Hush Money

CIA Secretly Paying Karzai Aides

Information is power, and it's also expensive: a former intelligence official tells The Washington Post that for years the CIA has been paying members of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's administration for sources and information. Many aides have been receiving money as part of long-standing payment agreements. The payments persist, despite concern that the money may be propping up corrupt officials and feeding the culture of corruption--a culture that Karzai has vowed to crack down on, and one that Obama has repeatedly decried. According to one source the payments are crucial because "the head of state is not going to tell you everything" and often times Karzai is unaware of the workings of his own administration. According to CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano, however, "This anonymous source appears driven by ignorance, malice or both."