Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What About Karzai Cash Before 9-11?

In light of the news that Afghan president Karzai has been receiving millions in cash payments from the US  and UK, Bill Bergman emails:

The entry below at History Commons (www.historycommons.com) includes a reference to a Vanity Fair article and the note that "Blee hands Massoud a briefcase full of cash."  That would be before 9/11, given that Massoud was assassinated a couple days before 9/11.  I've also seen references to Karzai being aligned with / working with Massoud in the years before 9/11.

Did cash payments to people like this accelerate in July/August 2001, amidst intensified covert operations in Afghanistan or elsewhere in Central Asia? 
CIA managers Gary Schroen, of the Near East division, and Richard Blee, responsible for Alec Station, the agency’s bin Laden unit, meet Northern Alliance commander Ahmed Shah Massoud in Paris, France. [Coll, 2004, pp. 560] Massoud, who is in Europe to address the European Parliament (see April 6, 2001), tells Schroen and Blee “that his own intelligence had learned of al-Qaeda’s intention to perform a terrorist act against the United States that would be vastly greater than the bombings of the American embassies in East Africa.” [Wright, 2006, pp. 337]Declassified Defense Intelligence Agency documents from November 2001 will say that Massoud has gained “limited knowledge… regarding the intentions of [al-Qaeda] to perform a terrorist act against the US on a scale larger than the 1998 bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.” They will further point out he may have been assassinated two days before 9/11 (seeSeptember 9, 2001) because he “began to warn the West.” [PakTribune (Islamabad), 9/13/2003;Agence France-Presse, 9/14/2003] Blee hands Massoud a briefcase full of cash. [Vanity Fair, 11/2004] Schroen and Blee assure Massoud that, although he has been visited less by the CIA recently, they are still interested in working with him, and they will continue to make regular payments of several hundred thousand dollars each month. Commenting on the military situation in Afghanistan, Massoud says his defenses will hold for now, but the Northern Alliance is doing badly and no longer has the strength to counterattack. [Coll, 2004, pp. 561-2]

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