Karzai’s Bag Men: CIA Dropped Off Monthly Bags Of Cash To Karzai

225px-hamid_karzai_2004-06-14We have previously discussed reports of billions disappearing in Afghanistan and the long record of corruption surrounding the family and friends of President Hamid Karzai. Now a new report details how for more than a decade, the CIA has been dropping off monthly suitcases, backpacks and even shopping bags filled with cash to Karzai at his office. Despite these reports of grotesque corruption, the money continues to flow into Karzai’s pockets even as he attacks the U.S. and Americans as “demons”, and moves to shift alliances to Iran and China.

It appears that the CIA has dropped off “tens of millions” in cash to Karzai personally according to the report below. His former chief staffer, Khalil Roman says that they called it Karzai’s “ghost money” and that it simply disappeared with the president.

Officials are quoted as saying that it was the CIA and the Americans who were “the biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan.”

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.

Source: NYTimes

74 thoughts on “Karzai’s Bag Men: CIA Dropped Off Monthly Bags Of Cash To Karzai

  1. I’m beginng to wonder if our Congress/military leadership are all totally insane. The Congress is cutting the hell out of programs that support teachers, police, health care, child care, infrastructure but pouring truck loads of money to that greedy, corrupt thug they appointed as president of what’s left of the country.

  2. My boy did his tour of Afghanistan in close contact with several of this guys relatives. He said it reminded him of stories he read about the mob. You could do anything you wanted as long as it was OK’ed by your capo & that you ensured the capo got to wet his beak. Each under-capo had to wet the beak of his capo.

    It didn’t have to be this way. there was a window where we really could have opened the country up and made a real difference that would have crushed the Taliban under a waterfall of improved living conditions for the masses. Instead we hired petty crooks and thugs to run the country and p1ssed away our military advantage by focusing on Iraq

  3. Our country is a disaster of corruption. Rome is falling.

    The Cold War destroyed us alng with the Soviets. It just took longer for us to fall

  4. How much longer are we going to take this before we force a change because i say its time. Time to remove both parties from our government

  5. So everyone knows and yet it continues. What does this say about us electing (and reelecting) the idiots that make this happen?

  6. Paul 1, April 29, 2013 at 10:16 am

    So everyone knows and yet it continues. What does this say about us electing (and reelecting) the idiots that make this happen?
    The elections are rigged with money and more?

  7. It’s really crazy.

    Back in 2010 the NYT story was that Iran was paying millions to Karzai. The fact that the the CIA were doing the same was not mentioned.

    Karzai feeds some of these millions to Taliban warlords so they won’t give him too much of a hard time.

    This is not really alarming. US taxpayer’s money going to the Taliban is a traditon.
    It was the CIA that financed and trained the Taliban ( including what became AQ ) way back to fight the Russians who were then the occupying force.

    Then the Taliban won – which was a success story for the CIA after all the money and resources they poured into them.

    No wait!
    Invade Afghanistan because the Taliban are the bad guys.

    For ordinary Afghans, there’s no real difference between the Russians and the Coalition.
    I don’t think they see the civilian casualties caused by ‘ their saviours’ as any improvement. It is probably little comfort that those casualties are ‘only’ 20% to 25% of those caused by insurgents fighting the occupation

    I would guess that years of death and destruction leaves Afghans very cynical about outsiders. This is probably very understandable.

  8. What Frankly said. It is far past time to leave Afghanistan and take out money with us. That includes the friendly CIA! Karzai was dirty before we installed him into office and we have kept him dirty. Time to set him free.

  9. It just shows what a shaved head caped crusader can do if he gets in the right place at the right time. He is sure glad those Russians split back in the early 80s. We built up the TalyBahn to take on the Russkies and now he has them to deal with so as to pork off of our cash machine. What comes round goes round.

  10. Tony Soprano gave bags of money to politicians. But, then he owned them, and they didn’t f@ck w/ him. This is ineptitude and insanity, quite a combo. However, don’t think this was the CIA’s money. This was OUR money. We are over taxed and incredibly under served. But, our prez believes we need to pay more. maybe Karzai is telling his “handlers” he needs more money.

  11. BarkinDog and his half blind guy Pal are in DC and are flying off to Den Haag to do some law work on human rights. He will report in when they get situated in Amsterdam. Hopefully not situated next door to the Hund Bordello.

  12. Sam, you’re solutions are worse, far worse, than the problems. The is not the French Revolution and chopping heads is not the answer. Fighting back against the anti-intellectualism crusade of the pwerful Fringe Right is the first step needed here.

  13. Nick wrote “However, don’t think this was the CIA’s money. This was OUR money. We are over taxed and incredibly under served.”
    I think part of the problem is most people don’t see the government’s money as being from us.
    I think there is a great disconnect between the citizens, governing and government.

  14. What are the consequences for this or any illegal acts?

    Since the green light was given to torture, anything only slightly less reprehensible is now just perfectly kosher.

    What we have is unsustainable. There will be revolution, the severity of which grows with each passing day with this kind of story continuing to unfold.

  15. If good Americans only knew what’s going on domestically.


    As to Afghanistan, an interesting article in the NY Times this past weekend:


    Departing French Envoy Has Frank Words on Afghanistan

    Published: April 27, 2013

    KABUL, Afghanistan — It is always hard to gauge what diplomats really think unless one of their cables ends up on WikiLeaks, but every once in a while, the barriers fall and a bit of truth slips into public view.

    In a farewell speech, Bernard Bajolet outlined the challenges facing Afghanistan.

    That is especially true in Afghanistan, where diplomats painstakingly weigh every word against political goals back home.

    The positive spin from the Americans has been running especially hard the last few weeks, as Congressional committees in Washington focus on spending bills and the Obama administration, trying to secure money for a few more years here, talks up the country’s progress. The same is going on at the European Union, where the tone has been sterner than in the past, but still glosses predictions of Afghanistan’s future with upbeat words like “promise” and “potential.”

    Despite that, one of those rare truth-telling moments came at a farewell cocktail party last week hosted by the departing French ambassador to Kabul: Bernard Bajolet, who is leaving to head France’s Direction Génerale de la Sécurité Extérieure, its foreign intelligence service.

    After the white-coated staff passed the third round of hors d’oeuvres, Mr. Bajolet took the lectern and laid out a picture of how France — a country plagued by a slow economy, waning public support for the Afghan endeavor and demands from other foreign conflicts, including Syria and North Africa — looked at Afghanistan.

    While it is certainly easier for France to be a critic from the sidelines than countries whose troops are still fighting in Afghanistan, the country can claim to have done its part. It lost more troops than all but three other countries before withdrawing its last combat forces in the fall.

    The room, filled with diplomats, some senior soldiers and a number of Afghan dignitaries, went deadly quiet. When Mr. Bajolet finished, there was restrained applause — and sober expressions. One diplomat raised his eyebrows and nodded slightly; another said, “No holding back there.”

    So what did he say?

    That the Afghan project is on thin ice and that, collectively, the West was responsible for a chunk of what went wrong, though much of the rest the Afghans were responsible for. That the West had done a good job of fighting terrorism, but that most of that was done on Pakistani soil, not on the Afghan side of the border. And that without fundamental changes in how Afghanistan did business, the Afghan government, and by extension the West’s investment in it, would come to little.

    His tone was neither shrill nor reproachful. It was matter-of-fact.

    “I still cannot understand how we, the international community, and the Afghan government have managed to arrive at a situation in which everything is coming together in 2014 — elections, new president, economic transition, military transition and all this — whereas the negotiations for the peace process have not really started,” Mr. Bajolet said in his opening comments.

    He was echoing a point shared privately by other diplomats, that 2014 was likely to be “a perfect storm” of political and military upheaval coinciding with the formal close of the NATO combat mission in Afghanistan.

    As for the success of the fight on the ground, which American leaders routinely describe now as being “Afghan-led,” Mr. Bajolet sounded dubious. “We do not have enough distance to make an objective assessment,” he said, “but in any case, I think it crucial that the Afghan highest leadership take more visible and obvious ownership for their army.”

    His tone — the sober, troubled observations of a diplomat closing a chapter — could hardly have been more different from that taken by the new shift of American officials charged with making it work in Afghanistan: in particular, with that of Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the new American commanding general here. This week, General Dunford sent out a news release cheering on Afghanistan’s progress, noting some positive-leaning statistics and praising the Afghan Army’s abilities.

    “Very soon, the A.N.S.F. will be responsible for security nationwide” General Dunford said, referring to the Afghan National Security Forces. “They are steadily gaining in confidence, competence, and commitment.”

    At his farewell party, Mr. Bajolet wound up his realpolitik with a brisk analysis of what Afghanistan’s government needed to do: cut corruption, which discourages investment, deal with drugs and become fiscally self-reliant. It must increase its revenues instead of letting politicians divert them, he said.

    Several diplomats in the room could be seen nodding as he said that drugs caused “more casualties than terrorism” in Russia, Europe and the Balkans and that Western governments would be hard-put to make the case for continued spending on Afghanistan if it remains the world’s largest heroin supplier.

    The biggest contrast with the American and British line was Mr. Bajolet’s riff on sovereignty, which has become the political watchword of the moment. The Americans and the international community are giving sovereignty back to Afghanistan. Afghanistan argues frequently that it is a sovereign nation. President Hamid Karzai, in the debate over taking charge of the Bagram prison, repeatedly said that Afghanistan had a sovereign responsibility to its prisoners.

    His implicit question was, what does that really mean?

    “We should be lucid: a country that depends almost entirely on the international community for the salaries of its soldiers and policemen, for most of its investments and partly on it for its current civil expenditure, cannot be really independent.”

  16. leej, Absolutely! Think about the taxes we pay. Most of it is money we never see, it’s deducted from the hard earned money we make, and simply added to the purchases we make. Now, think of when you make a large purchase, like an auto. When you pay that tax to the state it’s disconcerting because it’s a big chunk. How about property taxes. We get out tax bill along w/ all or Christmas cards, it’s almost sadistic. leej, I was self employed most of my adult life. Every month I had to cut a check for my Fed and state income taxes. I also had to cut a check for my SS and Fica x 2! I had the distinct privelege of paying my personal and employer payroll tax. I had employees and of course paid payrool taxes for them. I didn’t have a big biz. It was bigger than most agencies in Wi., but not big. Those checks I would cut monthly were always 4 figures and sometimes 5. If we want to end this tax hell, we need to simply have us pay taxes like I did. Folks would then see quite clearly it is their money, it’s too damn much, and they would be MUCH more attuned to horseshit like this Karzai fiasco.

  17. The distinction between ignorance and stupidity is often ignored. Thus if one has a pedigree from Yale, Harvard or some such degree we take them to be intellectually superior. What is true is that unless you’re a Bush, you can’t be stupid to get into those schools. However, you can get in if you are ignorant. Ignorance is the lack of ability to be open to ideas that differ from your own. It prevents one from examining their own actions and modifying their behavior from what they’ve observed to be their own errors. In the case of the CIA from their beginnings as the OSS they recruited Ivy League graduates that represented the elite social class. They developed a culture of denial and a mindset of protecting the elite. It is an agency comprised of very smart, yet surprisingly ignorant people, whose ignorance borders on insanity. That is if insanity is to be defined as: “Doing the same thing over and over again even though it is proven not to work”.

  18. Since Halibuton is a fairly good source for government contracts…. Why doesn’t Cheney himself deliver the graft….. Oh yeah…. Something illegal about trying to bribe a foreign official….. I forgot….

  19. nick,
    Those of us who are also self employed know what it means to pay the employer and employee share of FICA taxes, but just because someone doesn’t pay the employers portion of the taxes, it doesn’t mean that they don’t understand how much is being paid. Even when I was an employee, I understood the full amount that was being paid by me and on my behalf. People already know it is too much, but for some reasons the corporations don’t seem to have to worry about paying too much tax.

  20. raff, I know you are self employed, and since you are an attorney, I’m sure you were aware of the taxes you paid as an employee. Money is something attorneys are very attuned to. Just a good natured ballbust there, raff. However, many folks are not as critical thinkers as you. I was intellectually aware of all the taxes I paid as an employee in the public and private sector. However, it was an epihany for me when I became self employed. And numerous converstions w/ other folks who followed yours and my career path tells me I am not unique.

  21. And raff, I’m not just talking about paying the employer end of payroll taxes. I’m talking about paying the income taxes monthly.

  22. I have read several credible sources that said no one in the Bush administration wanted Osama bin Laden caught because he was a cash cow for both the Pakistan and Afghanistan governments. Remember when Bush the Lesser said he no longer thought about bin Laden? The most wanted man on the planet? He did not think about bin Laden, but he did think about killing mountain tribesmen and their families. As long as there is conflict, there will be orders for tanks, airplanes, and other hardware to keep the money flowing to preferred congressional districts.

    I am beyond disgusted. I recommend a couple of books: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Shock Doctrine.

  23. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/16051-international-intervention-in-afghanistan-has-led-to-heroin-resurgence

    International Intervention in Afghanistan Has Led to Heroin Resurgence

    Monday, 29 April 2013 09:36 By Julien Mercille, Truthout | Op-Ed

    A new United Nations report on the state of opium cultivation in Afghanistan reveals a worsening situation, after more than a decade of US and NATO occupation. It confirms the failure of counternarcotics missions in the country.

    In 2012, poppy cultivation rose for a third year in a row and now extends over 154,000 hectares, an 18% increase over 2011. The last time cultivation had spread to such a large area was in 2008. Production is concentrated in the south and west of the country, particularly in the provinces of Helmand, Kandahar and Farah. Jean-Luc Lemahieu, of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime representative in Afghanistan, said that “opium cultivation is heading toward record levels.” The country is the global leader in heroin production, accounting for 75% to 90% of the raw materials needed to make the drug.

    One important reason poor Afghan farmers choose to produce opium is that it fetches high prices and helps them survive. One kilogram of opium sells for $248, whereas the same quantity of wheat is valued at only $0.44. It is not difficult to understand why – even after considering the risk of seeing their crops eradicated by counternarcotics agents – many Afghans choose to grow poppies.

    Once again, the mainstream media blamed the Taliban for the increase in cultivation, asserting that drugs constitute “an important form of income for their operations.” However, the Taliban play a more minor role in the opium economy than such claims would have us believe, and drug money is probably a secondary source of funding for them. Indeed, it is estimated that only 10% to 15% of Taliban funding is drawn from drugs and 85% comes from other sources.

    Moreover, although the Taliban are often identified as the culprits behind the drug industry, the fact is that they capture only about 5% of total drug revenues in Afghanistan, while farmers take 20%. And the remaining 75%? It is shared among police officers, warlords, government officials and traffickers – in short, many of the groups supported and tolerated by the US and NATO. The latter thus hold a large share of responsibility for the skyrocketing of opium production in the country from 185 tons in 2001 to over 8,000 tons in 2007 (today it is about 3,700 tons).

    The United States attacked Afghanistan in 2001 in collaboration with Northern Alliance warlords and drug lords whom they showered with weapons, millions of dollars, and diplomatic support. The empowerment and enrichment of those warlords enabled them to tax and protect opium traffickers, leading to the quick resumption of narcotics production after the hiatus of the 2000-2001 Taliban ban. Impunity and support for drug lords and warlords has been the norm since 2001. NATO’s mission is to support the Afghan government, but at one point you could count seventeen drug traffickers in the Afghan parliament.

    Ahmed Wali Karzai, President Karzai’s brother, assassinated in 2011, had been receiving regular payments from the CIA since 2001, even though his involvement in narcotics was widely suspected. A Wikileaks cable recounting American officials’ recent meetings with him stated that “While we must deal with AWK [Ahmed Wali Karzai] as the head of the Provincial Council, he is widely understood to be corrupt and a narcotics trafficker.” But in public, the ties are denied, as when John Kerry said that “We should not condemn Ahmed Wali Karzai or damage our critical relations with his brother, President Karzai, on the basis of newspaper articles or rumors.”

    A New York University report documented the widespread use by NATO and US forces of private security companies and militias that are often run by strongmen responsible for human rights abuses or involved in narcotics. For example, the report noted that in Badakhshan Province, General Nazri Mahmad, a warlord who “control[s] a significant portion of the province’s lucrative opium industry,” had the contract to provide security for the German Provincial Reconstruction Team.

    In short, not only have counternarcotics missions failed to contain drug trafficking, let alone reduce it, but the international intervention in Afghanistan has led to its resurgence. The withdrawal of international troops could lead to two scenarios. Either opium production will decrease because key traffickers will be weakened by losing US support. Conversely, trafficking could increase if the country becomes more chaotic and Afghans have no choice but to rely to an even greater degree on poppies to survive.

    In any case, Washington won’t assume any responsibility, as noted in a report issued earlier in 2013 by the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, which stated that the “issue of illicit drug production has largely fallen off the policy agenda in Afghanistan” and that “the uptick in cultivation continues to be of little immediate concern to Western policymakers and politicians.”

  24. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/461085781

    The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade

    by Alfred W. McCoy

    Nov 21, 2012

    Read in January, 1999

    I was a Teaching Assistant for Dr. McCoy while in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We taught his highly regarded class on “The Vietnam Wars” together, with him as lecturer and me and another graduate assistant as teachers of the breakout sessions. These were some of my fondest memories of my college career.

    Dr. McCoy is an outstanding and rigorous scholar, though this work walks the fine line between journalism and history in a similar way to how Michel Foucault walks the line between philosophy and history. I can vouch for McCoy’s authenticity. I’ve seen his HEAVILY redacted CIA and FBI files. While a graduate student, when he began this research, he had an FBI agent assigned to watch him, even going so far as to follow McCoy for hours at a time and investigate the work that he was doing at the library. Creepy stuff, but not altogether surprising to me. I was raised in the military by a father who had classified clearance and who told me some fairly scary stuff after his clearance ran out post-retirement (though there are still many things that Dad will take to the grave with him, things that I will never know). I’ve also seen OSI (Office of Special Investigations) in action tracking the comings and goings of high school students, GIs, and their families. So, while McCoy’s work might seem a bit paranoid, at first blush, don’t blow this work off as the work of some crazed conspiracy theorist or paranoid anarchist. You’ll find the book thoroughly researched and well-reasoned.

    If half of what Dr. McCoy says is true (and I believe much more than half of it is true), then the CIA has a lot to hide and much to answer for. One cannot blame the CIA entirely for their complacency in the Southest Asian, Middle Eastern, and Central American drug trade. To be fair, federal funding maneuvers and congressional budget cuts might have pushed the agency to raise money in whatever way possible (c.f. Iran/Contra scandal). But McCoy’s research into the degree to which the CIA was/is involved in the worldwide drug trade is fairly damning of the agency itself.

    Not a book for those who like to live with their head in the sand, but too-well documented, researched, and verified to be dismissed as the lunacy of some crackpot. And aren’t accusations of insanity a historically-proven way of discrediting one’s detractors? Read the book (brace yourself – it’s going to take a while) and decide whether or not Dr. McCoy is raving or revealing.

  25. AP,

    Right about Dr. McCoy. It has been established that the CIA in return for the armed assistance of the drug producers in Viet Nam’s “Golden Triangle” started flying heroin shipments out of Viet Nam and into the U.S. for distribution in 1968. That these shipments coincided with the death of MLK and were loosed on the Black community derailing the Civil Rights Movement is not lost on me. At the time I was a minor member of the Movement and also worked in Black areas as a Welfare worker. Being a hippie and part of the drug culture back then I was amazed that heroin had suddenly become available again. I would never try it since I remember the scourge it was in the 50’s as my older brother tried to help wean a good friend from heroin. I don’t believe in coincidences when they supply such good fortune for the powers that be.

  26. It is long past time to shut down the CIA and transfer their assets to the FBI and get rid of most of the so called special ops types. The military can do that and better.

  27. On Ignorance and Opium

    “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people” ~ Karl Marx

    I think that in the US, “The War on Terror” has become the opiate. It promotes ignorance.

    I sometimes comment on another blog that is of GOP/NRA leanings. It is interesting to engage with minds there.
    The genial host there recently opined that the detainees in GITMO are “Hard core killers who daily attack our troops responsible for their welfare and swear to kill them, their families, and every other American when they get out”.
    Another way of describing many of the detainees would be this lawyer who tries to represent some of them.

    “These men are people”

    he says.

    In the link I posted above re civillian casualties in Afghanistan, there are (pre)echoes of this from Karsai (back on topic – my bad :) )

    “Civilian deaths and arbitrary decisions to search people’s houses have reached an unacceptable level and Afghans cannot put up with it any longer.”

    “Five years on, it is very difficult for us to continue accepting civilian casualties. It is becoming heavy for us; it is not understandable anymore.”

    “We are very sorry when the international coalition force and NATO soldiers lose their lives or are injured. It pains us. But Afghans are human beings, too.”


    Boston: World event on main and social media – city in lockdown and Robocop shouting “come out with your hands where we can see them while we search without warrant” to ordinary citizens who afterwards cheer Robocop (1984 model).
    Without in any way attempting to diminish the outrage and pain felt arising from a relativly tiny number of deaths and injuries, it seems clear that only massive doses of Ignorance and WoT opium could possibly divorce peoples’ imaginations from incredibly more awful things that happen in other countries — at the behest of US economic interests.

  28. CIA Bags O’ Cash Total Tens of Millions of Dollars, But Over $4.5 Billion Left Afghanistan in 2011

    Posted on April 29, 2013 by Jim White


    “The US has been providing over $5 billion a year to fund Afghan security forces every year since 2009. Given that SIGAR has also shown that the Afghans are in charge of certifying to us the level at which their forces are staffed and that the mythical 352,000 ANSF force size is not validated, I would think that ASFF funds may be a major (but undoubtedly not the only) source for the cash that is leaving the country. Because ASFF dollars seem so particularly ripe for corrupt officials to embezzle, I saw the NATO push to extend the number of years at which ANSF force size will be supported at the 352,000 level as a blatant move to wave an additional $22 billion in US funds under the noses of these thieves.

    Also note that DoD itself is at least $7 billion over budget this year (mostly due to withdrawal costs), but our commander, General Dunford, professes ignorance of this minor detail of accounting, so there are huge sums of money being handled in Afghanistan with little to no real oversight.

    One last caveat should be pointed out on the relatively small size of the CIA bags o’ cash plan. As Barry Eisler would note, the CIA is notorious for admitting to problems first by broaching the subject through admitting a small transgression and then later admitting the full scale of the problem. The best example of that behavior was the disclosure in 2007 that the CIA had destroyed “two” videotapes of CIA torture sessions and then finally admitting in 2009 that the number of tapes destroyed was actually 92. We should not be surprised then, if the CIA bags o’ cash program turns out to be hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars instead of the tens of millions currently admitted.”

  29. Mike Spindell’s comment about the Harvard and Yale guys above. If you are the “scion” of a gangster who went to Harvard or Yale then you can get admitted over other people as a Legacy. Rockefellers, Kennedys, Bush 41 and 43. Then later the historians who work for all of those families’ foundations give good service to FDR, Jack Kennedy, Brother Bobby, Bush 41, Bush 43. But if those historians from the Ivy League deal with Truman then he is the “failed haberdasher” and LBJ is just some Texan who dont know nuthin bout birthin babies. These Ivy League historians will give JFK credit for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when it was all Johnson’s arm twisting a year after Johnboy got shot.
    Some fat lady was on CNN last night or Fox arguing that we have to go into the war in Syria because they have nerve gas. She was a Bushie acolyte.

  30. .. that we have to go into the war in Syria because they have nerve gas..

    Nerve gas is for pussies. Look for the really threatening stuff

    They got Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) – aka Boston pressure cookers – fer chrissakes – which is a whole lot more WMD than Iraq ever had.
    It’s simple logic
    Population of Iraq – 20 Million
    Population of Syria – 34 Million.
    Ergo on a probability basis – more pressure cookers in Syria!
    It must be pressure cookers because there were no viable real WMD in Iraq ( apart from RPGs )- which is what Intelligence stated before it got attitude-adjusted.

    They also currently got some elements connected to AQ – which is a whole lot more AQ that Iraq ever had pre-invasion.

    Invade baby!
    Think of the contracts!
    It’s like Dr Strangelove.
    Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.

  31. What Blouise said about stopping the flow of secret money to the CIA to distribute to the tyrant of the month. The CIA has a purpose, but it should not be propping up dirty leaders of any country.

  32. When the tribal warfare in Afghanistan resumes following our departure, Mr. Karzai’s tribe will need all the money it can lay its hands on.

  33. When the tribal warfare in Afghanistan resumes following our departure, Mr. Karzai’s tribe will need all the money it can lay its hands on.

    So plus ca change after visitations by:

    US aka Coalition
    Britain x2 – both times with the intention of limiting Russian influence in the country and quelling local tribal leaders – eh…… hello?
    Timor (caused the deaths of 17 million people apparently)
    Genghis Khan and friends
    Islam (aka terrorists of the 8th century)
    Alexander The (got his butt whupped) Great
    People even historians want to delete

    So you think Pilgrims landing at Plymoth Rock is “history”?

    I’m sensing…..

    “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”


  34. The military can do that and better.

    From http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/01/bradley-manning-wikileaks-statement-full-text
    The video depicted several individuals being engaged by an aerial weapons team. At first I did not consider the video very special, as I have viewed countless other war porn type videos depicting combat. However, the recording of audio comments by the aerial weapons team crew and the second engagement in the video of an unarmed bongo truck troubled me.

    As Showman and a few other analysts and officers in the T-SCIF commented on the video and debated whether the crew violated the rules of engagement or ROE in the second engagement, I shied away from this debate, instead conducting some research on the event. I wanted to learn what happened and whether there was any background to the events of the day that the event occurred, 12 July 2007.

    Using Google I searched for the event by its date by its general location. I found several new accounts involving two Reuters employees who were killed during the aerial weapon team engagement. Another story explained that Reuters had requested for a copy of the video under the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA. Reuters wanted to view the video in order to understand what had happened and to improve their safety practices in combat zones. A spokesperson for Reuters was quoted saying that the video might help avoid the reoccurrence of the tragedy and believed there was a compelling need for the immediate release of the video.

    Despite the submission of the FOIA request, the news account explained that CENTCOM replied to Reuters stating that they could not give a time frame for considering a FOIA request and that the video might no longer exist. Another story I found written a year later said that even though Reuters was still pursuing their request. They still did not receive a formal response or written determination in accordance with FOIA.

    The fact neither CENTCOM or Multi National Forces Iraq or MNF-I would not voluntarily release the video troubled me further. It was clear to me that the event happened because the aerial weapons team mistakenly identified Reuters employees as a potential threat and that the people in the bongo truck were merely attempting to assist the wounded. The people in the van were not a threat but merely “good samaritans”. The most alarming aspect of the video to me, however, was the seemly delightful bloodlust they appeared to have.

    They dehumanized the individuals they were engaging and seemed to not value human life by referring to them as quote “dead bastards” unquote and congratulating each other on the ability to kill in large numbers. At one point in the video there is an individual on the ground attempting to crawl to safety. The individual is seriously wounded. Instead of calling for medical attention to the location, one of the aerial weapons team crew members verbally asks for the wounded person to pick up a weapon so that he can have a reason to engage. For me, this seems similar to a child torturing ants with a magnifying glass.

    While saddened by the aerial weapons team crew’s lack of concern about human life, I was disturbed by the response of the discovery of injured children at the scene. In the video, you can see that the bongo truck driving up to assist the wounded individual. In response the aerial weapons team crew – as soon as ( they assert) the individuals are a threat, they repeatedly request for authorization to fire on the bongo truck and once granted they engage the vehicle at least six times.

    Shortly after the second engagement, a mechanized infantry unit arrives at the scene. Within minutes, the aerial weapons team crew learns that children were in the van and despite the injuries the crew exhibits no remorse. Instead, they downplay the significance of their actions, saying quote “Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle” unquote.

    The aerial weapons team crew members sound like they lack sympathy for the children or the parents. Later in a particularly disturbing manner, the aerial weapons team verbalizes enjoyment at the sight of one of the ground vehicles driving over a body – or one of the bodies. As I continued my research, I found an article discussing the book, The Good Soldiers, written by Washington Post writer David Finkel.

    In Mr. Finkel book, he writes about the aerial weapons team attack. As, I read an online excerpt in Google Books, I followed Mr. Finkel’s account of the event belonging to the video. I quickly realize that Mr. Finkel was quoting, I feel in verbatim, the audio communications of the aerial weapons team crew.

    It is clear to me that Mr. Finkel obtained access and a copy of the video during his tenue as an embedded journalist. I was aghast at Mr. Finkel’s portrayal of the incident. Reading his account, one would believe the engagement was somehow justified as “payback” for an earlier attack that lead to the death of a soldier. Mr. Finkel ends his account by discussing how a soldier finds an individual still alive from the attack. He writes that the soldier finds him and sees him gesture with his two forefingers together, a common method in the Middle East to communicate that they are friendly. However, instead of assisting him, the soldier makes an obscene gesture extending his middle finger.

    The individual apparently dies shortly thereafter. Reading this, I can only think of how this person was simply trying to help others, and then he quickly finds he needs help as well. To make matter worse, in the last moments of his life, he continues to express his friendly gesture – only to find himself receiving this well known gesture of unfriendliness. For me it’s all a big mess, and I am left wondering what these things mean, and how it all fits together. It burdens me emotionally.

    I saved a copy of the video on my workstation. I searched for and found the rules of engagement, the rules of engagement annexes, and a flow chart from the 2007 time period – as well as an unclassified Rules of Engagement smart card from 2006. On 15 February 2010 I burned these documents onto a CD-RW, the same time I burned the 10 Reykjavik 13 cable onto a CD-RW. At the time, I placed the video and rules for engagement information onto my personal laptop in my CHU. I planned to keep this information there until I redeployed in Summer 2010. I planned on providing this to the Reuters office in London to assist them in preventing events such as this in the future.

    However, after the WLO published 10 Reykjavik 13 I altered my plans. I decided to provide the video and the rules of engagement to them so that Reuters would have this information before I re-deployed from Iraq. On about 21 February 2010, I described above, I used the WLO submission form and uploaded the documents. The WLO released the video on 5 April 2010. After the release, I was concern about the impact of the video and how it would been received by the general public.

    I hoped that the public would be as alarmed as me about the conduct of the aerial weapons team crew members. I wanted the American public to know that not everyone in Iraq and Afghanistan are targets that needed to be neutralized, but rather people who were struggling to live in the pressure cooker environment of what we call asymmetric warfare. After the release I was encouraged by the response in the media and general public, who observed the aerial weapons team video. As I hoped, others were just as troubled – if not more troubled that me by what they saw.

    For TLDR people, a video of the most of the incident with the audio that troubled Manning – and overdubbed with extracts of the illicitly-recorded Manning’s statement is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L79wWAFUqg

    So.. the military…..as she is spoke:
    Yes to what?
    Don’t you care?
    SIR! NO SIR!
    Go f*ck yourself.

    A while back I watched the move “The Last Detail”
    “Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison but decide to show him one last good time along the way.” – sort of sums up the lazy interpretation.

    A Navy guy barely out of nappies transgresses something silly. He’s sentenced to time in a military prison.
    His Navy escorts, knowing what this poor kid is facing into, decide to show him a good time during their journey to the prison. We get beer, laughs, generous whores and general feel-good warm-hearted stuff.
    At the end however, they hand him into the care of a prison run by army types who unlock and lock gates in drill movements and are supervised by a total a**hole.
    These are people whose crowning ambition in life is to stand to attention and gaze into the middle distance. They think this is Patriotic. (Hint: It’s Nationalistic.) They are an offence to the planet. At best, they simply consume oxygen and fart methane. At worst, they kill real people. In between, they cause misery, but occasionally are kind to fluffy kittens. Awwwwwww!

    Two dissatisfactions with the movie arose for me:
    1) An attempt was made to end it happy-Hollywood style by concentrating on the two escorts and not showing the processing of the innocent.
    2) I watched the movie waiting for Jack Nicholson to show up – only to realize near te end that one of the Navy escorts was played by Jack Nicholson before he began to look like Jack Nicholson.

    The reason I drag that movie in is that it seems that GITMO was originally run by the Navy.
    Then the Marines/Army took over
    – and it went significantly downhill from there
    – which is quite a stunning achievement considering how much downhill it was already

    How does “SIR! YES SIR!” deal with people who go on hunger strike after 10+ years of abuse with no end in sight?

    More than two hyperlinks in a comment on this blog sends a comment into unending moderation, so copy/paste/edit
    www dot guardian dot co.uk/world/video/2013/apr/29/guantanamo-hunger-strikers-animals-lawyer-video

    Major Jack D Ripper : Mandrake, do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war?
    Captain Lionel Mandrake : No, I don’t think I do, sir, no.
    Major Jack D Ripper : He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought.

    So who d’ya call?
    …… Con-tractors!

  35. “The military can do that better………..’

    Sling T,

    An excellent, alarming, anger provoking and ultimately depressing comment.

  36. rafflaw,

    “The CIA has a purpose, but it should not be propping up dirty leaders of any country.”

    Ever been to Central or South America?

  37. rafflaw,

    Or for that matter — Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, East Timor, Philippines, Somalia — the list goes on much farther than my disgust allows in enumeration.

  38. Does the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (15 U.S.C. § 78dd-1) not apply to government officials? Because if this was done my a US corporation or citizen it would be a crime.

  39. anonymously posted at 3:15pm: Jim White Excerpt:

    “….the CIA is notorious for admitting to problems first by broaching the subject through admitting a small transgression and then later admitting the full scale of the problem. ….We should not be surprised then, if the CIA bags o’ cash program turns out to be hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars instead of the tens of millions currently admitted.”

    Right, Nixon put the name to that- “a limited, modified hang-out” and it’s the way all information comes to the citizen from every government, agency and politician. Good catch AP.

  40. “Zones of Interest”. “Zones of Occupation”. It might have been Kipling or perhaps an American political theorist. The notion was that large nation states have neighbors which are in their zone. Russia should take care of the pirates in Afghanistan and we should take care of the drug dealer pirates of the Caribbean or Mexico when Mexico does not come through. Cuba broke the code. The Russians came over here and got in our back yard. So, when we wanted to kick the Russians out of Afghanistan we made a big mistake. We are in over our heads. We do not understand how to deal (good word) with these people. We created al qaeda by promoting brothers of the Muslim Brotherhood to go fight the Russians in Afghanistan. al Zawaraie, (sp) The Doctor is the big case in point. He is number two in al qaeda now.
    I will repeat what BarkinDog said the other day. Obama, pull out now like your mother should have. That was a bumper sticker during Vietnam with Nixon’s name interposed.

  41. rafflaw,

    “hence the word “any” country. Buying goodwill is another name for bribery or extortion”

    Sorry, raff, but your comment:

    “The CIA has a purpose, but it should not be propping up dirty leaders of any country.”

    reeked of historical ignorance, as if Karzai is the first vassal this country has employed — your use of the adjective “any” ignores its connotation.

  42. http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/04/the-benghazi-open-wound/

    At least four career officials at the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency have retained lawyers or are in the process of doing so, as they prepare to provide sensitive information about the Benghazi attacks to Congress, Fox News has learned.

    Victoria Toensing, a former Justice Department official and Republican counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee, is now representing one of the State Department employees. She told Fox News her client and some of the others, who consider themselves whistle-blowers, have been threatened by unnamed Obama administration officials.

    “I’m not talking generally, I’m talking specifically about Benghazi – that people have been threatened,” Toensing said in an interview Monday. “And not just the State Department. People have been threatened at the CIA.”

  43. An excerpt from Radack’s piece:

    “But the CIA’s secret pay-offs are sometimes at odds with other US efforts, as illustrated by the CIA cash handlers,

    …a small clique at the National Security Council, including its administrative chief, Mohammed Zia Salehi…

    Mr. Salehi, though, is better known for being arrested in 2010 in connection with a sprawling, American-led investigation that tied together Afghan cash smuggling, Taliban finances and the opium trade. Mr. Karzai had him released within hours, and the C.I.A. then helped persuade the Obama administration to back off its anticorruption push, American officials said.

    After his release, Mr. Salehi jokingly came up with a motto that succinctly summed up America’s conflicting priorities. He was, he began telling colleagues, “an enemy of the F.B.I., and a hero to the C.I.A.”

    The CIA’s covert under-the-table and apparently ineffective dealings undermine the sacrifices of the men and women fighting overtly.”

    Jesselyn Radack is National Security & Human Director for the Government Accountability Project

  44. Tweedledum and Tweedledee



    Especially in the Obama years, when U.S. troop levels soared and a counterinsurgency strategy was put in place, top officials—including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, and the two successive commanders, Gens. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal—said many times, in public and private, that the Karzai regime’s corruption was at least as big a problem, and threatened Afghan stability, at least as much as the Taliban.

    McChrystal made the point most starkly in his 66-page memo, written in August 2009, soon after he became commander: “Progress is hindered,” he wrote, by “a crisis of confidence in the [Afghan] government,” owing to “the weakness of state institutions, malign actions of power brokers, widespread corruption and abuse of power by various officials.” All this has “given Afghans little reason to support their government” and has created “fertile ground for the insurgency.” To win the people’s support and thus win the war, U.S. and NATO forces “must protect the people from both of these threats”—the insurgents and their own government.

    Now we learn that the CIA was greasing the wheels of these power brokers all along. Or, as the Times story quotes one U.S. official saying, “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan was the United States.”

  45. […] continues to spend wildly on items and them toss them out. We recently saw how they prefer to deliver bags of money to Karzai, buy Russian aircraft that Afghans can’t fly or maintain, or build huge buildings to be then […]

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