Now this is a very interesting bit of leak from the cables regarding our F-5 engines that did a walkabout in 2007:
MALAYSIAN F-5 ENGINES CASE AND ACTION REQUEST
They should have been reported missing, but they weren't.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 KUALA LUMPUR 001013
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/19/2019
TAGS: PM PREL PGOV MARR MY
SUBJECT: MALAYSIAN F-5 ENGINES CASE AND ACTION REQUEST
Classified By: POLCOUNS Brian McFeeters for reasons 1.4 (b, d).
1.(C) SUMMARY, COMMENT, AND ACTION REQUEST: On December 19, the Malaysian press reported the 2007 theft of a J-85 aircraft engine (for the F-5 aircraft). Subsequent reports indicated that, in fact, two engines had been stolen and sold to an international company in South America. The story has been front-page news in Malaysia's government-influenced press and uncensored blogosphere since then. In recent days, Post has queried Malaysian interlocutors on the current location of the engines. They either do not know the location or have been instructed to withhold information while a police investigation continues. Malaysian interlocutors also have not provided adequate explanation as to why, after two years, this incident has just now become public.
2.(C) Comment: We do not yet have sufficient command of the facts to determine whether this story will have significant domestic repercussions. The Prime Minister will have a personal stake, given his past role as Defense Minister, and that could explain in part his prominence in the media coverage of this issue thus far. More important, however, from the perspective of U.S. interests, is how this case can be used to advance our call for a more effective export control regime in Malaysia. Our strongest leverage, it appears, is the need for Malaysia to persuade us that military transfers subject to the Arms Export Control Act can be carried out with confidence in the Malaysians ability and will to comply with our law and regulation.
3.(C) Action Request: Post requests
(a) clarification as to whether Section 3 of the Arms Export Control Act has been violated,
(b) talking points for use with GOM interlocutors (see suggestions para 10)and
(c) press guidance on this issue (see suggestion para 11).
END SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST.