Congressman Barred From Entering Afghanistan For Criticizing Government
Congressman Dana Rohrbacher won’t be allowed to visit Afghanistan:
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Monday he was denied entry into Afghanistan because of his critical views of that country’s government.
“Apparently, [Afghanistan President Hamid] Karzai just goes bananas every time he hears that I might be, in some way, coming into his country,” Rohrabacher said in a phone interview with POLITICO on Monday while he waited in Qatar for a flight back to the U.S.
Rohrabacher also suspected that Karzai was picking on him because he had opened a House investigation into corruption not only within the Afghan government but also Karzai himself.
The California Republican, who chairs the committee’s oversight panel, was stopped in Dubai Friday as part of congressional delegation on its way to Kabul. “Absolutely he believes his denial is based on his vocal opposition to [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai and Dana’s relationship with the former Northern Alliance leaders,” Rohrabacher spokesperson Tara Olivia Setmayer said.
Rohrabacher was a last minute addition to the trip led by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-Texas) when another member dropped out a few days earlier. “When Karzai found out Dana was a part of the [congressional delegation], he told the State Dept the entire CODEL would be denied if Rohrabacher was included,” Setmayer said.
And, remember, these our are “friends.”