June 29th, 2010
09:43 AM ET

Lawmaker threatens to cut aid over graft allegations

The leader of a powerful House subcommittee has said she will withhold billions of dollars in aid to Afghanistan because of allegations of corruption.

Rep. Nita Lowey of New York said she will quit approving aid in next year's spending bill. The bill, called Fiscal Year 2011 Appropriations Act, is scheduled to be discussed on Wednesday.

"I do not intend to appropriate one more dime for assistance to Afghanistan until I have confidence that U.S. taxpayer money is not being abused to line the pockets of corrupt Afghan government officials, drug lords and terrorists," Lowey, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday.

The subcommittee will not consider any more assistance to the Afghan government except for humanitarian aid, Lowey said.

"Too many Americans are suffering in this economy for us to put their hard-earned tax dollars into the hands of criminals overseas," said Lowey, who is chairwoman of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee.

A spokesman for Afghan president Hamid Karzai disagreed with Lowey's decision.

"We are accountable for the money that international community is donating for Afghanistan and there is transparency in usage of these donations," said Seymak Herawi, deputy spokesman.

Herawi said Afghanistan does have problems with corruption, but it has not seeped into high levels of government.

CNN'S Samson Desta contributed to this report.

Filed under: Daily Developments
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Baldur Dash

    Most of these comments seem to be based on the naive idea that we arbitrarily dole out foreign aid for humanitarian reasons (at best) or through some kind of pointless, random reflex. Nothing could be further from the truth. Foreign aid is a payoff that gets us things we want at a fraction of the price of the alternative. Despite some major backfires (e.g., underwriting the Shah of Iran), history has shown that foreign aid is usually one of the most cost-effective means of furthering our agenda. That's why we keep doing it. Don't like giving a million to a Northern Alliance warlord? Try spending a billion later invading his province.

    July 6, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mr. Davidson

    Shut it down ,like steele said ,it's Obamas baby ,shut it down people.

    July 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sharon

    This woman has the right idea – stop paying these countries who hate us – Barry Barack in his campaign speeches said he would STOP GIVING MONEY TO COUNTRIES THAT HATE US BUT IT WAS JUST ANOTHER ONE OF HIS LIES, LIKE THE REST OF HIS PROMISES HE HAS NO INTENTION OF KEEPING IT – of course how can you trust anyone who took his oath on the Koran and refuses to show his birth certificate and is a racist shown in Rev Wrights church of hating America

    July 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Alan Breton

    Yeah, there are too many criminals in our own country who need the money to buy votes and sell influence.

    July 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Doc

    I'll blame it on the neo cons because if the former administration had stayed the path and not gone running off to war with Iraq then the Afghanistan War might have ended over the last seven years instead of being postponed until the Iraqui pull-out.

    July 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Steve

    But I, too, am not breaking this down in terms of "Democrat" or "Republican." The conception of the "right-wing/conservative way of thinking" as being some type of "pro-war maniac" is simply wrong. I have never understood the definition of right-wing to be that of "pro-war" or "anti-war"... this has simply come about in recent years due to the fact that Bush (a conservative) got us involved in Iraq and the media enjoyed letting him know about it.

    My point is that traditional left wing thinkers... from FDR to LBJ, got us involved in and/or expanded a current war. True conservatism calls for smaller government. Usually, long and protracted wars result in a bigger form of government. That's not what "right-wingers" want to see. Strong national defense (a right-wing staple) is very different than being "pro-war maniac." Don't let the media fool you.

    June 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Val

    Reasonable concerns. It is one thing to pay for a war, another to find out that money you are putting into it is going to the very enemy you are fighting. We got to insure that the money going into Afghaanistan is not used to fund the bad guys.

    June 30, 2010 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Steve

    How is the minority party holding the majority party hostage? Democrats don't need Republican support. They didn't need it on healthcare (but it was drawn out because certain Democrats didn't want to vote for it), nor do they need the Republican's support on any issue in the war. Maybe this isn't clear to you... but when you have both houses of Congress and the White House under your control, you can do what you want as long as you keep everyone in your party in step.

    I'm not seeing any correlation between Obama (the left-winger) ordering 30,000 additional troops... and how that has ANYTHING to do with right-wingers "making" him do it. How (and why) are they making him do it? All I hear from people like you, onesmallvoice, and others is that it's the "right-wingers" fault. Ok... how?

    If you had any knowledge about American history (20th century onward), you would see that "left-wing" Presidents are usually the ones responsible for either starting/getting involved in a war, expanding a war, or both. This whole conception of "right-wingers are the ones who start wars" is utter crap, and it's usually spewed by people who are ignorant.

    June 29, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. john doe


    June 29, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Voice of Reason

    Finally, someone who is listening to the Afghans in the villages! They have asking us to make Afghanistan's corrupt government accountable for the billions Karzai and his gang of thugs have put away in personal accounts. This news should be made into the biggest news of the day today and I know that it will help with struggle that our soldiers are feeling. I was told by Afghans in every village I went to over three years, don't ask us to say no to the insurgents when the US government can't say no to the corruption in Karzai's government. Once I was told that if the Americans run their businesses the way they are running the war in Afghanistan, then we would be surprised if all the businesses were to make any profit. According to them, only stupid people would give billions and never ask what has been done with the money. This was a very shameful thing for our soldiers to answer to, because their hands are tied but now maybe there will be some action on our side. Of course, I am being extremely optimistic and naive, I realize it, but I can only hope for all of our sake.

    June 29, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Smith in Oregon

    If Congress had the courage to pass an appropriation bill which cut the funding for the War and Occupation in Afghanistan, that would pressure the Pentagon to withdraw the US Military from Afghanistan as Congress did previously with the Viet Nam War many years ago.

    June 29, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Smith in Oregon

    According to Hamid Karzai's own brother, Hamid Karzai was the Taliban's banker during the 1980's moving Billions of dollars from the CIA and the Karzai Clan's Opium-Heroin production to purchasing weapons, explosives and funding for the Taliban.

    Several months ago I posted in AC360 Anderson Coopers blog about the Karzai Clan receiving helicopter loads of American Taxpayer provided Hundred Dollar bills in the amounts of hundreds of Millions of dollars. Totaling easily Billions of American taxpayer dollars in bribes to the Karzai Clan. Those previous comments were entirely deleted by the Anderson Cooper staff, and now other News Media outlets are this week reporting on the same observation. Tracking enormous American Taxpayer pay-off's to the Karzai Clan via a Dubai drop zone where those funds are being funneled into banks in Dubai.

    It seem's news worthy for the American People to learn about where one or more Billion of their Taxpayer dollars are going (to a large scale Opium-Heroin exporter) and answer the question as to WHY.

    June 29, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • George

      "President" Karzaiā€™s brother is Afghan Al Capone, untouchable!!

      July 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Onesmallvoice

    Does anybody seriously believe that the right-wing thugs will ever let her get away with that??? If true,we could almost stop this obscene war overnight but I guess that's only wishful thinking.

    June 29, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      It's strange that left-wingers control the White House, both houses of Congress, and have expanded this war. Yet it's the right-wingers fault. Hmmm.

      June 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
      • Adam

        Bush left a clean-up in aisle seven that's going to leave every administration for the next ten years to fix. I don't really understand why conservatives blame Obama for everything: The meltdown of the financial industry, the bail-out of the financial industry, the bail-out of the auto industry (okay, that one started a long time a ago,) Iraq, Afghanistan... He started all of it, or at least it started under his watch.

        June 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        But this guy and others have claimed that Obama is "caving in" to the right-wingers... why? And how?

        He still hasn't answered those questions.

        June 29, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sam

    On top of corrupt Afghan gov we have been funding the insugents directly as well.

    U.S. indirectly funding Afghan insurgents, report says

    Now that sucks even more.

    Can somone stop this war industry

    June 29, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sam

    I hope this is the case. What ever stops the war sooner.

    June 29, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Wylie

    Finally, a lawmaker with a pair. Herwai is either stupid or naive if he thinks the upper echelon of his government is clean.

    June 29, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  17. Josh

    I agree... Why should we keep giving all our money away to all these corrupt countries, when they dont even appreciate it. I cant wait until the day the U.S. Stops helping other countries all the time. Let them deal with there own problems.

    June 29, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Soldier over here

      I disagree, they definately appreciate our money, all the way to the bank. Worse, the head proscecutor here is now being forced not to prosecute certain people with family and tribal ties as well. Something needs to be done, like throwing them all in Gitmo.

      June 30, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Mephetran

      I concur with you Josh, ultimately I believe every country wants to be left alone in the perspective where their domestic issues will be resolved by the country's people and/or government. I thought from the commencement of the war in the Middle East was only going to deteriorate the people in the Middle East environmentally and psychologically even more. I do not know how well the people on this article and it's critics know the history about why Islam despises Europe and the USA, long story cut short (The Crusades, Islam itself clearly states in the Koran to destroy all the nonbelievers, etc) but us (USA) entering on 2000 years of hatred towards the countries of Christianity will only make terrorism expand. Yes I believe we can destroy its leaders and organizations, but the way the media and the political world address terrorism is an outright understatement. Terrorism is simply those who do not concur with their leaders and who respond violently. The Irish Republican Army is an obvious terrorist organization but no one hears about them.... I was talking to a Master of Psychology a good friend of mine and he has traveled all around the world trying to comprehend the world, universe, and its creations. He told me the issue with why and how terrorism is created is because governments refuse to hear them out. In the case of Osama Bin Laden he wants an end to corruption in the Saudi Arabian government however that probably will never come to light. Point being is when you avoid an individual's and/or even organization's thoughts or reasoning they will learn to hate you and in response to that negative emotion dark knowledge is created. Islam teaches its followers to live very strict lives; disregard those rules and violence spawns. An example of such was the recent actress Afshan Azad (an actress in the Harry Potter movies) was threatened by her own family (physical threats) just because she was dating a Hindu man. In conclusion, I believe when the World Trade Towers were hit, it obviously angered millions not only in this country but also around the world and war was inevitable. However anger is the most blinding emotion and when President Bush talked about going to war, he probably had 99.99% of the nation supporting him. Although the problem was we did not think of all factors before going to war, such as how would we enter, stay, and leave? All we did was invade and start killing until we destroyed Al Qaeda. We are like the Europeans trying to find El Dorado at any cost during Columbus's time. As of now the UN puts the USA as the number 1 killer in the world (surprising right?) I understand human nature desires justice but one hand we should never go into any event whether it is individually, groups, country, etc without thinking of all possible factors whether it be hypothetical and/or real.

      July 4, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • DMG

        I fail to follow your logic on "In the case of Osama Bin Laden he wants an end to corruption in the Saudi Arabian government . . ." because I can't see what bin Laden's supposed desire to see corruption end in Saudi Arabia led to a desire to fly planes into the World Trade Towers. If that is his motivation, why not fly planes into some icon in Saudi Arabia and murder the people he truly has some grudge against? Sorry, the logic just is not flowing on your thoughts here. Perhaps the real reason Westerners are hated in the Middle East is simply a cultural norm of holding blood grudges for as long as it takes to get retribution. And the grudge held the longest seems to be the Crusades. I may think it's stupid, you may think it's stupid, but it's not our perception that counts here. Muslims, in general, feel it is a valid grudge even though it all happened so long ago no one really remembers what the truth is. Remember, there is always two sides and two perceptions to a story.

        July 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |