Karzai’s Intelligence Chief Nominee Accused of Torture and Drug-Trafficking

We have often discussed the rampant corruption in the government of Hamid Karzai with billions in U.S. aid just disappearing — reportedly going to his brothers and associates. Now, the man Karzai selected as the next intelligence chief — Asadullah Khalid — has been accused of drug trafficking and torture. Khalid operates various torture chambers, including what a Canadian diplomat described as a “dungeon in his guest house.” That would certainly be a good resume for Karzai given the rest of his government.

Asadullah Khalid is the country’s minister of tribal and border affairs and has a gruesome reputation that was well-known to Karzai. His nomination to head of the National Directorate of Security shocked diplomats, even those used to Karzai’s abusive government.

One of the accusers is Richard Colvin, Canada’s former deputy ambassador to Afghanistan, who worked directly with Khalid while he was governor of Kandahar from 2005 to 2008. Colvin described evidence of torture by Khalid’s subordinates and testified that

“[h]e was known to us very early on, in May and June 2006, as an unusually bad actor on human rights issues. He was known to have had a dungeon in Ghazni, his previous province, where he used to detain people for money, and some of them disappeared . . . He was known to be running a narcotics operation. He had a criminal gang. He had people killed who got in his way.”

Rather than arrest Khalid, Karzai wants to give him the almost limitless power as intelligence chief.

Karzai’s office has called the allegations by diplomats and outside groups nothing but a bunch of lies. By the way, Khalid has worked closely with our own CIA personnel and special forces. We, of course, continue to spend hundreds of millions on his government and our operations in Afghanistan.

Source: CNN

17 thoughts on “Karzai’s Intelligence Chief Nominee Accused of Torture and Drug-Trafficking”

  1. Why is the guy smiling? Because he’s getting away with it and getting millions of American dollars in the process. We’re fools, and he knows we are. That’s why he’s smiling.

    Leave Afghanistan and let the Russians deal with it. You are never going to get your oil.

  2. “In an interview with Pham Van Dong, one American asked the North Vietnamese foreign minister how he could call the Saigon government an “American puppet” when it acted with such consistency against American interests. “Ah,” replied the minister, “it’s a puppet, all right. It’s just a bad puppet.” — Frances Fitzgerald, Fire in the Lake: the Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam (1972)

    Bad puppets. Do they come in any other kind?

  3. Kind of like when GHWB was in charge of the CIA while the CIA was doing the drugs and arms stuff.

  4. Shocked, just incredibly shocked.

    Amrullah Saleh should be placed as Prime Minister – throw out drug addled Karzai.

  5. A foriegn government supported based solely on their opposition to a philosophy turns out to be corrupt? I am shocked. If only there was a history of this sort of thing, in that very country, that we could have learned from.

  6. As somebody who was the guest twice of Asadullah Khalid when he was governor in Ghazni, I can’t say much publicly but let it suffice to say that there are and have been very persistent allegations of Asadullah’s involvement in drug trafficking (and more than just drugs), personal involvement in torture, and something not often reported on in the US media, credible allegations that he was involved in the bombing of a car of UN workers; five of them were killed.
    The CIA loves this man while they loathe him. A PRT commander in Ghazni at the time I was there described him as ‘most brutal man who’d kill his own family if they stood in the way’. Another much underreported issue is Asadullah’s ‘appetite’ for women, especially western women.
    The US doesn’t wage war on behalf of women but they’ll take any opportunity to use women as a reason to invade a country like Afghanistan. It is the hard work of many others who have and continue to fight on behalf of the rights of Afghan women, both in Afghanistan as well as elsewhere in spite of all the disinterest and apathy to their cause here in the US and Europe. They are the quiet heroes working since years for Human Rights groups, in education there, in advocacy and more. USAID needs to be pressured to secure monies to help protect Afghan female politicians and women Human Rights defenders.
    Asadullah is most likely to run for the Afghan presidency next. While I deplore much about Pres. Karzai, at least he came into his job with no allegations of Human Rights violations as cruel as those which continue to haunt the most likely next chief of a very brutal and very feared intelligence agency. Yuck.

  7. Just one more reason to leave Afghanistan now! Corruption is rampant and our military service men and women are being injured and killed for a country that doesn’t even have any of our oil under their sand!
    Frankly, my son served in the Marines in Helmand province and was imbedded with the Afghan National Army. He didn’t interact with the government officials, but he thought the Army was less corrupt than the police force. I am glad he is no longer there.

  8. I figure that’s just the way our intelligence community wants it over there…far easier to control when you’re pumping money into the hands of bad men, than it is to control quality individuals you haven’t bought.

  9. The continued war in Afghanistan is not about helping women. It is not about bringing democracy to that nation. It is not about stopping al-qaeda. So what is it about?

    If you look at US foreign policy you see that US powers have been planting ever more obedient lackeys as rulers over nations that they have regime changed. The more brutal, the more violent those lackeys are the easier they are to work with.

    US powers sanction torture, disappearances and trial free imprisonment along with massive theft from the people of this nation. We are being run much like Russia, a mob state. A mob state does not work with people interested in justice, they work with people who can set up networks to make money and launder it.

    The thriving drug trade purchases weapons for the black budget, enriches private contractors and other companies such as KRB, companies who are as much a part of this govt. as the financial industries who constantly help funnel the illegal gains of war from one group of the powerful to another.

    I am deeply frustrated and that so few people in our nation really care any longer that their govt. engages in torture, other war crimes, multiple wars and massive financial fraud. It won’t change until enough people find this wrong and are willing to stand up to it.

  10. I am glad to see that our nation building is producing America II, a.k.a. little america or “junior” for short.

    Isn’t our political science so exalted that it merits the gleem in the eye of those who exude “isn’t that special?”

  11. My oldest served in Afghanistan while in the Army. He ended up having a lot of interaction with the Karzai family and his impression was not positive. He said they were all like the mob, you could run any game you wanted as long as they could wet their beaks and it didn’t interfere with whatever other operations they were already running. He said they gave out government positions to cronies who were as corrupt as they were.

    So I am not surprised to read this story. The American media has ignored this just like they ignored the damage Iraq did to the efforts in Afghanistan and the total fustercluck that was Iraq.

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