Nearly a year after I wrote this, House hearings made it clear that the Biden administration is still illegally obstructing the Afghanistan watchdog.
In June, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s office (SIGAR), dispatched letters to Secretary of State Blinken and Samantha Power complaining that the State Department and USAID were stonewalling its investigation of waste, corruption and terror cash.
“Two SIGAR audits are also being hindered by a lack of cooperation from State and USAID. The first evaluates your agencies’ compliance with the laws and regulations prohibiting transfers of funds to members of the Taliban and the Haqqani Network,” the letter to Power complained.
Instead of turning over the information, Blinken and Power’s people have lawyered up.
“A State official has informed SIGAR that department staff have received internal direction to not engage with or speak to SIGAR without prior clearance from State legal counsel,” the open letter that was also sent to members of Congress revealed.
Illegally refusing to cooperate with an inspector general and then using State Department lawyers to impede any investigation in a matter involving possible terrorist financing is shocking.
Fast forward to late April 2023 and SIGAR is still being illegally obstructed by the Biden regime.
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko told the House Oversight Committee. “Unfortunately, as I sit here today, I cannot assure this committee or the American taxpayer we are not currently funding the Taliban.”
“I don’t trust the Taliban as far as you can throw them. And the information we’re getting … is that the Taliban are already diverting funds,” Sopko told lawmakers. “I haven’t seen a starving Taliban fighter on TV. They all seem to be fat, dumb and happy. I see a lot of starving Afghan children on TV, so I’m wondering where all this funding is going.”
Sopko said the problems with oversight are exacerbated by the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) “failure to fully cooperate” with SIGAR audits and other inquiries.
“The lack of cooperation by State … and to a lesser extent USAID, is unprecedented in the nearly 12 years that I have been the SIGAR,” said Sopko, who was appointed to his role in 2012 under the Obama administration.
He said the agency’s refusal to fully cooperate has led to a significant portion of the watchdog’s work, including five reports for the Oversight Committee, being “hindered and delayed.”
In addition to obstructing the Afghanistan watchdog, the Biden administration has decided to also obstruct Congress.
The State Department on Wednesday violated a congressional Republican subpoena to hand over a sensitive diplomatic cable about the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.
The subpoena was issued late last month by chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and is part of Republican efforts to investigate the Biden administration over the chaotic and deadly pullout from Afghanistan at the end of August 2021.
State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a statement to The Hill that, “Discussions with the committee about next steps are ongoing,” and said Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered to brief the chairman and the committee next week on the contents of the dissent cable without providing the actual document.
Discussions are ongoing.
Trump was impeached the first time for a whole lot less than this. We’ve had a lot of talk about impeaching Biden. But these are actually serious grounds for impeachment. The entire Afghanistan mess isn’t behind us, it’s still ongoing and so is the cover-up. Terrorism financing is serious business and should be taken seriously.