Sean O’Donnell, the acting inspector general for the Pentagon, has announced that he will be looking into allegations that the Biden administration brought hundreds of people to the country whose names were on a watch list for the Defense Department, more than a year after the haphazard American withdrawal from Afghanistan.
According to Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Josh Hawley of Missouri, a Pentagon leaker contacted them in late July and described issues resulting from the departure.
The two Republican senators explained in a letter they addressed to O’Donnell on August 4 that 324 people were evacuated from Afghanistan and entered the United States despite being on the DOD’s Biometrically Enabled Watchlist.
The BEWL lists people whose biometric data has been gathered and classified as actual or potential risks to American national security by analysts.
The senators’ letter stated that the whistleblower added that there were an additional “65 individuals who are known to have entered the country without adequate vetting.”
Hawley and Johnson requested O’Donnell to look into the matter and questioned him specifically about the BEWL data, the screening procedure, law enforcement inquiries, and fingerprint tests.
The senators wrote: “We write to you with concern over new allegations raised by a Department of Defense (DoD) whistleblower. 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 wrote to Hawley and Johnson on Tuesday informing them that he would begin looking into their inquiries on the allegations once the 2023 fiscal year started in October, according to Axios.
“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 stated.
In his letter (and in his direct response to Hawley and Johnson), the acting inspector general took care to state that he would not be looking into the whistleblower accusations in and of themselves.
Instead, he stated that since the whistleblower approached the senators and not him directly with the claims, he would be considering their inquiries about them.
O’Donnell further instructed Hawley and Johnson to contact the inspectors general of other agencies with any additional queries.
“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 said.
O’Donnell mentioned a report from February that “detailed the extent to which the DoD managed and tracked displaced persons from Afghanistan through the biometric enrollment, screening, and vetting process.”
More on this story via The Western Journal:
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. CONTINUE READING…