The Afghan IG asserts An investigation into the fall of the Kabul administration…




The Afghan IG asserts An investigation into the fall of the Kabul administration was blocked by the State Department

In letters sent to top Biden administration officials and Congress on Wednesday, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said that State Department officials are not giving information about last year’s disastrous pullout from Afghanistan.

Special Inspector General John F. Sopko sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development Samantha Power.

He was upset that officials from the State Department and USAID had “unreasonably” refused to give information that was needed for many audits and reviews ordered by Congress.

In the past, he added, “officials from State and USAID have supported SIGAR’s mandate and complied with my office’s demands.” “For whatever reason, this long history of cooperation seems to have unexpectedly come to a stop. Officials from the agency now appear to have taken a deliberate obstructive stance.

The State Department was not given the chance to comment on the draft of Mr. Sopko’s report last month on the failure of the United States’ 20-year mission in Afghanistan, according to a State Department spokesman.

He also said that the Inspector General didn’t ask for input from the department before making his decisions.

Ned Price, a spokesman for the State Department, told reporters during a briefing on Wednesday that “our judgment is that the report does not reflect the consensus position of the State Department or of the U.S. government, for that matter.”

Among other U.S. government agencies, the State Department “had unique ideas about what happened in Afghanistan last year that were not included in the study.”

He continued, “We’ll be sure to send those along if we have any additional reactions to the letters and replies that were given today.”

According to Mr. Sopko, his reviews were particularly concentrated on the ongoing humanitarian programs in Afghanistan; State Department and USAID compliance with laws prohibiting the transfer of funds to the Taliban; and the collapse of the U.S.-backed government in Afghanistan in the final days of the withdrawal.

The U.S. taxpayers “deserve objective information concerning where their money is going and to whom it is being provided,” wrote Mr. Sopko, “while the U.S. government continues to add to the billions of dollars that it has already spent on the Afghan government and people since 2002.”

The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael T. McCaul of Texas, said that President Biden’s chaotic and dangerous withdrawal from Afghanistan was being “swept under the rug” because SIGAR’s requests were not being followed.

Mr. McCaul said. They believe they can disregard legislative directives, the cries of the besieged American people, and the requests of their Afghan allies. However, the American people want responsibility and have not forgotten.

In his letter to Mr. Blinken, Mr. Sopko complained that State and USAID officials had disregarded SIGAR auditors’ contacts, refused to make staff available for interviews, and refused to let SIGAR travel abroad to do fieldwork.

He said that USAID and the State Department refused to give information for an audit of ongoing aid projects to make sure that no money from American taxpayers was going to the Taliban or the Haqqani Network.

It is unprecedented for the State and USAID to hinder such oversight efforts, especially in light of the Taliban’s recent capture of the country’s executive branch, according to Mr. Sopko.

Representatives from the State Department have questioned SIGAR’s legal authority, pointing out that the acting legal adviser for the State Department and the general counsel for USAID wrote to SIGAR to ask for clarification on the watchdog’s right to do its reviews.

The State Department’s legal team says that SIGAR doesn’t have the power to do activities related to humanitarian and development aid.

In his letter to Mr. Blinken, Mr. Sopko stated, “Consistent with the plain text of SIGAR’s authorizing legislation, we have reported on humanitarian and development assistance initiatives in Afghanistan since 2008.” “Until recently, no federal agency has contested SIGAR’s authority to oversee such programs.”

The parliamentarians were informed by Mr. Sopko that “Congress was unambiguous when it awarded SIGAR jurisdiction over all reconstruction spending in Afghanistan, including development and humanitarian aid.”

It is shocking that State and USAID officials are breaking the law, making it harder for SIGAR to do its job, and refusing to do what we ask them to do right now.

In his letter, he stated that Congress and American taxpayers “deserve to know why the Afghan government fell after all that support, where the money went, and how taxpayer money is now being spent in Afghanistan.”