Administration Pays $43 Million For $500,000 Filling Station . . . But No One is Investigated or Charged

AfghanistanGasStationI have previously written about the waste of billions of dollars by the government without any significant discipline for government officials. We have become accustomed to reports of unimaginable corruption and waste in Afghanistan from bags of money delivered to officials to constructing huge buildings to be immediately torn down to buying aircraft that cannot be used. Yet even with the disclosure of our useless campaign against poppy production where we continued to spend billions because no one had the courage to end or change the program, no action was taken against a single individual. Billions simply evaporate and nothing happens, even with public outcry. Now, the John Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), has revealed that the government spent $43 million to build a gas station in Afghanistan that should have cost roughly $500,000. As before, it is not clear why there has not been a long list of federal officials suspended pending both potential criminal and civil charges.

Not only has Sopko found no explanation for the outrageous funding, but he has cited a pattern of stonewalling by the Administration and the Task Force for Stability and Business Operations, known as TFBSO.

TFBSO’s Downstream Gas Utilization Project set out to build a compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station in the Afghan city of Sheberghan in 2011. The the start the contract was excessive. TFBSO contracted with Central Asian Engineering for roughly $3 million buy the cost of building a similar gas station in neighboring Pakistan cost no more than $500,000.

It turns out that 600 percent increase would prove a virtual bargain when TFSBO spent $42,718,739 between 2011 and 2014 to “fund the construction and to supervise the initial operation of the CNG station,” including “approximately $12.3 million in direct costs and $30 million in overhead costs.”

Sopko could not get anyone to confirm any details on the $800 million TFBSO program, including unsuccessful efforts in seeking information from Brian McKeon, the principal deputy under secretary of defense for policy, and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Indeed, McKeon seemed to offer the bureaucratic version of a shrug. He told Sopko that “the closure of TFBSO in March 2015 and departure of all its employees have resulted in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) no longer possessing the personnel expertise to address these questions or to assess properly the TFBSO information and documentation retained by WHS in the OSD Executive Archive.” That’s it. $34 million disappears but everyone has left the building. Oh well.

Sopko also said that his office has received “numerous allegations” of criminal activity by the Task Force from former employees as well as “current and former uniformed officers who worked over there, other agencies and contractors.” Yet, the Administration seems largely uninterested in pursuing these allegations and there is no indication of a criminal investigation. Millions are ripped off from the Treasury but no one is fired or charged.

Source: FOX News

31 thoughts on “Administration Pays $43 Million For $500,000 Filling Station . . . But No One is Investigated or Charged”

  1. Why is anyone surprised at this? This is standard government operating procedure. Graft and corruption with no consequences from the Justice Department because they are on the take, too. The only way to stop it from happening is to get rid of everyone in the system, and the system itself, and start over.

  2. Ok john530: Who is the so called local clown?
    Don’t ask me, I dont give a damn, next stop is Viet Nam.

  3. This is my happy place. Anytime I need a good laugh I just come here to see what the local clown has to say.

  4. “The mindset of big government liberals is disturbing”

    Lol. The only thing that’s really disturbing on this thread is your shallow analysis. You really are a simple minded fool.

  5. Olly, LOL! The mindset of big govt. liberals is disturbing. There was someone the last few days who thought he was bragging when he said he didn’t deduct his charitable contributions. Firstly, almost certainly a lie, or he doesn’t make enough money to itemize. Secondly, if he does itemize, what he’s saying to anyone w/ a brain is, “I’m an idiot.”

  6. “Great idea, Nick. Starve the government.”

    Think of it as putting the government on the equivalent of the FLOTUS school lunch program.

  7. Why is it so difficult to get people to agree that government wastes and wastes and wastes taxpayer dollars? No rational person could argue they are spending money sensibly. Yet the moment someone says we need to reign in government spending then all hell breaks loose.

    Exactly. The mere mention of trying to put in some rational curbs on spending and the hysterical chicken little sky is falling rhetoric comes out. “We are going to starve children. We are all going to DIE!!!!” The resistance to any change is met with derision and outright stupidity

    Look. This is what I did for over 25 years. As a professional and registered financial planner as well as investment advisor. I helped people get their finances in order, tax planning, retirement planning, investment portfolio construction and setting goals. Budgeting was the first step towards getting their finances in order.

    Budgeting and being realistic about spending. The resistance was sometimes just amazing and the inability to face the realities of the financial situations was just out and out delusional. My job was to, kindly and firmly get people to realize that they had several options. 1. Continue as they were and face not being able to meet any of their goals and desires or face bankruptcy at worst. 2. Set the goals that they want to meet and realize that there would have to be some sacrifices. 3. Realize that the goal meeting would take time and be gradual 4. It would take discipline.

    Budgeting is the key. Deciding where you can cut and do it where it isn’t harmful. Start with the little things and gradually scale up without realizing any significant decrease in current life style. You cannot achieve your goals without some changes. AND I, the advisor, cannot help you if you won’t help yourself.

    As a commercial loan officer, prior to my financial planner career, I would often have to help businesses set budgets so that they would qualify for a loan. Sorry……if you can’t manage your own businesses budget, why should I give you the money belonging to the bank and to the bank’s depositors.

    Anyone who says that we cannot cut Government spending is a liar or just ignorant. There are many programs that are duplicitous Consolidate and reduce those programs to one. Programs that are outdated or do not provide any value ….ax them. Yes. Some people might lose their cushy government job. Boo hoo. The government doesn’t exist to provide lifetime jobs and golden retirement benefits for you. It exists to provide necessary services to the taxpayer and to keep the country secure and safe.

    The waste and fraud in government programs is staggering. The wast and fraud in business is staggering too. Each and every remaining program could be cut by 5% in one year and there would be no consequences. I don’t mean a 5% cut in the GROWTH of the program….that isn’t cutting. I mean cut 5%. It would be easy and could be done without any reduction in services or even further lay off of personnel. Small things that add up in waste in operation can be trimmed or made more efficient. Buy less expensive office furniture. Don’t go on those big IRS conferences in Las Vegas. Spend less on everything. Economize….for God’s sake. The rest of us in the public have to. You can TOO.

    It isn’t rocket science, folks…..and the sky isn’t going to fall if you economize. Women and children won’t be starving in the streets.

    5% this year and 2% each year until you have met your goals of cost reduction of 15 to 20% reduction. Less money wasted and fraudulently used will create a lean trim department that provides quality services and has accountability each and every year for meeting budgets and which will continue to be able to do the necessary tasks and provide the necessary financial net for those who TRULY need it.

    Now….let the hysterical whining and pearl clutching begin 😀

  8. Hey! Chalabi dropped dead. We gave him $100 million. Anybody complaining about that?

Comments are closed.