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Pentagon Inspector General Reveals He's Launching a Probe of Biden Admin's Afghanistan Evacuation Debacle

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It has been over a year since the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan, and now the Pentagon’s acting inspector general, Sean O’Donnell, has said that he will be reviewing questions regarding a whistleblower’s claim that the Biden administration brought hundreds of individuals to the United States whose names were on a Defense Department watch list.

In late July, a Pentagon whistleblower reached out to Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Josh Hawley of Missouri and outlined problems stemming from the withdrawal, the senators said.

According to the whistleblower, 324 individuals were evacuated from Afghanistan and entered the U.S. despite being on the DOD’s Biometrically Enabled Watchlist, the two Republican senators outlined in a letter they sent to O’Donnell on Aug. 4.

The BEWL identifies individuals whose biometrics have been collected and then categorized by analysts as threats, or potential threats, to American national security.

The whistleblower also said there were an additional “65 individuals who are known to have entered the country without adequate vetting,” the senators’ letter said.

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Hawley and Johnson urged O’Donnell to investigate and specifically asked questions regarding BEWL data, the vetting process, law enforcement investigations and fingerprint tests.

“We write to you with concern over new allegations raised by a Department of Defense (DoD) whistleblower,” the senators wrote. “This information may show the Biden Administration’s failure to vet those evacuated from Afghanistan was even worse than the public was led to believe. The following allegations demand an immediate investigation by your office.”

In response, O’Donnell sent a letter on Tuesday to Hawley and Johnson telling them that he will start reviewing their questions regarding the allegations once the 2023 fiscal year begins in October, Axios reported.

“As part of our ongoing body of work on Afghan evacuees, we are initiating an evaluation, to commence in the first quarter of FY 2023, to address your questions pertaining to the DoD’s role in reviewing DoD databases for information on Afghan evacuees when requested by other agencies,” O’Donnell’s letter read.

Should Biden administration officials be held accountable if the whistleblower allegations prove to be true?

The acting inspector general was careful in his letter (and in responding directly to Hawley and Johnson) to say he would not be reviewing the whistleblower claims in and of themselves.

Instead, he said he would be reviewing the senators’ questions regarding the allegations since the whistleblower reached out to the senators and not to him directly.

O’Donnell also directed Hawley and Johnson to address any other additional questions to other agencies’ inspectors general.

“For the remainder of the questions in your letter, we determined that the OIGs for the respective agencies with jurisdiction over those matters, copied on my response, are better suited to respond,” he wrote.

O’Donnell also pointed to a February report that he said “detailed the extent to which the DoD managed and tracked displaced persons from Afghanistan through the biometric enrollment, screening, and vetting process.”

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His newly announced review is not the only investigation connected to the screening and processing of Afghan evacuees.

The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general recently issued a report saying the department lacked “critical data to properly screen, vet and inspect” evacuees last August, according to CBS News, which said it obtained a copy of the report.

The DHS Office of Inspector General concluded in the 34-page report that the department granted either parole or temporary legal permission to enter the U.S. to evacuees who “were not fully vetted.”

Axios said the evidence found in the DHS report likely means that at least some of the Pentagon whistleblower’s allegations are true.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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