A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I don’t have enough coffee or middle fingers for today” (3/26)
“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake” (3/26)
“Wake up, drink coffee & punch today in the face” (3/26)
“If you are not coffee, chocolate, or bacon, I’m going to need you to go away” (3/26)
“Life happens, coffee helps” (3/26)
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Entry from April 29, 2013
Ghost Money

"Ghost money” entered the international political lexicon in April 2013, when Afghanistan officials admitted getting “ghost money” from the U.S. government. The New York (NY) Times story on April 28, 2013, “With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan” by Matthew Rosenberg, stated:


'We called it ‘ghost money,’ said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. 'It came in secret, and it left in secret.'”

It’s not clear how long the term “ghost money” has been used in Afghanistan. Khalil Roman served from 2002 until 2005, so the term might have been current at that time.


New York (NY) Times
With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan
By MATTHEW ROSENBERG
Published: April 28, 2013
KABUL, Afghanistan — For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.

All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.

“We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.”

Reuters
28 April 2013
Millions in CIA “ghost money” paid to Afghan president’s office: New York Times
(Reuters) - Tens of millions of U.S. dollars in cash were delivered by the CIA in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags to the office of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai for more than a decade, according to the New York Times, citing current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.

The so-called “ghost money” was meant to buy influence for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) but instead fuelled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan, the newspaper quoted U.S. officials as saying.

The Guardian (UK)
CIA and MI6 ghost money may fuel Afghan corruption, say diplomats
Failure of peace initiatives raises questions over whether British eagerness for political settlement may have been exploited

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
Monday 29 April 2013 11.50 EDT
The CIA and MI6 have regularly given large cash payments to Hamid Karzai’s office with the aim of maintaining access to the Afghan leader and his top allies and officials, but the attempt to buy influence has largely failed and may have backfired, former diplomats and policy analysts say.
(...)
Khalil Roman, who served as Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005, told the New York Times: “We called it ‘ghost money’. It came in secret, and it left in secret.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, April 29, 2013 • Permalink