Clinton, Panetta ask congressman to stay out of Afghanistan
April 23rd, 2012
05:48 PM ET

Clinton, Panetta ask congressman to stay out of Afghanistan

By Adam Levine

A top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs committee was asked by the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense not to go to Afghanistan because President Hamid Karzai objected to the visit.

U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, told Security Clearance he was readying to travel with five other Republicans from Dubai to Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, when the State Department requested he stay behind.

Rohrabacher then got a call from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying she was hoping to avoid a "mini crisis" by keeping him from going to Afghanistan.

"She just indicated to me that Karzai was going bananas when he heard I was coming," Rohrabacher told Security Clearance in a phone interview from Dubai. "Apparently he believes that it is my discussing his problems that are causing his problems."

Rohrabacher described the conversation with Clinton as "amicable" and "reasonable" requesting that he not travel on to Kabul.

"If I could help in not creating another mini crisis for her while she is trying to get these other things done, and I thought that was a reasonable request," Rohrabacher said.

The State Department confirmed that Secretary Clinton did speak with Rep. Rohrbacher, and conveyed the message that the Government of Afghanistan preferred that he not come at this time. Secretary Panetta made a similar request, according to the State Department.

A Pentagon spokesman confirmed that the Karzai administration requested that one member of the congressional delegation not come to Afghanistan.

"The member was informed of that desire and decided to respect it," Spokesman George Little said.

Rohrabacher said his oversight into corruption and government policies in Afghanistan as well as his support for an alternative government to Karzai was likely what precipitated the request from Clinton and the intention of the group to meet with members of the Northern Alliance.

His relationship with Karzai has been "a little rough" over the years, Rohrabacher told Security Clearance.

"But I haven't considered him my enemy, but he obviously has considered me his enemy," Rohrabacher said.

The rest of the Republican congressional trip continued on to Afghanistan. Those that traveled on included Rep. Louis Gohmert, Rep. Michael Burgess and Rep. John Carter of Texas; Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota; and Rep. Madeleine Bordallo from Guam.

Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (33 Responses)
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  4. Eric Berry

    Last time I checked Afghanistan was a sovereign nation. As such, the head of state has a right to deny entry to any foreigner that he wants. Karzai is an unstable and corrupt figure but for now he is head of state. Moreover, I believe that Wolf Blitzer lost his professionalism and his objectivity when he interviewed Rohrbacher on this subject. He jumped to the conclusion that the Secretaries of Defense and State had not been forceful in discussing this issue with Karzai without hearing their side of the issue. Don't get me wrong, the sooner we leave that godforsaken part of the world the better. But in the meantime no matter how much blood and money we have spent in Afghanistan, it is a sovereign nation and not a colony.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  5. Richard "BONEHEAD" Cheney

    This nutcase should be in the psych ward.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:59 am | Reply
  6. mk1

    If I were Karzai I would have demanded that Bachmann and Gohmert not come either. Idiots.

    April 24, 2012 at 1:45 am | Reply
  7. Giant

    Yea....keep playing toy soldier for Israel....

    After all, what's American blood worth anyway....

    April 23, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
    • rick

      giant? more like midget! how did israel get into this conversation about afghanistan? sounds like obsession.......oooooooooooooooooo jews.....oooooooooooo

      April 24, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
      • Pudendal cleft

        Can't wait to see Israel glow in the dark. Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        April 24, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  8. obama policies are foreign

    no more video of the obama failed afghan action , so congressman is denied entry . WELL FOLKS TWO NATO TROOPS WERE KILLED YESTERDAY , AND IT WAS REPORTED TWO OTHERS WERE KILLED ON APRIL 11 and that info has not been released either.

    sounds a lot like vietnam guys .

    April 23, 2012 at 11:32 pm | Reply
    • Freddie

      Afghanistan is Bush-Blair war and Obama is trying to exit with some respect left for the US. Romney will be in the same position should he become President. Only Ron Paul sees these wars for what they are – Republican Nation Building disasters.

      April 23, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
    • Mark

      Your bias is pathetic; the member even agreed it was reasonable and chose not to go; I do not like everything Obama does – but trying to pin this war on him is transparent and juvenile.

      April 24, 2012 at 1:26 am | Reply
    • sick of republican phonies

      Yeah! Whatever he said! And Jane Fonda probably has something to do with it, too!

      April 24, 2012 at 5:28 am | Reply
  9. Norma Vessels

    They're just going over there to try to dig up something to use against our president, no matter how small .. and even to the point of making something up. Maybe they're going to see if they can help Mr. Romney in his campaign against our president. A very expensive negative mission. Why do I say that? Because I don't trust any Republican in Congress to do anything that's right or proper, or helpful.

    April 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Reply
    • jack johnson

      They are just going over there to start a civil war to keep our troops there!

      April 23, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
    • Freddie

      What waste of Tax Payer money and it puts more of our troops in danger. Bachmann is a divisive figure and has no business getting involved in this isue.

      April 23, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  10. ted

    I am shocked that this Rorhabacker actually took advice. He is not the typical GOPer that would have just gone ahead and gone there, not giving a darn about the results.

    April 23, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  11. J Roby

    Wow, our Republican tea baggers are too crazy for President Hamid Karzai. He's surely knows crazy when he sees it.

    April 23, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Reply
  12. His is a fake

    wow, I was hoping were going to trade Bachman for Karzai. We need someone a little less conservative the Michelle.

    April 23, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  13. aaron

    There's no hope. Not even countries in anarchy will take these crazy rightwingers off of our hands.

    April 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • MarineVet

      Bingo. Nobody needs these freaks.

      April 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  14. The War Criminal General Sherman

    Where's an IED when you need one?

    April 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  15. Rabbi

    Focus needs to be Israel, not Afghanistan.

    What stupid Americans seem not to understand, is that Jews are chosen people.

    We will reap the rewards of our faithful service to Yahweh.

    The goyim of this world should be happy to fight over the scraps that we Jews throw from table.

    Israel will reign supreme over earth, and anybody challenging that assertion will be conquered, with the help of US military.

    You people may not like us Jews, but you WILL learn to fear us.

    If a few of you must die to save a few of us....that's a bargain I can live with. Your own nations agree with me on this.

    Your sacrafices are necessary to ensure the survival of the only democracy in the middle east. Be happy.

    Long may Israel reign.

    April 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    • Thor

      Lol You're just changing your name and becoming a troll. It must burn an Arab like you to type out anything about Israel that isn't "Death to Jews" huh?

      April 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Reply
    • regis990

      It's time to grow up and stop believing in myths. Religion is for the weak.

      April 23, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Reply
      • David

        Man you sounds like Jesse Ventura youre a bloody fool for not reading the bible.thats the reason we are in a big mess NOW

        April 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Pete/Ark

      How's the weather in Tabriz ?

      April 23, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Reply
    • rick

      and you actually think that anyone with a brain believes you are jewish? and those that like your crap are already underwear and shoe bomber apologists, children murderer apologists, rocket launcher apologists, cartoonist killer apologists, hookah smokers and maintenance personnel at your local islamic center. keep chanting the muslim/palestinian mantra:"woe is me, woe is me, everyone but the palestinians are the cause of their misery".

      April 24, 2012 at 11:09 am | Reply
  16. LBAM

    Stay your A$$$ in Washington and do the work you were elected to do. Why is it necessary that you and your other comrads must visit and waste my tax dollars? Ar eyou going to suite up and join the battle? I don't think so. Keep your butt here.

    April 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  17. steven harnack

    So can anybody tell me what they think that their presence will accomplish? They will see some staged events, talk to some staged people, and find out diddly squat. They should all stay home!

    April 23, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • Freddie

      Its the GOP trying to shift the mess they created to Obama.

      April 23, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Reply

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