Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.
The U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office has declined to act in 43 such cases, John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, said today in a letter accompanying a quarterly report to Congress.
“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.
So we’re paying people to kill us. More directly than we usually do.
Regarding the 43 cases of contractors with militant connections, Sopko said the Army should “enforce the rule of common sense” in its suspension and debarment program. “They may be enemies of the United States but that is not enough to keep them from getting government contracts,” according to the agency’s report.
George Wright, another Army spokesman, said by e-mail that cutting off the contracts based only on information from Sopko’s office “would fail to meet due-process requirements and would likely be deemed arbitrary if challenged in court.”
Sopko said the Army “appears to believe that suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due-process rights if based on classified information” or on Commerce Department reports.
I guess we can’t force feed them those contracts over Ramadan either.