An Army colonel is in trouble for complaining that a $500k gas station cost $43 million to build


#1

[Read the post]


#2

Had we just unwrapped those pallets of $100s and shoved them out of the C-130s at altitude, the money could hardly have gone to more waste than it did, and the distribution process would have been a great deal more transparent.


#3

It seems to be in anticipation of this:


#4

Unfortunately they don’t release any more information except these three people:
http://www.cadg.com/index.php/who-we-are/leadership-team


#5

No worries, citizen. Those millions are being spent on your safety and defense! Now, don’t look over there, look over here, at those scary Syrian refugees! /s


#6

They could have built this thing out of actual money, and it would have cost less.

Also you gotta love the US Government. The guy pointing out the waste is the guy in trouble, not all the people doing the actual wasting. Accountability at its finest!


#7

Can anybody confirm that it only costs $700 to convert a car to natural gas? That seems incredibly cheap… Since i have natural gas distribution to my home, it’d be nice to be able to fill up on relatively cheap NG there…

Of course, i’m sure the legality of an interconnection/fill station in your driveway is pretty questionable… but still. If it was that easy to do, I bet a lot of people would!


#8

" I wonder who owns Central Asian Engineering Construction Company?"

I wonder too!


#9

Google is quite helpful: it seems that they all live in Singapore, and two of them are a husband and wife team, the husband being a former Green Beret. Slate has a very positive article about the work of CADG. An audit of other work by CADG questioned about $8M of costs on work done for USAID, but that seems to be within a total program expenditure of $254M, so maybe that’s normal for a project of that size (it’s not clear to me whether CADG was the sole contractor or whether other companies were involved).

The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations that funded the gas station seems to have a history of funding boondoggles.

Even a brief Google search turns up a number of suggestive-looking rabbit holes. I wonder how deep they all go.


#10

Milo Minderbinder.


#11

I often hope that some soldier on the ground in Afghanistan was able to get some of the money just flowing around over there. Stealing is wrong and graft is wrong, but at this point we can consider all the money has already been grafted and stolen. If an 18 year old infantryman was able to get a few thousand away from the warlords and contractors, I would consider that a win.

When the US Embassy in Saigon was abandoned, some of the Marine guards were tasked with destroying millions of dollars in cash. I couldn’t help but think those poor guys destroyed more money than they could earn in a lifetime, so that the so-called bad guys couldn’t get it.

If the final cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is $6 trillion, wouldn’t it have been better to just give every human in the United States $18,000 than to spend it the way we have? Instead we’ve destabilized the entire Middle East and big chunks of South Asia, and created an enemy far bigger and more powerful than anything we had in 2001. And also, we haven’t beaten our enemy from 2001, either.


#12

"I know that the money from USAID and the American taxpayers ends up right here where I’m using it now. I can definitely bear witness to this and say, ‘This is working, we’re doing things efficiently and low-cost, comparatively. We’re getting it done.’ "

~ Fighting the Taliban One Irrigation Project at a Time

Low-cost, Comparatively.


#13

It’s $6500 in the US. This article says that the most expensive part is the carbon fiber reinforced tank – I’m pretty sure you could do it with a recycled metal tank instead for much cheaper. Also, labor & non-existant-insurance in Afghanistan is much cheaper than the US.


#14

It’s possible the contractor could be responsible for paying the overages back. Incurred cost audits are five years behind, so if the contract is from around 2011 forward they could still be in line to be audited.


#15

[quote=“jaredmackay, post:7, topic:69693, full:true”]
Can anybody confirm that it only costs $700 to convert a car to natural gas? That seems incredibly cheap…[/quote]

Engine conversion is ridiculously cheap; I could do it for free with stuff I’ve got laying around. But storage is dicey - I think you can probably have a cheap, totally unsafe thin tank that won’t hold much gas, or a cheap, super-thick tank that will make you use up most of your fuel just dragging it around, or an expensive, safer-than-gasoline storage tank that will be made of exotic high-strength low-weight materials and cost more than $700.

[quote]Since i have natural gas distribution to my home, it’d be nice to be able to fill up on relatively cheap NG there…

Of course, i’m sure the legality of an interconnection/fill station in your driveway is pretty questionable… but still. If it was that easy to do, I bet a lot of people would![/quote]

Natural gas quick-disconnects are available for gas grills and the like. But you’re going to need a compressor if you want to fill a car, because methane (unlike propane) is delivered at extremely low pressure, about 2 psi if my memory is correct (propane’s at about 60 in my tanks, I think).

So for home filling stations you’re in the same boat as electric car owners - it’s legal and not difficult, but non-DIY rigs are quite expensive because there are only a few vendors.


#16

for 6 trillion we probably could have built a home for every family in Afghan/Iraq. While it’s easy to hate somebody who blew up your neighborhood, it’s hard to hate somebody who gave you a home.


#17

Yeah - sounds like either a scam for those involved to get some vigorish or an agency payoff to some locals or for some uh -material.


#18

John Brunner wrote a story 40-odd years ago, wondering how much cheaper it would be to drop tools and medical supplies across South-East Asia, rather than bombs.


#19

Well, apparently many people assign little or no value to anything that a wealthier, more privileged person bestows on them as a charity.

But Habitat and Heifer have found there are ways to defuse gift-receiver’s resentment issues, so you still have a valid point. It’d just be a little trickier than handing out houses for free.


#20

Some of those holes are interesting…

I wonder how our congresscritters would feel about Raju Shaulis (the founder and president of CADG) also being involved with a group called “Mecca Enterprises of Vero, Ltd.”, especially those whose minds may explode from the cognitive dissonance of “OMG, Sharia!!1!” and their flag-waving defend-the-Pentagon-at-all-costs mentality.

Googling these characters, it felt like the good stuff was buried under a lot of Reputation Defender-quality links.