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What Are They Hiding? State Dept. Refusing to Cooperate With Afghanistan Audits.

Inspector General Spoko Can’t Get Answers —They Won’t Even Let Him Visit.


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Stating the obvious: something went terribly wrong during the Biden Administration’s evacuation in Afghanistan. Many things went terribly wrong, in fact: from planning and execution; communication and negotiations —it was, said plainly, a total disaster.

And just because it’s no longer on our screens, demoted even from chyron status, doesn’t mean Afghanistan is fine. In fact, there’s a reconstruction effort underway —an effort which includes audits performed by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

But the man in charge of those audits, John Sopko, has been ignored by the State Department.

According to Politico, “State and USAID have in some cases ignored SIGAR’s communications, declined to make officials available for interviews, and refused to permit the watchdog to travel internationally to conduct on-the-ground research, director John Sopko wrote in the letter, which POLITICO obtained.”

“Historically, State and USAID officials have supported SIGAR’s mission and honored my office’s requests,” Sopko wrote. “Inexplicably, this long track record of cooperation seems to have abruptly ended. Agency officials now appear to have adopted a premeditated position of obstruction.”

But that’s not how the State Department sees it. When asked for a response to Sopko’s letter, a State Department spox claimed SIGAR’s jurisdiction is limited to “reconstruction purposes,” which, according to Politico, doesn’t include humanitarian and other developmental assistance.

“State and USAID are committed to assisting SIGAR with its important auditing and oversight role,” the spokesperson said. But “We have had concerns about how some of SIGAR’s requests for information relate to their statutory jurisdiction. ”

In addition to the tension between SIGAR and State, there appears to be internal conflicts at State, as well. According to Politico, “State Department spox Ned Price said SIGAR’s most recent report on the collapse of the Afghan forces, which blasted both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump for withdrawing from the country, ‘does not reflect the consensus view of the State Department or of the U.S. Government, for that matter.’”

“Many parts of the U.S. Government, including the State Department, have unique insights into developments in Afghanistan last year that were not captured in the report. And we don’t concur with many aspects of the report,” Price said.

We knew it was bad —heck it was chaos on every channel. But it’s what we didn’t see that may be the biggest disaster of all.