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tv   Discussion on Afghanistan Reconstruction  CSPAN  October 31, 2021 3:53pm-4:59pm EDT

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government, private developers, and others to create low-cost i -- housing in >> >> the united states. the projects seem nice at first, but you can only rent in the projects. government owns them. you can never own anything in public and subsidized housing. it is -- to this day, this remains a problem. 46% of residents of public housing to this day are african-american. those are all people who are not owning anything, not accumulating wealth. we should not be surprised that having steered african-americans into public housing, then, there is a gap between black-and-white wealth. >> author of "the poor side of town" tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span q&a. you can listen to q&a on our new c-span now at. -- app.
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>> details of the corruption and lack of oversight that led to the collapse of the afghan government in august. this is just over one hour. >> he has been voicing truth to power. he was the only one talking about how critical information about the afghan military was becoming increasingly classified to the point where no usable information to talk about progress in afghanistan was publicly available. he has accurately predicted
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everything that has gone wrong with the reconstruction effort. shortly before kabul fail, -- fell, he described it as hubris and mendacity. it is an honor for me to introduce john socko. >> let me try to get settled before i break something. can i take this off? otherwise, it will be hard to hear me. thank you for that kind introduction, jeff. also, thank you for the association that invited me today. this is kind of a unique experience. it is kind of novel. because, last time i spoke in
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person, live, to a live audience was back in march 10, 2020. up at syracuse university. i gave a speech that day governor cuomo closed the university and state. it must have been a good speech. i am back. 10,000 zoom meetings later, it is great to be back live. it is kind of weird to speak to people wearing pants. as many of you know, cigar just issued its 53rd quarterly report to congress. this quarterly report is unique too. it is the first one issued in our 12 year existence. when there are no u.s. troops or
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anybody in the usmc, actually, there is no u.s. embassy there in afghanistan. those who have you who have followed our work know that many of the reasons for the unexpected, quick collapse of the afghan government are problems we have reported on for years: corruption, ghost soldiers, the dependence of the afghan military on u.s. airpower, contractors, and other enablers, as well as, the overall incompetence of the afghan government. so, -- some in the press and on the hill have suggested that cigar maybe the only u.s. government agency whose stock has risen in the wake of withdrawals due to our penchant for telling inconvenient truths over the last 10 years. but i would suggest that you and the press corps must be credited for telling unwanted truth on
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what was going on in afghanistan through the evacuation in kabul. we all know that u.s. agencies have not been honest -- made honest reporting easy about america's longest war. we have a recent example in this quarterly report i would like to discuss briefly with you today. as we reported, shortly after the fall of kabul the state department wrote to me and other oversight agencies requesting that we "temporarily suspend access to all of our audit,
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inspection, and financial reports." because, the department was afraid that information included therein would put afghan allies at risk. now, let me be clear. i strongly believe that afghans who are at genuine risk of reprisal due to their work for the u.s. government, ngos, news outlets, and other groups, should, and must, be protected. the protection of afghans at legitimate risk of harm is not an issue to quibble over. it is something our agency has respected over the 10 years i have been there. but, despite repeated requests, the state department was never able to describe any specific threat to individuals that were supposedly contained in our reports. nor did state ever explain how
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removing our reports now from public many of those reports were years old and already expensively disseminated worldwide. nevertheless, with great reservation, i exceeded the state's initial request and pull ed down a reports because it was at the height of the evacuation and i thought that request would be temporary. i received a second letter from the state department. they stated they have reviewed the relatively few materials still remaining on our website and included a spreadsheet containing roughly 2400 new items that they requested we draw down or replace. given how hard the department
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reportedly was working to evacuate americans from afghanistan and resettle afghan refugees, i was a bit so prized as well as my colleagues, that's state department found the time to go through every one of our reports and produce that list but nevertheless, upon reviewing their request, it quickly became clear to us that the state department had little if any criteria for determining whether the information actually endangered anyone. i think you will agree with me that some of their request were a bit bizarre to say the least. for example, the state department requested that we reject asharfghani's name from our reports. i'm sure the president may wish to be exiled from the annals of history but i don't believe he faces any additional threats or is there any threat to any other
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afghan by mentioning his name in our reports. the state department also requested we consider rejecting a reference to redstone arsenal in alabama. this is a bit bizarre especially for those who have visited that arsenal that somehow its name itself is a threat to afghans. maybe by uttering its name as a threat to alabama. the state also asked us to consider redacting the name of a usaid american citizen who testified publicly before congress in 2017. even though his testimony remains on the website of the house foreign affairs committee and the hearing video is available i think by c-span. these are but a few of the examples and we cite many more in the quarterly report.
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regardless of this weird request,sigar did conduct a risk-based assessment and looked in every one of those 2400 requests for rejections and we actually found for that made some sense. we did reject them. we also did another internal review and looked at our other audits and reports we had taken down before and made the decision that they should go back up on our public website unadulterated. no audience in washington better understands the danger of limiting public assets to information in the name of security. = simply because the war in afghanistan has concluded, does not mean the american people or its elected representatives do
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not have a right to know the truth about what happened in afghanistan over the last 20 years. to that end, congress has taskedsiagr with a number of assignment since the collapse of the afghan government which includes the following questions. why did the afghan government collapse despite 146 billion dollars in 20 years of reconstruction assistance? why did the afghan security forces collapse and how did the u.s. train, advise and assist efforts possibly contributed to that collapse? they want us to find out about continued risks to u.s. funded reconstruction assistance including any contracts that may still be active or pending. they want us to explain the extent to which the taliban have access to previously provided u.s. government funding and
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equipment, particular weapons that were left behind. congress wants us to also explain and document the status of and potential risk to afghan people in civil -- in civil society organizations including women, girls, educators, health care providers and other non-government institutions since the taliban took over. congress also wants us to determine whether afghan government officials fled the country with u.s. taxpayer dollars. and congress wants us to conduct a comprehensive joint audit with the state and dod ig's to look at the administration of the special immigrant visa program step in my open you and, the full picture of what happened in august and all the warning signs that could have predicted that out come will only be revealed
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if the information the departments of state and offensive already restricted from public release will be made available. for example, dod restricted from public release wave of information going back to 2015 on the performance of the afghan security forces reportedly at the request of the afghan government. this included information such as casualty data, unit strength, training and operational deficiencies, tactical and operational readiness of afghan military leadership, comprehensive assessments of afghan security force leadership and operational readiness rates down to the core level. in essence, the information withheld at the request of the afghan government is nearly all the information you would have
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needed to determine whether the afghan security forces were a real fighting force or a house of cards waiting to collapse. in light of recent events, it is not surprising why the afghan government and maybe some people in the department of defense wanted to keep that information under lock and key. but that information almost certainly would have benefited congress and the public in assessing whether progress was being made in afghanistan and, more importantly, whether we should have ended our efforts there earlier. yet sia wasg forced to relegater annexes, making it much more difficult for members of congress to access the information and completely eliminate public and press
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access to and discussion of that very important information. in recognition of this, that this information in particular will be essential to siagr to effectively respond to those directives, the bipartisan leadership of the committee and the subcommittee have formerly requested that all information be declassified by the originating agencies. when we were created, we have no classification or declassification authority so the only one to do it would be the originating agencies. i strongly support that request and i hope you do as well. at a bare minimum, dod should immediately make available to sigar and the public,
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information restricted at the request of the afghan government for the simple reason that there is no ghani government and there is no ghani security system anymore. they have completely collapsed. my question is, who are we protecting by keeping that information secret? likewise, the administration should declassify and make available to sigar and congress, all internal dod and state department tables, reports and other material reflecting the security situation on the ground over the last few years. especially those reports that differed from the public statements of the agencies in washington. it is especially important for sigar and congress to have
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access to any reporting related to the reaction of the afghan government and the afghan people for the withdrawal agreement signed between the prior administration and the taliban in february of 2020. again, what possible reason could remain for keeping all of this historical information out of public view? rather than attempt to impede sigar's work, i believe the current administration should have every incentive to deliver the answers congress has demanded. i fervently hope for that. as sigar has experienced all too often in the past, good intentions for transparency by government leaders are frequently thwarted by bureaucratic inertia and bureaucratic fear of the public knowing too much.
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this is where congress, the press and sigar, using all of our legal authorities, must continue to pursue leads and demand answers. to answer these questions, we must find out what our government new, who knew it in the government, and what did they do if anything with that information before the collapse. sigar investigators are already interviewing many afghans who were a becky waited to the united states to see what information -- who were evacuated to the united states to see what information they have about corruption and other nefarious activities by the afghan leadership stop sigar's auditors have already interviewed military officials to start to put together the full picture of everything that
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happened that ultimately led to the telegram takeover. luckily, in doing this work, sigar is not starting from scratch. we already know a lot. sigar's 11 lessons learned report which i have a copy of, i hope you have it as well, is a retrospective on all of our previous lesson learned reports. ironically, it was released, by sheer quinces, right before kabul fell. the seven key lessons we identified and which i'm happy to expand upon in the question time are instructed not only for denniston but it's an horton for anywhere else we may try to undertake a similar project
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again. that forms the basis of the ongoing work answering the restrooms from congress. while sigar has identified these key lessons, there is without question much more to be learned as we dig into what happened in washington and kabul during the months, weeks, days and hours before ghani fled and the taliban walked into his palace. i sincerely hope we will have cooperation from every corner of the u.s. government as we undertake this work. i dare anyone to say that these matters are no longer important. sigar's twitter content was accessed 2.2 million times in august. i believe that demonstrates that the american taxpayer not only deserves answers, they want
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answers and they demand them as do their representatives in congress. we also owe it to the families of the over 2400 americans who lost their lives supporting the mission of anna stan step is to tell them why the effort to build a strong and sustainable afghan state failed so dramatically. in closing, it is up to all of us at sigar, in congress and the press to ask the questions that must be asked and cover the answers no matter how unpleasant they may be. i thank you and i look forward to your questions no matter how pleasant or unpleasant they may be, thank you. >> thank you and i know we have a lot of questions.
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you mentioned the defense department has made some information about the afghan military classified. this war has lasted 20 years, has it resulted in a generation of military leaders who can no longer tell the truth? >> i think there is a lot of military commanders who know how to tell the truth and i think there are a lot of younger officers in the military who were telling the truth and a lot of them actually risked careers by sending reports back the chain. those are the type of reports we really want to find. likewise, there were state department and usaid officials writing back urgent memos to the leadership saying things are going wrong. some people call those dissent cables, i call them honest assessments. those are the honest assessments we want to get step we need to
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find out what wrong with the information flow because i have talked to too many commanders, captains, colonels sergeants, privates, ambassadors, junior state department officials who knew this was going south and they said they were reported so where did those reports go and why -- maybe they were -- why weren't those reports sent over to the leadership so we didn't have to hear this happy talk for the last 20 years? >> please ask a question and not have a comment. >> i wanted to ask with all of this information being out in the open and many junior and mid-level officers and ngos openly said this is not going well, do you think the issue is that the white house and even in
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congress, that there was no endgame because there was no goal, as it were that they thought we are never leaving. so we can just take this -- kick this down the road and if there is no progress, it doesn't matter because we are not going anywhere anyway. >> it's a good question but i don't know the answer to that that's what we want to find out. once the information flows going up and people at the highest levels were briefed and they said we will kick it down the line, i don't know. i think part of the problem is we didn't fight a 20 year war nor did we have a 20 year reconstruction, we did 20 one year rotations. that's one thing we are trying to find. i don't know the answer and i don't want to prejudge but that's hopefully what my staff will learn.
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>> the metrics around afghanistan were classified with things like strike reports, tied to the 2020 deal. the talk from the pentagon was once we finalize that, the state department will then become available. did the information become available again? >> no, that's a we are talking about. >> you said the agency doesn't have subpoena power. treaded three has subpoena power. your mission is to find out what happened and what went wrong and
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we need the documents to figure that out stuff do you have subpoena power yet? can you subpoena documents? >> we cannot subpoena documents from the was government. i can get subpoenas issued for contractors the not the was government so we don't. the important thing is we had access to a lot of the information because we had the clearances. the problem is, if you work on the hill you understand that when you give congress classified information, they have to go out of their way to get it, they have to go to a secret place to look at it like the cone of silence. many times, we don't know if that wasn't -- this was intentional and i don't want to assume that intent but most of the documents that were withheld were classified nato secret.
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most of the staff on the hill do not have nato secret clearance. you would have a member can go in with no staff which puts the member at an extreme disadvantage. who is he supposed to talk to? this is why i find this offensive. the state department and dod and all the government agencies are now classifying or stamping documents with these bizarre classifications that don't exist , sensitive but unclassified come official use only. those are not classifications, those are states of mind. but when they go up to the hill, a staffer thinks that this is classified, i cannot share it. my boss things it's classified. that is outrages.
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that's one of the problems is that even if members try to get it and i remember briefing some members and we had to leave their staff outside because the staff didn't have nato clearance which is in any superduper clearance. it's just a different process. that's the problem stop there was no public discourse about this because the public didn't have access. i am old school. people say i'm ancient, i believe in public discourse. i believe that's how we solve problems. the american taxpayer has a right to know and that's one of the things i am still outraged about most of most of this material, the tele-band knew it, the afghan government knew it, our u.s. government knew it, the only people who didn't know what was going on in afghanistan were the people paying for it both in
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lives and in money and that's the american taxpayer. that's what i find offensive with the process. tell me that's old school but that's something i think we have to address as a country. >> i spent a lot of time in afghanistan and a wreck over the years. people talked about how vietnam was similar in the process. they said reporting from the bottom to the top was reverse fills -- filtration. the higher the reporting, the more flow of crab the story became. -- of crab the story became. have we learned anything from these three wars which are very
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similar in many ways and we keep getting into them stuff what have we learned from this because it seems like the government works in the same way every time by d classifying information or marking it sensitive staff it's how we seem to do things in this country, isn't it? >> i believe you are right and that's basically the underlying point of that lessons learned report. basically, not only on the classification but on doing it. everybody will tell you that we will never do this again but we done it three times in the last 50 years, vietnam, we didn't learn from that and after that we forgot everything and we eliminated a lot of the capabilities we had built for
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usaid, for dod and state because we would never do it again but then we did it in afghanistan we did in iraq and there are four or five countries -- i'm not saying we shouldn't do it but we are starting that slippery slope again. that's the one thing we want lessons learned about this effort is it starts small and rose and it starts like a roller coaster, going down and the next thing you know, we're pumping more troops and more money in there. we don't learned lessons to well in the united states. we should because otherwise, we will spend another trillion dollars and have a horrible result. on the class of patient, all i can tell you is i have been here maybe as long as you have since 1982 and i've been dealing with classified information since 1978 and i have learned one thing and i will take it to my grave and that is governments
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don't classify good news. that's the one thing i've learned. i don't think it has changed since vietnam were probably since world war ii. if a government classifies good news, they will then leak it. i don't know how you break that chain. i think it was senator mccain who talked about classification is basically used to protect incompetency and other nefarious actions. he would know better than any of us. i think there is some truth to that. that's the best way to hide your screw ups is put of classification on it.
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>> that's quite a slate of reports that's been requested by congress and they look over to reading them stuff i'm wondering if there any deadlines or any estimated completion dates for any of those, specifically the reports dealing with the speed of the collapse of the government in kabul? >> i believe in the house version of the ndaa there are deadlines on the report in march or april and those may pushed back because it hasn't passed yet. we will start reporting as soon as we get the information. it also depends, really depends on how much we get access to a lot of this stuff. i set up the teams and this is all we are working on step we have a couple of more audits we are finishing but that's all we are irking on full blast.
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i'm hoping we will start releasing stuff as soon as we can put together and analyze it step there is a lot of allegations out there and i am want to clarify one thing stuff there are allegations that some senior officials including presidentghani walked up with $5 million. these are allegations that we been asked to look at all step we have to determine and you know how difficult it is to determine was truth and fiction in afghanistan, we have to determine that. because congress has asked us to do it. give us time and give his support. we have to get access to that data in get access to those people. we have to see what we can do to answer all the restaurants. >> thanks for doing this.
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i want to ask you to drill down on whether things congress is asked you to do on the evacuation stuff i spent my summer beach vacation at something in expected which as created one of the many ad hoc veterans groupsa clandestine opo smuggle as many afghan special forces family members out. for all the hundreds that these ad hoc group got out, mostly retirees who unexpectedly eagerly came back to duty when many were trying to put the war behind them, every afghan or nds guy that got out, there were probably five or 10 times as many who didn't. you talk about being asked to
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assess the risk. if that could extend to afghans and those who -- we are getting videos every day of people being shot to death, people who were captured who were afghan commandos. this veteran population is still doing the bulk of the work to not only try to evacuate but also raise money to get these people through what will be a brutal winter. they are not getting a paycheck from the government more. cannot work, cannot leave their homes. what is the scope of what you are going to be looking at? i am curious how far you are going to go in that effort. >> that is an excellent question .
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we want to answer that question. we will look at what happened to girls. they are in a special category of having to deal with the taliban. and having to deal with the literal advances that were made over the last 20 years we will look at everybody who believed in democracy, the rule of law and what we thought we were doing in reconstruction, so journalists, film teams. i got calls too from many afghans and many americans concerned and i didn't even know
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how broad and how wide the nascent afghan film industry was. all of those people are running for their lives. all of the judges, female or male who believed in the american way, all of them are hiding. all of the special forces -- this is one thing you have to remember. there were a lot of ghosts in the afghan police and military. there were a lot of soldiers who never existed because their salary was being stolen that there are a lot of honest, brave afghans, especially in their special forces but in under units that fought hard and died and now they are all at risk. we have heard numbers going from 60 to 100,000 that could be there, but they are stuck.
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think about it. you are an afghan special forces soldier, judge, journalist -- how do you go out? we only help you if you go do a third world country. how do you get out? you need a passport. how do you get a passport? you get it from the taliban. you need a visa? who are you going to for help? you have to go to a taliban official! he may be an official you reported on. how about a businessman who reported to a bank regulatory agency? he reported on people who were sending money to the taliban.
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well, who has access to all those files? the taliban? it is a broad category of people who believed in what america was selling who are now stuck. that is a policy decision what we do our do not do, but as a human being -- and we have 300 some people we are trying to get out, and it is a black hole. we are not hearing anything. i am certain many of you are hearing it too. we will be looking at it. i do not know how long it is going to take and it is difficult. it is hard to reach out. god bless all of them that they get out safely. add to the fact economic
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disaster. next year almost 93% of the afghan population will be below the poverty line. that is what the u.n. is reporting. it could be the biggest canonic humanitarian disaster. those -- economic humanitarian disaster. how do you handle that? i don't know. we are looking at it. do not forget the afghans who were left behind. >> i want to give a word of thanks to everyone in this room who has worked to get afghans to safety. thank you to what you did in such a perilous our. -- perilous hour. >> you mentioned 20 1 year wars.
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when you are trying assign responsibility for this, who is responsible for conducting 20 1 -year wars? that seems to be the critical thing to point to as why the war failed. >> that is a very good question. there is not one person, one administration that is responsible. it is the way we approach big efforts like this. we are not really organized for
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it, the u.s. government. i am happy to come out here again and have my whole team give you soup to nuts on it because we are already doing it with the administration right now. i made this reference before -- when we send people to afghanistan before, they were not stupid, lazy people. most of them were brave, smart and eager to do the right thing. what we gave them was a box of broken tools. the broken tools -- it is something we are dealing with with the government right now with hhs, with the v.a., with all of these
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agencies. our procurement system is broken, our reward system for employees in the federal government is broken, our overemphasis on contractors is broken our whole authorizing and appropriating cycle, our whole approach to a whole of government issue! i will use a turn of phrase from maine -- every wickedly difficult issue we face as americans is due to the fact that it is a whole of government problem and we are not designed or equipped for dealing with a whole of government problem. think of any problem you are faced with -- education, the
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economy, the problem of health care,, retirement, those deal with multiple federal agencies! one of the reasons why it was 20 1-year wars is that no one was in charge. congress -- you have multiple committees and subcommittees looking at the same issue! read that report and focus on the whole of government issue. one of the classic examples is the opiates. it is not just dhs, it is hhs, it is the v.a.. -- it is the v.a. based upon us looking at afghanistan, you take that whole
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of government problem and apply it to the rest of the united states. everybody has to sit back and think about how to better be prepared to handle these, big wickedly difficult issues. afghanistan is just one of them. >> phil? was that you? >> no, this is kyle. >> let's go with kyle. >> hi, kyle with army times. i had a question. i came in a little late. have you faced any pressure to end the mission of cigar or are you expressing any -- expecting any pressure if you could duplicate cigar's
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mission and focus it on any effort in the world right now, where would you place that focus? john: there are a lot of folks in this town who do not like us. there are a lot who would like to cs go out of business. -that is ok- see -- see us go out of business. that is ok. ag's should not make friends. we should be mean as junkyard dogs. there is no one in town -- i do not think there is anybody in town who picks up the phone and says "gee, the ig is coming to town!"
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it used to be the joke " oh great 60 minutes is coming to see us!" we are going to go out of existence, and we should. we are a temporary government agency. having spent my whole life working for permanent government agencies, i like temporary agencies! i do not know when that will be. congress will have to tell me. all construction is put on pause right now. if it does start up, however you call it, you need an agency that looks at it. i think we are one of the best. we are the only ig that can
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look at any government agency operating in afghanistan. we have a lotto work right now -- lot of work right now but talk to me in a year. it may be time for us to go out of existence. what was your second part of the question? i don't know. i think a special ig. i think they are a good thing. i personally think it was a good approach to afghanistan, and it was a good approach to iraq, but i do not know. you could create special ig's
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for some of these issues. bring in a special ig who will look at those issues. that may be useful. it is a good question. maybe i will write, when i retire, a novel on that. . every ig is housed in a specific agency and can only look at that agency. by definition, it cannot see the whole of government. in response to that, congress has asked 14 or 15 various agencies to look at the covid issue. when you have 14 or 15 different ig's looking at is very
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difficult. if somebody asked me, i would create a special ig for covid. >> hi. i'm with the washington examiner. during your recent testimony, you implored congress to hold people accountable for the war. what does that look like and who is there to hold accountable? -- to hold accountable? >> john: john: i think when you find a program that does not work, you should make them explain why. if we get all these records and it turns out ambassador so-and-so was getting information saying the taliban are going to be at the gates
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tomorrow and he does not convey that information, we should ask ambassador so-and-so why didn't you? or he did convey the information and somebody up the chain never briefed the president! or if people testified before congress on monday saying the sky is blue and we know it was black, they should be asked to explain why. you all heard a lot of spin over the last 20 years. how many times did we hear " we are turning the corner!"' ok have you ever thought, after you get all the facts -- 2016, general so-and-so testifies " we
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are turning the corner!" if you was getting updates on to the day -- until the day he was testifying that the sky was falling, those people should be held accountable. why did you testify to congress that x was going to happen and you darn well didn't, why did you? i am not looking to put people in jail or embarrass them but we have to understand why did the system allow this? why did the allow the spin to keep spending, even though so many mid-level, high level people who worked in afghanistan said " it is a failure"? i am trying to figure out why did the system breakdown. i don't know.
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maybe the presidents have never been told the truth about afghanistan. i don't know. i have never been in the room. this is important for us. don't you see as americans, this is important. if foreign policy is being determined based not on facts but on hope -- hope is not a strategy! it does not work. you need facts, hard facts, provable facts. our job is to see if there was credible information out there and how it was used. don't worry. i have all the time in the world
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to answer questions. >> i'm jeff with the military times. in terms of the collapse of the afghan government and the fall of kabul, there have been some reports of afghan security forces when they saw the u.s. leaving, the tenuous allegiance they had to the institution faded away weekly -- quickly. do you think a chaotic withdrawal of troops was inevitable or if these evacuations had begin earlier, we wouldn't have seen what we saw over the summer? john: that is an excellent question and i do not have the answer. we are trying to figure that out. what did we,, the u.s.
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government, know and what if anything did we do with it? if hypothetically officials were reporting that the afghan government was going to collapse and that information was relayed back to washington in january -- this is all hypothetical -- what did they do with that information and how did they prepare for it? i do not know the answer yet. >> with the caveat -- john: i hate to stargazing afghanistan, particularly about
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bureaucracie.s i think it was napoleon who said, do not assume nefarious motives for what may be explained by incompetency. i really don't know. it may turn out, if i was a predictor, like everything in the government, you do not have 100% certain see about -- certainty about the information you are getting. it comes down to making a decision on sometimes inaccurate or inadequate information and that is probably -- that is life . you make decisions every day upon inadequate information, whether you buy a house, a car,
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go out to meet, come to this meeting with or without a mask, you are making a decision on inadequate information. >> do we have a quick show of hands of people who still have a question? can you finish us up? >> the level of interaction they had to have with child predators , in core violation of law. log called for ending funding to people who were known child rapists. the state department to both overrule the laws and continued the funding regardless. what is the lesson we should learn from that?
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john: i know you probably know we did a report on the lahey act. we looked at how it was working in afghanistan. there and specifically their are always exemptions. there are always national security exemptions to everything congress passes, which is probably good, but you should tell congress when you are using that exemption and what we found out in our looksee is that based on an opinion i think by the general counsel and dod, he said he did not have to consult congress when he evokes that. they always used these term --
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the term " notwithstanding any other provision of law." the big problem about the human rights violations is this -- not only were individual boys and/or girls being raped, basically being sex slaves to senior and mid-level afghan politicians and police and military, but i view it as what did the average afghan think about us as a result? human rights violations are national concert actual
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mesh -- actual national security concerns. why did the afghan government is the support of its people, if it ever had any? why did the afghan military lose the support of the afghan people and why did the united states and our coalition allies lose the support of the afghan people , if we ever had any, and i think we did. it is because we became associated with the worst excesses of afghan culture, violating human rights, endemic corruption, supporting people, and then, you add to that the indiscriminate use of bombing, night raids, you name it, and i think it was an ambassador or
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general officer that said every time we accidentally kill an afghan we create 10 more taliban supporters. so, you know, when you do the right thing, you do the right thing. when you cozy up and kind of ignore the -- ignore what is right, you bear the consequences. i think one of the reasons -- this is a hunch based on topping -- talking to afghans and many reporters who have been talking to afghans, and many people in the human rights area who say that you lost the support of the afghan people years ago because of your indiscriminate bombing, your indiscriminate night raids, because of your indiscriminate support for the most evil people in the afghan culture who the
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taliban kicked out once before. so, you ask the question, how did the taliban win. they had the support of the afghan people. you know? they did not have any magic weapons, they did not have drones, they did not have f-16's , but they had the support of the afghan people, and that is a question we have to answer, why? >> thank you very much, would you like to make any closing remarks? john: thank you very much for this opportunity to speak, just so you know for those who saw me speaking without a mask, i have all the shots in the world. i think this is still an important issue, and let me close with this. i think that if we do the right thing and -- in answering these questions, this might be the most important series of reports
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and are 10 years -- my 10 years in this job. because these reports will answer really the question of what happens, and i think that we are the only agency in town that the american people and congress trust to answer those questions. thank you very much, but we need your help. so, we need your help in doing what you have been doing so well over the last 10, 20, and 30 years. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> and our next panel is slated to begin at 11:15, please feel free to use is time to refresh yourself and take a stretch. announcer: the house returned monday at noon for speeches with red -- let's later work at --
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any requested vote will take place at 6:30 p.m. eastern. it is possible the house takes of the $1.2 trillion in for structure bill that was passed in the senate, and the president's social spending package later in the week as well. across the capitol, the senate resumes work on nominations monday at 3:00 p.m. eastern. currently on the counter, jonathan davidson to be deputy undersecretary for the treasury department. watch the house live on c-span and the senate on c-span 2, online at c-span.org, or follow congress with c-span now, our new video app. announcer: tonight on q&a, senior fellow at the american enterprise institute discusses the poor side of town, is critical look at the more than 100 year effort the federal government, private developers, and others to create low-cost housing in tni

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