Wednesday, July 25, 2012

US officers tell Congress that general blocked probe of hospital in Kabul

House hears of abuses that went uninvestigated because commanding officer allegedly feared 'bad news' getting out
One complainant said Lieutenant General William Caldwell had partisan motives in postponing any investigation until after the 2010 election. Photograph: US navy/Reuters
The American general who led a Nato training mission in Afghanistan opposed an investigation into corruption and "Auschwitz-like" conditions at a US-funded hospital in Kabul for political reasons, US military officers told Congress on Tuesday.

One active-duty officer testified that the three-star general, Lieutenant General William Caldwell, who headed the training mission in Afghanistan, forced him to retract a request for an inspector general's investigation into the Dawood national military hospital.

Colonel Mark Fassl, said he was shocked when Caldwell brought up the 2010 congressional elections and said: "How could we do this or make this request with an election coming? He calls me Bill." Fassl, who was inspector general for the compound, said he believed it was a reference to President Barack more