USAID Classifies Kabul Bank Corruption Report…Too Late

Thursday, May 12, 2011
(photo: Rouyee)
Less than two months after it was released to the public, a report on corruption in Afghanistan’s Central Bank has been retroactively classified by the inspector general of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The now-secret report raised the question of why the Deloitte accounting firm, which was hired to advise bank officials, did not discover a widespread pattern of fraudulent loans at the Kabul Bank which led to the diversion of $850 million. The corruption nearly caused the bank to collapse and risked a national crisis.
The USAID inspector general said the original report was written using non-classified material. But since then two documents cited in the report were deemed secret, resulting in the classification of the entire report.
Although the report may be classified, it is still easy to find on the Internet.
The inspector general’s action may not be legal under federal law. Steven Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy, wrote on his blog: “Unclassified information that has been formally released and is no longer under U.S. government control is supposed to be beyond the reach of the classification system altogether.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Inspector General Memo (USAID Inspector General) (pdf)
The Afghan Bank Heist (by Dexter Filkins, New Yorker)


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