July 16, 2011
A British newspaper reports today that the man who assassinated Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, worked for the CIA and U.S. Special Forces.
In 2009, we reported that Karzai was the suspected kingpin of the country’s booming opium trade. At that time, he was on the CIA payroll for eight years, according to the New York Times. “Officials quoted by The Times described Karzai as a Mafia-like figure who expanded his influence over the drug trade with the aid of U.S. efforts to eliminate his competitors,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote on October 28, 2009.
Sardar Mohammad, the bodyguard who gunned down Karzai, held regular meetings with British officials and had two brothers-in-law serving in a CIA-run paramilitary unit, the Kandahar Strike Force, the Washington Post reported yesterday.
On July 12, following the assassination, the media reported that the Taliban had put out a hit on the half brother of Afghanistan’s U.S.-installed president, a former employee of Unocal. “The Taliban asserted responsibility for Karzai’s killing, and a U.S. official confirmed that the insurgent group may have influenced Mohammad, who had commanded checkpoints in the Karzai family’s ancestral village,” the Washington Post reported.
The Post admits, however, that the Taliban may not have killed Karzai. As Kandahar provincial council chief, Ahmed Wali Karzai was a symbol of the venality of Afghanistan’s new U.S.-installed ruling elite. It is said he had a long list of enemies from “his business and political dealings.” The Post minimizes his role as overlord of the country’s thriving opium trade.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Predictably, the Post follows its Pentagon script closely and states the assassination “underscores the continued vulnerability of Afghan officials as the United States prepares to reduce its military presence, and likely will complicate U.S. efforts to bolster security in southern Afghanistan.”
Instead of acting as a hit man for the CIA and the Pentagon, Mohammad is portrayed as a Taliban recruit. “They do have dedicated intelligence officers. And that’s not just about gathering information but also about infiltration, using whatever combination of blackmail or ideological levers [they need to … The killing] is a really excellent indication of the sophistication of Taliban intelligence networks. It’s something we don’t know enough about – how it breaks down,” an analyst told the Independent.
The CIA is notorious for betraying its assets in the global drug business. (The betrayal of Manuel Noriega comes to mind.) Power struggles ending in murder are hardly the exception to the rule in the illegal drug business. It is more likely Karzai was killed because he represented a threat to the enterprise or the CIA wanted to promote another individual.
Reporting on the incident by the corporate media is so obviously transparent as to be a bad joke. Instead of mentioning the drug business and its history of violence, we are fed the same old stale forever war narrative – the Taliban is cunning, has a sprawling intelligence network, and we abandon the country at our peril. The assassination becomes yet another excuse in the eleventh hour to continue the occupation indefinitely.
Finally, if the Taliban have installed a crafty intelligence network, it was probably something they picked up from the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI. The “insurgent” group that at one time was flown to Texas and allowed to go shopping at the mall is a natural born creation of the CIA and its manufactured war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, as congressmen Jim McDermott and Dana Rohrabacher have pointed out.
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