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CIA slipped millions to Hamid Karzaiā€™s offices to buy influence: Report

- The Washington Times - Monday, April 29, 2013

The CIA delivered over the course of a decade tens of millions of dollars of U.S. cash to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's offices via suitcases, backpacks and plastic bags, a media outlet reported.

The "ghost money" was intended to buy the CIA influence, Reuters reported, citing a New York Times investigation. Instead, the money furthered corruption and warlords and ultimately conflicted with America's official strategy in Afghanistan, Reuters said.

"The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan was the United States," one American official in the report said.

CIA and State Department officials didn't comment.

"We called it 'ghost money,'" said Khalil Roman, Mr. Karzai's chief of staff between 2002 and 2005, Reuters said. "It came in secret and it left in secret."

It's not clear if Mr. Karzai personally received the money. Afghan officials said in the report that the money was funneled through the National Security Office.

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