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BLITZER'S BLOG: Outrage – U.S. congressman not allowed into Afghanistan
April 25th, 2012
03:54 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Outrage – U.S. congressman not allowed into Afghanistan

By CNN's Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) – It’s shocking that a country that receives billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer money can tell an American congressman that he’s not welcome to visit that country.

And it’s also shocking that the highest U.S. officials – and even fellow Members of Congress – would go along with this outrage.

But that’s exactly what happened when Afghan President Hamid Karzai made clear to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher of California, a key member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, would not be allowed into Afghanistan.

Rohrabacher, the chairman of the Committee’s Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, was already on a Congressional delegation in Dubai with five of his colleagues when he received a phone call from Secretary Clinton. She told him that Karzai didn’t want him to enter the country. Rohrabacher has been an outspoken critic of Karzai’s policies, including the wide-spread corruption in Afghanistan.

Instead of telling Karzai and his government that that was unacceptable, Secretary Clinton urged Rohrabacher not to join his colleagues on the U.S. military flight to Kabul. Rohrabacher says she clearly wanted to avoid a diplomatic crisis. He reluctantly agreed to stay behind.

The State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, told reporters today: “We were advised, as Congressman Rohrabacher made clear, that the sovereign government didn’t think this visit was timely. So it’s in that context that he made his decision after our request.”

U.S. taxpayers are spending some $2 billion a week – more than $100 billion a year – maintaining 90,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and providing economic development assistance. Many of those troops will remain there until the end of 2014. Thousands of American lives have been lost over the past decade in an effort to promote democracy in that country.

That explains why I was stunned to hear that Karzai would have the nerve to tell a democratically-elected Member of Congress that he could not enter Afghanistan.

That explains why I was also stunned to hear that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would go along with this demand.

And that explains why I was further stunned to hear that five Members of Congress – Republican Louis Gohmert of Texas, Republican Michael Burgess of Texas, Republican John Carter of Texas, Republican Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Madeleine Bordallo, the Democratic Delegate from Guam – didn’t cancel their trip to express their outrage.

I called Representative Bachmann. She noted that the incident occurred at a very sensitive moment in the U.S.-Afghan negotiations for a long-term post-2014 security agreement. She noted that Rohrabacher himself didn’t want to disrupt those negotiations, and graciously urged the Members to continue the trip without him.

The delegation flew from Dubai to Kabul and met with American troops, the U.S. ambassador, the U.S. commanding general, and various Afghan officials, including members of the Northern Alliance who oppose Karzai. The Congressional delegation was not invited to meet with the Afghan President.

I will discuss all this with Representative Rohrabacher today in The Situation Room which airs between 4-6pm ET.

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RELATED VIDEO: Rep. Rohrabacher speaks about being asked to stay out of Afghanistan

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soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Manning El Paso, TX

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai, has had us over borrow from president Bush to Obama what is his power? Why do we pay him anything the whole country is corrupt, it we never go for any benefit, but it will sure make him rich!

    April 26, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  2. victor berkowitz

    Wolf your the only one who commented and you are rightly mad. Is our govt. nust? This important story sems to be a non news story. I guess it is more important to talk about the kardishes.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  3. Richard

    Can someone tell me who got us into that war. The congressman and his ilk just want to disparage the Obama administration. The blame is on georgie who got us into that war.

    April 26, 2012 at 8:25 am |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    Wolf, the outrage is yours alone methinks.
    I agree with your house rep we should be out of Afghanistan now rather than later. We have to face facts The Pashtuns of which Karzai is one and represent over 25 % of the population and many more Pashtuns in Pakistan who cant wait to get back into Afghanistan will always be the " majority" in what will remain for decades to come a tribal nation and also a reality that the Pashtuns mostly support the Taliban.
    When ever and how long after we depart Afghanistan and Pakistani Pashtuns return to Afghanistan, the Taliban then becomes the major player in Afghanistan is open to debate ( only timing is the question), but it is inevitable.
    The war on terror is a misnomer as it is a particular extemist sect of the Islamic faith with very few adherents but they will move around various Islamic states as a centre of operations. it is not a viable solution to declare war on that state in the name of the war on terror.
    We and all western nations have to say if you have Al qaeda type extemists/ terrorists its your problem to control, and to stop them creating mayhem in our western society. Fail in that regard and if its Saudi or Pakistani, or wherever based operatives we will respond with quid pro qou....... not interested whose fault just country base by country base equal mayhem justified or not.
    Stop, please the extremists exporting damage to others, or our response becomes equally extememe but not war against the host nation just those extemists who kill our innocents and yours sad but quid pro quo!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    April 26, 2012 at 2:47 am |
  5. Marcelo

    Afghanistan is a sovereign nation and has the right to refuse anyone in its territory, despite any military or financial assistance from another country. The US embassies and consulates around the world deny thousands of visas for foreign citizens in a daily basis under the same principles: sovereignity. The reasons are not always well understood, mainly for tourists trying to enter the US, but it is a right of the consulate office. As Afghanistan is not a United States territory, the Karzai government is absolutely entitled to refuse any American citizen it does not want in its territory.

    April 25, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  6. Rob Rubright

    With all due respect, I don't really care what a reporter thinks or how outraged he is...report, don't comment.

    April 25, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  7. Kathy G

    The only reasonI am glad that the delegation continued on is that they were able to meet with the opposition such as Dr Abdullah in spite of Karzai. Karzai is the problem right along and it is an outrage that Hilary Clinton is enabling him to be a dictator in the country that craves democracy. I am afraid that the next presidential elections in Afghanistan will be tampered with again. This tyrant Karzai has to be stopped and I am glad you Wolf Blitzer have brought this to the surface.

    April 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  8. Jethro

    Is Wolf Blitzer under the impression that we're buying Afghanistan's sovereignty? I think Karzai's position is perfectly acceptable. American officials come to Afghanistan all the time, it's not like he has a blanket policy of not allowing U.S. officials into his nation. Karzai has every right to refuse non-constructive meetings.

    April 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  9. Ken in NC

    I wish they had kept Congressman Gohmert and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

    April 25, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  10. al

    Since when is a country who has their hand out for help telling the donor what he can or can't do? Karzi is nothing but a corrupt politian and I use that term loosely. I suppose if the Congressman had a grocery brown bag full of $100 dollar bills with him to give Karzi it would have made all the difference in the world.

    Enough already, bring our troops home. Trying to save the corrupt government is costing us our national treasure in young blood.

    April 25, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • Rolo

      I agree with you. Forget about Geneva. We have to reconcile with Sinhalese and Muslims brofee power-sharing in Sri Lanka. I accept we have conflict among us but Indian made it worse in 1987 and now American making the situation lot more muddy.I will place my view soon. we are idiots chasing the mirage in intellectual Sahara desert.kind regards

      May 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  11. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    So let me see if I understand this one. You have a Congressman who has been criticizing Karzai and his government for the past however many years. He wants to enter the country for whatever political junket he thinks will score points with the folks back home (especially if he can point out US funded waste, fraud and abuse – probably his only reason for going). Karzai declares him Persona non Gratia, and forbids him entry, and that Congressman is upset. Let me guess. Next time Karzai wants to come to the States, Rohrabacher will try to get a bill passed to keep him out. Someone please explain to the Worthy Gentleman from California that the rules are a lot different when dealing with a Head of State than dealing with a member of Congress, Parliment, etc. I am still waiting for the British Parliment to do the same with Rep. Peter King (R-NY) for his activities in support of the IRA fronts.

    April 25, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  12. HenryB

    Wolf,

    Chill. You are beginning to sound like Anderson Cooper with his outrage in Louisiana. Phony.

    April 25, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  13. ronald dillard

    This is the way it is in a dictator country

    April 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  14. Thomas Henley

    I like Dana he's a nice enough fellow personally but he's so tied in the Powers that Be that I sure wouldn't want him in my 3rd world war torn nation. Afghanistan is Afghanistan and while about 1/3 of the nation profits off the US spending 2 billion a week there, because they make a portion off of that 2 billion a week spent there, 2/3 of Afganistan would prefer we not be there at all. I can't say I blame them.

    April 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  15. nick

    Get a grip Wolf, its their country. If they don't want him thats their business. If the Sec of State makes a decision she must have a good reason, its not your job to be monday morning quarter backing her. We already get enough of that from Rush and Bill O.

    April 25, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  16. Scot

    It is there country and they do not want us there so what the big deal. This guy is a big blowheart anyway ! Good job Hillary !

    April 25, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  17. Robert

    How about bringing our troops home, enough is enough! Stop wasting our money.

    April 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  18. twgloege

    I am shocked and awed!!!! I had no idea Karzai was smart enough to realize what an idiot Rohrabacher is. There may be hope for that country yet.

    April 25, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  19. Dan Dinsmore

    Fire Congress and Charge Them With TREASON

    April 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  20. Andrew B

    Wolf, please. Outrage? Do you really think that once we give aid to a country, we own it, and can tell it who it must let in? Do you think we should be able to control Israel as well? Decide for it whether and how it can defend itself? This would humiliate the country and its leaders, and destroy all our efforts to build alliances. Sure, we have additional leverage with countries we help. But discretion dictates that we don't pull out the "aid card" over every disagreement.

    April 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  21. gg

    he,d like to get a civil war going in affganistan or iraq that way the military industrial complex could suppy both sides

    April 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  22. Dan Dinsmore

    I have a bunch of suggestions of where to spend the money we now pay to Afghanistan $900 Billion could solve some problems around here. STOP SENDING MONEY TO AFGHANISTAN NOW.

    April 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  23. Joan

    There must be a lot more to it than just this story. It is very telling that the five other members of the delegation (four of them Republican) were not as outraged as Mr. Blitzer appears to be and continued on without him. There must be some backstory and with the fragile relationship right now it probably wasn't a wise time to ignite some controversy. There is an old saying "If you make your bed you have to sleep in it". Perhaps the Congressman should be careful with his rhetoric if he wants to be a helpful participant on a diplomatic mission. I think this story is being overblown. That said, the sooner the US gets out of the whole region the better. They are seen as occupiers and invaders there and their presence is wearing pretty thin.

    April 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  24. Discernment

    It is in Afghanistan's Constitution that "HATERS ARE NOT ALLOWED ENTRY".

    April 25, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  25. Duh!

    Frankly, you will also notice not many of our guys are welcome in Libya or Iraq either. Dana is a party hack not an intelligent leader. Karzi has every right to deny him a visa, we have every right to be stupid enough to keep dumping money into Afghanistan...

    April 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  26. Congolezza

    Rohrabacher should learn to keep his slanted opinions and comments to himself. He spewed all of that hate about the Karzai and his policies in the past and it has caught up with him. I wish that someone would call Hillary Clinton and tell her to get in touch with Rohrabacher and tell him he needs to stay in Dubai because we don't really need him here either. He's just another right-wingnut Con that helped put this country on the path of destruction, he supported all of Bushs' policies and then has the nerve to criticize the leader of another country.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
  27. Stephen in VA

    Too bad we can't block Republicans from entering our own country. That said, sure, I agree with everybody that it's time to pull our troops out anyway.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Scott

      We need to ship all democrats, liberals and Obama to Afgan. That would solve all our problems.

      April 25, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  28. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Rohrabacher has no real business going to Afghanistan anyway. He and his group of house republicans are just on a "boondoggle" spending taxpayer's money. They need to be here taking care of the bills they have been blocking for the last year and a half.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  29. livingatsixtyone

    We watch your news because you always give us the news and stay neutral but I guess those days are gone. All we want is the news not people creating what they think is news. The congressman had a histort and knew he wouldn't be welcomed with open arms. Let's do the right thing and piss Karshi off. American deplomacy at its best. If you want to crest real news ask why we keep giving billions to those who want us dead, that's real news.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  30. Marcelo - Los Angeles

    Think of it like this: Say your house is Afghanistan, and your neighbor down the street has helped you out with money in the past. But his son, whom we'll call Rich, has always criticized you for everything. All of a sudden your neighbor wants to come by for a BBQ, would you be ok with his son Dick coming by? I'd say no, leave Rich at home. I don't agree with the decision, but I understand.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
  31. Brad in Illinois

    Hillary may rub some the wrong way, but she has done a good job at state and the last thing she needs is some meathead grandstanding congressman making her job more difficult than it already is. Karzai may be a crook, but Afghanistan is a sovereign country and they can keep out whomever they want. Wolf needs to go back to reporting the news instead of trying to make it up. He's turning into Geraldo witha a beard. If I want anchor outrage, I can watch FOX or MSNBC.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  32. ev0rev

    To all of you who more or less articulated the thought that Afghanistan was well within its rights...please remember that the next time we have diplomats from another nation here in the U.S. . I can promise you, many of them have beliefs that run contrary to our own. Should we not allow them in as well? Would you be outraged if the story was U.S. bars Karzai from visiting? Recognize that diplomacy involves discussion with those with whom you do not always agree.

    P.S. Could the responders to this article be any more left-leaning? Amazing how, because he is a Republican, he is treated as a second rate citizen. And then justify it through unsubstantiated claims!

    April 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
  33. John N. Seattle, WA

    Is there a REASON we are supporting the corrupt Karzai government? This guy really takes the cake...we spend billions and trillions of dollars just so he CAN be corrupt (and not put against a wall and shot by the Taliban), and then he takes offense at a congressman pointing out the corruption? It's WAY past time we get the hell out of that country and let Karzai figure out how to defend the country on his own!

    April 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  34. Californian

    Dana Rohrabacher is an embarrassment to California too, not just US. Can we request him to stay in Dubai and not come to US.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  35. Nancy Huppertz

    I'm disappointed in Blitzer's vitriolic editorializing on the Rohrabacher story. This is not news reporting. A real reporter must use a tone of voice and choice of words that are neutral. Then let the listeners decide for themselves what they think about the story. "Outrage" is a loaded, value-laden word, but Blitzer used it repeatedly in a huffy tone of voice. I expect that kind of thing on FOX-not on CNN. Rohrabacher;s condescending use of "Hillary" instead of "Secretary of State Clinton" is understandable. Blitzer's choice of words, tone of voice and failure to present the State Department's perspective are neither understandable nor tolerable. Make up your mind, Wolf-are you a reporter of the news or one more conservative mouthpiece?

    April 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  36. 2010rider

    Wolf, you're right...it's an outrage...an outrage that we just had to witness that exchange between you and Rep Rohrabacher when there's no story to get dramatic about. I am NO FAN of the man however even he tried to correct you more than once with statements like "...the Secretary respectfully asked..." and that the group of Rep's who continued on didn't want to however had a mission to accomplish which overrode partisan squabbling. I never heard from his mouth that anyone 'ordered' him not to go. Direct your 'outrage' to Karzai – sure, well deserved for so many reasons. It appears more like Rohrabacher respected the requests of the Secretaries responsible for carrying out the administration's foreign policy, and his colleagues respected taxpayer dollars by completing the trip rather than turning around. Find something else to get outraged about.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  37. William Watkins

    Any county has the right to refuse anyone. The Congressman is just a trouble maker. Get real Wolf.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  38. Rebecca Potts Baker

    I agree 100% with your blog post, Wolf. We've seen corruption throughout Karzai's government for a long time. His dismissive action toward Rep. Rohrabacher is unconscionable for the leader of any country, but particularly so, coming from the leader of a country for which far too much blood and treasure our country has has been freely given. Not only is Karzai's action completely disrespectful to Rep. Rohrabacher – it is completely disrespectful to the troops who have died there, to all of our troops who have served there and are still serving in Afghanistan, and to the families of our troops. Considering all of the corruption in the Karzai government, we might as well be flushing that 2 billion a week down a toilet.

    I cannot believe that our Sec'y of State and Sec'y of Defense allowed Karzai to get his way! We are always hearing that the talks in Afghanistan are "in a delicate stage" – that is NO excuse. We are the world's example of democracy at its best – democratic leaders don't cave to corrupt foreign government officials.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  39. Warp7

    Okay Wolf, you don't work for Fox! Get back to being an unbiased reporter. He was asked to stay and he agreed to stay. With all the problems in the country and our soldiers dieing, why take a chance at added possibly more deaths. Like it or not it is still a sovereign nation. Also remember who helped set up this govt 8 years ago. Stop trying to make an issue that does not exist. What you should have been out raged over is the continued expenditure of tax payer money for congressmen to visit their for political points.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  40. Davenique Leavings

    I understand politics and diplomacy shouldn't and don't always walk in-step together, and even though I find it difficult to believe POTUS would ban/forbid a diplomat to enter the U.S., would the U.S. have done differently if an Afghani or any other foreign diplomat disparaged POTUS in the same manner as Rep. Rohrabacher did Karzai, whether he was correct or incorrect in his criticism? Not to be crude, but to give perspective: you can overpay a hooker but that does not give you the right to disrespect them.

    April 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  41. Kim

    Calm down Wolf. First, the Afghans never asked the US to invade their country. Stop acting like an arrogant crybaby. We need to get out of that country. Lets stop pretending like we're saving them.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  42. Paul Tiffany

    I am shocked that a professed objective, supposedly unbiased journalist would replace his personal opinions in a news interview on a very sensitive subject. Because of this fit of outrage, the story suffered as we did not find out why others did not agree with him. The CEO of CNN says that CNN is the most objective news source, but this example and many others made in the pursuit of Faux News viewership has been taking CNN down into the world of yellow journalism.

    I expect an on-air apology.

    The same is true of some others such as Piers Morgan who constantly expresses his personal opinions as if they are the only valid ones. Ali Velchi sometimes falls into the same trap of ranting over his personal opinions. On-air arguing may help to generate more controversy and a certain element of viewers, but it doesn't attract people who are seeking objective news reporting.

    I expect a change. CNN used to have a good reputation for Fair & Balanced, even if Faux News does not.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  43. ivy

    4-25-12 check your history wolf blitzer. Most Americans do not have a history of standing up for what's right. So few stood up when the sit-ins were going on and most are not standing up for what's right in the many Black men beaten and killed by the police. THe names added to the list is growing. We don't have a history of supporting what's right. We should be standing up for what's right with guns, PERIOD. The killing won't stop in the Black neighborhood. It will and is spreading to all neighborhoods. It's a communicable disease that's spreading and growing. Nothing was done about drugs until they spread into every community in the U.S. and the same will be true of the guns and killings coming to a neighborhood near you. We're always late in doing the right thing. So many in every community will die before this is corrected.

    I agree with you that the delegation should not have proceeded forward and left Karzai and Afghanistan to "swing in the wind". It's time to say we sacrifice our blood – you see all of us or none. That's democracy. we need to stand together in all of these critical issues.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  44. John Fienup

    I agree with KV completely. Wolf is trying to make his own news. I have lost a lot of respect for Wolf as a journalist. OUTRAGEOUS.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  45. Bob

    I guess they have better immigration laws than we do, huh?

    April 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  46. James

    You are DEAD wrong on this one Wolf. It is his country. When do we stop our arrogance that we are the only country in the "right" in this world? How in blazes can we continue to tell the world that our form of democracy is the truly "pure" system when we give them example after example of how truly corrupt we really are. I am amazed and seriously disappointed that you with your experience and objective mindset has fallen into this hole. No wonder we are now just about the most despised country in the rest of the world.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  47. Bob Eldridge

    Wolf – relax! Chill! Your outrage has made more out of the story than it deserves. An objective reporter "reports" the news, but you have flung yourself head first into the story. It doesn't deserve that much outrage. Cooler heads have prevailed and it's not the huge issue you are making it. One day we will be out of Afganistan and this story will not have played even a small part. It just doesn't matter that you are personally outraged. Why?????? Doesn't make sense?

    April 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  48. FedUp

    Here's an idea – bring the troops home and let them go at it. Stop spending money on a country that doesn't want us there. Let them sink!

    April 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  49. Arick

    So we want democracy for the world, but they have to do everything we say? Doesn't sound much like democracy to me.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  50. Margo

    Wolf you are a total disgrace for your overrreaction to afghanistan not wanting a nut job like Rohrbacher there or the fact that SS Clinton stopped what could have been a ugly crisis by asking him no to go.The fact is clinton is paid to make those decisions and you are paid to report news fair and act like a big baby. thats way cnns ratings stink.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  51. Linda

    I am not a fan of Karzai, but I have to say that Wolf you sir are attacking our Secratary of State. Why not interview her, cause she would put you in your place.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  52. Dale

    Hey Wolf, so much for unbiased reporting. You used to be a pretty decent reporter, but you have become so self important it is impossible to watch you now. As for this story, aren't we trying to get the Afghanistan to stand by itself. Karzai made a decision to keep this muck raking congressman out of his county, good for him. The Secretary of State did the right thing, she recognized Karzai's authority in this matter. Get back to real unbiased reporting Wolf.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  53. dt

    very unprofessional from Mr. Wolf....this is not your summer house you go uninvited

    April 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  54. GetAGrip

    I usually respect your opinions Wolf but you are 100% wrong on this one. They are a sovereign country. Just because the U.S. chooses to continue to spend "blood and money" in Afghanistan doesn't mean that congressmen get to treat it like another state of the union.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  55. Len Kansas

    What arrogance he has saying that he had to fly coach...welcome to the real world.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  56. Dr.Rick

    Wolf, you lose credibility as a journalist when you spout off on what gives you 'outrage'. Your job as a journalist is to report the facts. The facts, in any story, are vast, and include varying, diverging and at times conflicting perspectives, for example, the perspectives, thoughts and opinions of family members of the children and women who were massacred by that rogue American soldier, or by countless other victims of US 'collateral damage'. Stick to the facts–if you want to interview people who are outraged, fine, do so. Then interview people who are not outraged by the story, if you so choose. THAT would be at least an ATTEMPT at responsible journalism. But your 'outrage' discredits you and discredits CNN. I suggest you apologize on air for your 'outrage' and perhaps say a few words to aspiring journalists that they should not follow in your footsteps of editorializing the news rather than reporting it. Don't be like Fox. Bad enough there is one Fox on air ,we don't need another 'fair-and-balanced' network spouting out hot air and rhetoric.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  57. Joe

    What's shocking is that Wolfe Blitzer suggests that Afghanistan had a choice about US presence in their county. The objective of killing Bin Laden has been achieved. Why do we continue to focus our efforts on a foreign country that hates us when we have so many problems to fix domestically.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  58. Debbie

    Why is this shocking? It's not Rohrabacher of California's money but all of American taxpayers. Rohrabacher of California is an OC tool. I pretty much loathe Karzi but he's spot on with Rohrabacher.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  59. John

    Wolf, I watch your show almost every day, I respect you but you are wrong on this one. For the most part you are fair and even on your questions to both sides of the political aisle. This blog of yours takes away your standing as a neutral anchor.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  60. Guest

    Wow, I am stunned that Wolf is stunned! How can a seasoned political reporter like Wolf be stunned by this? We are not in Afghanistan because they want us there. While I am all for the mission, we invaded the country. Karzai needs to do a careful balancing act to keep things under control. Why should this come as any surprise? We give tons of money to other countries and they push us around all of the time. For example, Israel (there, I said it), Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  61. Brian Cohen

    I see that the idea of keeping Dana from this country of ours, the US of A, is rather popular here. So what about sending him somewheres on a truth-finding mission? Somewhere very, very far away. I for one am not all that sure that the tourist ads for Pandora they were running all over us, are all that accurate.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  62. Rae

    Well, you can't talk reckless about a country and it's leaders and then expect to sit all up in their face. That's what he gets.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  63. IDEAS and IDEALS not ideologies

    Last time I checked this was Afghanistan not Guam.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  64. GI Joe

    He only wanted to go there to stir up more trouble in their country -- like the republicans are doing in this country.

    Good choice not to let him in - can we block him from coming back?

    April 25, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Suzanne

      I certainly want to see our troops brought home from Afghanistan straight away. I see no point in continuing to support with blood and treasure on a corrupt government and a country that seemly does not want our help. That said, I think the decision not to let Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, my state from going. No reason to instigate a vitriolic response from an unstable leader. BUT.....did anyone catch Rep. Rohrabacher outrage having to fly couch to get to Dubai, in the broadcast moments ago. When I abroad, I fly coach. I guess some Congressional leaders feel entitled to privileges that we cannot afford for ourselves!!!

      April 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Connie Denham

      You are so right!! I think CNN should suspend Wolf Blitzer for making such unpatriotic comments!! Our Secretary of State is over there handling crisis after crisis, and he does not have any right to bad mouth her on national television when she is serving our country over there. I am outraged at Wolf Blitzer's conduct!!!!

      April 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Yogi

      I agree with you GI Joe. Does Wolf not understand he could have been in danger if he'd gone there and of all people to call Michelle Baac like she's that smart now she's going to start trouble with that info.

      April 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Bill Duke

      He needs to get back home and cut off the flow of money to Obama's Afghani brothers.

      April 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Randyman from AZ

      Best not to block him out. He would stir up trouble for us in some other country.

      April 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  65. aaron

    Yep, it's an outrage. Cut the money to Afghanistan, pull the troops out. It would be nice if the Afghans would take some of the U.S. nutcases like Rorhabacher, Palin, and Bachmann first though...on one-way plane tickets.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  66. Marcus

    Yeah, how dare a country behave with any degree of sovereignty. Relax, Wolf.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  67. Janet

    I don't want Rohrabacher in my country either. Can I get Hillary to tell him not to come back?

    April 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • mdn

      I agree.

      April 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • john

      only if he takes Hillary with him

      April 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Bill Duke

      Tell Hillary not to come back instead.

      April 25, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
  68. RapidOne

    It depends on the kinds of rhetoric he was a part of, quite simply.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  69. Thomas

    Spare us the feigned "outrage" and remember why you are a reporter, not a diplomat.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  70. Bill

    Guess what? It's their country. They can decide to allow someone in or out.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • john

      agreed, and its our money we should choose to keep it.

      April 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Bill Duke

      Guess what? It our money. We can cut it off entirely and we should have long ago instead of funding the "Taliban Lite".

      April 25, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Marcelo

      Perfect opinion. Sovereignity it's called.

      April 25, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  71. Uncle S.

    Tough cookies, Congressman! You think because we give them money they have to bow and kiss your you-know-what? Maybe they have some dignity and honor. Not all cultures and peoples have the overbearing chutzpah that some Americans have.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • VOLFAN

      Go back and read some of Karzai's recent anti American comments..................It is true they can allow who they want in their country, but we are paying their BILLS WITH OUR TAX MONEY WHILE WE GO BROKE.....................
      STOP THE BILLIONS WE ARE GIVING THEM AND TAKE CARE OF AMERICANS WITH IT!!!

      April 25, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  72. O.T.

    I guess if you were robbing a bank, you wouldn't want the police to show up.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  73. Some one who sees the truth

    Are you equally shocked when the Prime Minister of Israel refuses to stop settelments in occupied West Bank when the President of the United States ask him to Stop building them.......Even though Israel recieves billions of dollars in Aid....Your bias and hatred of muslims is so obvious!!!

    April 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  74. glennrobert

    Rohrabacher should be banned from California!

    April 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Pink Haze

      I agree with you 100% He is an embarrassment to California and the human race . Can't we send him to Alaska or beyond....

      April 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  75. dave

    So a rep can walk into any country they please just because the US sends $$$? Are you upset at the fact that is so much money? Or that US politicians aren't allowed to go where they please?

    April 25, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  76. williepitt

    I don't see why it's so disgraceful for Rohrabacher not to be allowed in Afghanistan. He is, and has always been, a nut with the weirdest ideas one has ever seen, about more or less everything.

    What a lousy example of a US legislator Rohrabacher is.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Jess C

      Yes, wish they'd keep him over there as well, but not even they want him!

      April 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  77. alleygator

    Hah! Karzai and the Afghan poobahs think Rohrabacher is a terrorist. Well, I guess they'd know.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  78. Brian Cohen

    It is hard to "courteously discuss" Dana Rohrabacher, but I'll do my best. I can see your point, Wolf, when you are outraged by the fact that Afghan government, a paid – very well paid – puppet of US one, dares to do anything without obtaining prior clearance from the State Department and CNN analysts, like yourself. I agree on principle, you don't set up a corrupt incompetent puppet to have it start developong independence and free will.
    But this Dana is something else altogether. He is a true example of a representative democracy, with him representing the people scraping the bottom of the intellectual pool. Dana also exemplifies all the problems with the seniority principle in Congress – I watched him years ago, on CSPAN, when he was spewing his poorly worded nonsensical xenophobiac rants to the empty chairs, and now he is a key member of the House Foreign Affairs?!! It's like putting Eichmann in charge of Jewish affairs. Wait, they did...
    Seriously, Wolf, Afghans shouldn't even breathe without Hillary's say-so, but trust me, this time they are doing us a favor. This Dana is an embarrassment and whatever keeps him away from foreigners is s blessing.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  79. Seth Vick

    So Secretary Clinton avoided a diplomatic emergency and your reaction is HOW DARE YOU DO SUCH A THING? It sounds to me like our members of Congress took a more diplomatic approach and you're just trying to cook up a scandal that doesn't even exist. Heck, even Michelle Bachmann is being more cool headed than you are, and that's an accomplishment.

    April 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  80. Herr286

    Hey CNN, before trying to make a huge story out of this, why don't you report on the facts.

    The esteemed congressman had just attended meetings in Europe with sepratists and those hostile to Karzia that called for a decentralized Afghan government that is based less on a nation than a loose confederation of states. Of course the leader of a country whose power as a leader is being ursurped by someone from another country will not take kindly to such actions. This man has openly called the government corrupt and has openly called for the end of the current form of rule. Kind of sounds like a foreign backed coup to me.

    Also, wasn't our mission to go in and to create a strong government that will not become a tool of the Taliban and non governmental organizations? Why should we have such problems with the government asserting its authority? That is part of democracy, that is part of governance, and that is part of a country maturing into a nation state.

    Seriously CNN, stop the second rise of yellow journalism and actually report news!

    April 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Fred

      AMEN

      April 25, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • john

      no, our mission was to go in and kill OBL for 9/11. mission accomplished. we should leave and spend our money at home.

      April 25, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  81. UMER

    What else US needed more to know? 2 Billion per week and Lawmakers r not welcome? Wow...."Afghanistan"...100 billion per year for the last 10 years.. Afghanistan would have been Purchased from Taliban...Rather than having Military over.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  82. orion7x

    He's a republican... who'd want a self righteous person coming and telling me what to do. I would not let him in my house....

    April 25, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  83. Just Saying

    Heck, even Afghanistan is allowed to set standards, and very low standards at that, on who they let into their country.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  84. Paul_I

    Are you vying for the title of The Ugly American for 2012? Afghanistan is a sovereign country and can decide who is and is not welcome in their country. They do not have to embrace every US politician just because we are supporting their government with troops and treasure. Stow away the outrage for when it is warranted.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  85. Demin

    It's sad to see a so called international journalist as yourself having such strong pro American bias and double standards in face of the hard facts. For a country that's been utterly destroyed and countless lives lost what's billions of dollars compared to that ???? Please keep your silly uninformed prejudices out of the public forum.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • john

      considering the industry that he works in, I suspect he is substantially more informed that you or I on just about everything international.

      April 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  86. James Kidd

    It would do the United States well to remind President Karzai how he came to even have a country to lead. That we are bending to his will at every turn is a travisty. And that he has the gall to demand $2 billion a year from the US to continue propping up his military and police force is an afront to every United States Servicemember that gave his/her life in the defense and support of his country. We've done what we set out to accomplish. It is high time that we gain a backbone and close the pocketbook completely...now, if not sooner.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • HenryB

      Do we want a puppet government then? Seems so, doesn't it.

      April 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  87. Sara Volk

    Dana Rohrbacher is not welcomed in my house either.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • HenryB

      Amen, not in my house either.

      April 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
  88. JustWho

    So he thinks he can just go anywhere he pleases?

    April 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  89. Ronald Hall

    This should be the final straw on indicating how useless our further involvement with these jerks will be. Our mission to Afghanistan should have been simple. Destroy the people responsible for planning and striking the US. on 9-11. It should have been terrible and it should have been swift. WE had no business in Iraq and our time for revenge has past expired. All we will do now is punish ourselves.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • john

      lol, I'd love to see Karzia denied entry next time shows up

      April 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  90. mike

    No Congressman = No aid or any other form of money.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  91. Mike

    We may be pouring lots of money into tha black hole called Afghanistan but we don't own it. It is their right to say who they do not want in their country.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  92. stercus tauri

    Why don't we just pull out of there, take our money with us, use drones to neutralize suspected terrorists and let the poor afghans go back to copulating with their goats.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  93. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    America nees to get the hell out of Popsiclestan TODAY and stop funding the Taliban ASAP! The hell with Bush's war. Bush is gone. Bin Laden is gon and now our troops need to exit before Christmas to spend time with their families. Let those 2nd century camel riding poppie seed growing tribal villagers fend for themselves. They don't want democracy and we can't keep craming it down their throats.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  94. SJinSJ

    It sounds like intelligent members of both parties, with real insights into the situation, weighed their options and made a decision. And now you're inviting everyone who can read a blog to toss in an opinion? It's a touchy topic, sometimes we should let the professionals do their job.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Fred

      And wolf needs to quit pushing his personal agenda...CNN is starting to be like FOX....pushing their own agenda....SAD

      April 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  95. deejer1

    "Shocking"? Really? Really?!? It might be shocking to you, Wolf, but I doubt even that. I think creating mock "shock" over this is a tried and true CNN tactic to trick people into watching. The fact is that no reasonable person would care about this load of crap. Could anything (or anyone, for that matter) be more irrelevant?

    April 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Sara Volk

      This kind of editorializing from an anchor I used to respect is the reason I usual turn on Loony Tunes about this time of the day. Is there a news program that actually reports the news without editoriaizing and trying to gin up a controversy?

      April 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
      • Michael Taylor

        Thank you Sara, you took the words right out of my mouth. I too use to have a great deal of respect for CNN, back in the days when Ted Turner still owned the network and before AOL /Time/Warner decided to make Fox News look good by default. There was a time when my TV stayed tuned to CNN and Headline News all day long. Those days are long gone.

        April 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  96. Steve- Illinois

    The tail wags the dog!! Gotta love the American Apology Tour!!!

    April 25, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  97. KV

    Are you freaking kidding me, Wolf? I read Rohrbacher's article and I have never heard a Republican sound more gracious after being told he shouldn't do something. And you are "shocked" and "outraged"? You're more concerned than any of the people on the trip?! This was one of the rare occassions we saw our democartically elected officials act like adults in a bipartisan manner, and you are trying to make a mountain out of a molehile. Shame on you.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Crystal C

      Exactly what KV said!

      April 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  98. jack johnson

    This nut wanted to meet with his opponent to try and cause a civel war.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • john

      how would you be able to tell that it was in a civil war? to them it would just be another wednesday

      April 25, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  99. HenryMiller

    We should have shut off the money to Afghanistan a long time ago.

    April 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  100. Leon J Wright

    Simple. STOP sending money to that country. Period!

    April 25, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
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