Afghanistan Is Even More Corrupt Than You Thought

WikiLeaks' cables paint hopeless picture
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2010 7:28 AM CST
Afghan President Hamid Karzai speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010.   (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

(Newser) – WikiLeaks’ State Department cable dump paints an almost comically bleak picture of Afghan corruption. How bad is it? So bad that in January, the American Embassy noted that the agriculture minister “appears to be the only minister … about whom no allegations of bribery exist,” according to the New York Times. So bad that one of the few guys busted and jailed for corruption—Kabul mayor Abdul Ahad Sahibi—was actually, according to one diplomat, a victim of “kangaroo court justice,” who’d been trying to stop a corrupt land deal.

Diplomats think the country’s primary monetary exchange caters to “narco-traffickers, insurgents and criminals,” according to the Washington Post, with tens of millions in cash routinely smuggled out of the country. And speaking of cash, remember the bags of money Hamid Karzai gets from Iran? Well in a cable spotted by the Guardian, an aide reveals that many other officials and lawmakers are on Tehran’s payroll, too—even as Iran provides training camps for the Taliban.

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