KABUL, Afghanistan — Ahmed 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.
I've mentioned before that I have a friend who is 'close' with British Intelligence (MI-6 to be exact). He always calls the "CIA chaps" a "bunch of cowboys" whose operations are "bull-headed" and "obtuse". After what I've seen, firsthand, and learned, secondhand, and what history documents of Agency operations, it seems this is their general modus operandi since they were birthed from the old OSS.
Just a question: How in Hell are we supposed to get the Afghan people to accept a democratic central government in Kabul when the puppet president's brother is a drug lord protected by America's clandestine service?
When you read, "... helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction ...", think "private army" and "paid assassins" (the only reason the Agency would use 'indigenous personnel' is to preserve deniability). If it goes wrong (certainly not outside the realm of possibility), the blowback will be extraordinary.
For those of us who were players in "Charlie Wilson's War", it wouldn't be a far reach to suppose the reason bin Laden hasn't been caught is that he too is protected, a bogey man to drag out when Americans need to be scared into compliance. Wouldn't put it past any of the characters at Langley, especially since they've had practically free reign for the past 8 years.
Having Karzai's brother on the payroll can only end badly.
More Agency hijinks:
In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence” — information that’s publicly available, but often hidden in the flood of TV shows, newspaper articles, blog posts, online videos and radio reports generated every day.
Never trust 'em, never let 'em off the leash.