Al-Qaeda Backers Found With U.S. Contracts in Afghanistan
I am sure Al Qaeda and the enemies of America get a good laugh every Friday at their mosques as they dupe the American people out of billions of dollars into rebuilding their nation and simultaneously earn contracts for Al Qaeda.
I haven't forgotten, not will I, that it was in Afghanistan that 22 of our young men from Seal Team 6 were killed in a "helicopter crash" three months after their mission in Pakistan reportedly killed Osama bin Ladin. All of their bodies were cremated, in some cases going against the wishes of the family.
Something is wrong my friends, deadly wrong. Do you think that the billions being allocated and spent in Afghanistan is clear of corruption or like me, do you wonder how much is being spent to aid and abet our enemy and possibly finance other black ops missions around the globe?
Does this mean the US government doesn't know [expletive] is going on? Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing "due process rights" as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.
Our boys are dying for this?
Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.Al-Qaeda Backers Found With U.S. Contracts in Afghanistan By Tony Capaccio, Bloomberg, - Jul 30, 2013
The U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office has declined to act in 43 such cases, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said today in a letter accompanying a quarterly report to Congress.
The 236-page report and Sopko’s summary provide one of the watchdog agency’s most critical appraisals of U.S. performance in helping to build a stable Afghanistan as the Pentagon prepares to withdraw combat troops by the end of next year.
“There appears to be a growing gap between the policy objectives of Washington and the reality of achieving them in Afghanistan, especially when the government must hire and oversee contractors to perform its mission,” said Sopko, whose post was mandated by Congress.
The Pentagon is scheduled to deliver its own Afghanistan status report to Congress today. Its appraisal, which is months late, will outline progress from October 2012 through March and concerns that deal with handing over security operations to the Afghan military.
The U.S. has 60,000 troops in Afghanistan, with plans to reduce the number to 34,000 by February. President Barack Obama hasn’t decided how many to keep in the country after 2014 to train Afghan forces and engage in anti-terrorist missions.
Sopko expressed pessimism that the U.S. can maintain effective oversight of billions of dollars in reconstruction spending as forces are withdrawn. The Obama administration has requested $10.7 billion in such funding for fiscal 2014 to cover projects from improving local government to building roads and schools.
“Unless the U.S. government improves its contract-oversight policies and practices, far too much will be wasted,” Sopko wrote.
According to the report, Sopko’s agency “has found it impossible to confirm” the number of contracts awarded in a $32 million program to install barricades, bars or gratings in culverts at about 2,500 Afghan locations to prevent insurgents from placing roadside bombs. The explosives are the biggest killer of U.S. and Afghan troops.
The policy to create an effective Afghan Army, which has 185,287 troops, “will remain hollow unless Washington pays equal attention to proper contracting and procurement activities to sustain those forces,” Sopko said.
He said that he is “well aware of the wartime environment in which contractors are operating in Afghanistan, but this can neither explain the disconnect nor excuse the failure.”
As of May 31, the U.S. had committed $30 billion for contracts to build, train and sustain the Afghan army.
Sopko said he has witnessed the failings personally during his first year as inspector general, including 50 meetings he and his staff attended during his last trip to Afghanistan.
As of March, 40,315 of the personnel working under Pentagon contracts in Afghanistan, or about 37 percent, were Afghan locals, according to the report.
Regarding the 43 cases of contractors with militant connections, Sopko said the Army should “enforce the rule of common sense” in its suspension and debarment program. “They may be enemies of the United States but that is not enough to keep them from getting government contracts,” according to the agency’s report.
The Army’s procurement-fraud branch reviewed the 43 cases late last year, Matthew Bourke, a service spokesman, said in a statement. The reviewers “did not include enough supporting evidence to initiate suspension and debarment under federal acquisition regulations,” he said.
George Wright, another Army spokesman, said by e-mail that cutting off the contracts based only on information from Sopko’s office “would fail to meet due-process requirements and would likely be deemed arbitrary if challenged in court.”
Sopko said the Army “appears to believe that suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due-process rights if based on classified information” or on Commerce Department reports.
In a report issued yesterday, Sopko said $47 million that the U.S. Agency for International Development has spent on a program to stabilize Afghanistan hasn’t dealt with the sources of instability.
An audit showed that after 16 months, none of the agency’s essential program objectives have been reached and the money spent has mostly financed workshops and training sessions. The project is aimed at bolstering Afghanistan’s government before troop withdrawals planned for next year.
“It’s troubling that after 16 months, this program has not issued its first community grant,” Sopko said. “Rather, it has spent almost $50 million, about a quarter of the total program budget, on conferences, overhead and workshops.”
The failure of the State Department agency to use the money for grants has left local Afghan communities disappointed and may feed greater instability, according to the audit.