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.