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US Paid The Taliban For Trucking ‘Protection’

From a delighted Washington Post:

U.S. trucking funds reach Taliban, military-led investigation concludes

By Karen DeYoung
Published: July 24, 2011

A year-long military-led investigation has concluded that U.S. taxpayer money has been indirectly funneled to the Taliban under a $2.16 billion transportation contract that the United States has funded in part to promote Afghan businesses.

The unreleased investigation provides seemingly definitive evidence that corruption puts U.S. transportation money into enemy hands, a finding consistent with previous inquiries carried out by Congress, other federal agencies and the military. Yet U.S. and Afghan efforts to address the problem have been slow and ineffective, and all eight of the trucking firms involved in the work remain on U.S. payroll. In March, the Pentagon extended the contract for six months.

According to a summary of the investigation results, compiled in May and reviewed by The Washington Post, the military found “documented, credible evidence . . . of involvement in a criminal enterprise or support for the enemy” by four of the eight prime contractors. Investigators also cited cases of profiteering, money laundering and kickbacks to Afghan power brokers, government officials and police officers. Six of the companies were found to have been associated with “fraudulent paperwork and behavior.” …

The military summary included several case studies in which money was traced from the U.S. Treasury through a labyrinth of subcontractors and power brokers. In one, investigators followed a $7.4 million payment to one of the eight companies, which in turn paid a subcontractor, who hired other subcontractors to supply trucks.

The trucking subcontractors then made deposits into an Afghan National Police commander’s account, already swollen with payments from other subcontractors, in exchange for guarantees of safe passage for the convoys. Intelligence officials traced $3.3 million, withdrawn in 27 transactions from the commander’s account, that was transferred to insurgents in the form of weapons, explosives and cash

The GAO report concluded that the number of contracts was so huge that it was impossible to vet them all, and it recommended assessing only the most risky. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the State Department, the GAO said, have no vetting system in Afghanistan, and the Defense Department’s practice is to vet contractors only after contracts have been issued

Six of the eight companies chosen as prime contractors under the Host Nation Trucking contract are owned by Afghans or are joint Afghan-international ventures…

For the life of the contract — one year, with options for a second year and the recently exercised six-month extension — each company was guaranteed a minimum of $250,000 and a maximum of $360 million. U.S. expenditure was capped at $2.16 billion, although less than $600 million had been paid out through March.

Prime contractors were responsible for furnishing up to 600 trucks and protecting them. But five of the eight prime contractors had no trucks of their own, two had fewer than 200, and all hired subcontractors to provide security, according to the investigation

As early as the summer of 2009, amid frequent reports that subcontractors and middlemen were paying contract money to warlords and the Taliban to guarantee safe passage for the convoys, U.S. Army investigators prepared a briefing for senior commanders that bore the blunt title “Host Nation Trucking Payments to Insurgents.” Investigators estimated that the going rate for protection was $1,500 to $2,500 per truck, paid by contractors and their subs to private Afghan security companies allied with warlords or insurgents — or, in some cases, directly to militias or Taliban commanders

Well, thank goodness Blackwater wasn’t involved. If the DOD had been paying Blackwater for security and transportation, there would really have been hell to pay.

Both reports identified the security wing of the Watan group, a business conglomerate run by relatives of Karzai, as involved in bribing officials for control over convoy routes and making payments to Taliban commanders

Come to think of it, maybe this is why Blackwater was demonized by people like the Karzai brothers.

Of course, the Washington Post is only too delighted to report this kind of information, as part of their effort to show why we should get out of Afghanistan, anyway.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 25th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “US Paid The Taliban For Trucking ‘Protection’”

  1. untrainable says:

    Defense Department’s practice is to vet contractors only after contracts have been issued…
    Brilliant. Hire them, pay them, and THEN find out if they’re criminals. What ever happened to common sense?
    But then they say the number of contracts was so huge that it was impossible to vet them all
    So even after the contracts are issued and the payment goes out, they only MIGHT be vetted?
    It’s like… “Airport Security”! And we all know how efficient THAT is.

    “There are so many. It’s too hard. Too much work to do all at once. Whaaaaaaa..aaa..aaa. Ehhhhhh… sniffle (snot bubble)
    (I hear the world’s smallest violin playing in the background. It’s playing “My Heart Pisses Purple For You” in the key of G)

    American Govrnment – The largest conglomeration of abject stupidity in the history of man on earth.

    • JohnMG says:

      ……”American Govrnment – The largest conglomeration of abject stupidity in the history of man on earth……”

      But still the best that money can buy. It’s just that inflation has caused the cost of politicians to skyrocket and the quality(?) to diminish.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      “Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself.”

      Mark Twain.

      It always makes me laugh that in our entertainment industry, they do such a great job of portraying how people become blind to the obvious when they seek a self-serving agenda but in the real world cannot identify it for real. Indeed, they have inadvertently taught millions how to think critically in that sense without actually being capable of it themselves.

      Of course, this kind of thing is seen in all walks of life, all professions going back thousands of years. The fear of not appearing productive, or the appearance of not being “on-board” with some high-roller’s objective(s) is usually the motivating factor that causes normally clear-thinking people to do irrational activity. I have had the opportunity to confront those doing such things and ask the obvious questions only to be rebuffed with such stupid statements as “It’s more complicated than you realize…this needs to get done“. And if I ask, “Yes, ok, but at what cost?”, I got the stink eye and told to shut up.

      Saw it in the military a lot; This odd example of self-preservation coupled with the desire to prove loyalty. Makes people do stupid things…..and it always will.

  2. proreason says:

    The size of the American government draws people to it that otherwise would be Mafia bosses and other types of international criminal family leaders.

    Why should they take the risks a Mafia boss takes when the pickings are so easy as a government official or contractor that it’s like a chicken pecking corn from a full floor?

    Reid, Franks, Dodd, Obama, Schumer….the list of cartoon-character criminals is endless. The ones we are allowed to see, of course, William Jefferson, John Murtha, Maxime Waters, Charlie Rangel, et al, are small-fry fall-guys whose role is to distract the public from crimes that would make Bernie Madoff green with envy.

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