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Steve Carpinelli (202) 481-1225
Randy Barrett (202) 481-1256

War Effort Rife with Corrupt Subcontractors

WASHINGTON - The
U.S. military is working with allegedly corrupt subcontractors in
Afghanistan and Iraq where bribery and kickbacks are the norm, according
to an investigative story and video by the Center for Public Integrity and the Huffington Post Investigative Fund.

Subcontractors do
everything from providing translators for American soldiers to trucking
supplies into war zones, as well as building military bases and
providing security. But in footing the bill for all this work by a
network of companies, the U.S. government often doesn't know who it is
ultimately paying. And that can lead to fraud, shoddy work, or even
taxpayer funds ending up in the hands of enemy fighters.

A host of investigations underscore
the perils in the murky world of subcontracting with foreign firms, and
the difficulties in making sure taxpayer dollars are well spent. Among
the current and recent probes by the Pentagon, congressional panels, and
federal investigators:

  • Up to $300 million in subcontracts in Iraq and Kuwait were allegedly tainted by a Saudi-based subcontractor employee's kickback scheme;
  • Subcontracted security forces in Afghanistan are suspected of bribing both Taliban and Afghan government officials;
  • U.S. money for a
    trash collection program in Iraq, administered by a bewildering array
    of subcontractors, has allegedly ended up in the pockets of insurgents; and

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Compounding the
abuses are the difficulties in holding companies accountable. The
Defense Department's management of contractors has been on the
non-partisan Government Accountability Office's "high risk" list since
1992, but the challenges are even greater when foreign companies are
working under a subcontract.

Read and link to the full story War Effort Rife with Corrupt Subcontractors.

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The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world.

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