01 April 2014

On the front page of the April 7 Sunday New York Times, the paper revealed that there was a secret deal between the military government of Pakistan and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to allow U.S. predator drones to violate the Pakistan’s airspace in exchange for assassinating enemies of their state.


Now Ohio has its own drone secrets. The state’s Development Services Agency is refusing to disclose what Jim Leftwich did as a state employee, claiming that his work for the state is a “trade secret.” Leftwich was paid $114,850 over a 13-month period to lobby the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to designate the Dayton-Springfield area as a special testing site for unmanned aerial vehicles.


The Dayton-Springfield corridor has been infamous to critics of the military industrial complex since the end of World War II. Wright Patterson Air Force Base was the site of a well-known foreign technology division that was involved in the reverse engineering of Soviet planes and weapons. Both Wright Patterson and Columbus’ Battelle Memorial Institute employed former Nazi scientists under the covert "Operation Paperclip."


In November 2012, the Dayton Daily News made a public records request regarding Leftwich's activities to the state of Ohio. Four months later, the state invoked the “trade secrets” doctrine to deny the releasing of the documents.

In an earlier email obtained by the Daily News, the then-director of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Joe Sciabica, urged that the Kasich administration and the Ohio National Guard go “big time to engage in this as a whole.” He was referring to the special designation of the Dayton-Springfield area as a drone zone.


See Ohio Lobbyng to be home for drones


Like those that make military armored vehicles and helicopters, drone manufacturers envision a lucrative market for drone purchases by local police forces.

At the same time Leftwich was being paid $114,850 from the state of Ohio, his consulting company Viance Partners was making $20,000 per month from Wright State University.


"Trade secrets" is not an acceptable explanation for what this unknown drone man was doing for the Kasich administration while he was consulting Wright State University and concurrently promoting Ohio as a test airspace for drones.