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Out Of Afghanistan

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. Jones) for 5 minutes.

Rep. Walter B. Jones

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, like most Members of Congress, I was home last week and did two or three different civic clubs. Everywhere I went, when I said it's time to get our troops out of Afghanistan, save lives of our American soldiers, and save money, I would get applause.

Also, in the last couple of weeks, my office has sent out a survey, and 17,000 people of the Third District responded, and 70 percent of the 17,000 said the same thing: Why are we still in Afghanistan spending money we do not have and having our young men and women to give their life for a failed policy known as Afghanistan?

Mr. Speaker, a week ago, I was watching NBC News and Brian Williams broke the story that the CIA admitted that for the last 10 years, each month for the last 10 years they've been carrying cash money to Karzai--cash money. And they said that the best they could do was to estimate that this would be tens of millions of dollars. Poor Uncle Sam. I don't know how he can afford to continue to spend money of the taxpayers that we can't even account for so we can borrow more money from China to uphold Karzai, who's a corrupt leader to begin with.

I wonder where the outrage is in Congress? I have friends on both sides of the aisles that I think the world of and respect very greatly, but why isn't there more outrage by Congress on the money being spent and, more importantly, the lives of those lost?

Last Saturday, Mr. Speaker, an AP article said seven Americans were killed in Afghanistan. Seven Americans were killed. God help the families. Yet we in Congress just sit here and continue to think that Afghanistan is not our problem, it's just somewhere out there, and we'll find the millions and billions of dollars to send over there with no accountability.

Mr. Speaker, I'm on the Armed Services Committee, and I have written a letter to the chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee and asked her to hold hearings and bring in the inspectors general who've been looking into how the waste, fraud, and abuse abounds in Afghanistan. They can't even account for half the money we've spent over in Afghanistan. We've already spent over $700 billion in Afghanistan, and half of it we can't even account for.

I don't blame the American people for being frustrated. I really do not. I'm frustrated, too. And I would hope we can find more members of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party to join together in these budget bills coming up this summer and start bringing our troops out of Afghanistan.

I bring this photograph, Mr. Speaker, that has our marines carrying a flag-draped coffin. I try to do this down in the district, and I do it here on the floor because I'm afraid too many times the American people, unless they've got a family member in Afghanistan, probably, with all of the problems that the American people are faced with, and certainly we are here in Congress, don't think a whole lot about the war. But when you hear about the CIA sending cash money for 10 years, millions and millions and millions of dollars to Karzai so that he can take care of the warlords over in Afghanistan and give a little bit of money to the Taliban so they can buy weapons to kill Americans, then I don't know and I sometimes just am frustrated. Where is the outrage in Congress?

Just a couple more points, Mr. Speaker, before I relinquish my time. I hope that the leadership of the House, led by Speaker Boehner and Minority Leader Pelosi, I hope they will join us, Democrat and Republican, in trying to bring an end to this failed policy in Afghanistan. It is a failed policy. We're not going to change one thing. They've already acknowledged, Mr. Speaker, that we are fighting the Taliban, and most of the Taliban are Pashtuns, the largest tribe in Afghanistan. They will eventually be the leaders, and Mr. Karzai will not even be in Afghanistan. He'll probably be in Switzerland counting his money that Uncle Sam has sent to him. Taxpayer, taxpayer, it is wrong that you're having to pay that bill in Afghanistan.

Families who've lost loved ones and families who have kids losing their legs and their lives, it's not fair to you, either.

So, Mr. Speaker, I ask God to continue to bless our men and women in uniform. I ask God to continue to bless the families who've given a child dying for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq. I'll ask God to please bless the House and Senate, that we will do what is right in the eyes of God for his people. I'll ask God to bless President Obama, that he will do what is right in the eyes of God for his people. And as I yield back, God, please, God, please, God, please, continue to bless America.

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