U.S. government wasted $17 billion in Afghanistan

The U.S. government has spent $17 billion on wasted projects and unused resources in Afghanistan, a ProPublica investigation has found. The decisions that led to wasting billions of dollars in taxpayer money on useless projects did not lead to any consequences for the officials in the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development or…

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CIA ethics report reveals how ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ got its information

Vice News’ investigation into CIA reports revealed that Leon Panetta, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, revealed unprecedented details about the classified mission to the filmmakers. According to the article, a report on ethical violations committed by the director revealed that screenwriter Mark Boal treated top CIA officials to dinners and hotel stays…

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Empty military buildings had multimillion-dollar price tags

As NATO withdraws from Afghanistan, the U.S. military is leaving behind almost $42 million in buildings that have never been used, ProPublica reports.  ProPublica used reports from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction as a starting point for a story on how — and why — the military ignored the advice of three generals…

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U.S. government knowingly gave incorrect numbers on Afghanistan schools

The United States has cited education — for which it has spent more than $1 billion — as one of its main achievements in Afghanistan. U.S. officials repeatedly used impressive statistics — the number of schools built, girls enrolled, textbooks distributed, teachers trained and dollars spent — to help justify the 13 years and more…

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Wounded soldiers allege mistreatment in the Army’s Warrior Transition Units

Hundreds of current and former soldiers based in Texas have filed complaints over the last five years about the Army’s Warrior Transition Units, which were set up to serve soldiers with physical and psychological wounds. The Dallas Morning News and KXAS-TV used the records, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, to describe and examine…

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Pro-troop charity misleads donors while lining political consultants’ pockets

Move America Forward calls itself the nation’s “largest grassroots pro-troop organization,” and has recruited a bevy of Republican luminaries, including former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney, to support its efforts. Yet a ProPublica examination of its fundraising appeals, tax records and other documents shows that Move…

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Extra Extra Monday: Nebraska releases prisoners early; Koch brothers hold secret summit; Missile defense system proves unreliable

$40-billion missile defense system proves unreliable | Los Angeles Times The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, or GMD, was supposed to protect Americans against a chilling new threat from “rogue states” such as North Korea and Iran. But a decade after it was declared operational, and after $40 billion in spending, the missile shield cannot be relied…

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How the VA developed its culture of coverups

The resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki isn’t likely to fix systemic problems at the beleaguered agency, the Washington Post reports. The VA’s “towering bureaucracy,” once designed to prevent mismanagement and corruption, ultimately allowed it to hide its problems from senior staff. Scheduling clerks were told to “zero out” wait times. In Phoenix,…

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Pentagon slow to identify remains of missing service members

The Pentagon spends about $100 million a year to find men like World War II POW Arthur “Bud” Kelder, following the ethos of “leave no man behind,” ProPublica reports. Yet it solves surprisingly few cases, hobbled by overlapping bureaucracy and a stubborn refusal to seize the full potential of modern forensic science. Last year, the military identified just…

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