ADDICTED TO AFGHANISTAN: Karzai’s Brother, Suspected Drug Lord, Is On The CIA’s Payroll



NEW YORK TIMES: KABUL, AfghanistanAhmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials. The agency pays Mr. Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home. The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America’s war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House. The ties to Mr. Karzai have created deep divisions within the Obama administration. The critics say the ties complicate America’s increasingly tense relationship with President Hamid Karzai, who has struggled to build sustained popularity among Afghans and has long been portrayed by the Taliban as an American puppet. The C.I.A.’s practices also suggest that the United States is not doing everything in its power to stamp out the lucrative Afghan drug trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban. MORE

RELATED: A brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Ahmed Wali Karzai, may be involved in the illegal drug opium-poppy.jpgtrade, which is prompting serious concern among top US officials, The New York Times reported on its website Saturday. Citing unnamed US officials, the newspaper said the US ambassador to Afghanistan, the Central Intelligence Agency’s station chief and their British counterparts, discussed the allegations against Ahmed Wali Karzai with Hamid Karzai as far back as 2006. But the Afghan president has so far resisted calls to move his brother out of the country, arguing he had not seen any conclusive evidence against Ahmed, according to the report. “We thought the concern expressed to Karzai might be enough to get him out of there,” the paper quotes one US official as saying. But “we don’t have the kind of hard, direct evidence that you could take to get a criminal indictment. That allows Karzai to say, Where’s your proof?'” But indirect evidence against Ahmed Wali Karzai continues to mount, according to the report. When Afghan security forces found an enormous cache of heroin hidden in a tractor-trailer outside Kandahar in 2004, the local Afghan commander Habibullah Jan, received a telephone call from Ahmed Wali Karzai, asking him to release the vehicle and the drugs, The Times said. MORE

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Another former official said Ahmed Wali Karzai had strong ties to the drug trade that extended to other criminal elements. The former intelligence official, however, said Mr. Karzai’s connections to drug trafficking weren’t any more extensive than those of other officials in a country where drugs are a major engine of the economy. MORE


PREVIOUSLY: State Department Official/Ex-Marine Resigns Over Afghanistan Policy, Says War Is Over If You Want It

shepardpeaceobey.jpgUPDATE:  Insurgents Wednesday morning attacked two guesthouses and a hotel in downtown Kabul that housed United Nations and other international staff, in one of their most daring attacks on the Afghan capital. There also were sounds of explosions elsewhere in the city, suggesting a large-scale, coordinated attack on the capital.  The assailants managed to take over one of the guesthouses, Bakhtar, but were repelled by security guards at another, the Imperial. “We woke up at 5:45 am to explosions and shooting, and then heard women screaming and crying,” said Mohammad Jan, a 48-year-old tailor who lives next door to Bakhtar. The Bakhtar sits on one of Kabul’s most secure streets. A U.N. spokesman later said that six U.N. personnel were killed at the Bakhtar guesthouse and that the toll may rise in coming hours because several guests had life-threatening injuries. A representative of Siraj Haqqani, a leader of a Taliban-aligned group who is considered by U.S. officials to be one of the most dangerous insurgents in the country, said in a telephone call that Mr. Haqqani’s men were behind the attacks and “there are more gunmen in the city.” The caller did not give his name. MORE

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Eight American soldiers were killed in two roadside bombings in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, the U.S. military said, making October the deadliest month for American troops since the 2001 invasion. Taliban attacks in Afghanistan have grown in sophistication in recent months, causing a spike in coalition deaths. Every month since June, Afghan insurgents have killed at least 70 coalition soldiers, and Tuesday’s attacks raised October’s coalition tally to 68. Of those, 55 were Americans. Most of these deaths have been caused by bombs detonated in the path of military convoys and patrols. MORE


JON STEWART: On The Importance Of Being Net Neutral

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
From Here to Neutrality
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *