The CIA's station chief here met with President Hamid Karzai on Saturday, and the Afghan leader said he had been assured 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 he suggested that some of it was used to pay off warlords and power brokers.
The use of the C.I.A. cash to pay those people 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.
On Saturday, Mr. Karzai sought to dampen the furor over the payments, describing them as one facet of the billions of dollars in aid Afghanistan receives each year. “This is nothing unusual,” he said.
Mr. Karzai said the cash helped pay rent for various officials, treat wounded members of his presidential guard and even pay for scholarships. “It has helped us a lot, it has solved lots of our problems,” he said. “We appreciate it.” . . .I don't know what it takes to get the American people to wake up. Most of this money is winding up in the hands of Karzai and his family members, and the warlords calling all the shots, who are engaged in organized crime activity, including the country's largest cash crop, opium. Heroin exports have skyrocketed since the American government installed its puppet regime. What every American needs to understand is that the world's largest drug cartel is controlled by the CIA. Members of Congress, including Sen. Dan Coats, who sits on the Intelligence Committee, know the CIA is engaged in drug trafficking and corrupt influence activities throughout the world and could care less. Sen. Coats has remained silent since the topic of the cash bribes made to the Karzai administration became public. That speaks volumes about who really controls him. As long as the CIA exists, America's national security will never be secured because that's not its aim. It operates completely outside the U.S. Constitution and laws that govern every other American. It makes a chosen elite class of Americans with whom it does business and its agents overseas very wealthy. The rest of us pay for it with the increasing loss of the liberties our founders sacrificed so much to secure for us.