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 deputy 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.” . . .
It is not clear that the United States is getting what it pays for. Mr. Karzai’s willingness to defy the United States — and the Iranians, for that matter — on an array of issues seems to have only grown as the cash has piled up. Instead of securing his good graces, the payments may well illustrate the opposite: Mr. Karzai is seemingly unable to be bought.
Over Iran’s objections, he signed a strategic partnership deal with the United States last year, directly leading the Iranians to halt their payments, two senior Afghan officials said. Now, Mr. Karzai is seeking control over the Afghan militias raised by the C.I.A. to target operatives of Al Qaeda and insurgent commanders, potentially upending a critical part of the Obama administration’s plans for fighting militants as conventional military forces pull back this year.
The U.S. is not even getting the spoils of the vast natural resources in Afghanistan. The first oil contract Afghanistan signed with another country was with China and that came after it had already inked a deal with the Chinese to mine the country's copper resources. The Chinese were not required to sacrifice one life or provide one dollar of aid to help bring the corrupt Karzai government to power. Afghanistan's largest cash crop, heroin, has risen more than 60% since the American puppet regime was installed. Our own CIA is believed to be involved in the opium production in Afghanistan, if not protecting it. Proceeds from the illegal drug come in handy to finance black budget projects that are protected under our country's national security laws.But the C.I.A. has continued to pay, believing it needs Mr. Karzai’s ear to run its clandestine war against Al Qaeda and its allies, according to American and Afghan officials.
The American people have no idea the extent of the harm the people we've entrusted to make our foreign policy and national security decisions are bringing to our country. Most of our national security problems are the direct consequence of their improvident, if not illegal actions. So many people in other countries hate us and direct their anger at the American people and our country because of these very actions. Yet our elected officials like Sen. Dan Coats, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, will always make excuses for their insane policies and assure us that they are acting in our country's best interests. Respected law professor Jonathan Turley sums it up quite well:
The cash deliveries to Karzai were viewed as necessary to keep access to him as if the thousands of killed and wounded Americans (and hundreds of billions in aid) was not enough to keep the door open.
Because no one (including Obama) wants to be blamed for the disaster in Afghanistan, we continue to pour billions into the country and sacrifice military personnel to prop up this corrupt government and maintain a country that is increasingly denying basic rights to women and religious minorities. The bags of cash however truly sum out the lunacy of American policy in Afghanistan.