Karzai admits taking CIA cash for 10 years
Yes, but the tens of millions of dollars in cash he was handed is just a "small amount" and it was used "for various purposes."
Mr. Karzai addressed the issue after the New York Times reported on Sunday that the CIA has made tens of millions of dollars in secret payments, often cash packed in shopping bags, as it sought to maintain influence over Afghanistan's mercurial leader.
"Yes, the office of the national security has been receiving support from the United States for the past 10 years," Mr. Karzai told reporters at a news briefing in Helsinki, Finland, responding to a question about whether he has received CIA cash. "Monthly. Not a big amount. A small amount which has been used for various purposes."
The CIA declined to comment on the matter.
Mr. Karzai, who is touring Northern Europe, made the remarks following his meeting with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto.
The U.S. isn't the only country to supply the Afghan presidential palace with secret money. In 2010, Mr. Karzai acknowledged receiving bags full of euros from the government of Iran.
Afghan officials have said that these secret funds have been used by the president to reward supporters and buy loyalty from tribal leaders.
In Helsinki, Mr. Karzai said that the CIA money is being spent on "various purposes, operational purposes of providing assistance to the wounded, the sick, to certain rents for houses, to all other purposes."
These payments represent a tiny fraction of the total U.S. commitment to Afghanistan. The U.S. has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the Afghan war, America's longest foreign conflict, since ousting the Taliban regime in late 2001.
Given all the money he's gotten. Karzai hasn't been the friendliest of allies. But then, the spooks don't give money to insure Karzai does what we want; they give it so that they have a hold on him of sorts. The CIA has their own agenda in Afghanistan and it may be that Karzai helps them in areas that we are unaware.
I wonder how much Karzai and his cronies have skimmed off the top of the billions in aid we've given Afghanistan since the invasion? Only their Swiss bankers know for sure.