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Iran Press TV

US spy agency bribes Afghans, including Taliban, to buy influence over nation

Iran Press TV

Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:37AM GMT

American CIA spy agency has been bribing Afghan officials and warlords, including the Taliban, in the past decade with tens of millions of dollars in secret cash money in continuing efforts to win favors and maintain influence over internal affairs of the war-torn country.

Handing out cash bribes “has been standard procedure for the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) in Afghanistan since the start of the war,” the influential US daily The New York Times reports Monday, adding that during its 2001 military invasion of the country, CIA’s cash payments “bought the services of numerous warlords.”

The report further claims that most of the American bribe money distributed in Afghanistan by its spy agency are “packed into suitcases, backpacks and… plastic shopping bags” and dropped off “every month or so” at the offices of the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, highlighting the “vast scale” of delivering “off-the-books cash” payments that have “a far greater impact on everyday governing” of the nation.

It adds, however, that there is “little evidence” that the American bribe payments have “bought the influence” that the CIA is after. Instead, the daily cites “some American officials” as saying, “the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.”

“The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan was the United States,” the daily notes, quoting an unnamed American official.

“We paid them to overthrow the Taliban,” another US official is cited as saying in the report.

However, the report also mentions Taliban elements as among the recipients of American bribe payments handed out by CIA operatives in Afghanistan.

“Much of the CIA’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 daily insists, citing American and Afghan officials.

This is while the US-led forces invading Afghanistan have long been cited by Iran and Russia, among other regional countries, for further promoting the narcotics trade in and out of the war-torn nation, blaming the effort for persistence of terrorism and instability mostly in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.

Moreover, regional observers point out that although the report confirms the destructive role of American forces in promotion of corruption and insecurity in Afghanistan, it also seeks to make false allegations about the involvement of top Afghan officials in the US-led bribing schemes in an attempt to generate divisions and distrust among the nation’s ethnic communities and political circles.


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