"Nobody works here anymore" is a classic excuse used in information requests like this.
These letters the DoD sent back sound exactly like the letters I read every day as a civil litigator during discovery for cases. The DoD is basically telling this inspector to fuck off and stop bothering us.
That's not to say the Pentagon has no idea where the money went. They are just not cooperating with the investigation. The DoD is saying "we fired those guys, you go find them yourself."
And it sounds like the Special Inspector General has a pretty good idea why the natural gas station was so expensive. The organization in charge didn't do a feasibility study. Then spent millions of dollars building a station when it wasn't a good idea.
Nobody stole the money. They just squandered it on a gas station to nowhere.
Edit: Unsurprisingly both the inspector general and the DoD Deputy Under Secretary are both trained lawyers. The inspector general was even a civil litigator up until a few years ago.
The conspiracy theorist in me says the gas station was just a front to funnel the money somewhere else, somewhere with no governmental oversight.
But that person has no proof, of course.
If you want to conspiracy theorize, this fits with the classic gov't construction grift model. Gov't employee gets a huge bribe. Gov't employee gives a huge lucrative to the person who bribed them. They waste of a bunch of money on contractors who don't show up or show up and don't work. Years later its way over budget and the delivered project sucks. That's classic government corruption.
One telltale sign is the amount of overhead - 30 million - on a 42 million dollar project.
The military industrial complex is not that different in form from the massive public works jobs program many propose to replace it with, except that the latter would also have the side effect of good infrastructure.
And would happen at home in the open with competitors and political opponents keeping a watchful eye on things (in their own interest), not in some far off country hidden away from prying eyes.
I always think it's weird that we're so willing to spend tons of money building stuff in other countries, but not our own.
The sad thing is this is where about 90% of your taxes generally go - corruption, nepotism, bribery, private hands.
I've heard that once a contract is put up for bidding by the government, someone buys it out, and sub-contracts it out a step down the ladder. The sub-contractor sub-contracts it out again another step, and so on.
until eventually a local is taking a picture of some other well as proof and everyone gets paid and nothing gets done.
I couldn't comment on whether this has any truth to it, I've fortunately never been to Afghanistan and also I don't know anyone who's been.
after hearing it, it's hard to imagine things working any other way, looking at the fruit of the time and money.
If you want to take over a company, always keep the middle management! They know how everything works and who to ask when special issues might occur.
If you want to take over a country, always keep the government officials! They know who to work with, what to do, etc.
Firing all tax collectors just to hire them again is a stupid idea.
Even worse when you destabilize several countries, make sure all educated people have left the country, and then are left with a bunch of radicals.
(Compare: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan)
Yap pretty much. This happens with big and small stuff right here on US soil. There are bid requests that fit only one product, so there is just simply no way anything else would be picked. Product is not named by name, but if you look at list of features it describes it in a unique way. Or there are special handouts to small companies headed by vetereans or women, so people would put their Vietnam era uncle as CEO on paper so the company can get a special contract and so on.
They can own 100% of the company, they're usually controlled or trusted in some other way.