November 2, 2015

Pentagon claims to have forgotten about $800 million Afghanistan program

Pro Publica - The watchdog charged with overseeing U.S. spending in Afghanistan says the Pentagon is dodging his inquiries about an $800 million program that was supposed to energize the Afghan economy.

John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said the military is restricting access to some documents in violation of law and has claimed there are no Defense Department personnel who can answer questions about the Task Force for Business Stability Operations, or TFBSO, which operated for five years.

“Frankly, I find it both shocking and incredible that DOD asserts that it no longer has any knowledge about TFBSO, an $800 million program that reported directly to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and only shut down a little over six months ago,” Sopko wrote in a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter released today.

The Pentagon’s claims are particularly surprising since Joseph Catalino, the former acting director of the task force who was with the program for two years, is still employed by the Pentagon as Senior Advisor for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism.

In June, the DOD wrote in an official response to Sopko that it “no longer possess[es] the personnel expertise to address these questions,” a point the Pentagon reiterated in October. However, in response to questions from ProPublica Friday, a Pentagon spokesman said in an email that Catalino will be made available for questions. SIGAR had previously spoken to him before the task force shut down in March. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This doesn't surprise me in the least. The military cannot be trusted with money. The Defense department already cannot account for 8.5 Trillion dollars since 1996, so why should they get any more?

If any other government department that actually provided real human services kept this poor of records, they would never be given another penny, and would most likely be disbanded.

Time to figure out who had access to all that missing money and start looking for people's private offshore tax haven bank accounts.