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Project on Government Oversight

Probe Finds Army General Obstructed Official Investigation—Once Again

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August 14, 2014

The Pentagon Inspector General has found that a two-star general obstructed an investigation into widespread fraud and patient abuse at a U.S.-funded hospital in Afghanistan, according to a report published today at POGO.org.

POGO obtained a redacted copy of the latest 19-page investigative report on the general, as well as a letter finding against him. Neither document has been previously released to the public.

It is the second time in less than a year that the IG has cited Major General Gary S. Patton for his role in obstructing an official probe into horrific conditions at Dawood National Military Hospital in Kabul. In this second case of obstruction, the IG found that Patton had essentially ordered a Navy officer working at the hospital to stop talking to Pentagon inspectors looking into wrongdoing at the troubled Afghan medical facility. Among the IG report's conclusions is a formal recommendation that, "the Secretary of the Army take appropriate action against MG Patton."

This finding follows another in late August 2013, when the IG concluded that Patton, along with Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, his superior in Afghanistan, had both tried to stop their subordinates from contacting Pentagon investigators about patient neglect and alleged fraud at Dawood. Congressional hearings in 2012 detailed alleged “Auschwitz-like” conditions at Dawood, including patients starving, a lack of anesthesia for operations, maggots crawling from wounds, feces on the floor and rampant corruption.

In response to the second and most recent adverse finding against Patton, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) are demanding accountability for Patton, according to POGO’s report. 

Follow the link to read the POGO report.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.