Yet another reason why we need to declare victory and move on. Immediately. Especially with all of the financial problems at home, Afghanistan (and Iraq) are little more than money wasters. Whether it’s the leaked cable about the Afghan VP or others in power, the story remains consistent. What American would prefer throwing more cash at Afghanistan than helping fellow Americans through a very challenging economy? As for the US political leaders who are complaining about WikiLeaks, doesn’t the public have the full right to know about this alleged corruption? It may not be good news or comfortable news, but the taxpayers who are funding this ought to know.
The cable adds: “Many other notable private individuals and public officials maintain assets (primarily property) outside Afghanistan, suggesting these individuals are extracting as much wealth as possible while conditions permit.”
Two other cables provide graphic detail of such “wealth extraction” on the part of the governors of key provinces in eastern Afghanistan. Usman Usmani, governor of Ghazni, and Juma Khan Hamdard, governor of Paktiya, are accused of systemic corruption, theft of public funds and extorting money from construction contractors on a regular basis.
“Credible sources indicate that some of the most senior government officials in [Ghazni] province have chronically engaged in significant corrupt acts: embezzling public funds, stealing humanitarian assistance, and misappropriating government property, among others,” one cable says, basing its conclusions on interviews with a wide range of law enforcement officials and other citizens.