VERDICT: Manning Not Doing Business With Enemy, Army Is

Though Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was acquitted of charges that he aided the enemy when he released hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, U.S. Army officials continue to do business with 43 individuals and companies — most of whom are Afghans — despite evidence of their ties to supporters of the insurgency (i.e., the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and al-Qaeda) in Afghanistan.

SIGAR Report 7-30-13In his July 30 report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko raised concerns about the Army’s refusal to act on his recommendations that would prevent supporters of the insurgency in Afghanistan from receiving lucrative government contracts. Incredibly, they were the same concerns he had raised three months earlier in his April 30 report to Congress.

Why have no ties been cut between the Army and the suspect 43 individuals and companies during the past three months? Officials at the Army Suspension and Debarment Office say, according to Sopko, appear to believe suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due-process rights.

Was I surprised to learn of this difficult-to-fathom news? Hardly. I ran into similarly-dangerous thinking during the four-year investigation that led to the release of my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13U.S. Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets decried DoD’s decision to remove from their tool kits an investigative tool they described as being the best available.

Defense Intelligence Agency interrogators in Baghdad and at Guantanamo Bay did the same and later expressed to anyone who would listen their disgust with DoD’s decision to remove the tool from their investigative arsenal.

Try as they might, DoD officials have so far been unable to prevent more than 1,800 law enforcement agencies across the United States from using the investigative tool now banned by DoD.

What is this tool?

How does it work?

Why did top government officials ban its use within DoD?

Answers to all of those questions and more can be found in my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Available in paperback and ebook versions, it comes highly recommended.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Special IG Reports Signal Trouble Ahead for Afghanistan

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, an office created by Congress to provide independent and objective oversight of Afghanistan reconstruction projects and activities, released two reports this week which combine to signal bad times ahead in this war-torn country.

Linked on the SIGAR website under the error-filled headline, SIGAR releases lastest Quarterly Report to Congress focusing on U.S. transition and Afghan government capabilities, the first report is a quarterly report that covers a multitude of topics, including, but not limited to, “Green-on-Blue” (a.k.a., “insider”) attacks, rampant corruption and failed peace talks.

The second report, an audit, reveals that the Afghan government will likely be incapable of fully sustaining Afghan National Security Force facilities after the transition in 2014 and the expected decrease in U.S. and coalition support.

A quick review of the two reports seems to indicate things are not only going downhill in this war-torn country, but they’re going downhill fast.

Good luck to John F. Sopko, the man sworn in as SIGAR July 2, as he continues on this Herculean task.  He’s gonna need it!

Bob McCarty is the author of “Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice,” a nonfiction book that’s available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com. His second book, “The CLAPPER MEMO,” is set for release this fall.

Wyoming Senator Says Lack of Oversight Undermines Transparency and Sound Science

No, it’s not the most exciting topic, but it is important.  Today, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) released a report detailing the Subcommittee’s lack of oversight on a number of key Administration activities that undermine transparency and sound science.  Among the findings of the report are the following:

  • In 2009, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Majority chose not to conduct oversight over the relevant agencies within the executive branch;
  • The lack of any oversight over the activities of the federal agencies weakens the system of checks and balances, and invites the potential for larger abuses;
  • Action must be taken to investigate oversight issues from the last year; and
  • Further coordination within the Committee regarding the oversight jurisdiction and responsibility is needed.

In the video below, Senator Barrasso, ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, discussed the report on the floor of the U.S. Senate while speaking about Mr. Arthur Elkins’ nomination to serve as Inspector General of the Environmental Protection Agency.