Well, don’t I feel like an idiot.
For at least a year or so, I’ve been railing about corruption in Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai and the need for us to withdraw our troops. Like now.
Turns out the situation was even worse than I ever dreamed. Or even the rest of America or Congress believed.
In fact, it turns out the biggest corrupting influence in Afghanistan was our very own CIA, who monthly dropped off suit cases of cash right at the offices of President Karzai.
And, nope. This isn’t a joke. Karzai confirmed the story just hours after it broke in The New York Times.
The biggest irony is this: Congressman Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, had literally headed up a House subcommittee to investigate corruption in Afghanistan.
“I thought we were trying to clean up waste, fraud and abuse in Afghanistan,” said Chaffetz. “We have no credibility on this issue when we’re complicit ourselves.”
Want to know what big, bad country used similar tactics? Nope. Not Russia, but a good first guess. Try Iran for the Daily Double. (See first link that mentions suit cases, and you’ll see this tidbit in the story.)
But you’re still not incensed yet, right? I see a few of you out there with skeptical looks on your faces. This is war, things aren’t black and white, you say, blah, blah, blah.
Well, get this, from the first link: “there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan. ‘The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,’ one American official said, ‘was the United States.’”
More so than ever, we need to get out of Afghanistan, like now.
And boy does it suck to know that part of those taxes you just paid a couple of weeks ago did more than help deadbeats and fat cats with bullshit defense contracts… Yep, part of that money you sent into the IRS went straight to Afghanistan, to one of the most corrupt leaders in the world. Of course, thinking back just a bit. I guess Karzai isn’t the first piece of shit to get our tax dollars.
We can add Saddam to the list and a whole host of others, but at least in most of those cases, Congress knew. And my final point before I close. I’m seriously skeptical that any investigations will take place on this.
Why? Because the program started under Bush, so Republicans will want to leave it alone. And Democrats won’t embarrass Obama, since he likely continued it. Sigh. (Please consider sharing this post on your blog, twitter, and facebook accounts. Everyone needs to know about this, and everyone needs to start working to get us out of Afghanistan sooner rather than later. Even retired Four-Star General Colin Powell thinks it’s time.)
Stan R. Mitchell
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
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