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. The Justice Department of the federal government is a joke. This is just like not charging Hillary Clinton for clearly violating federal law with her using a personal email server for government business. The Justice Department is not interested in justice. It is simply politics as usual.

    I see the same kind of waste and abuse with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamps. I was working with a lady last week who has over $20,000 sitting in her bank account as an accumulation of Social Security checks paying her more than what she needs to live on. She had a medical issue and went to the hospital. From there she went to a nursing home. I just looked at bills she has for over $30,000 for the nursing homes. She will not pay one cent. She throws the bills away and Medicaid picks up the tab while her food stamp money accumulates. The taxpayer gets gouged on all sides. This woman has not worked since her twenties and she is now in her fifties. There is no doubt that she needs help, but the way the government helps her is to just throw money at her and people all around her have their hands out to collect what they can. Meanwhile I am left writing checks to the government for tens of thousands of dollars to support these people, and the liberals get mad at me when I say that I am against these entitlement programs.

  2. Very funny observation Darren.

    Rand Paul talked about this in his filibuster. He’s the man!

  3. Mention an Obama incompetence, and a BDS outbreak occurs. Govt. waste occurs in ALL Administrations.

  4. Winning wars doesn’t seem to be something we can do with ANY administration…….Bush didn’t win his wars he just STARTED THEM and then punted. Wars to save the MIDDLE EAST from itself are foolish, wasteful and dangerous.

    I’m sure someone will raise 9/11. If Bush thought we needed to attack someone, why didn’t he attack the Saudis? We all know why and it’s disgusting.

  5. We don’t need an obese, stupid, propagandist. All we need is taxpayers to say, “BASTA”. We need to have a grass roots movement where ALL incumbents are voted out of office. That would be a good start. Then we need to starve the beast. A nice cleansing diet of 20% across the board cuts w/ similar tax reductions and a flat tax.

  6. This is a job for Michael Moore. This article goes in the oval file with the $400,000 toilet seat and the $500,000 hammer. Exposure, shame, and perhaps jail time would go a long way to reducing this. You will never erase stupidity and graft completely. Eight years of the three stooges should be enough to have taught us that.

  7. This is a job for Michael Moore. This article goes in the oval file with the $400,000 toilet seat and the $500,000 hammer. Exposure, shame, and perhaps jail time would go a long way to reducing this. You will never erase stupidity and graft completely. Eight years of the three stooges should be enough to have taught us that.

  8. 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. Oh no, don’t touch mine! So on and on this goes and we sit at $18 trillion in debt and climbing.

    Are their needless wars? Yes. Are their people on public assistance that are fully capable of working and supporting themselves? Yes. These wasteful spending projects without ANY accountability happen in ANY administration. It has become so commonplace that people hardly notice them anymore. And so we have ideologues ready to defend their effing party at the drop of a hat when no sane person would agree the project was a good use of U.S. taxpayer money in the first place.

  9. I agree with Dave. On to Syria and the muddle east. Listen to every single Republican candidate for President. Lindsey Graham kracker is the worst. We can not get troops on the ground fast enough. Ike warned us of the Military Industrial Complex. Who is Ike, you ask? Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the U.S. on his last day in office for his farewell address. No one remembers.

    How about this song by Country Joe and the Fish:

    And its one, two, three, what are we fightin for?
    Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn!
    Next stop is Viet Nam!

    And its five six, seven, open up the Pearly Gates!
    Ain’t no time to wonder why.
    Whoopee we’re all gonna die!

    By the way. Why are we building a gas station in friggin Afghanistan?

  10. Sorry, I had to go buy a computer with more memory. Damn thing wasn’t capable of figuring out how many of pallets we were going to need when we invade Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, AND Syria. (My lord. Can you imagine? EVERYONE will make general! Boeing will be falling all over themselves to set up a dozen new PACs for us.)

    Have to adjust the budget, though. Gotta re-open all those services that we closed in order to make all those cuts. Wait. I forgot. No need to adjust the budget. It will just cause people to get nervous. No. We’ll run the costs OFF the books just like we did in 2003.

    But we are going to need a TREMENDOUS number of pallets. Didja get ahold of Blackwater? And for god’s sake, can you tell them to ground the damn electricity in the showers. I don’t want any more guys electrocuted!

  11. But fellas, That’s the plan! Shrink the government. Starve the baby to death. Hire contractors. Cut back here. Cut back there. Pretty soon nobody is watching. Now the good part starts. Citizens will learn about this. Citizens will be angry. Yippee! NOW they understand that small government is the way to go. There is only one solution. Shrink the government. It doesn’t work. Cut back here. Cut back there. Nobody’s watching. More bad stuff happens. The pay off?

    We win the election!!!!!

    Now we’re talkin’. NOW we can start winning those wars. Gonna need us some more pallets of money though. Hey, Ralph! Is Blackwater still in business?

  12. Darren, Indeed. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. In the food dept., looks like Chipotle is having a rough go in your neck of the woods. I am proud to say I have never been to Chipotle.

  13. Throughout history the victors took spoils of war from the defeated. Now, our government takes the spoils of war from its own citizens.

  14. Meanwhile, I wonder if they’re still looking for those pallets and pallets and pallets of money that Bremer had some luggage porter handle.

  15. Great idea, Nick. Starve the government.

    Starve grandma, starve kids meals, starve vets, starve sick kids, starve special needs kids, starve postal workers, starve government workers, starve Congresspeople (that ought to be fun), starve judges, starve courts, starve SCOTUS, starve the FBI, starve the CIA (seriously – starve the CIA), starve those serving overseas, starve their families.

    We’ll set up a GoFundMe page. Just watch those dollars roll in.

  16. It doesn’t matter what the govt. spends money on, THEY DON’T CARE. They get money off the taxpayer money tree and just keep bleeding the producers in this country to pay the takers both here, and abroad. We need to starve the govt. A tax holiday of 2 months, w/ a 20% across the board spending cut in every dept.

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