World News

Karzai's Office Responds to 'Bags of CIA Money' Allegations

The office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai says it received what it calls a "small amount" of money from the U.S. government over the past decade, in addition to the billions Washington has spent on Afghanistan's reconstruction.

Monday's statement from Kabul came in response to a New York Times article that said the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency had delivered bags stuffed with money to President Karzai's office throughout the last 10 years, allegedly for influence in Afghanistan.

Khalil Roman, who served as President Karzai's deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005 and is quoted in the article, confirmed to VOA the existence of what he called "ghost money," but he said he did not know what it was used for.

According to Mr. Karzai's office, the assistance has been used for "different objectives," including assistance to injured and sick Afghans. There was no mention of the CIA in the statement, and Washington has yet to issue its own response.

The New York Times details a total of tens of millions of dollars reportedly "packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags" and delivered "every month or so" to the Afghan president's office. However, the newspaper article mentions that there was no evidence uncovered that Mr. Karzai received any of the money personally.



In 2010, the New York Times first reported that Iran had been sending millions of dollars to Mr. Karzai's chief of staff. The newspaper said the Afghan leader and his staff were using foreign cash to secure the loyalty of Afghan lawmakers, tribal leaders and even Taliban commanders.

Tehran dismissed the article as "ridiculous and insulting," before later acknowledging that it had been sending money to Kabul for years to aid reconstruction in the country.

After that article, President Karzai admitted that his office had received cash payments from "various friendly countries," including Iran and the United States. However, the Obama administration denied giving Afghanistan what it called "bags of cash."

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs