Karzai admits taking CIA money; Galbraith: We’re not getting what we pay for

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Monday confirmed an NYT report that he has been receiving cash payments in a paper bag every month from the US Central Intelligence Agency. Karzai maintained that the money actually goes to the director of national intelligence to be used for intelligence work, but the implication of the NYT article was that he is simply on the take.

CNN has a video report, where Jake Tapper interviews Amb. Peter Galbraith on Karzai’s corruption.

What seems clear is that Hamid Karzai plays both ends against the middle, taking US money and support but publicly attempting to distance himself from the US. The latest report, of his actually being on the CIA payroll, gives the lie to this recent public announcement, translated from an Afghan newspaper by the USG Open Source Center:

“Afghan leader to restrict CIA activities
Monday, April 22, 2013
Document Type: OSC Translated Text

Text of report in Dari entitled “Karzai’s new stroke on CIA” published by independent Afghan newspaper Cheragh on 22 April

The spokesman of the Afghan president has announced that Hamed Karzai is going to restrict the activities of the US Central Investigation Agency (CIA) in Afghanistan saying: “The decision has been made to prevent civilian casualties”. Lemar TV reported, quoting Emal Faizi, the president’s spokesman, that the president has decided to restrict the CIA’s activities in the country. The president’s spokesman stated that Hamed Karzai believes the main factor behind civilian casualties is the lack of coordination of the CIA’s activities in Afghanistan. According to him, President Karzai believes that illegal paramilitaries act without coordination with the Afghan institutions while reporting to the CIA.

Faizi said: “When the issue of civilian casualties in military operations of the Americans are discussed, the USA justifies that they have carried out the operations in coordination with the Afghan forces while no coordination has been done with the Afghan government institutions”.

Faizi did not explain how the president is going to restrict the CIA’s activities in Afghanistan. It has been said that Mr Karzai decided to restrict the CIA’s activities in Afghanistan after a number of civilians were killed in a NATO air strike in Konar Province. In this attack, which took place last week, 17 civilians including 11 children were killed.

(Description of Source: Kabul Cheragh in Dari — Independent daily paper that frequently criticizes the Afghan Government, Pakistan, and the United States, and is generally pro-Iran.) “

With Karzai, it is all Kabuki theater.

Posted in Afghanistan | 5 Responses | Print |

5 Responses

  1. Hamid Karzai understands this war perfectly: War is a racket. Quoting the immortal Gen. Smedley Butler. It is we that are neophytes. He and the ruling class are grabbing all the money they can before it all falls apart. Why do we act surprised, isn’t that what any one of us would do in the same circumstances?

    I have some sympathy for Karzai; the life puppet is not an easy one. He must try to appear independent enough to be “legitimate”. He must also placate his master but not seem too subservient. It is also a balancing act that must eventually come to a conclusion. It is very important to not be around for the end, you don’t want to be the next Najibullah.

    When it does collapse they all need a place to go, likely Dubai or the Riviera. For that they need piles of money. Somehow I think that some in the CIA understand this. If they cut off the money then the collapse would start sooner as some in the ruling class would head for their retirement villas. As long as the money keeps flowing they will stick around to try to grab some more. As the end nears and the desperation grows it will require ever more piles of cash to keep them around. It will be difficult to achieve “Peace with Honor” (link to en.wikipedia.org) this time around.

  2. All kabuki. Yup. And it seems that with the CIA, it is all “teh STUPID.” Although a pretty noxious, malignant kind of stupid, from poisoned cigars to make Castro’s beard fall out, to trying to bribe Afghan warlords with Viagra (and bricks of $100 bills) to be “loyal” in a place where loyalty seems to extend to tribes, maybe, and clans and families, but is driven by immediate self-interest and shrewdness. We ain’t sharp enough to play in that sandbox, but then the Game, as ever, is about wealth transfer and the old but true observation that “War is nothing but a racket.”

    Say again what “the national interest” means? Since we are $6 trillion in the hole just for this round of Teh STUPID, US economy for working folks is in the toilet, “globalization” is a big fail with a nice chaser of environmental catastrophe to the glutton’s meal of hyperconsumption, not even a pretext of “democracy” in our Republic any more…

    And still the young and desperate enlist, to be indoctrinated into what kind of mind set, again?

  3. Peter Galbraith:
    former Ambassador to [Croatia], former UN Special Deputy to the same country, Senior Fellow at the Center for Arms Control. Ten-percent investor, you may remember, in Kurdish oil fields which he knew would devolve to Kurdish control following the Iraqi invasion which he helped to sell, acting “…purely as a private citizen.”
    link to my.firedoglake.com

    And now (drumroll) State Senator from Windham County, Vermont, bringing his uniquely high-minded and disinterested sensibility to the capital in Montpelier to derail, delay and generally bung up every possible piece of legislation that comes through the State House, from Death With Dignity, to Campaign Finance Reform, to Short-term Industrial Wind Development Moratorium, with special amendments only a seasoned world-class schmendrick could think of. Every time he stands up in the Senate chamber it turns into a pissing contest. And when he loses, he graciously accuses his fellow Senators of “sham,” and “hypocrisy.”

    We have a citizen legislature here in the Peoples Republic — it only meets one semester a year, for God’s sake. Can’t really afford this kind of international showmanship.
    Somebody please give him a permanent, full-time job in DC…

  4. Brown paper bags are not the best way between two governments to transact business. Obviously, the Central Intelligence Agency does not care what Karzai does with the cash – and if the esteemed president did pocket the money, it would be equally as valuable to the CIA – or even more to have a chief executive “on the take” as opposed to simply financing Afghan internal intelligence activities.

    Is this being properly accounted for on the CIA’s end?

    It is my understanding from previous reports that Hamid Karzai has a net worth of about $20,000.00.

    There were issues of inadequate accounting of CIA funding in the Sandinista-Contra conflict in Nicaragua.

  5. Jake Tapper:

    Hi JAKE, YOU REALLY GOT THE JACKPOT THIS TIME. I am reading you have a tape also.

    Karzai is the only culprit in 10 – 12 year long war.

    Wow! Congratulations Jake.

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