One of the strangest stories I’ve read this Christmas is that of the CIA and their latest bribe to Afghan warlords for information about the Taliban.
Apparently, if you give ‘an asset’ – for that’s how they refer to intelligence sources – cash, they immediately go out and buy shiny things, thus giving away the act that they’re on the CIA’s payroll. Even if they’re not then killed, noone will trust them with secrets again.
So in an effort to bridge the gap between “people living in the 18th century and those coming in from the 21st century” the intelligence agency is focusing on less obvious bribes – like Viagra.
In a story in the Telegraph, a CIA officer was talking to an ageing warlord with four younger wives, none of whom could he satisfy. Apparently the agent gave him a small bag of four Viagra pills, and the deal was done.
No jokes about a hard winter in Afghanistan please…