Monday, October 25, 2010

How Much Am I Bid?

Looks like someone isn't ashamed of a little palm-greasing:

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Monday that once or twice a year Iran gives his office $700,000 to $975,000 for official presidential expenses - and that Washington also provides "bags of money" because his office lacks funds.

Karzai's comments come a day after The New York Times reported that Iran was giving bags of cash to the Afghan president's chief of staff, Umar Daudzai, to buy his loyalty and promote Iranian interests in Afghanistan.

The Times quoted unnamed sources as saying that the cash amounted to a slush fund that Karzai and Daudzai had used to pay Afghan lawmakers, tribal elders - and even Taliban commanders - to secure their loyalty.

Karzai told reporters Monday that he had instructed Daudzai, a former Afghan ambassador to Iran, to accept the money from Tehran. "It is official and by my order," Karzai said.

Actual bags? Like, with the "$" on the side? How brazen. At least we'll know how Karzai spent all of this cash and-

Karzai did not offer details about how the money was spent, saying only that it was used to "help the presidential office" and to "dispense assistance" to certain individuals.

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