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Watchdog Says Government Trying to Silence Embarrassing Afghanistan Reports

John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), says the government is trying to interfere with his independent investigations because his reports are embarrassing to the White House and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, according to an article in Politico.

Sopko has been charged with investigating waste, fraud and abuse in the billions spent rebuilding Afghanistan, and his reports have been justly embarrassing. Sopko and SIGAR have found U.S. contractors believed to be actively supporting insurgents, trash incinerators left to rust, serious construction problems, missing fuel purchase records, and potentially life-threatening dangers to U.S. soldiers caused by contract fraud.   

In an effort to dampen the impact of SIGAR reports, some officials have been asking to pre-screen and even edit the reports, according to Sopko.

From the article:

“Many in our government, even some surprisingly senior officials you think would know better, seem to believe that an inspector general should be their partner — or, more correctly, their silent partner,” he said. “In their opinion, my reports should be slipped in a sealed envelope in the dead of night under the door — never to see the light of day — because those reports could embarrass the administration, embarrass President Karzai, embarrass Afghanistan.”

Read more at Politico.

By: Andre Francisco
Online Producer, POGO

andre francisco Andre Francisco is the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Contract Oversight

Related Content: Contractor Accountability, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), Waste

Authors: Andre Francisco

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