Ahmed Wali Karzai: Afghani Gangster

Remember what a huge deal it was when George Bush's niece—Noelle—was arrested for sneaking crack cocaine into a rehab center back in 2003? Turns out, Afghani president Hamid Karzai's brother probably does way, way worse things than this.

Oh, to live again in those innocent, pre-post-racial society days. Today the Times leans hard on the gangster analogies in a scandalous new report on Karzai's brother, Ahmed Kali Karzi, whose major revelation is the fact that he takes dirty money from the dirty C.I.A. to help them win America's dirty war while being, himself, extremely dirty in an opium trade-related way. It even includes cool, hard-boiled things people might say about real gangsters and the bad things they do. For example:

If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck," the American officer said of Mr. Karzai. "Our assumption is that he's benefiting from the drug trade."

And not only that: In addition to doing things to help the American war effort, like putting up special forces and fielding a paramilitary organization, check out all the gangster-type "legitimate busy-ness" Karzai allegedly does with the money we give him:

  • Charges "huge fees to drug traffickers to allow their drug-laden trucks to cross bridges!" "Nothing to see here, officer, just your normal, everyday drug trafficking toll booth."
  • Manufactures "hundreds of thousands of phony ballots for his brother's re-election effort in August," then calmly assures the Washington Post that his brother will win "by a very large margin"!"Trust me, Hamid's got unbeatable... policies."
  • Calls up an Afghan commander who has captured a large shipment of heroin and say to him: "This heroin belongs to me, you should release it." "I bought all this heroin to... turn over to the proper authorities."
  • Improbably survives a massive suicide bomb that leaves 17 other people dead!"What, I'm a lucky guy, alright?"
  • Records a track with gangsta rap pioneer Iced T called "Straight Outta Kandahar"! I made this up!
  • Quacks like a duck! "Quack Quack."