Chairman Kerry released the following statement today in response to news reports about Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai:
"Senior American officials have told me repeatedly that there is no hard evidence linking Ahmed Wali Karzai to drug trafficking. However, after reading press accounts which allege that Mr. Karzai has been on the payroll of the CIA, one of the agencies gathering intelligence about narcotics trafficking in Afghanistan, I have serious questions about the information that Congress is receiving. On questions this serious, it is imperative that we receive reliable, current and accurate information.
"Reducing corruption and stopping the bribes from drug traffickers are absolutely essential to developing an effective Afghan government. Just this week, three DEA agents gave their lives in the fight against drug trafficking, a chilling reminder of the sacrifices American civilians and troops make in Afghanistan.
"We should not condemn Ahmed Wali Karzai or damage our critical relations with his brother, President Karzai, on the basis of newspaper articles or rumors. But the appropriate congressional committees must be immediately provided with the most comprehensive and untainted information about his alleged entanglements."