People of Afghanistan and the world, I greet you. There has been much speculation over the past several weeks focusing on how many additional U.S. troops will be sent to Afghanistan. Americans and its allied coalition forces in Afghanistan have poured hundreds of billions of dollars into that country over the past eight years. Clearly, mistakes have been made. I have reviewed the situation very carefully and concluded that the following is the only course of action that will restore peace and security for the people of Afghanistan, its neighbors, and the world.
Just thirty minutes ago, I instructed General McChrystal to arrest President Hamid Karzai, his vice-president, all members of his cabinet, all members of the Afghan Supreme Court, and the Afghan Parliament, and place them under custody at Bagram Airbase.
They have been charged with the following crimes: Election fraud, illicit narcotics trafficking, gross violation of human rights, embezzlement, bribery, fraud, multiple violations of the Afghan constitution, mis-management of aid and development funds, conspiracy to defraud the Afghan people of aid and development funds as well as all tax, fee and license income received by the government of Afghanistan in the name of the people of Afghanistan.
In short, I have concluded that the Afghan government has, over the past eight years evolved into a wide-ranging criminal enterprise that is a threat to world peace and the well-being of the Afghan people.
Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat and Kandahar have been placed under martial law. All U.S. forces will be withdrawn from the Afghan countryside and standby in those cities.
All charges will be thoroughly investigated in the coming months, and a grand jury will decide which individuals will be tried in a fair court for their alleged criminal activities.
All of these activities shall proceed under the guidance of the United Nations and the World Court. A Commission for Transitional Justice comprised of Afghans and international advisors will conduct the process including appointing temporary government officials.
Based on similar actions in recent history, we feel rapid progress will be made to secure peace and justice in Afghanistan, once all charges, claims and suspicion of wrong-doing by appointed and possibly fraudulently elected and appointed officials have been investigated, and acted upon.
The goal is to rapidly reduce the number of foreign forces in Afghanistan and create an honest and fair government that Afghans will be proud of and willing to serve. These are difficult times that require drastic measures, but we must take this action to undo the many previous mistakes, and honor the work of those who sacrificed so much working for peace, justice and the human rights of the Afghan people who have suffered greatly over decades of war, greed, fraud and theft.