By Larry Shaughnessy
Contract fraud and waste has been an ongoing problem in Afghanistan almost since the start of the war, but a new report finds one kind of contract screw-up could well have caused deaths and injuries among U.S. troops.
The problem revolves around “culvert denial systems.” Essentially they are grates made of heavy steel rods that keep the Taliban from putting Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in culverts under roads traveled by U.S. military vehicles.
By Suzanne Kelly
The Office of the Inspector General at the State Department is launching two reviews to determine whether the U.S. security posture is adequate at overseas posts prone to violence and terrorism.
In a letter provided to CNN by a source familiar with the investigation, Deputy Inspector General Harold Geisel announced the additional reviews, which are part of ongoing audits. According to the letter, the new reviews, known as “scopes of work,” will take a closer look at not only the security measures and procedure in place, but they will also focus on the role contractors play in assessing whether local security guards are up to the task of protecting U.S. embassies and missions.
A number of inspections are underway that examine how information about threats is shared within the State Department and its various missions. According to the letter, additional inspections are already being planned for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad with more being considered at U.S. embassies in Beirut, Lebanon, and Rabat, Morocco. The scope extends to a number of missions around the world as well.
By Suzanne Kelly
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is rolling out new measures Monday aimed at ending what recently has been a spate of leaks regarding classified programs and operations.
Among Clapper's recommendations, to be instituted across the 16 intelligence agencies, are an enhanced counterintelligence polygraph test for employees who have access to classified information, and the establishment of a task force of intelligence community inspectors general that will have the ability to conduct independent investigations across agencies in coordination with the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive.
Clapper has also called for a review of current policies that relate to interaction with members of the media, and how that interaction must be reported.
The new question that will be added to the current counterintelligence polygraph test - which intelligence community employees who handle classified information are required to take - will specifically ask whether the employee has disclosed classified information to a member of the media.
By Larry Shaughnessy
The probe by the Pentagon's inspector general comes after questions were raised last summer by Rep. Peter King, R-New York, who demanded investigations by the Department of Defense and CIA inspectors general into what, if any, classified information about special operations tactics, techniques, and procedures were leaked to the filmmakers.
King claimed that the White House gave the filmmakers access to top White House and Pentagon officials with knowledge of the bin Laden raid. The filmmakers included Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, who made the Oscar-winning movie "The Hurt Locker."
"This alleged collaboration belies a desire of transparency in favor of a cinematographic view of history," King wrote last August in calling for the investigation.
"Administration officials may have provided filmmakers with details of the raid that successfully killed" bin Laden, he wrote, citing a New York Times report. FULL POST
By Charley Keyes
Members of Congress clashed Wednesday over continuing to provide money to Iraq as American troops complete their withdrawal by the end of next month.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, portrayed the Iraqis as ungrateful for the American expenditure in lives and treasure.
"We shouldn't spend a day more, a dollar more on their behalf," Rohrabacher said.
By CNN Pentagon Producer Larry Shaughnessy
The man selected on Tuesday to run an independent investigation of problems within the military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base has already bowed out.
When news broke that the Air Force was disciplining three people for improper handling of the remains of four service members, it was announced that former U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona would run an independent review of procedures at Dover AFB Port Mortuary.
On Friday, just three days later, the Pentagon announced Carmona was stepping down from the investigation to run for public office. Carmona had announced on Thursday that he intends to run for the U.S. Senate seat from Arizona that will soon be vacated by Republican Jon Kyl.
By Senior National Security Producer Charley Keyes
The mystery of $6 billion that seemed to go missing in the early days of the Iraq war has been resolved, according to a new report.
New evidence shows most of that money, $6.6 billion, did not go astray in that chaotic period, but ended up where it was supposed to be, under the control of the Iraqi government, according to a report from the office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction or SIGIR.
The report details the transfer of cash from the U.S. to the Central Bank of Iraq. Much of it was originally assets of Iraq, some was part of the Oil for Food program imposed during the regime of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and some was funneled through the United Nations for relief and reconstruction projects, according to the report. FULL POST