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***PRESS RELEASE*** Rohrabacher: Karzai's Attacks on America are Unacceptable; U.S. Should Look for New Leadership in Kabul

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Letter to Sec. Panetta

Washington, Dec 6 - Today, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta expressing astonishment over Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s, December 6th, NBC News interview in which he claimed the U.S. is to blame for much of the insecurity and corruption in his country.

“The Afghan President’s outrageous statements are dangerously similar to language used last week by an Iranian official who was meeting with Afghan officials in Tehran,” says Rep. Rohrabacher, “Karzai’s use of the same anti-American language only a few days later cannot be mere coincidence.”

The Congressman also objected to Karzai’s demand for complete control of the U.S.-run detention center at Bagram airbase. In the letter, Rep. Rohrabacher urges the Defense Secretary “to dismiss Karzai’s demands” and “use the immense leverage the U.S. commands in Afghanistan to insure that American lives and interests are fully protected.”

The Bagram prison holds terrorists and insurgents captured by American forces in Afghanistan and elsewhere. “These dangerous villains pose a continuing threat to American lives and must be kept in custody or they will return to the battlefield and kill again. Afghan authorities have released many such prisoners in the past,” writes Rohrabacher.

President Karzai claims control of all prisoners is a matter of Afghan sovereignty, however, Rohrabacher writes, “American armed forces are an arm of another sovereign power, the United States. They have the right to determine what to do with the enemies they capture, and their first duty is to act in the way that best protects American lives.”

“For too long, the United States has backed the wrong horse in Kabul….If America does not find new leadership in Afghanistan, leaders rooted in the country with a solid record of fighting the Taliban, all the blood and money the U.S. has spent since 2001 will have been wasted,” concludes the letter.

Rep. Rohrabacher is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.


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