POGO Won’t Turn Over Any ArmorGroup Whistleblowers to State’s Inspector General
It’s still unclear exactly when the State Department’s inspector general began its inquiry into department contractor ArmorGroup’s apparent physical and sexual harrasment at the U.S. embassy in Kabul. Spokesman Ian Kelly said yesterday that the department has known about the latest allegations from the much-criticized company for “ten days,” but couldn’t answer when the inquiry started after a reporter noted that the inspector general’s office claims not to have known about those allegations before Monday.
But the Project on Government Oversight, the good-government watchdog nonprofit that exposed the latest abuses, confirms that it was contacted yesterday by the Office of the Inspector General for the State Department and was told it could “neither confirm nor deny” that it was investigating the organization’s allegations. Which is, uh, bizarre, given *Kelly *confirmed it yesterday afternoon. POGO ran into this wall of silence just shortly after 4 p.m. yesterday. But Kelly’s briefing ended, according to the official transcript, an hour earlier. Clearly these are some diligent investigators we’re dealing with.
What’s more, POGO informed the inspector general’s office that it will not turn over any of the whistleblowers whose accounts formed the basis for the allegations, according to executive director Danielle Brian. Already, the organization says, at least one whistleblower has been fired in an act of retaliation.