Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Taliban funded, in part with money from US trucking contracts

Our tax dollars at work.  $600M was already spent when it was discovered that some of the money had wound it's way into the hands of the Taliban.  The trail is easy to follow, but no one seemed to care when it was going on, all that mattered was the continuous and uninterrupted flow of goods.  Now we know how the Taliban manages to pay it's salaries and bribe money.

If the WH really wanted to help with the economy, they could start by keeping closer tabs on money spent for things like "democratization" and infrastructure repair in places like Afghanistan.

From CNN July 26 by David Ariosto

U.S. trucking contracts funded Taliban, source says

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A U.S. military task force has discovered that part of a $2.16 billion transportation contract was diverted through a murky network of subcontractors and into the hands of a group of Afghan power-brokers, criminals and Taliban insurgents, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

Roughly $600 million of the contract had been spent before authorities were alerted to the scandal, the source said, citing an internal report.

Only part of that money, however, is believed to have been diverted to "nefarious elements," the source added.

A Pentagon official told CNN the full $2.16 billion contract covered the movement and transportation of 70% of the material needed for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Officials were first alerted to the possibility of a scandal in June 2010, after a Congressional inquiry prompted the creation of a joint task force to investigate potential criminal dealings surrounding U.S. contracts.

The group gathered financial reports, prime and subcontract documents and other negotiations from between 2009 and 2010, prompting authorities to make major changes in their existing contract award and accounting system.

But much of the damage had already been done.

"There were indications dollars were flowing to criminals or to the enemy," sad the Pentagon official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the record but who has direct knowledge of the U.S. assessment.

The official said it appears some of the payments were given for truckers to be assured of safe passage through insurgent areas of Afghanistan. As has happened in other instances, trucking contractors paid off local drivers who then turned around and paid local security forces, who in turn paid insurgents in their areas.

The year-long investigation uncovered "nefarious" conduct in at least four of eight trucking companies the U.S. government uses to deliver food and supplies to soldiers and civilians in forward operating bases and other U.S. installations across Afghanistan.

The internal document -- which was first reported by The Washington Post -- identified the firms as either exclusively Afghan or as joint ventures with international companies.

CNN reporting comes from an independent source, familiar with the contents of the report.

The companies were later identified as "high-risk" firms, having subcontracted out to smaller entities without sufficient accounting measures, the source said.

In one instance, $7.4 million was transferred into the bank account of a "low-level police officer."

After a series of transactions, including multiple withdraws, officials then traced $3.3 million in weapons, explosives and cash transfers "to the enemy," the source said.

Where is the other $4.1M?  Does anybody know?

Read it all

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