The CIA secretly smuggled millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags to the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai over more than a decade, The New York Times revealed. Karzai confirmed the report.
"The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan," one U.S. official said, "was the United States."
"We called it 'ghost money,'" Karzai's former chief of staff said. "It came in secret and it left in secret."
This is one more reason why Washington should end the Afghan travesty -- America's longest war -- as rapidly as possible and bring American soldiers home. After nearly a dozen years, this pointless struggle isn't worth more young American lives and further billions of taxpayer money. The deaths of seven more Americans one day last week spotlighted the futility.
In addition to the secret bags of money, U.S. taxpayers also finance 90 percent of the Afghan government budget, a Hoover Institution scholar noted this week. What kind of "independent" nation is that? America should stop funding a puppet government and end this travesty.
But the cash-to-Karzai disclosure also serves another purpose: It spotlights the long list of absurd fiascoes and misdeeds the Central Intelligence Agency has perpetrated during its half-century existence. The CIA has bungled intelligence, failed to foresee problems, committed assassinations and toppled elected governments -- usually bringing "blowback" against America. Most of the pratfalls occurred under Republican presidents.
The Eisenhower White House sent the CIA to overthrow the popular government of Iran and put the hated shah in power -- which eventually led to the 1979 Muslim uprising that seized American hostages and brought vicious rule by the fanatical Ayatollah Khomeini.
Eisenhower also sent the CIA to topple the elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala, allowing cruel military dictators to rule with an iron fist.
The Nixon White House sent the CIA to help oust the elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile, setting up another military dictatorship.
The Reagan White House sent the CIA to arm, train and pay Muslim fanatics against Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan -- which helped spawn al-Qaida, breeding zealots who attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001, and also spawn the vicious Taliban, which executed women in soccer stadiums.
The George W. Bush White House used the CIA to "prove" that Iraq possessed horror weapons. CIA Director George Tenet said finding proof would be a "slam dunk." So Bush unleashed the unnecessary Iraq war that killed 4,500 young Americans and cost U.S. taxpayers $1 trillion -- but no horror weapons existed.Carrying bags of money to Karzai seems trivial, compared to the CIA's worse offenses.