Leon Panetta visits Afghanistan

Associated Press
FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2011, file photo, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, right, and U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone, take part in a news conference in Ankara, Turkey. When he was ambassador to Egypt, Ricciardone wrote in a secret State Department memo in March 2008 that Egyptian Minister for International Cooperation Fayza Aboulnaga continued to complain about U.S. money for unlicensed democracy groups that trained political activists. Ricciardone was worried that the groups, which he called partners, could be targeted by the minister, who opposed the U.S. financing of the groups unless the money went through her office. Two months before Egyptian police stormed the offices of U.S.-backed democracy organizations in 2011, seven Egyptian employees resigned from one of the American groups to protest what they called very undemocratic practices. Their complaints: The U.S. group described as nonpartisan had excluded the country’s most popular Islamist political organization from its programs, collected sensitive religious information about Egyptians when conducting polls to send to Washington, and ordered employees to erase all computer files and turn over all records for shipment abroad months before the raids. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

View gallery

50 photos

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is scheduled to meet with President Karzai during his two-day visit to Afghanistan. The trip comes as the Taliban has vowed revenge following this past weekend's killing spree by a U.S. soldier who is accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan. Most of those killed were children and women.

View Comments (0)