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The CIA and Corruption in Afghanistan

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    The CIA and Corruption in Afghanistan

    The U.S. government has been pressing the Karzai government of Afghanistan to get tough on corruption, and is seriously discussing making aid conditional on cleaning up the mess. Last month Mohammed Zia Salehi, the Chief of Administration of the Afghan National Security Council was arrested on corruption charges by a U.S. and British-backed anti-corruption task force. He was caught on tape soliciting a new car for his son in return for hindering a U.S. investigation of a money laundering scheme involving Afghan government officials, drug dealers, and insurgents.

    It is usually a good sign when someone that high up gets busted. That he was released from custody only a few hours later following the personal intercession of President Karzai is less encouraging.

    Now several high-level U.S. officials have confirmed Salehi has been on the CIA’s payroll for quite some time, although in what capacity remains unclear. It is hard to think of an appropriate reason for a senior government official of a nation to be in the pay of the intelligence apparatus of another government, even an allied one. When we find out that members of the military or other government officials are getting paid by the intelligence services of Israel, for example, we put them in prison.

    Salehi, it seems, is not the only Afghan governmental official on the CIA’s payroll. Ahmed Wali Karzai, governor of Kandahar province, brother of President Karzai, and repeatedly implicated in drug smuggling and influence peddling, is as well. Anonymous sources – dispute by the CIA – claim similar ...


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