Though Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was acquitted of charges that he aided the enemy when he released hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, U.S. Army officials continue to do business with 43 individuals and companies — most of whom are Afghans — despite evidence of their ties to supporters of the insurgency (i.e., the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and al-Qaeda) in Afghanistan.
In his July 30 report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko raised concerns about the Army’s refusal to act on his recommendations that would prevent supporters of the insurgency in Afghanistan from receiving lucrative government contracts. Incredibly, they were the same concerns he had raised three months earlier in his April 30 report to Congress.
Why have no ties been cut between the Army and the suspect 43 individuals and companies during the past three months? Officials at the Army Suspension and Debarment Office say, according to Sopko, appear to believe suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due-process rights.
Was I surprised to learn of this difficult-to-fathom news? Hardly. I ran into similarly-dangerous thinking during the four-year investigation that led to the release of my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.
Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve called attention to Ross and his reporting exploits. I devote 20 pages of my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, to a report by Ross that aired on ABC’s Primetime March 30, 2006.