August 30th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

CIA making secret payments to members of Afghanistan's govt?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

While the U.S. publicly criticizes corruption in the Afghan government... privately the CIA is making secret payments to "multiple members" of President Karzai's administration.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/30/art.karzai.jpg caption="Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai speaks after meeting with U.S. Sen. John Kerry at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on August 20."]
The Washington Post has an explosive report on these payments, which in some cases have been going on for a long time. They're meant to help the agency keep many allies within the presidential palace... and to provide a flow of information, since Karzai doesn't always know what members of his own government are doing.

These revelations surface at a time when one of Karzai's top national security advisers - also allegedly on the CIA's payroll - is under investigation for corruption, as first reported by the New York Times. Yet, some defend the payments, even if they're going to corrupt officials, saying they help achieve U.S. goals there. As one American official says, "If you want intelligence in a war zone, you're not going to get it from Mother Teresa or Mary Poppins."

The CIA disputes that there are several Afghan officials on the payroll, calling speculation about who can help the U.S. in Afghanistan "dangerous and counterproductive."

President Karzai calls these U.S. media reports "irresponsible allegations" saying they are part of an effort to divert attention away from the fight against terrorism.

Meanwhile - as public support here at home for the war in Afghanistan weakens, the U.S. is trying to show progress there before December - when the White House will re-evaluate its mission. Corruption is one of the biggest problems U.S. officials cite with the Afghan government; but it's tough to be critical if some Afghan officials are being bought by the CIA.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean if the CIA is making secret payments to members of the Karzai government in Afghanistan?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dee in New Paris, Ohio writes:
It means business as usual! Isn't that how we manipulate and control those 'governments' we help to put in power, in order to maintain our 'interests'?

Kevin in San Diego writes:
Where did all the money from the vaults in Iraq go? Does anyone in government intelligence have an IQ over 60? Unless this country learns that ethics are the first thing needed to create order and a stable society we are done for.

Mark writes:
So, why are we condemning WikiLeaks, but don't condemn the Washington Post? They're doing the exact same thing, but if the Washington Post does it, somehow it's okay.

Cathy writes:
The CIA gets its money from the taxpayers - right? Let's take a vote. How many taxpayers want to see their dollars go to crooked Afghan government officials?

Richard in San Clemente, California writes:
Jack, it means that we need to pull our people out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible. Karzi and his cronies (and whichever goofball U.S. decision makers have allowed this to go on) are not worth a single additional death in that country. Is there anyone left in America who thinks this stupid adventure can have a good ending?

Bill writes:
The CIA pays off politicians overseas and the special interest groups and lobbyists do it here. What's your point?

Claudia in Houston writes:
It wouldn't cost the CIA a cent for me to secretly tell them they're not too intelligent if they don't remember their mistake in trusting their paid informant about WMDs in Iraq that got us in this mess in the first place.

Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    It means we are trying to buy their cooperation.

    Recognizing that the Afghan government is as corrupt as they come, it follows to reason, that money is the main motivator, for cooperation.

    That is partly, the political meddling, that is making the military's job, so difficult.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  2. Conor in Chicago

    Gee, I don't know. Maybe that the CIA is involved in the illegal narcotics trade? Just a thought.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  3. Charles, Lansing, Michigan

    It means business as usual. Rememberr in order for the so called "surge" to work in Iraq, the military paid the Sunnis to fight with it and gave them military hardware. As usual it is a temporary fix to let us get out and then they go back to civil war using the weapons we gave them. This shows the whole stupidity of our waging war in the middle east.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  4. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It means that the American people have been had again. We are the biggest and stupidest bunch of suckers on the planet.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
  5. Denny from Tacoma

    Our government is always for sale; why shouldn't other governments be for sale too?

    August 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  6. Kevin of SD CA

    It means the same thing it always means! I means that the CIA is an out of control corrupt organization being funded by our tax dollars.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  7. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Jack, tell me something new. This has been going on for a long time in several countries. We think we can buy peace or loyalty but we can't. So more of our tax dollars go to other corrupt governments, just like ours.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  8. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    It's long been said that the Karzai government is corrupt, the same of the CIA. Water seeks it's own level, both are corrupt and no one on the face of the earth is surprised. Pitiful but true. The CIA always wants to be the puppet master.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  9. BILL, WI

    Keep up the good work, at least until the last GI leaves that corrupt little country.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  10. John from Alabama

    Jack: You are comparing apples to oranges. Some poeple may not like payments going to Afghanistan people. The CIA buys information all the time. Comparing the outcomes is just sad, but it is a sign of the times we live in today.

    August 30, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  11. Eugene Myers Flat, CA

    Sounds like business as usual to me Jack. It's even more disgusting, with U.S. unemployment hovering around 15% and many Americans can't afford a pot to pee in. I hope Americans will remember these outrages in November and throw every pandering and feckless incumbant out of congress.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  12. JENNA

    What does it mean if the CIA is making secret payments to members of the Karzai government in Afghanistan?

    This is a common practice all over the world, not just Afghanistan. I bet the CIA is also paying off members in Israel too.

    Roseville CA

    August 30, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  13. Richard, in Kansas

    It means business as usual. You didnt think our government was above this sort of thing did you? Really? Come on man, pull your head out and look around you.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  14. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    What an obscene waste! What do we get for the money? As if there isn't already enough corruption already, Afghan government officials have a direct line from the CIA to their Swiss bank accounts!

    August 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  15. Larry,Springfield,Ohio

    Jack,it means at least one part the government is actually doing It's job!!

    August 30, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  16. ken, nj

    It means that obama is the same as bush 1 and 2. The u.s. continues to support corrupt governments in afghanistan and iraq and spend billions of taxpayer dollars because it is supposed to make us safe from terrrorism. The joke is on the voters who keep voting in the same democractic and republican incumbents and expect different results.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
  17. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Can you say corruption! Maybe the Afghanistan people are right. Maybe Bush and company DID bring corruption to the country! Yeah! Right!

    August 30, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
  18. Paul Round Rock Texas

    So what's new Jack. We helped Bin Ladin to fight the Soviets to get them out of Afghanistan and then left him holding the bag thus his hate for us. So I see nothing new. The CIA are no saints.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  19. Meg from Troy

    It means that we need to get out of there–fast. No more money wasted there and especially no more American lives spent for nothing.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  20. Joe CE

    If this is known, the CIA is not very good at keeping secrets. Such investment has more potential bang for the buck than ground troops but Congress needs to check the return.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  21. Chris, Ottawa Canada

    It doesn't mean much. The CIA has a long history of financing corrupt dictatorships. They financed the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarek of Egypt and the Taliban. It's simply a bribe to ensure that the country receiving the "aid" will adopt policies that suit American interests, even if it contradicts the interests of that countries population.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  22. Joan

    Another dumb move ! We wonder many days if a good percentage of those in the Gov't were born with a "real" brain.
    However, s there something more sinister involved... we don't know but so much money spent, 9.5 Billion disappears in Iraq, etc .....we need a thorough cleaning through and through regarding these people in the Gov't (of all depts).

    August 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  23. B.J., Quincy, Il

    It means we are wasting our time with troops over there. Just send them money, and they will take care of it themselves. What the CIA ought to be doing is offering 5-10 dollars for a pair of ears, like they do for coyotes, for any Taliban .That will get rid of the troubles.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  24. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    It probably means that in return they send part of the money back to members of congress who thought it was a good idea to pay these members of the Karzai Government. I agree with an engineer friend of mine who has worked in the middle off and on for the past thirty five years and he has said that most of the people over there especially those from Afthanistan are about half an inch above the caveman, and when you look at how they treat their women and young girls I agree with him totally. We need to get out of that country and let the country revert back to the stone ages.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  25. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Firstly Jack, the payments are not secret!! And payment is a misnaming as these are clearly bribes for information from the enemy.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  26. Dennis from Minneapolis, MN

    Maybe we should start 6 more federal agencies to monitor them, and then one more big agency to monitor those guys. But then we'll need an agency implementing communication between them all, and don't forget, they all get paid and need benefits too. So, to make sure they get that, we should create or expand an agency to regulate the benefits program, which is good because we can use the money in it to pay their salaries.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  27. Dennis north Carolina

    it means that we could be in the center of corruption in the world.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  28. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    It means that there is an underground sub-government in America which carries out its own destructive foreign policy. No one seems to know what the real objectives or expenses of the C.I.A. are, but as a foreigner, I view that sorry outfit as evil. If only CNN would attempt an in-depth story illustrating a random selection of existing C.I.A. operations. I bet even Obama doesn't know half of what is going on in their secret "programs".

    August 30, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  29. Bob Bailey

    It means that the CIA is orchestrating to pre-planned agenda for Afgahnistan. Not what the Afganstanians want but what the U.S. government wants!

    August 30, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  30. Jim Mazenis

    It means the CIA is doing its job.

    August 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  31. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Jack it means this is a war that should not be allowed to continue. We're having our soldiers killed and wounded while shady deals are being conducted with a corrupt gov't behind our backs. Haven't we learned anything from Vietnam? The Russian gov't has to be laughing their butts at us. We are in the worst economical crisis since the great depression. And we can find money to stick in the pockets of a corrupt gov't. This whole war is being built on a house of cards that will tumbling down in front of us. How long will this be allowed to continue before the American people start to protest loudly for the war to end? We surely cannot expect Congress to do anything. War and the continuance of it is the only thing that both parties can agree on.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  32. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    It means that some things never change, Jack.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  33. Thom Richer

    It means we are supporting deceit, corruption, dirty politics, lining the pockets of crooked pseudo governments and officials. It literally proves that our government is not "open," "transparent," or "candid" with its citizens as promised by every president since i have been alive and never will be. We cannot afford to continue "buying" foreign friendships and paying for politician's contrived wars for imperialistic gain.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    August 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  34. Loren

    Business as usual in Aghanistan. Government in the Middle East is based on gratuities for government officials to do their jobs, why should we expect anything different in Afghanistan, particularly when its economy is based in part on drug dealing?

    What this says about the U.S. is disheartening. We are supposed to be helping create a democratic government, but have so little faith in the one we've created that we've resorted to bribery to keep it in place. Another foreign policy success for our Eastern elite.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm |
  35. Mario

    It means we haven't learned anything about Afghanistan and its history: First it was Alexander the Great, then the Arab Muslims, then the Mongols (twice–once by Ghengis Kahn and once by Timur Lung, then it was the British (twice also), then the Soviets, and now us. Everyone had their butts kicked by the Afghans–we will not be the exception.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  36. Dee in New Paris OHIO

    Oh, for Pete's sake!

    It means business as usual!

    Isn't that how we manipulate and control those 'governments' we help to put in power, in order to maintain our 'interests'?

    And why worry too much about this? Why not raise some cain and demand that someone find all those BILLIONS that simply VANISHED in Iraq!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  37. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    It's the secret payments to the TALIBAN that should concern us. Payment to puppet dicators and their cronies is nothing new, or secret.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  38. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    There is a very simple solution to this issue. Leave Afghanistan and let them solve their own problems. We have enough to take care of right here in the USA, like drugs, jobs and crime.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  39. Jon- Delhi, NY

    It means that we're just like the former Soviet Union. We're trying to create satellite states/puppet governments. Don't tell me you are shocked by that Jack? Fighting terror is just a facade.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  40. Conor in Chicago

    The CIA's role in the international illegal narcotics market is well documented if you know where to look. This shouldn't surprise anyone. The CIA has to keep it's source of financing safe so it pays Afghan officals who will continue to promote the drug trade while Amercian forces pretend to do something about those very same poppy fields.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  41. Timmy G

    Its a shame when the supposed allies we are helping with Billions of dollars need to remain on our payroll to accept those dollars. Moreover, the officials who paid this money out should be relagated to cleaning out the toilets at Congress.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  42. Tom in Texas

    It means it is past time to bring our troops and all of our money home.However, as this is so obvious, I would not expect it to happen soon.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  43. Joe R - Houston

    It means that Afghan officials are too stupid to ask for real money.

    August 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  44. Tom from Houston Texas

    It means that we are finally getting the politicians in Afghanistan to
    understand how to be a 'member of government' the Americican way!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  45. Blake on Long Island


    Come on now...you act as if this is something new...the CIA will do what the CIA feel it needs to do to accomplish its objective...who the hell cares unless they are funding the future Osama Bin Laden....if their payments mean one less of our men or women dying in Afghanistan...it is money well spent! Leave them alone and let them do what they gotta do!

    August 30, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  46. John from San Antonio

    It means both these wars, afghanistan and Iraq, were about money and keeping things stirred up. As the world's only super power we have to manufacture problems and create enemies or we will have to decrease military spending. Remember the military/industrial complex President Eisenhower warned us about?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  47. Tina Tx

    This is the new norm. Bribe and payoff your enemy. Remember when we went into Iraq the money was trucked in on pallets so large the contractors and other folks would toss it around like a football? This is why America is broke.....Too many stinking payouts.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  48. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    It means we are stupid, Jack. Corruption is the biggest problem with the American government, too, which the Supreme Court just legitimized. But we should know that anyway when we have senators Vitter, Corker, Nelson and DeMint , congresspeople like Bachmann and Blunt, and candidates like Palin and the inimitable Sharron Angle. It means we're stupid when elections are decided by the few percent in the middle who can't decide until days before an election for whom to vote, not to mention those who think that BP cares, or think that the health insurance industry cares about anyone's health. We're stupid, maybe tragically and terminally so.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  49. Charles in Lawrence NJ

    Karzai is of the same ilk as Manuel Noriega, a dope dealing president, which makes buying information and safety more irritating but no less necessary. When we leave, perhaps he’ll be relocating as well, or dead.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  50. Greg Who? Mechanicsburg, PA

    It means that Afghanistan has not cornered the market on corruption. Our nation has a history of supporting corrupt governments. As I recall, we backed Saddam Hussein before he invaded Kuwait and made threats against George H. W. Bush. Likewise, we backed Osama against the USSR before 9/11. You would think we'd have learned our lesson by now.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  51. bud rupert

    I'm not sure it means anything. Have not 1 in 6 people within the United States always received soem kiind of suuport from the government.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  52. tpalmer954

    Does it make a difference if they give the farm to Karzai or Haliburton?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  53. ~BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa~

    It means that a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. The CIA must do whatever it takes, no matter how distasteful, to get the job done.

    It has been the commonly accepted practice in every country for ages, & I, for one, am extremely grateful that these people are putting their lives on the line for the safety & good of our Country.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  54. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    what can I say beside allow me some humor here at this expected answer : It means we do not know the real power of Mother Theresa or of other public personalities united within the memories of Mother Theresa and others and in the presence of new Mother Theresa and of Mary Poppins that could put new faces on the Afghan partnerships needed to change war zone into peace and security zone! We create a new future when we chose to eye through the use of a bit more Imagination from the presence of personal characters of peace and security! We have seen plenty of personal characters of war!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  55. David Scott Doherty

    It means Jack that this war is going to go on for a long, long time. What better motive to prolong a war than to make it unprofitable to end it, duh! It's bad enough that our own war complexes are making so much money that we are selves can afford to end the war, now we have another team that's going to push for more extensions to the killing
    Dave from peterborough, NH

    August 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  56. Ray

    It means that we're supporting nearly 12,000,000 illegals, most of whom are Mexican. Get rid of the illegals, jobs will open up, welfare demand will go down, free hospital treatment for illegals will also end. It's a no brainer. We American tax payers are spending up to $383,000,000,000 every year to support illegals. When is enough....enough?

    August 30, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  57. Mari, Utah

    Now here is where we in the U.S. could SAVE money! This is disgusting. We were paying Iraqis too! That's why the Bush Surge worked they paid the Sunni's off to stand-down!

    I say, let's stop ALL foreign aid to Japan, Iraq, S. Korea, Israel, etc., etc. We need the money at home!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  58. Peg from N.Y.

    Business as usual, Jack.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  59. Scott Stodden

    It Means That This War Is Bogus And That There Are Ties Between President Karzai And His Goverment And The United States! Why Are We Sending Them Money? For What Purpose? I Just Don't Get It At All, Have Our Troops Do The Job There Supposed To Do And Get Them The Hell Out Of There They Should Be Getting No Extra Money From The United States Whatsoever!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    August 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  60. LS

    Didn't we also pay the corrupt South Vietnamese government officials?
    Geez, look how well that worked out!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  61. Remo, from beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, it simply means that the CIA is once again out of touch with reality, reliable information, accountability, and checks and balances.
    For all I know the CIA probably thinks Afghanistan is located somewhere east of the Rockies. I've said too much, there is a drone circling overhead............

    August 30, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  62. d settle salisbury nc

    40 years ago it was called vietminzation..keeping the "right people in power in Saigon..as Stephen King so elequently put it in his book Dreamcatcher "SSDD"

    August 30, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  63. ben stockton, calif

    jack, i dont have a very inteeigent answer to your question not knowing the nuts and bolts of the problem. all i know as a taxpayer is that money going to afganistan could very well be used here in america to get america in the black again. we will never win in afganistan. the russian knew that and pulled out. at this time , it seems that they are smarter than us. let us fight the war with unmanned drones and drop weapons on intelligent info instead of putting boots on the ground. besides the leader of afganistan isnt to be trusted.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  64. Tom - Kentucky

    Who aren't we paying off to be our friends...maybe we should be asking Pakastan to turn over Bin Laden for the $10 Billion we are paying them.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  65. Ray in Nashville

    Jack, with apologies to Claude Rains, I am shocked, shocked, to find that the CIA is bribing members of foreign governments. Or, to paraphrase a famous athlete, it's deja vu all over again.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  66. suzi

    Well who authorized this anyway? You say many years, so does that mean under the watch of Bush and Cheeney? Whatever they told them to pay, sure didn't work. It was so mismanaged from the very beginning. The Iraq war seemed to be more important to them.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  67. Cal in Denver, CO


    Why does this surprise you? It means we need to pay people to be our "friends". Business as usual with the CIA.


    August 30, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  68. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    I don't doubt it one bit. A piece of disturbing information I heard this past weekend has Pakistan supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. When Obama is evaluating the situation this December,I do hope he realizes he is in a no win war and to immediately bring our troops home and cut our loses. Put all of this war chest money back into building America.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  69. Saunny

    At the beginning of our participation in Afghanistan, Karzai appeared to be a man of modern thought and reason, one of a few enlightened beings in that country. Now, however, I think he is merely photogenic, a sly thinker who misuses his gift of gab, and not really in control of his government. Does the CIA also pay him under the table?
    If so, all the news we hear is pure propaganda at the expense of USAmerican citizens who put their lives on the line to help that country become civilized.
    Afghanistan is a country empowered by testosteronic ambition. We should just pull out and bring our financial aid back home with the troops. Any financial aid given to that country should be dedicated solely to the women and children from birth to 16 y/o. If anyone deserves immigration asylum, Afghani women and girls do.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  70. Isabelle

    Recalling your previous question about 1 in 6 Americans being on the dole, I guess you think this is money better spent. How about 10 of 10 Afganis are taking US dollars in one way or the other. These wars and the corporate media are ruining America. the wars are draining us of lives and treasure and the media are making us blame each other while the corporations steal us all blind. Shame on you!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  71. Kevin of SD CA

    Where did all the money from the vaults in Iraq go? Does anyone in government intelligence have an IQ over 60? Unless this country learns that ethics are the first thing needed to create order and a stable society we are done for. You get what you reward; and criminals are created by giving them things for nothing in return!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  72. Will from colorado

    I thought you were from the Old School? First of all, the CIA organization is rouge organization and paying money to Crooks is something we the tax payer do very well. For the love of God! We the people pay all of our politicians very well!

    August 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  73. chris brown fl

    it means that they need to have their budget more closely monitored . i am so sick and tired of the government taking care of the world ,instead of their own. this save the world attitude was fine when the economy was good.but not now. if they need money let them ask the blimberg group

    August 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  74. Mark

    So, why are we condemning Wikileaks, but don't condemn the Washington Post? They're doing the exact same thing, but if the Washington Post does it, somehow it's OK.

    August 30, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  75. Dan

    i wish i felt we were only paying one side.. 🙁

    August 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  76. Dale

    Terrorism is a tough thing to take on, but I am of the opinion that full-scale wars are not an effective anti-terrorism tool. We need to think of it more like big police exercise to find the high value people on the wanted list and eliminate them. A full scale invasion creates more of the power vacuum, corruption, violence, hate, poverty and desperation that feed terrorism. Using full-scale military invasion to go after terrorists is like using a shotgun to get the fly that is flying around your kitchen. You may get him eventually, but doing so will cause more damage than the fly could ever cause.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  77. Joseph Leff

    I have a better idea, Jack. How about if they pay me?

    Joe in Florida

    August 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  78. Richard

    It means that we need to pull our people out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible. Our military is trying to clean the Afghan house and the CIA is making the dirt harder to remove. Karzi and his cronies (and whichever goofball U.S. decision makers have allowed this to go on)are not worth a single additional death in that country. Is there anyone left in America who thinks this stupid adventure can have a good ending?

    San Clemente, Cal.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  79. CSh

    The CIA gets it's money from the taxpayers – right? Let's take a vote. How many taxpayers want to see their dollars go to crooked Afghan government officials?
    That's worse than Welfare...

    August 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  80. Mark

    Can't blame Obama so we will blame the CIA?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  81. Todd in Phoenix, AZ

    Paying assets on the ground for intelligence information has long been a standard tool in the spooks' toolbox. All intelligence services around the world do it for one simple reason - it work. You end up wasting a lot of money in that part of the world, though, because dishonesty is codified in the culture. Lying is just another tool the locals use to get what they need, so the value of the information is often limited. Still, it is not going to change because it works.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  82. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    It means Halliburton has people in Karzai's cabinet.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  83. Burbank from CA

    It means there goes more of my tax money. Cha-ching!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  84. Alex

    What do you think it means? I never have heard of something secret that is good.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  85. Ron in NC

    Simply amazing at even the thought of any organization in the US "giving" money away at this time to one of our enemies, much less to countries that we just normally give our money away to, of which the list is endless! The US has gone insane with desperation to give away money that needs to be used within our infrastructure or other means within our homefront in these dire economic times.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  86. Jerome

    In short, the hell with the CIA.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  87. Steve M., Huntsville, AL

    I think we need to seriously reconsider our presence in Afghanistan. Why is it that the US is footing the bill and the military for what should be a United Nations mission? Prevention of terrorism? The 9-11 terrorists didn't come from Afghanistan. How about finding Bin Laden? You might want to look in Pakistan for him. Afghanistan is just a big sand-filled money-pit and we need to stop using our Military as a world wide police force.

    Let's bring our troops home and use what little money we don't have left to fix bigger and more pressing problems here in our own backyard.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  88. Korny

    The CIA doent answer to anyone, we dont even know their budget so how can we cut it.
    They have national security immunity which means they dont have to follow any laws and answer to anyone for reasons of national security.
    It has been like that since the 50's.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  89. Ron in NC

    Obama could STOP this freebie handout being funneled out to Afganistan by the CIA, but does he? NO!!! There is no end in sight to the madness going on within this administration!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  90. paddle21 from austin

    im a little confused here. isnt that exactly what CIA supposed to do...especially when theyre in war in that country? i mean...it is a spy agency. what else are they gonna give people who provide crucial intelligence by endangering their own lives...freakin lollipops?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  91. Duane S.

    The U.S. Govt. is making payments to 435 Congressmen, and 100 Senators, a President and Cabinet, and a Supreme Court which are all wasting our time and money..... So whats the difference?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  92. Dan

    It means business as usual...doesn't it?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  93. Allen

    It's not all that secret if you're talking about it on television.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  94. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    If you can't beat them, join them. What we call 'corruption' there is the very way our economy runs, except we call it 'supply chain profit'.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  95. Mark from Las Vegas

    As usual, the Taxpayers of the United States are getting ripped off by our own government. Basically, there is no real reason for us to be in Afghanistan anymore other than to keep Americans employeed thru contractors and spend money.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  96. David A Whitaker

    Jack do American understand how we get information from the undesirable. Do we think information just come from the good citizens of world no it come from thugs that want to make a buck. They will sell out their Grandmother for a dollar.War is a dirty job it doesn't matter how clean we want it to be. Fat Chance


    August 30, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  97. Brandon

    It mean's the payments aren't very secret anymore...

    August 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  98. Bill Fleisher

    The CIA payoffs politicians overseas and the special interest groups and lobbyists do it here. What's your point!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  99. Docb


    This is not new...The CIA was gutted during the 1990's to balance the budget...Leaving 3 ME arabic speakers!

    We have infiltrated govrn'ts for decades to serve our own purposes...Look at Pinnochet and Noreiga and our cold war Russian spies...Some of the change has to do with the fact that we have jobbed out construction/nation building to the likes of KBR,Halliburtin, DynaCorp, and etc! KBR was a supporter of LBJ and got contracts under him in the 1950's....Karzai is a corrupt , paraniod nonelected mayor of kABUL who is becoming more isolated!

    The graft is a by product of every war and some of it we taught them!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  100. Ryan from Coldwater Michigan

    Politics always boils down to incentives, i wonder what incentive the afgan government would have to do all in their power to help end the war if it meant the end of free U.S. money.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  101. Debra

    Jack, this is not new information and it has been a pattern of activities in this country for many many years... And we the people (cattle) have been content to live in our bubbles... So I don't want to hear any complaints about this from anyone... we handed over our voice to fools long ago...as well as our last dollar!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  102. vic

    It means these officials will take the cia money and laugh as we mire there in a country that will not be stabilized. I wish all oru troops well but this effort is lost. God bless the troops on the ground.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  103. Bruce

    It means the corruption has not changed.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  104. Jeff from The Villages of Florida

    It means what we all know. We are paying them to allow us to stay in this wasteful war and say good things about the US support for their government. We need the Billions spent in Afganistan (and Iraq) to sustain our own economy; never mind these feudal Prince/ governments that will just use the money to build their retirement homes in France.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  105. Bob in Texas

    After WW2 we lead the world by example and we and the world prospered and we held the ethical high ground. Sometime before Vietnam we began to let our ethics wain. It's been down hill ever since. Now, we are no better then our enemies in the eyes of much of the world and the moral high ground is a distant memory.

    Until we realize that ethics matter, we will continue our downward spiral and join the ranks of the third world.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  106. Steve - MN

    Jack – Here is what it means: Just as the FBI, DEA, ATF, local vice cops have done since law enfocrcement existed, is to recruit informants inside organizations. We have informants IN the US to detrect labor union fraud, civil liberties violations, white collar crime, organized crime – and of course drig trafficking. How the heck do we likely know of rampant corruption in Karzai's gov't? Duh, CIA informants! sheesh. Your question is lame.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  107. David G.

    What else? It means business as usual!


    August 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  108. jz

    What this means is the US Government politicians and employees are just a crooked as the Afghanistan government and their employees.
    So, my tongue in check thoughts are we need to vote all of our incumbant politicians back into office.
    But, you also need to know I am not paying a dime in taxes to support this corruption.

    Charlotte, NC

    August 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |

    Dear Jack,
    It means the CIA is continuing to do what it knows best in dealing wit Afghanistan, as they have done for 50 years. We need to get out of the way and let them do their job. Afghanistan has always used a
    "Baksheesh" system. It's naive to try and change it. Maybe with the properly applied coersion, they could change the major export from opium to hashish, which would be a huge step in the right direction.
    Jupiter, Florida

    August 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  110. Linda in Arizona

    It "means" business as usual when you go to war with a third-world country. What did we think would happen anyway? Those people are tough and ungovernable. We never seem to learn to mind our own business, mainly because there is so much money to be made profiting from endless wars. The only reason the so-called "Surge" worked in Iraq was that we bribed the various factions not to fight for awhile. If we didn't bribe Afghan officials, we wouldn't know anything at all. I have an idea. Why not get the hell out of unnecessary, immoral, unwinnable foreign wars and spend our dwindling resources bribing our own officials?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  111. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It wouldn't cost the CIA a cent for me to secretly tell them they're not too intelligent if they don't remember their mistake in trusting their paid informant about WMD's in Iraq that got us in this mess in the first place.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  112. Jim, MSU

    Hi Jack, Never have responded before, but regarding any domestic government stability in the Middle East, forget about it, the CIA had best concentrate on domestic security. President Obama rightfully opposed going to war in Iraq, now we have Afghanistan, and we are ALL stuck with both wars, while unemployment soars. Pack it in, get out, it doesn't matter and spend the trillions domestically on national security and new jobs.
    This is what Obama wanted to do in the first place!!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  113. David (Chicago)

    Jack it means once again Americans were fooled into thinking we are fighting for the freedom and security of the Afgans ..when in reality its all about the Benjamins

    August 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  114. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    It is no surprise to me at all because that is what we openly did in Iraq. I remember Michael Ware clearly reporting on CNN about how we were buying the help of insurgents in Iraq by paying them off to be on our side. If that played a major role of how we achieved "success" in Iraq, then why would the government not try it again in Afghanistan right now?

    Mitch Dworkin
    Dallas, Texas

    August 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  115. Matt Skiba, from Munster, IN

    This sounds like a repeat of the CIA's dark past, Jack. Despite human rights violations and corruption, the US government and the CIA were accustomed to allying themselves with leaders around the world who were anti-communist during the Cold War. The CIA tends to turn a blind eye to governments like this to further US interests in unstable regions. Funny how history repeats itself.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  116. bertram

    evry one should be pulled of afghanistan and we should just bomb all the poppy fields ,dont forget this IS the worlds biggest drug war we'r caught in the middle of

    August 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  117. Kevin in CA

    Sick – just sick. Especially since American families are homeless and going hungry ... where's the family values now?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  118. Jim Blevins

    It is high time that we learn that what is America's best interest is to stay out of other countries internal affairs.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    August 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  119. Dave From Maine

    I hate to say this, but isn't the CIA also paying off the poppy farmer's (which end's up as heroin), as that is one of Afganistan's major cash crops. Come to think of it, wasn't there a similar occurance in Vietnam, some 30 or so, years ago.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  120. Gary Saari Gulf Shores, Ala

    Jack, it means that the CIA is still doing it's job which is to make sure the "Military Industrial Complex" that Dwight Eisenhower warned us about will continue making a profit on our tax money and the blood of our young people. If they screw up like Erik Prince's "Blackwater" they just change their name to "XE" and continue to rip off "we the people." The CIA has been running drugs to support their "black operatipons" for a long time. I hope everyone checks out the names of former CIA agents Victor Marchetti and L Fletcher Prouty who had a habit of telling the truth. Another thought, Jack, the U.S. goal there is probably different than the goal of the CIA. Do you remember one of your previous questions that revealed how much money our CIA was spending, and how many people were on their payroll? Remember the CIA company Air America in Vietnam? Read Marchetti's response to who was really in charge of the Vietnam debacle. Did you know that the CIA paid guys like Manuel Noriega to help run guns and drugs? Reagan's Iran/Contra affair with Oliver North made a lot of people angry. If people don't find out the truth I'm sure they'll convince another president to start something else with Iran. Afghanistan supplys about 90% of the world's opium. Do you think that the CIA wants to leave that gold mine?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  121. Anthony from Maryland

    Don't worry we will be fighting Afghanistan in a few years after leaving! It is obvious!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  122. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – I would be surprised, even offended, to hear that the CIA did NOT have at least one paid source inside the Karzai government! This is what the CIA exists for – to collect human intelligence from insiders abroad. A source has three potential motives for betraying his secrets to us – ideology, spite, and greed. Of these, greed produces the best results overall. Afghans are notoriously mercantile – anything can be had for a price, and anybody will work for anyone for enough cash. Taliban are anomalous – they are ideologues in a country that despises ideology and honors greed.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  123. john

    It means they are desperate, corrupt and lack the skills to get the information any other way.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  124. Leo in CT

    Jack, You speak of this issue like it is fact because someone reported it as fact. Your wreckless when you report things as facts just because another media report says it is fact. Find your own facts.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  125. Kathy Brown Lansing MI

    Karzi doesn't want the information that payments are being made because he and his corrupted government are the first in line for the payments. His fear is not that it will take away from the "war on terrorism" it is that if it is brought out that there are payments being made, maybe we might wake up and actually see that we are fighting for "corrupted government" and not "war on terrorism". Why do we always get involved in foreign affairs that seem to me always "bite" us in the end? Do we start with good intentions and then politics takes over and we seem to lose the whole point of what it is all about? I wish politicians in Washington would live outside their insular lives and come down to our level and see the country as it really is and not just their lobbyist friends and pr people.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  126. Rick O'B

    Jack,The fact that our CIA is bribing Afgan gov't officials in not even a 'drop in the bucket'.Our military field comanders are given $50.000 a month to spend as they see fit in thier areas,BRIBERY at its finest.This fund is replenished by the Pentagon as needed on a monthly basis!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  127. Gerry

    It means we have yet to truly learn from our mistakes. No matter who pay off be they Diem, Theiu, Marcos, Karzai, Chelabi, whoever, we will still be seen as Imperialists by those we wish to help, until we gear our efforts to supporting governments for and of the people we won't live up to our creed. All this means is we are practicing the same sort of soft power Imperialism that has been our M.O. since the end of WW2. Nothing more and nothing less.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  128. TD

    This is a country that has only know corruption....I am glad we are doing everything we can so we can get out quickly.
    Sound like our political system!!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  129. Scott D. Kenan

    It means some of the money being made from Afghan poppies that helps finance the CIA is being returned to the Afghan officials who have the power to keep this info out of the press (but maybe - just maybe - not CNN!)

    Scott Kenan is the last significant assistant of playwright Tennessee Williams and lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, fighting drug corruption in the US Republican Party and PRI in Mexico, as he promised Mr. Williams he would do.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  130. stephanie l dominguez

    Apparently not paying enough when you have their president criticizing US War Strategy on the news. Sadly giving confidence to terriost and the Taliban to continue to fight,ambush,and blow US TRoops Up!

    August 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  131. Nate in Edmonton, AB

    washington post is finally coming around real news, the only problem is the alternative media is light years ahead of this news

    August 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  132. WoodUbleaf

    Wonder how many Congressmen are on the CIA payroll?
    Will they rat out the corrupt individuals in Congress?
    Hope Charlie Ratfink isn't one of them.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  133. Cary

    We've got the best friends money can buy.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  134. lynnej in nc

    It means that we're playing 'god' again. We never learn our lesson. We've been playing this game in the Middle East since the 1950s and the founding of those large oil deposits. In this case it is the minerals that are abundant there. We're forever trying to nudge or dictate whom we think their leaders should be such as the Shah in Iran and backing Sadddam Hussein for a time. We know how well both of those instances worked out. This is just another accident waiting to happen. Just get out of there.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  135. James

    I am a Soldier currently stationed in southern Afghanistan. From what I have seen of this place and from what i have gathered from talking to various people I think this war is never going to end until the money runs out. It seems all these people want is money from us. They could care less about having a government or any of the freedoms we as Americans enjoy. The only people who seem to be concerned with the GIRoA are the ones working in it because they are enjoying the money. This entire war seems to be one giant corrupt mess with US Soldiers being killed so others can make money.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  136. danny in Toronto

    Jack.. it means the obvious sad reality is that the CIA is paying to play, and is that any surprise, the United states government does and has always done the same. Look at it this way.. how should afgans feel about their "leaders" getting paid for their troubles, when all the civilians know are agony and blood.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  137. Mike in WIS.

    If you KNOW OR READ ANY HISTORY,you should know the CIA and the administration are incompetent to evaluate anything that has to do with the reality of the big picture, so they will pay these puppets our tax dollars to keep there war machine in high gear.
    After growing up with the body count every nite from Walter Cronkite and listening to the reports every day from our media I ask myself the same questions we ask in the 60's and 70's, Bob Dylan said it best, The answer is blowing in the wind! W.T.F.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  138. andy Lynn, MA

    It means that we're back to the bad old days of the ugly American: if we can't beat 'em, buy 'em (and hope they stay bought.)

    August 30, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  139. Annie, Atlanta

    Money talks, obviously. Look what happened in Iraq. Some like to say the surge worked. I say the Sunni’s were awakened by cold hard cash. It could work in Afghanistan. Then our kids come home sooner. That’s a good thing.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  140. Ralph Vincent

    We arein trouble if we have to buy people's loyalty, it means
    we are fighting a losing war, let's get out of there.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  141. Jake

    Doesn't it mean the same thing any where the CIA has paid people off? You never hear about the other 99.9% of the time. If you can't handle the fact that this world isn't black and white and that to secure America you have to sometimes deal with less than reputable people then go back to reading Curious George.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  142. guy from NM

    That is a surprise?

    August 30, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  143. Janet MacPherson

    Jack: Thank you for being there with your commense logic. The graft has been going on for so long we expect nothing less. I'm for cutting budgets in all areas of goverent, It is clear that those in charge are not doing there job, no more graft monies.......Pretty sad what we get in exchange for our payments of graft and services in other countries. Bodys bags of our young men and women, our wounded, the mental anquish of being at war a war we never claimed. Lets not forget Afghanistans biggest export of all THE DRUG TRADE. I thank you once again JC.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  144. Michael M, Phoenix AZ

    Have we really stopped making payements to the Afgans? During the Russo-Afgan war we made payments to the "rebels" or taliban fighting the Russian invaders....today, we are the invaders fighting the taliban....In the movie "Rambo III" the closing credits say something to the effect "for the Afganistan people" since that movie was set during the Russian 10 year incursion into Afganistan....Nothing has changed....only the invaders.

    August 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm |