The US gave its client states hundreds of millions for anti-terrorism, then crooked UK military contractors ripped it all off

Defense Secretary James Mattis has announced a criminal investigation into the misuse of $458,000,000 that the US government gave to Iraq and Afghanistan to build out mass-scale domestic surveillance apparatus and other "anti-terrorism" capabilities.

An audit by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found that, since 2007, New Century Consulting had taken most of that money, without any indication that it had performed any of the work for which it had been paid.

Instead, the top execs gave their wives do-nothing jobs (the CEO and COO's wives pulled down salaries averaging $190,000/year with no official duties) and purchased fleets of Bentleys, Porsches and Aston Martins for their personal use, and expensed them to the Pentagon.

NCC also paid out fortunes to subcontractors who billed for dubious expenses; these subcontractors were fly-by-nights that have since gone bankrupt and disappeared with the money.

NCC says it did nothing wrong.

The Senate investigation also found that the initial BAA award was based almost entirely on a sales pitch NCC began delivering to Pentagon officials in 2006, and that there was no evidence that DoD had ever evaluated any competing proposals.

"Clearly, somebody over there said, 'Hey, we can use this, and we can get you the money,'" McCaskill said. "These guys are burrowed-in at the Pentagon. I've seen this before. Somebody builds a relationship, and before you know it, hundreds of millions of dollars are flying around, and frankly, nobody's paying close enough attention. Somebody's head's got to roll on this, and I need a list of people that are going to be held accountable for this happening."

NCC, which is headquartered on the self-governing island of Guernsey in the English Channel, did not respond to an emailed request for comment Thursday.

A company official later directed Federal News Radio to an eight-page letter it posted on its website on Friday. The letter, originally sent to McCaskill in August 2017, disputed the premises of some of the questions her office had posed during the initial stages of the Senate probe.

"A number of the points of concern made in your letter are factually inaccurate and incorrect, albeit this partly stems from the inaccuracies within the DCAA audit report itself," Michael Grunberg, the firm's CEO wrote at the time.

Mattis: Criminal charges likely amid probe into intelligence contract [Jared Serbu/Federal News Radio]