Criminal Investigations Under Way Over Pentagon's Afghanistan Task Force
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa is investigating the compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan that cost the U.S. taxpayers $43 million, as much as $42.5 million more than it should have, and the Pentagon task force that oversaw the construction. The task force spent $800 million in total on the gas station and other similar projects. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction reported on the gas station cost over-run and cited a lack of cooperation from the Pentagon with its auditors. Grassley is seeking full cooperation from the Pentagon with SIGAR. SIGAR confirmed to Grassley that it has “several ongoing criminal investigations” related to the task force, called the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO). SIGAR cannot discuss the specifics of those investigations. Grassley made the following comment on this development.
“Everybody responsible for the tremendous waste of U.S. tax dollars on the gas station and any other projects ought to be held accountable. That includes any warranted criminal cases. I expect the Pentagon to cooperate fully with the inspector general and with my office in all inquiries involving the task force. With the poor track record reported on the auditing side, there’s reason to be skeptical on the level of cooperation with the inspector general on the criminal side.”