Afghan Carpetbaggers Hit Pots of Gold in Washington
Once Upon a Time a General…
Once upon a time there was an Afghani general named Abdul Rahim Wardak. He had studied in both US and Egyptian military schools before joining the army in Afghanistan. In the 1980s, a few years after he joined the army, he decided to defect and joined the Mujahideen movement. We don’t know exactly who in the United States gave him the order to defect, because no one is willing to go on record. However, we know very well that due to their fight against the Communist Soviet Union, the Mujahideen were significantly financed, armed, and trained by the CIA, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, along with several other not as significant nations. We also know that back then, when we were supporting, financing, training and cheering for the Mujahideen as ‘freedom fighters,’ those labeled today as terrorist evil-doer radicals, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, were viewed and treated as our allies and entourage.
Now, back to our General. He joined the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan arm of the Mujahideen and fought against the Soviets. Interestingly, during those years, the mid to late 80s, our general Wardak was brought to the United States and coached to testify before the US Congress; not once but several times. He was even flown to the US once to receive medical treatment for a wound he received from a scud missile. I am sure you are savvy enough to know that this was considered ‘highly special’ treatment for a Mujahideen fighter in Afghanistan. Our general was truly loved when it came to our CIA and certain high-level people within the Reagan Administration.
So how good of a military officer was Mr. Wardak? Not a good one – and this assessment seems to be pretty much unanimous. In fact, this is how he’s been known in that part of the world: “… in the 1980’s, he had garnered a reputation as one of the least accomplished commanders of the American-backed Mujahideen resistance to Soviet occupation forces.” If you enter the circles within the Washington DC Afghani diaspora, and if you get close enough to hear the hushed comments, you’d be able to make out words like ‘corrupt,’ ‘ties to drug-running warlords,’ or ‘Afghan mafia.’ But for some ‘mysterious’ reasons our Central Intelligence Agency and hard-core Neocons within our foreign policy arena had deemed this general ultra special and important…
*And the story continues…
Once Upon a Time a Godmother of Neocons…
Once Upon a time there was a woman named Jeane Kirkpatrick, who didn’t really look like a woman but it never mattered, in fact it may have helped her. Jeane was a Democrat, and then, later, she became a Republican. She was on President Reagan’s National Security Council, on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, and of course the Defense Policy Review Board. She became the US Ambassador to the United Nations; appointed by President Reagan. Ms. Kirkpatrick was a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). She was a hard-core anti-communist, and she was a hawk. But most importantly, she was the woman whom people considered and labeled the Godmother of Neocons.
Ms. Kirkpatrick died in 2006, and here is a widely witnessed account of those who shed the most tears:
“Until the end, she was a cherished mentor to the neo-conservatives. John Bolton – Bush’s outgoing ambassador to the UN and of all her successors there the one who most closely resembled her – publicly wept as he paid tribute to her last week. Perhaps the tears were at the rubble of his President’s Iraq policy, but also for a remarkable woman.”
Before her death, her final ‘known’ government mission was to help pave the way for our preemptive attack on Iraq in 2002:
“…in a final mission, kept secret until her death, to meet Arab envoys in Geneva in 2003 to win them over to the impending invasion of Iraq. Her instructions were to argue that pre-emptive war was justified. But Kirkpatrick knew it wouldn’t work. Instead she made the case that Saddam Hussein had flouted the UN too long and too often.”
Jeane Kirkpatrick, true to her Grand Neocon title, was a strong believer of ‘the end justifies the means.’ She vehemently disagreed with Secretary of State George Schultz on the Iran-Contra affair, in which she supported skimming money off arms sales to fund the Contras. Everything was kosher to her, whether drugs or illegal arms sales, as long as these means served what she considered to be the goal; an imperial US.
Ms. Kirkpatrick similarly, in fact more vehemently, supported our operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 80s where we backed and trained the Mujahideen against the Soviets. Just like what we sanctioned in Nicaragua, in Afghanistan all deals, no matter how insane or unsavory, were means’ to justify the end. This was one of her mottos most cherished by the hawks and the neocons:
“Traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies.”
What went unsaid in that quote, but meant and practiced was: Radical Islam, the Taliban, their Madrasas, their terrorizing of women, their heroin business…are perfectly all right, as long as they are on our side, in our camp, on our payroll, instead of on the other side.
Following her ‘direct’ government career, she returned to academia at Georgetown University where for some reason many well-known Neocons, such as James Woolsey and Douglas Feith, chose to flock. And very characteristically our Jeane Patrick continued her contribution to the practice of Neocon-ism…
*And the story continues…
Once Upon a Time a spook…
Once upon a time there was man named Milton Bearden, commonly referred to as Milt. He spent his early years in the state of Washington where his father worked on the Manhattan Project. After a few years with the US Air Force he joined the CIA in 1964.
Milt was CIA’s chosen man for their operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. In fact, from 1986 to 1989, when our country was supporting the Mujahideen, he was one of their main men on the ground, working with this coalition of the Taliban, the Saudis and their main man Bin Laden, and the Pakistani ISI. The Director of the CIA, William Casey, was the one who appointed Milt Bearden for this task. Here is Milt’s own words describing his importance in a not very unusual ex-CIA conceited manner:
“For Casey Afghanistan seemed to be possibly one of the keys and so he tapped me one day to go. he said ‘I want you to go to Afghanistan, I want you to go next month and I will give you what ever you need to Win.” To win, yeah he said: “I want you to go out there and win” As opposed to ‘let’s go there and bleed these guys and make it be a Vietnam’, I want you to go and win and whatever you need you can have. He gave me the Stinger Missiles and a billion Dollars!”
He must have done extremely well since he was promoted to CIA Station Chief in Pakistan. In fact he must have done exceedingly well since he was later appointed the chief of the Soviet/East European Division during the collapse of the Soviet Union, and received three glowing medals from the CIA for services rendered.
Milt’s cushy CIA retirement and all those glowing medals must not have been enough, for he then engaged in frenzied marketing and self promotion to get himself entrenched in almost all major US networks and newspapers as a consultant, writer, advisor, and of course as a trusted source – a CIA source to provide quotes and information for scripts at the snap of a finger. He coauthored a book with New York Times reporter James Risen called State of War. Whether this kind of business arrangement, where a commonly used source partners up with a reporter, presents a conflict of interest or even could be called incestuous, is everyone else’s call.
Most interestingly Mr. Bearden seemed to have lured in the American mainstream media by presenting himself as an outspoken critique of the Bush White House Intelligence policies after the September 11 terrorists’ attack. He suddenly became a major spokesperson on ‘how we created this monster called Osama Bin Laden,’ and the nasty radical Taliban. And the mainstream media couldn’t get enough of him. Ironically, he happened to be the man after William Casey and Neocons’ Jeane Kirkpatrick’s own hearts in creating the Bin Laden monster, bolstering the radical Taliban brand of Islamism in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and kosherizing all dirty deeds as means to justify the end(s). He didn’t get those medals or promotions for nothing!
Not only that, Mr. Bearden’s speeches and writings seemed to have received the approval of the CIA and the Bush administration. As we all know you don’t get to publish uncensored and unredacted books as an ex-CIA man unless they want you to. This didn’t seem to raise a single eyebrow in the US media or pseudo activist organizations and think tanks.
While cashing in on his CIA past and government approved public persona within the US media, he quietly began to court the Ex-Taliban carpetbagger crowd in Washington DC in order to tap in to the billions of dollars war market cookie jars…
*And the story continues…
The son, and then the circle all came together…
Our General Wardak disappeared from the Afghan scene at the beginning of the civil war in the 1990s. He brought his family to the United States where he settled comfortably with enough wealth from undetermined sources, and he enrolled his son, Hamed, in Georgetown University.
Hamed Wardak, a quite chubby and ambitious young man, arrived at Georgetown University, and by the time he got to his senior level he was taken under the wings of one of his professors as her protégé. That professor was none other than our Jeane Kirkpatrick, the proud Godmother of the Neocons. Our savvy readers will understand that this was not due to chance and Hamed’s stars being all aligned. After all, his General father had done his job well serving Kirkpatrick’s and other Neocons’ foreign policy objectives at all costs in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As mentioned earlier, his General father was flown to the US several times and coached by this crowd to give speeches before the US Congress to obtain funds for their overt and covert operations involving the Saudis, Pakistanis and Taliban. So no, these relationships don’t evaporate and disappear. Wardak and his family were accommodated quite well after they were brought to the US, and the Neocons’ future plans for Afghanistan would have plenty of roles for the Wardak family to fill.
Wardak Junior was a known figure among the radical pro-Taliban sympathizers in Washington DC circles. Here are a few quotes from an excellent piece written on the Wardak(s) and Karzai(s):
“During this period, he flirted with pro-Taliban sympathies, due both to his ethnic Pashtun fervor and peer pressure from young DC-area extremists.
Gradually, however, Hamed came under the influence of Kirkpatrick’s philosophical soul mates, notably Marin Strmecki, a Republican essayist and political facilitator with the Smith Richardson Foundation. Strmecki worked at the Pentagon under Dick Cheney in the first Bush administration, along with Lewis “Scooter” Libby – and Zalmay Khalilzad. It was during Hamed Wardak’s reappraisal of the world, via these American political heavyweights, that he came into contact with a group of upwardly-mobile players on Washington’s Afghan-American scene: the Karzais; specifically, two of the six Karzai boys – Qayum and Mahmood. Unlike their younger brother Hamid, who had spent much of his life in Pakistan, Mahmood and Qayum were accomplished US-based businessmen.”
The Karzai brothers took a great interest in Wardak Junior, and he enjoyed the benefits of the Karzais’ flashy and high-flying friends. After the September 11 Terror Attacks, the Karzais made Hamed the Vice President of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce, which was founded by Mahmood Karzai. As I mentioned briefly in my piece, our Neocon Ex-Congressman Don Ritter happens to be the co-founder of this organization. Hamed was also appointed to an advisor’s post with President Karzai’s first Finance Minister, Ashraf Ghani. No small accomplishment for the barely 30 year old Hamed!
Hamed Wardak’s most productive venture in tapping into the US Defense Sector Pot(s) of Gold began with joining a Washington DC contracting firm, Technologists Inc., founded by Aziz Azimi, who happened to be a very close buddy of Qayum Karzai. Here is a further detail on this by e-Ariana:
“Hamed Wardak’s new alliances proved extraordinarily advantageous as George W. Bush launched his “war on terror,” particularly with Khalilzad and Strmecki enjoying direct access to Vice-President Dick Cheney’s office.”
Do you want to check out the kind of contracts, the kind of millions, we are talking about with Technologists Inc.? Here is one for you:
Technologists, Inc., Rosslyn, Va., was awarded on Jan. 5, 2009, a $96,090,519 firm fixed price contract for the construction of an Afghanistan National Police National Training Center. Work will be performed in Maydan Wardak, Afghanistan, and is expected to be completed by Mar. 31, 2011. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. Web bids were solicited on Oct. 1, 2008, and 13 bids were received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Afghanistan, is the contracting activity (W917PM-09-C-0005).
That’s right. Just one of these contracts is worth nearly $100 million for connected Afghan carpetbaggers cashing in on wars suffered by ordinary American tax payers and US soldiers.
Back to the Wardaks and Karzais:
“By the time Khalilzad took up his ambassadorship to Kabul in Dec. 2004, Strmecki had been appointed Rumsfeld’s “Afghanistan Policy Co-ordinator.” That same month, Karzai removed his Minister of Defence, the Northern Alliance’s Mohammed Fahim, a Tajik. Faim’s replacement: Rahim Wardak.”
You heard it right. Our General Wardak was promoted and taken back to Afghanistan to serve in Karzai’s regime as the Minister of Defense. Was he given citizenship when he was brought back to the US to settle? No one is really talking. Did anyone in Afghanistan question having US citizens in their quasi democratic government posts? No one in the US media is reporting. If you are trusted within the Afghan diaspora in the DC area you’ll hear hushed comments about Wardak, his corrupt practices, and the rumors, fairly consistent rumors, of his close connections to the poppy world.
Back to Wardak Junior in Washington DC; With his dad now in Afghanistan as the Defense Minister, and with his Karzai partners and friends, he was busy running from one pot of gold to another:
“During this period, Hamed Wardak’s Washington DC-based firm, Technologists Inc. (Ti), benefited from several large contracts, some arranged directly with the US Defense Department, others via the Afghan Ministry of Defence. Ti’s website boasts that it was the first Afghan-American firm to be awarded a prime contract by the US government. Its portfolio has been fattened by a cornucopia of construction projects, including border crossing stations and the ANA’s Logistics and Command Headquarters, a counter-narcotics “campus” where the US Drug Enforcement Agency and its Afghan counterparts will be based [Emphasis Added] cell block renovations to Kabul’s huge Pul-i-Charkhi prison, and three industrial parks.”
Now recall the hushed voices about our General Wardak’s possible shady connections to heroin and mafia in Afghanistan among the Afghani diaspora in the Washington DC area. Now this same general happens to become the Minister of Defense, while his son runs companies with contracts for services rendered to our very own US Drug Enforcement Agency in Afghanistan, which is supposed to be fighting the heroin trade over there. Could it get more ridiculous and ironic than this?!
Of course it can. As I was working on this piece this New York Times headline popped up on my screen:
KABUL, Afghanistan — Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.
The agency pays Mr. Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home. The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America’s war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House.
The ties to Mr. Karzai have created deep divisions within the Obama administration. The critics say the ties complicate America’s increasingly tense relationship with President Hamid Karzai, who has struggled to build sustained popularity among Afghans and has long been portrayed by the Taliban as an American puppet. The C.I.A.’s practices also suggest that the United States is not doing everything in its power to stamp out the lucrative Afghan drug trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.
I am not going to get side tracked and criticize this NY Times article and its timing. After all, Karzai’s heroin connection and mafia characters have been known for a long time. The New York Times piece is probably timed and written to serve a draft or new operation plan for Afghanistan where we’ll be installing another crook to replace Karzai, but this new crook will be handpicked by this administration and enrich their slate of contractors…
Okay, so now we have Hamed Wardak with his Defense Minister father’s rumored heroin past and present, we have his extremely close ties to the Karzais with their heroin and crime network and connections. In a good and just world this would mean the end of Wardak. But that’s not the kind of world we live in. Hamed and his companies and connections, both in Afghanistan and in the US, are still cashing in; big time.
Here is one of our characters who hasn’t made an appearance for several pages: Milt Bearden, the EX-CIA Rambo in Afghanistan in the 80s, the US media darling on Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Taliban…you name it, the shrewd self promoter with books and movies:
Milt Bearden must have been pretty familiar with our General Wardak since he was on the ground in Afghanistan serving his masters at the CIA and the Whitehouse, including the great advocator of ‘use any means,’ our Godmother of Neocons, Jeane Kirkpatrick. Operation Cyclone must certainly have brought him in contact with involved Taliban Generals, including our General, Osama Bin Laden, and other key ISI operators, and his dealings must certainly have included the major heroin operations tapped into to further fund these ‘freedom fighters.’ In fact, our Spook dealt extensively with Hekmatyar, who is considered one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Heroin Operator in Afghanistan – which supplies 90% of the world’s Heroin:
“One U.S. official who had considerable dealings with Mr. Hekmatyar was Milt Bearden, who during the Soviet occupation ran the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s covert program in Afghanistan. He says Mr. Hekmatyar struck him as “quirky and paranoid.””
Thus, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that our Ex-Spook took an interest in our General’s son, and translated this interest into a close business partnership when our young and chubby Hamed Wardak got closer and closer to big Pots of Gold in Washington DC and his father made it to the Defense Minister position in Afghanistan.
After Hamed Wardak left Technologists Inc. to go further in tapping the US Defense Contractor Gold Pots, and to set up various other front businesses in Afghanistan, many of which happen to be in security sectors, he formed a new front organization, Campaign for a US-Afghan Partnership. Guess who he appointed as the top man for the Board of this ambigious organization? That’s right, none other than our ex-spook, media supplier, Milton Bearden. Check out his glowing background listed on Hamed Wardak’s organization’s website: click here. What exactly this organization does, no one really knows, which should go as another credit to our Mr. Bearden’s CIA background in keeping things convoluted and secretive.
Rumors from the Ex-CIA community in the DC area point to another highly lucrative Wardak company paid by US tax payers, NCL, in Kabul, and hint that their buddy Milt may have been playing a major role there. Because of Mr. Bearden’s cozy relationships no one in the media has been looking for these deeper engagements and lucrative partnerships between him and Hamed Wardak.
With their intimate relationship and close ties with the Bush Whitehouse, especially Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney’s quarters, the Wardaks and Karzais ran from one pot of gold to another, filled their pockets and probably Swiss accounts, while the conditions kept worsening in Afghanistan, resulting in more civilian deaths and injured, and more US troop casualties there. Then, the Bush-Cheney era came to an end…
If you are holding your breath for our New President to act differently than his predecessor in enriching Wardaks-like carpetbagger war profiteers, go ahead – inhale and exhale. Hamed Wardak has been a supporter of both Hillary Clinton and President Obama, who between them received a total of $20,000 from Mr. Wardak in 2008. A naïve out of Washington person would scratch his head and ask ‘With all these ties, close connections and friendship with Bush Neocons such as Rumsfeld and Khalilzad, why the heck would he support and pay the Obama camp?’ Washington circle people would never ask such questions. They know very well how things are, that each establishment-based administration has its own set of neocons, hawks, and war profiteers.
Soon we’ll know who our new administration has in mind to replace Karzai’s regime. Will it be an insider like our General Wardak? Certainly not impossible. He’s been the man for decades, and they’ve invested a lot in him and his son, and enriched him and his family tremendously. Will it be another puppet just like Karzai but with a new face? Certainly possible. That would mean another group of carpetbagger war profiteers entering the market to grab the pots of gold financed by us, while the Karzais and Wardaks go away and enjoy their hundreds of millions of dollars stashed somewhere.
No matter what, with this kind of foundation, nothing will change for us, the ordinary Americans. Our tax dollars will go to the Wardaks or Wardaks-like parasites. Our soldiers will lose arms and legs, or their lives. The Afghani civilians will continue to suffer death, destruction, and chaos. Because the story of the General, his son, a spook, and the Godmother of Neocons, is only one of hundreds out there, and as long as we sit on the sideline, watch, and do nothing, there will be hundreds, or thousands more in this story, albeit with different faces and names.