Congressman Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations, conducted a hearing today that examined circumstances surrounding alleged corruption, mismanagement, and patient neglect at the U.S. taxpayer-funded Dawood National Military Hospital (NMH) in Afghanistan.
"This hearing continues the Subcommittee's investigation into the rampant corruption, physical abuse, and lack of accountability at Dawood," said Chaffetz. "And these awful conditions were financed by the U.S. taxpayer."
During the hearing members of the subcommittee had an opportunity to question U.S. Army Lieutenant General William Caldwell, Major General Gary S. Patton, and Kenneth Moorefield, Deputy Inspector General for Special Plans and Operations, on their knowledge of the policies, procedures, and events at NMH. The witnesses were also pressed on allegations that there may have been a deliberate effort to delay an investigation for political reasons.
At a July hearing, the subcommittee heard testimony from retired and active-duty senior U.S. military officers who claim that U.S. military commanders, including Caldwell and Patton, sought to obstruct investigations into atrocious conditions at the hospital in an attempt to minimize the fallout from the disclosure of what was occurring.
"Evidence indicates that wounded Afghan soldiers endured horrendous conditions at a U.S. taxpayer funded hospital. Even with all of the evidence, there appeared to be a hesitation to investigate," stated Chaffetz.
This is the seventh hearing the Subcommittee has conducted during the 112th Congress designed to oversee the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on Afghanistan and Iraq reconstruction and transition. Previous hearings have examined corruption along the Afghanistan supply chain, the accountability of foreign aid projects, and the estimated $30 to $60 billion of contractor waste, fraud, and abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.
"If these reports are accurate, then we are witnessing a pattern wherein transparency and accountability are becoming the exception, not the rule. This is totally unacceptable. We have to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars," said Chaffetz.