12/26/2008

CIA uses drugs to get information out of Afghanistan Citizens

The horrors of this are covered on the front page of the Washington Post.

The Afghan chieftain looked older than his 60-odd years, and his bearded face bore the creases of a man burdened with duties as tribal patriarch and husband to four younger women. His visitor, a CIA officer, saw an opportunity, and reached into his bag for a small gift.

Four blue pills. Viagra.

"Take one of these. You'll love it," the officer said. Compliments of Uncle Sam.

The enticement worked. The officer, who described the encounter, returned four days later to an enthusiastic reception. The grinning chief offered up a bonanza of information about Taliban movements and supply routes -- followed by a request for more pills.

For U.S. intelligence officials, this is how some crucial battles in Afghanistan are fought and won. While the CIA has a long history of buying information with cash, the growing Taliban insurgency has prompted the use of novel incentives and creative bargaining to gain support in some of the country's roughest neighborhoods, according to officials directly involved in such operations.

In their efforts to win over notoriously fickle warlords and chieftains, the officials say, the agency's operatives have used a variety of personal services. These include pocketknives and tools, medicine or surgeries for ailing family members, toys and school equipment, tooth extractions, travel visas, and, occasionally, pharmaceutical enhancements for aging patriarchs with slumping libidos, the officials said.

"Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people -- whether it's building a school or handing out Viagra," said one longtime agency operative and veteran of several Afghanistan tours. Like other field officers interviewed for this article, he spoke on the condition of anonymity when describing tactics and operations that are largely classified. . . .

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2 Comments:

Blogger Martin G. Schalz said...

Ve haff vays of making you talk!

Somehow, using Viagra as a means of a 'Hearts and Minds' campaign wasn't what I expected to see here. Nor anywhere else for that matter...

12/27/2008 9:52 AM  
Blogger Karl said...

The form of torture, if you don't talk, we will stop giving you Viagra. It is much less expensive than giving them a stack of 100 dollar bill.
Is there a co-pay with this medical plan?
Are the checking with the medical providers before handing out the pills?
I thought it was a federal crime to dispense medicine with out a prescription.

12/27/2008 12:48 PM  

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