Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement today regarding the counterproductive transfer of tens of millions of dollars in cash directly from the CIA to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, as highlighted by The New York Times:
"Funneling taxpayer dollars via suitcases stuffed with cash, aptly called "ghost money,' is a recipe for economic disaster and shows misplaced priorities. We must act. That is why I will be introducing amendments prohibiting this practice of handing cash to corrupt governments to the authorizing bills for both the Intelligence and Defense Departments.
"I have continued to raise concerns over these practices. At a time when funding for Head Start and Meals on Wheels is being gutted, we need to know how every dollar is being spent. This is a glaring instance of the continued waste of taxpayer dollars. I keep asking, in the midst of budget cuts, why do the most vulnerable have to pay for these wasteful, corrupt spending practices? We could be creating jobs with this money. With all the blustering about deficit reduction and reigning in spending, we have a clear example: end this practice. This is not just waste, fraud, and abuse, it is pure scandal."