Afghan President Says CIA Cash Payments Were Small And Legit | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Afghan President Says CIA Cash Payments Were Small And Legit

Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged on Monday that for the past decade or more, his office has been receiving secret cash payments from the CIA, but that it's only small amounts used for "operational" purposes.

The Associated Press reports that during a news conference, Karzai, on an official visit to Helsinki, Finland, said the monthly payments were not a "big amount" and were used to give assistance to the sick and wounded, pay rent for housing and for other "operational" purposes.

The secret U.S. aid has been "very useful, and we are grateful for it," Karzai said.

The Afghan leader's remarks come in response to a New York Times report Sunday that on a monthly basis, "wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags" were deposited at Karzai's offices.

The Times quoted former Afghan officials who said the regular off-the-books payments were known by Karzai officials as "ghost money."

The newspaper says that while the CIA had been known for years to support some relatives and close aides of Karzai:

" ... the new accounts of off-the-books cash delivered directly to his office show payments on a vaster scale, and with a far greater impact on everyday governing.

"Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the CIA sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington's exit strategy from Afghanistan."

The CIA and State Department both declined to comment on the Times article.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Mia Wasikowska On The Sounds Of Camels And The Lure Of Travel

Melissa Block talks with actress Mia Wasikowska about her new film, Tracks, which follows a woman on a long journey with only camels and a dog for company.
NPR

Giving Chickens Bacteria ... To Keep Them Antibiotic-Free

What does it take to get chickens off antibiotics? According to Perdue Farms, an added dose of the "good bacteria" known as probiotics can help crowd out the harmful microbes that make a chicken sick.
NPR

Why Did Congress Kick The Can On Funding Islamic State Mission?

The president got approval for his plan to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters, but lawmakers didn't approve funds to pay for it or the broader air campaign.
NPR

Some Tech Firms Capitalize On Privacy

Steve Henn of NPR's Planet Money team profiles some entrepreneurs who are working on a novel business model to start up a new tech company. It's pay for service. What a concept.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.