Thursday, November 5, 2009

CIA paying off Harmid Karzai's drug-trafficking brother...

... is what the headlines should read, instead of attempting manufacture phony outrage and comparison with the Cheney/Libby leaking of Valerie Plame's name a few years ago.

Predictably, the two-bit press--both nationally and locally--attempts to make this a serious issue, ala Rasmussen:

Well, last week, The New York Times again published on the front page the name of an alleged CIA-paid undercover asset. This time, it was none other than Ahmed Wali Karzai, the powerful brother of the Afghan president. The Times cited, on background, Obama administration "political officials," "senior administration officials" and others as its sources to the effect that Karzai has been secretly on the CIA payroll for eight years and has been helping the United States with intelligence, logistic and base support for our special forces, and recruiting and running an Afghan paramilitary force on the instruction of the CIA -- as well as being a major narcotics trafficker.

This may well be the most egregious compromise of an extraordinarily valuable and inflammatory secret CIA operative in our history. It was leaked not after the policy was carried out -- as in the Plame case -- but just weeks before the president will be making his fateful strategy and manpower decision for the Afghan war. It is also just days before the runoff election in Afghanistan, which may well be affected by the release of this shocking information.

Let's count the ways this is idiotic:

1) It is our stated national policy in Afghanistan to suppress the opium trade; we have cited all sorts of moral and developmental reasons. Instead, we discover the CIA facilitating that trade by supporting Wali.

2) We have now admitted that far from being guarantors of a fair and free electon in Afghanistan we have been paying off the brother of the man internationally known to have rigged the vote--possibly using funds provided by the CIA.

3) Saying that Karzai had been secretly on the CIA payrol for eight years is NOT (I say again for the theologically impaired, NOT) the same thing as making him an extremely valuable ... secret CIA operative. He is at best a paid foreign asset with no allegiance to the US beyond money, and as such is not covered by the same laws which applied in the Plame case.

4) Rumors about Wali being involved with US intelligence gathering have been circulating for years. What's amazing is that the Rasmussen story converts him into something like a betrayed American patriot when in reality he is operating on the same level as the UN Secretary General's relatives who corruptly profited from the oil-for-food program in Iraq. He's at best a wanna-be warlord that we use for convenience sake, and the risks--if any--he has taken have been for his own bottom line.

5) Finally, given the history of the Karzai family, you have to wonder in the long run how many American GIs might have been killed or wounded based on information this guy was willing to sell to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Most warlords and druglords in that part of the world are quite willing to play both ends against the middle. Nothing known about Wali suggests that he is any different.

Nice try, guys.

Go back to red-baiting; you're better at it.

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