US general opposed hospital abuse investigation: witnesses

By Larry Margasak, AP

WASHINGTON — Two retired U.S. military officers say the U.S. general who headed the NATO training mission in Afghanistan tried to stop an investigation into corruption and “Auschwitz-like conditions” at the country’s main military hospital.

The officers said Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV admonished subordinates for contacting the Defense Department’s inspector general about Dawood National Military Hospital.

Retired Army Col. Gerald Carozza Jr., who was chief of legal development assisting the Afghan Army and defense ministry, says in testimony prepared for a Tuesday hearing that Caldwell had expressed concern that the request was too close to the 2010 congressional elections. But he added that in his view, Caldwell did not want the request to go to the inspector general at all.

Caldwell’s spokesman said Monday the allegations will be proven false.