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CIA Delivers Bags of Cash to Karzai

CGA NOTE: Hamid Karzai is the U.S.-installed puppet leader in Afgahnistan, after the United States overthrew the Taliban, despite continuing to pay Taliban leaders. It is widely known that Hamid Karzai and his family are heavily involved in the Afghan heroin trade. So why is the CIA paying Karzai all of this money? The photo displayed here was not in the original Times article.

Karzai’s Office Gets Bags Full of CIA Cash

Matthew Rosenberg
New York Times
April 28, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan — For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.

All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.

“We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.”

The C.I.A., which declined to comment for this article, has long been known to support some relatives and close aides of Mr. Karzai. But the new accounts of off-the-books cash delivered directly to his office show payments on a vaster scale, and with a far greater impact on everyday governing.

Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.

“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.”


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