The Biggest Source of Corruption in Afghanistan

According to a Sunday New Your Times article, The C.I.A. has been delivering bags of cash to the office of Afghan President, Hamid Karzai.  They call it “Ghost Money”.

From the article:

“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.”

The article points out that the Iranians were also dumping cash on them, a fact that attracted the ire of American officials.  How dare the Iranians try to buy influence with bags of cash!

Like the Iranian cash, much of the C.I.A.’s money goes to paying off warlords and politicians, many of whom have ties to the drug trade and, in some cases, the Taliban. The result, American and Afghan officials said, is that the agency has greased the wheels of the same patronage networks that American diplomats and law enforcement agents have struggled unsuccessfully to dismantle, leaving the government in the grips of what are basically organized crime syndicates.

Your tax dollars at work.  It seems like the capture and killing of bin Laden has washed away decades of history wherein the C.I.A. was one of the most hated “intelligence” agencies on the planet, at least in the eyes of the American public.