The Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan has decided to not reveal its full findings and materials to the public for another two decades, despite its stated purposes of investigating and exposing government waste.
The Commission has been at work for three years, revealing that up to $60 billion in US war funds were lost due to waste, fraud, and abuse. One report concluded that “criminal behavior and blatant corruption” were directly responsible for much of the waste in the expensive “reconstruction”projects in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002. It also found that one in every six contracting and grant dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan has been wasted.
But the Commission now says it won’t allow its full records to be opened to the public at the National Archives until 2031, because, according to one official, some of the documents contain “sensitive information.” Evidence of government theft, profligacy, criminality, and waste is indeed sensitive information. That revealing these things was the purpose of the Commission seems lost on those deciding to hide important information from Americans.
Throughout United States history, that information which has been withheld from the public has primarily been withheld to prevent voters from having the chance to make informed decisions about their political leaders. The Obama administration came in promising unprecedented transparency in government, but this is yet another example of keeping the workings of government secret so as to insulate Washington bureaucrats from accountability.
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