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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Karzai Government Corruption Hobbles Obama Afghan War Strategy
05 Nov 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Karzai Government Corruption Hobbles Obama Afghan War Strategy

Interview with Mel Goodman, former CIA analyst, conducted by Scott Harris

In a blow to Washington's efforts to restore credibility to a tainted election process, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's main challenger dropped out of the presidential run off election scheduled for Nov. 7. Former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah refused to participate in the second round election, declaring he felt they would be as fraudulent as the first vote in August, in which almost a million ballots for Karzai were thrown out as illegitimate. Karzai was declared the winner by the Afghan Election Commission and will now serve a new five-year term.

Adding to his government's credibility problems, President Karzai's brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, is reported to have been on the payroll of the CIA over the past eights years, while also being involved in Afghanistan's opium trade. He denies both charges. President Obama congratulated Karzai on his victory while reminding him that his government needs to address widespread allegations of corruption and incompetence.

Now Obama must move forward to decide on the future U.S. strategy to confront the growing Taliban insurgency, and whether or not to accept the recommendation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal to deploy up to another 40,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman, who assesses the credibility of the Karzai government and the choices facing President Obama on defining U.S. objectives and strategy in the Afghan War.

Mel Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor of Government at Johns Hopkins University. His latest book is titled, "Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA." For more information, visit

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
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©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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