The CIA faced some embarrassment when it was revealed that the intelligence agency had been giving Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai bags of cash for favorable treatment. This revelation was embarrassing for a number of reasons. First, it confirmed reports that Hamid Karzai was running a corrupt government with facilitation by agents of the U.S. government. Second, it is pretty tragic for America to have to bribe the man it installed as president, whose life it protects on a daily basis. You might think this exposure of corrupt practices would lead to a cooling off of the previously secret nefarious activity – not so.
KABUL, Afghanistan — The C.I.A.’s station chief here met with President Hamid Karzai on Saturday, and the Afghan leader said he had been assured that the agency would continue dropping off stacks of cash at his office despite a storm of criticism that has erupted since the payments were disclosed.
The C.I.A. money, Mr. Karzai told reporters, was “an easy source of petty cash,” and some of it was used to pay off members of the political elite, a group dominated by warlords.
Oh can we please keep sending our sons and daughters to die for this man? Does he need more taxpayer money for his corrupt political machine?
The use of the C.I.A. cash for payoffs has prompted criticism from many Afghans and some American and European officials, who complain that the agency, in its quest to maintain access and influence at the presidential palace, financed what is essentially a presidential slush fund. The practice, the officials say, effectively undercut a pillar of the American war strategy: the building of a clean and credible Afghan government to wean popular support from the Taliban.
Instead, corruption at the highest levels seems to have only worsened.
Remember, this is not the Vietnam War no matter how eerily familiar the dynamics become. Because it isn’t. Shut up.
Over the weekend the Department of Defense released the names of 7 more Americans who died trying to help the government we have to bribe to have influence with keep power. Why should they keep power? No one really knows. Some claim that the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban – aka the people of Afghanistan – would be harsher on the population than Karzai’s gang of Islamic fundamentalist warlords. There is little to no evidence to back that claim up. And, of course, Al Qaeda left Afghanistan a long time ago. Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta claimed in a 2010 interview there were 50-100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, maybe less. Combine this with the fruitless attempt by the Obama Administration to “surge” and you have a truly abysmal waste of blood and treasure.
Why are we still in Afghanistan again?