Sen. Corker: White House Owes Me Answer on Secret Afghanistan Payoffs

Friday, 17 May 2013 05:35 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says he is awaiting an explanation from the White House over reports that the United States has made millions of dollars in secret cash payments to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.

Corker told "The Steve Malzberg Show'' on Newsmax TV that a letter he wrote to the Obama administration was first answered with officials telling him it wasn't his business, but added they have since softened their stance.

Story continues below video.


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"I want to know why we're doing it. I understand when we go into conflict areas in the very beginning, there's no doubt we deal with cash,'' Corker, R-Tenn., said.

"We have former military leaders, that when we're building roads … we deal in that fashion. But with a government that's been in place for this long, has gone through two elections, this is not a proper approach.

"Maybe the administration feels that it is, but if they do, I want to know why,'' Corker said.

The payments have allegedly been made over the past 10 years, according to reports.

Karzai has called the payments "the choice of the American government.''

Corker, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Karzai is apparently "not ashamed'' of the payoffs.

"And obviously he's not ashamed that citizens throughout the country are aware,'' he said.

In his letter to the president, Corker said, "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.

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"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.''


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