Interviews

Rep. Poe: Freeze Aid to Pakistan

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: But all of this as Pakistan is balking that it is not getting all of its U.S. aid -- The Wall Street Journal today reporting that 40 percent of Pakistan’s claims are being rejected because, well, it claims it has nothing to do with the war on terror.

Texas Republican Congressman Ted Poe says it’s time to freeze all aid to Pakistan.

You still say that in light of these developments where they are saying, oh, we have got nuclear stuff coming out the yin-yang?

REP. TED POE, R-TEXAS: Well, we should freeze all of the foreign aid that we give Pakistan.

Military aid is not really -- really aid. We pay for their war on terror. We reimburse them. And we have done so since 9/11. And it’s turning out that the...

CAVUTO: Well, break it down for me, Congressman. How do you differentiate, and how much is how much, right? I mean, money is money, right?

POE: OK. It’s about half -- well, it’s -- that’s true.

Foreign aid is a little more than half of the money that we give them. It’s about -- about 50/50, 50 percent a piece. But the military aid is reimbursement, billions of dollars that we give them to pay for -- they’re basically mercenaries -- to pay for the war on terror.

And it’s turning out that, in the military aid, the reimbursement money, 40 percent of it in the last two years, it’s questionable. In other words, we don’t know where that money’s going. We have paid for radar equipment. And, you know, the Taliban and Al Qaeda, they do not have aircraft.

And so it has been cut. Our government has not reimbursed them -- reimbursed them. So they’ve come across as, you know, making -- making profit, war profiteering on the war on terror, because we don’t know where the money’s going.

CAVUTO: Congressman, I guess I am sounding a little bit like Tony Soprano here, but dis me once, that’s one thing. Dis me twice, that’s another thing. Dis me three thrice, I mean, man, oh, man.

You got the helicopter thing. They’re, a couple of weeks after the fact, grudgingly returning the tail of that thing, I’m sure after the Chinese have already seen it. Now we’re getting these images of nuclear operations going up, I’m sure not accidentally, and then these protests where they claim, you know, maybe we can cozy up to China.

I’m just wondering at what point we say enough is enough.

POE: Well, we should be nearly at that point already. The military reimbursement, they cheat on that. It’s like dealing like a crooked aluminum siding salesman. We never know what we get for the money. And are they sending that money that we give them for military aid? What are they doing with that? Are they going to -- are they putting that money on the border with India? And, so, you know, we just can’t trust them.

CAVUTO: Well, we know they were not using the aid in the war on terror to find Usama bin Laden. I think that was a fairly safe hunch.

(LAUGHTER)

POE: That’s right.

CAVUTO: So, why add more money?

POE: All the money we -- we shouldn’t add more money. I think we should freeze the foreign aid. They should come clean about what they knew about Usama bin Laden hiding in their country for five years, and didn’t tell anybody about it.

And then we need to certainly audit the reimbursement we give them for the war on terror...

CAVUTO: Right.

POE: ... because, basically, we can’t trust them. They’re not honest. They’re not dealing with us in an honest way. And they have been not a reliable ally over the years.

CAVUTO: Congressman, thank you. Good seeing you again, Ted Poe of Texas.

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