Politico:Watchdog says government trying to silence him on Afghanistan

Reconstruction in Afghanistan

Just last week, the whistleblowers claimed that they had been threatened by Obama Administration officials as they were cooperating with congressional investigators who trying to piece together the events that led up to the terrorist attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya. And now there is yet another instance of Obama Administration officials trying to silence a whistleblower.

John Sopko, the independent inspector general in Afghanistan, alleges that administration officials and bureaucreats are criticizing him privately or trying to silence him as he documents waste and fraud in the rebuilding effort in the country that the United States has occupied for nearly 12 years:

“Since my appointment by the president last summer, I have been surprised to learn how many people both in and out of the government do not understand the role of an independent inspector general,” Sopko said.

The Pentagon did not address Sopko’s remarks about pre-screening, but it endorsed his role keeping watch over the Afghanistan effort.

“We value inputs from independent oversight, including from inspectors-general, who play a key role in advancing the missions of the Department of Defense,” said press secretary George Little.

Even so, Sopko slammed the government for what he called a hostile attitude toward his work.

“Over the last 10 months, I have been criticized by some bureaucrats for not pre-clearing my press releases with them, for not letting them edit the titles of my audits, for talking too much to Congress, for talking too much to the press … and, basically, for not being a ‘team player’ and undermining ‘our country’s mission in Afghanistan,’” he said.
Since taking office last July, Sopko has increased the number of audits and investigations threefold. His office has made 73 recommendations to government agencies that he says would save at least $450 million if enacted.

Sopko defended his aggressive oversight of billions of taxpayer dollars being spent in Afghanistan, saying he’s just trying to do the right thing.

Does anybody else remember when President Obama said that his administration would be the most open and transparent in history? Wasn’t this administration supposed to protect whistleblowers and watchdogs? Unfortunately, they’ve turned on those either tasked as watchdogs or those who have taken it upon themselves to reveal truths that the administration has tried to bury.

Source: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/watchdog-says-government-tried-to-silence-him-91110.html

Posted on May 11, 2013, in Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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