“There’s no significant drug trafficking anywhere in the world in which the CIA isn’t involved.” This truism has again been confirmed by a report in the New York Times. While in the past it was limited to hanky-panky with drug lords in Latin America or Southeast Asia, this time the agency, according to the New York Times article, is actually part of an organized crime operation in the Hindu Kush war zone. Active and former U.S. intelligence personnel claim that Ahmed Wali Karzai, brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is a known key player in the Afghan drug world but has nonetheless been on the CIA payroll for the past eight years. It is therefore absurd that U.S. politicians and the American media are condemning President Karzai for not prosecuting his brother.

The campaign began about a year ago, after the White House decided to start looking for an alternative to President Karzai. But apparently the left hand in Washington did not know what the right hand was up to, as it became known that Karzai’s brother was at that time considered a valuable employee of the CIA. As a Pashtun, Ahmed is both the eyes and ears of the intelligence service deep within the Taliban-controlled Pashtun tribal areas where, thanks to his criminal network, he has many connections. At the same time, Ahmed was helping the CIA to set up contact with tribal leaders who either were cooperating with the Taliban or wished to switch allegiances to the U.S. side. CIA special units would be able to use Ahmed’s far-flung areas of influence as a base for their clandestine operations.

As pay, the CIA helped President Karzai’s brother by ridding him of two bothersome competitors: Matiullah Qati, Police Chief of Kandahar province, was “accidentally” shot to death by a CIA special operations unit, and Karzai also inherited drug baron Hajji Bashir Noorzai’s business after Noorzai, with Ahmed’s help, fell into an American trap, was arrested, later convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. The New York Times reached either the pinnacle of naïveté or was playing administration apologist by saying, “CIA practices in Afghanistan suggest that the United States isn’t doing everything in its power to eradicate the lucrative narcotics trade in Afghanistan.”

Meanwhile, hostilities in Afghanistan are escalating. October is, so far, the bloodiest month for U.S. forces since the start of the fighting, with 55 killed in action. The second worst month was the preceding August, when 51 died. Simultaneously, predictions that armed enemies of the occupation might begin operating in the relatively secure capital city of Kabul seem to be have been accurate. This was demonstrated by the Wednesday morning attack on the United Nations guesthouse in the government zone that had previously been considered “absolutely secure.” Nine people died in that attack, six of them foreign U.N. workers. This attack underlines the U.N.’s total failure. Because of pressure from the United States and other NATO countries, it has now become a handmaiden of the occupation forces and thus also a target of the insurgency.