New York Times outs Karzai's brother as CIA agent

Hey! None of that false equivalency stuff, now. If Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti, and James Risen of the New York Times wants to sign a death warrant for the president of Afghanistan's brother, who are we to say they shouldn't be outing CIA agents?

It's wrong when Bush does it. But when the Times takes it upon itself to let the world know about a CIA informant high in an ally's government, well then that's their job. They are speaking truth to power damnit, and secrets are bad in a democracy.

One question: do we measure the lifetime of Ahmed Wali Karazi in days or weeks?

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.

The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America's war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House.

The ties to Mr. Karzai have created deep divisions within the Obama administration. The critics say the ties complicate America's increasingly tense relationship with President Hamid Karzai, who has struggled to build sustained popularity among Afghans and has long been portrayed by the Taliban as an American puppet. The C.I.A.'s practices also suggest that the United States is not doing everything in its power to stamp out the lucrative Afghan drug trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.

More broadly, some American officials argue that the reliance on Ahmed Wali Karzai, the most powerful figure in a large area of southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, undermines the American push to develop an effective central government that can maintain law and order and eventually allow the United States to withdraw.

Did you get that? The outing of frere Karza is justified by the Times because it raises "significant questions about America's war strategy."

In whose mind? And one of those questions raised should be, "By outing the president's brother, what damage has the New York Times done to the Karzai administration, and has this report placed  the president's brother in mortal danger?"

I can answer both of those "significant" questions; enormous damage and yes.

Remember: It's only a crime to out a CIA agent when the Bush administration did it.

I've already seen the speculation; war opponents in the Obama administration leaked this info to damage Karzai and give us an excuse to cut and run. The fact that the Times admitted they got the info from "current and former American officials" would seem to buttress that theory since such information must be compartmentalized at the CIA and only someone with access to a broad range of intel on Afghanistan could have leaked the information.

Note that James Risen, the reporter who broke the story on the top secret terrorist surveillance program, continues his pogrom against national security.

Write a book, James. You profited personally off damaging national security last time by penning a best seller. Go for it.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

Hey! None of that false equivalency stuff, now. If Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti, and James Risen of the New York Times wants to sign a death warrant for the president of Afghanistan's brother, who are we to say they shouldn't be outing CIA agents?

It's wrong when Bush does it. But when the Times takes it upon itself to let the world know about a CIA informant high in an ally's government, well then that's their job. They are speaking truth to power damnit, and secrets are bad in a democracy.

One question: do we measure the lifetime of Ahmed Wali Karazi in days or weeks?

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.

The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America's war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House.

The ties to Mr. Karzai have created deep divisions within the Obama administration. The critics say the ties complicate America's increasingly tense relationship with President Hamid Karzai, who has struggled to build sustained popularity among Afghans and has long been portrayed by the Taliban as an American puppet. The C.I.A.'s practices also suggest that the United States is not doing everything in its power to stamp out the lucrative Afghan drug trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.

More broadly, some American officials argue that the reliance on Ahmed Wali Karzai, the most powerful figure in a large area of southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, undermines the American push to develop an effective central government that can maintain law and order and eventually allow the United States to withdraw.

Did you get that? The outing of frere Karza is justified by the Times because it raises "significant questions about America's war strategy."

In whose mind? And one of those questions raised should be, "By outing the president's brother, what damage has the New York Times done to the Karzai administration, and has this report placed  the president's brother in mortal danger?"

I can answer both of those "significant" questions; enormous damage and yes.

Remember: It's only a crime to out a CIA agent when the Bush administration did it.

I've already seen the speculation; war opponents in the Obama administration leaked this info to damage Karzai and give us an excuse to cut and run. The fact that the Times admitted they got the info from "current and former American officials" would seem to buttress that theory since such information must be compartmentalized at the CIA and only someone with access to a broad range of intel on Afghanistan could have leaked the information.

Note that James Risen, the reporter who broke the story on the top secret terrorist surveillance program, continues his pogrom against national security.

Write a book, James. You profited personally off damaging national security last time by penning a best seller. Go for it.

 

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky