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Web Letter

Your December 22, 2009 article, "Afghan Lobby Scam," draws a number of misleading, inaccurate and overly simplistic conclusions.

The Campaign for a US-Afghanistan Partnership (CUSAP) is a legitimate nonprofit group and one of several philanthropic organizations I have supported. CUSAP's objective is to give an Afghan perspective on how the United States and Afghanistan can together defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda and help bring peace and prosperity to the nation. CUSAP has 3,000 members who represent a broad cross-section of ethnicities and professions.

There is nothing wrong with creating a nonprofit organization to advocate positions in Washington. The right to do so is embedded in the First Amendment. Therefore, it should hardly come as a surprise that the CUSAP Board of Directors would hire the most skillful legal advisers possible to help it launch CUSAP.

With respect to NCL Holdings, I am proud of what we have accomplished in support of the US mission in Afghanistan. We have conducted more than 6,000 trips carrying critical supplies and food to American troops on the frontline.

I am confident that the inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee will conclude that NCL has observed the highest ethical standards. In your story, you inaccurately state that NCL has been paid $45 million to date for its work, despite us telling you, well in advance of publication, that the amount paid is approximately $20 million.

I have seen first hand what years of conflict have meant for the Afghan people. NCL is an Afghan-run company that is creating jobs in Afghanistan and contributing to Afghanistan's economic development. Strengthening Afghanistan's economy is an important part of building a stable ally for the United States, once the joint mission to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is successful.

Hamed Wardak

McLean, VA

Dec 24 2009 - 4:16pm