In an recent interview with Sharyl Attkinson, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, John Sopko revealed that during Obama’s presidency, millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars were wasted for salaries of soldiers who actually didn’t exist.
The special inspector general Sopko explained:
“We’ve been raising this concern about ghosts going back a number of years. Actually I want to say we heard about it from (Afghan President) Ashraf Ghani years ago, before he became president, he warned me about ‘ghosts,’ so we started looking three years ago. What we’re talking about are policemen, Afghan policemen, Afghan military, Afghan civil servants who don’t exist or they have multiple identity cards and we’re paying their salaries. By ‘we’ I mean the United States and the international community. And we started finding out that we had no capacity to measure the number of soldiers, teachers, doctors, military people who we are paying their salaries.”
Sopko tried to warn authorities about this since 2016. In an letter he sent to the Pentagon, he wrote:
“In January 2015 we reported that more than $300 million in annual, U.S.-funded salary payments to the Afghan National Police were based on only partially verified or reconciled data, and that there was no assurance that personnel and payroll data were accurate. We found similar deficiencies during the course of our April 2015 audit of Afghan National Army personnel and payroll data.”
Additionally, Sopko said that it was even more than fraud:
“Major fraud. And what’s happening is the commanders or generals or other higher officials are actually pocketing the salaries of the ghosts. And I remember President Ghani again, at that time he wasn’t president, saying, ‘John, you the United States government are paying the salary of an Afghan who’s a teacher, he’s a civil servant, he’s a doctor, he is a policeman, and he’s a soldier. And it’s the same Afghan. And he doesn’t exist.’”
Attkinsson noted that the Pentagon is implementing a biometric system that will check fingerprints, photos, and even blood type in order to get rid of ‘ghosts,’ reports Founding Patriot.
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