At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing today, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman was asked by Senator Bob Corker, ranking member of the committee, whether allegations of secret U.S. cash payments to Afghan President Hamid Karzai help prevent corruption in Afghanistan.
“[D]oes delivering cash to an elected leader--does that help us root out corruption in that country,” asked Senator Corker.
Secretary Sherman responded saying, “My sense is the particular instance that you’re discussing is better discussed in a classified session.”
“Well, had it been discussed in a classified setting I couldn’t talk about it. And yet the president of Afghanistan is talking about it; and so it is in a public setting, and I expect a public response…I guess I’ll have to ask the president of Afghanistan what is happening with this cash,” replied Senator Corker, who said he has twice written President Barack Obama seeking an explanation for how these payments support the U.S. mission in Afghanistan but he said he has yet to receive a response.