The Bush and Obama Administration have made great public pronouncements about working to address the rampant corruption among Afghan leaders who have reportedly stolen millions of dollars. The Administration may want to start with its own bribes. A report has revealed that the CIA is making regular secret payments to members of President Hamid Karzai’s administration. It appears bribes from the United States are not really corruption because we are doing the corrupting.
Recently, one aide, Mohammad Zia Salehi, is accused of accepting a $10,000 car as a bribe in exchange for quashing a wide-ranging probe. U.S. officials expressed horror while maintaining an entire system of alleged bribes for officials to do what we want.
The payments are designed to get information and instill loyalty (it appears fighting for their freedom and rights is not enough).
According to the report below, a sizable number of officials are receiving CIA bribes.
What is interesting is that Paul Gimigliano, a CIA spokesman, disputed the report which appears well sourced. He insisted “this anonymous source appears driven by ignorance, malice or both.” If the allegations are true (and I believe they are), we now have the CIA telling the public not to believe the sources — adding disinformation to bribery.
The standard reply is that the congressional oversight committees will look into this allegation. However, these are the same members who covered up the torture program, blocked federal lawsuits of privacy violations, and allowed an array of criminal violations to occur without response.
Gimigliano, the CIA spokesman, insists that “[t]his agency plays an essential role in promoting American goals in Afghanistan, including security and stability. Speculation about who may help us achieve that is both dangerous and counterproductive.” Of course, this is the same agency that ran a torture program and then destroyed the evidence in the name of American values. We may have a disagreement on what the CIA considers to be American goals and values.