members of congress for years. It has resulted in a battle that has raged in Washington for years and the sides are not Democrat or Republican but rather those who are seeking the business. Whats sad and lost in all this is as time goes by KC-135's get older with each passing day and this 40 plus year old aircraft which should have been replaced long ago is still in the air because those that represent us are not putting the needs of the defense of this nation ahead of the need for business.