Monday, April 12, 2010

Ambassador Galbraith: Hamid Karzai Might Be On Drugs

Peter Galbraith, who worked for the UN in Kabul until last year, and according to CNN's Fareed Zakaria, "sounded the alarm that led to US involvement in the Balkans," thinks that Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai might be on drugs. Ambassador Galbraith referenced palace insiders as sources. Hashish and marijuana were alluded to in the interview. That might explain his erratic, increasingly paranoid statements about joining the Taliban (also President Obama's abrupt recent trip for face-to-face talks with Karzai in Afghanistan).

The Obama administration predictably distanced themselves from Galbraith. From The New York Daily News:

"[Karzai's] prone to tirades. He can be very emotional, act impulsively," said Peter Galbraith, former deputy head of the U.N. in Afghanistan.

"Some of the palace insiders say that he has a certain fondness for some of Afghanistan's most profitable exports," he added.

According to a recent U.N. report, Afghanistan produces nearly 3,500 tons of hash. The country is also believed to produce nearly 90 percent of the world's heroin.

The claim of illegal drug use by Karzai was directly attacked by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who also appeared in "Face the Nation."

"This statement about the drugs and so on is just stupid," he said.

This comes on the heels of last week, when State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley made an effort to distance the White House from Galbraith's remark.

Karzai "is the president of Afghanistan. He's been significantly engaged with us on a regular basis," he said.

"We have no information to support the charges that Peter Galbraith has leveled.”

The Afghan leader visits Washington on May 12.

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