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Karzai Admits Iran Gives ‘His Office’ Cash

First we had this report back on Saturday from a gleeful New York Times:

Iran Is Said to Give Top Karzai Aide Cash by the Bagful

October 23, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan — One evening last August, as President Hamid Karzai wrapped up an official visit to Iran, his personal plane sat on the airport tarmac, waiting for a late-running passenger: Iran’s ambassador to Afghanistan.

The ambassador, Feda Hussein Maliki, finally appeared, taking a seat next to Umar Daudzai, Mr. Karzai’s chief of staff and his most trusted confidant. According to an Afghan official on the plane, Mr. Maliki handed Mr. Daudzai a large plastic bag bulging with packets of euro bills. A second Afghan official confirmed that Mr. Daudzai carried home a large bag of cash.

“This is the Iranian money,” said an Afghan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Many of us noticed this.”

The bag of money is part of a secret, steady stream of Iranian cash intended to buy the loyalty of Mr. Daudzai and promote Iran’s interests in the presidential palace, according to Afghan and Western officials here. Iran uses its influence to help drive a wedge between the Afghans and their American and NATO benefactors, they say.

Isn’t the Middle East wonderful? It must be their wonderful religion that makes everyone so honest and straightforward.

The payments, which officials say total millions of dollars, form an off-the-books fund that Mr. Daudzai and Mr. Karzai have used to pay Afghan lawmakers, tribal elders and even Taliban commanders to secure their loyalty, the officials said.

“It’s basically a presidential slush fund,” a Western official in Kabul said of the Iranian-supplied money. “Daudzai’s mission is to advance Iranian interests.”

Who are we to judge? Isn’t Mr. Obama’s "slush fund" ultimately funded by the China? (Of course it’s an open question as to whether he causes him to advance China’s interests.)

The sources said they were motivated by a concern that Mr. Daudzai was helping to poison relations between Mr. Karzai and the United States. Mr. Daudzai and Mr. Karzai both declined to respond to written questions about their relationship with Iran. An aide to Mr. Daudzai dismissed the allegations as “rubbish.”

The Iranian payments are intended to secure the allegiance of Mr. Daudzai, a former ambassador to Iran who consistently advocates an anti-Western line to Mr. Karzai, the officials said. Mr. Daudzai briefs Mr. Karzai each morning.

“Karzai knows that without the U.S., he is finished,” an associate of the president said. “But it’s like voodoo. Daudzai is the source of all the problems with the U.S. He is systematically feeding him misinformation, disinformation and wrong information.”

Current and former Afghan officials say the Iranian government began financing Mr. Karzai before Mr. Daudzai became his chief of staff in 2003. It is not clear when Mr. Daudzai became a conduit for Iranian cash. In 2005, he was named ambassador to Iran. It was then, one Afghan official said, that Mr. Daudzai became acquainted with Iranian intelligence officials and grew close to senior Iranian leaders like Mr. Ahmadinejad…

Accounts vary as to how much Iranian money flow into the presidential palace. An Afghan political leader said he believed that Mr. Daudzai received between $1 million and $2 million every other month. A former diplomat who served in Afghanistan said sometimes single payments totaled as much as $6 million.

One former Afghan official said the money appeared to be kept in a safe in Mr. Daudzai’s office…

And this morning we get this supposed confirmation from the Associated Press:

Karzai says his office gets cash from Iran, US

By Rahim Faiez, Associated Press Writer
October 25, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that once or twice a year Iran gives his office $700,000 to $975,000 for official presidential expenses. He says the U.S. has known about the Iranian assistance for years and that Washington also gives the palace "bags of money."

Oh well, if he also gets money from the US, then what’s the problem?

Karzai’s comments Monday come in response to a The New York Times report a day earlier that Iran was giving cash to the Afghan president’s chief of staff, Umar Daudzai, to buy his loyalty and promote Iranian interests in Afghanistan.

The newspaper quoted unnamed sources saying the money had been used to pay Afghan lawmakers, tribal elders – even Taliban commanders.

Karzai says several nations give his office money because it lacks revenue

In the final analysis, who can really blame Mr. Karzai? He has a calendar, too. He knows that July 2011 is just around the corner.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, October 25th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Karzai Admits Iran Gives ‘His Office’ Cash”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    How many tinhorn dictators have America’s policy makers created since Smedly Butler wrote WAR IS A RACKET?

    That’s General Smedly Butler, Marine Commandant.

  2. canary says:

    Karzai recently, broke down in tears in front of an audience of women (trying to get their re-vote) saying his son will move if the war doesn’t end, and so will many of their husbands. The great escape.

    Well, the news said he broke down in tears, I could not see any actual tears or flushed face, just the kleenix Clinton style.

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