View Full Version : Karzai Brother A U.S. Snitch?

09-17-2009, 10:05 PM
Karzai Brother a U.S. Snitch?


By Jeff Stein | September 14, 2009 11:50 PM

Evidently taking a page from the Boston Irish mob - and countless crooks before him - Afghan President Hamid Karzai's younger brother has become a snitch for U.S. intelligence, according to an allegation buried deep in a Washington Post story Monday.

If true, the connection with U.S. intelligence would go a long way to explaining why Ahmed Wali Karzai, the most powerful official in Afghanistan's volatile Kandahar Province, remains free despite a widespread consensus that he is one of Afghanistan's major drug kingpins.

The U.S. intelligence connection to the president's brother popped up in the 24th paragraph of a dispatch from Kabul Monday from The Washington Post's estimable Rajiv Chandrasekaran.

Several U.S. lawmakers, including Vice President Biden when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have urged the president to dismiss his brother from the [Kandahar Province] council," which he chairs, Chandrasekaran wrote.
"But U.S. and Canadian diplomats have not pressed the matter, in part because Ahmed Wali Karzai has given valuable intelligence to the U.S. military, and he also routinely provides assistance to Canadian forces, according to several officials familiar with the issue."The CIA declined to comment on the allegation.

The U.S. Central Command did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A responsible Canadian official could not be reached for comment.

Efforts by U.S. and even Afghan counternarcotics officials to persuade President Karzai to remove his brother from Kandahar, a strategic prize for both sides in the war, second only to Kabul -- have failed.

The provincial capital, according to Chandrasekaran's report, threatens to fall to the Taliban, largely because of official corruption.

And Ahmed Wali Karzai, the president's brother, is the city's top gangster, according to multiple reliable reports in recent years.

Karzai protests his innocence, calling the reports "just accusations."

But in May, he roughed up McClatchy Newspapers reporter Tom Lassiter during an interview in Kandahar about the accusations.

"Get the (expletive) out before I kick your (expletive)," Karzai said, shoving Lassiter from the room.

But many U.S. officials in Afghanistan have been frustrated by the brothers Karzai heroin nexus, which has persisted for years.

"Several American investigators said senior officials at the DEA and the office of the Director of National Intelligence complained to them that the [Bush] White House favored a hands-off approach toward Ahmed Wali Karzai because of the political delicacy of the matter," the New York Times^reported^in October 2008.
"But White House officials dispute that, instead citing limited DEA resources in Kandahar and southern Afghanistan and the absence of political will in the Afghan government to go after major drug suspects as the reasons for the lack of an inquiry."The younger Karzai's alleged help to U.S. and Canadian intelligence, if true, evokes the famous case of Boston Irish gangster^James J. "Whitey" Bulger, whom the FBI recruited in the 1970s to help bring down the The Hub's Mafia.

But Bulger's "Winter Hill Gang" turned the tables, using the FBI to wipe out its Italian competition and consolidate control of the area's rackets and drugs.

Along the way, Bulger -- brother of Massachusetts State Senate President William "Billy" Bulger -- was able to suborn at least two top officials in the FBI's Boston office, who were so addicted to Whitey's inside dope on the Mafia, and gifts, that they covered up his crimes, including murders, and tipped him off to Justice Department indictments.

He remains at large.