California was given legal title to the vessels on the 9th of March. "We did have every good-faith intention to transfer those boats to California," said Tara May, spokeswoman for the Defense Department that handles surplus military equipment. "But before we could do that, a national priority came up and took precedence."
A 1991 federal law makes military surplus equipment available to states and foreign allies. When two claims are made on the same equipment, the state need is secondary, says National Security Council spokesman P.J.Crowley.
"The Ghanese are among the African states that are a priority for trying to improve their coastal defenses," says Crowley.
California Governor Pete Wilson hopes to get replacement
boats. "It's 'President Pander'," Sean Walsh, spokesman
for Wilson, said of Clinton. "He promises something...then
he goes over to Africa and needs goodies to give and says,
'Sorry California' we get the short end of the
LA Times 4/1/98