Corker Continues to Seek Explanation from President Obama for Secret U.S. Cash Payments to Afghan President


WASHINGTON – Following up on a May 2 letter to President Obama today, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, continued to seek an explanation for reports alleging the U.S. has made millions of dollars in secret cash payments to Afghan President Hamid Karzai over the past decade.  Responding to press inquiries, President Karzai has said the payments are “the choice of the American government” and will continue following personal assurances from the CIA station chief in Kabul.

“As I indicated in my earlier letter, our assistance to Afghanistan should have long since evolved to a carefully coordinated, fully transparent effort across federal agencies with appropriate congressional oversight to ensure U.S. aid meets our national interests. These secret payments lack any kind of accountability, encourage the very kind of corruption we’re trying to prevent in Afghanistan, and further undermine U.S. taxpayers’ confidence in our government,” said Corker. “I believe a prompt response to how these payments meet our objectives in Afghanistan is warranted.”

A complete copy of the letter is included below and in the attached document.

Dear Mr. President,

I continue to wait for a response to my letter of May 2 requesting an explanation for reports that the CIA has been delivering bags of cash to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who has confirmed receiving these payments for the past decade. As I indicated in my earlier letter, our assistance to Afghanistan should have long since evolved to a carefully coordinated, fully transparent effort across federal agencies with appropriate congressional oversight to ensure U.S. aid meets our national interests. These secret payments lack any kind of accountability, encourage the very kind of corruption we’re trying to prevent in Afghanistan, and further undermine U.S. taxpayers’ confidence in our government.

Since my original letter, President Karzai has claimed that the CIA station chief in Kabul assured him the payments will continue, stating, “It is the choice of the American government.” I believe a prompt response to how these payments meet our objectives in Afghanistan is warranted. I have attached my previous letter for your reference.

Sincerely,

Bob Corker

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