/ March 3, 2009 at 5:00 AM

The ink on the press release announcing the Levin-McCain acquisition reform bill last week had barely dried when the allegedly slow-as-molasses Pentagon bureacracy moved with lightning speed to pick the legislation apart for what one official called "can't-live-with" items.

On Wednesday, outgoing Pentagon acquisition chief John Young gave orders to compile a DOD assessment of the measure for a scheduled Friday  morning meeting between Defense Secretary Robert Gates and bill co-sponsor Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

McCain is the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) is the panel's chairman.

To what extent are senators willing to listen to concerns from inside what they have called a "flawed" DOD acquisition system in their attempt to enforce reforms?

"We will consider DOD's views, but we will not be governed by them," panel spokeswoman Tara Andringa tell us via e-mail.

The Friday Gates-McCain meeting never took place, by the way, because Gates was called to join President Obama at Camp Lejeune that day, according to Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell.

-- Sebastian Sprenger