There are some nasty people in the world who claim the government of Afghanistan has some corruption lying around its reputation, but according to the President of the country, this is a deliberate lie spread by friends of the Taliban in order to discredit his government. To make certain not such lies are allowed to circulate, Afghan prosecutors and investigators have been ordered to remove names from case files and disregard evidence when it points in the direction of good, decent people like those who are friends of the president or any number of his brothers and family members. According to one US official sent to conduct corruption investigations, “above a certain level, people are being well protected.” A spokesman for President Karzai angrily denied such allegations: “there is no case, no instance in which the palace or anyone from the palace has interfered with a case.” The Afghan Attorney-General, Mohammed Ishaaq Aloko has repeatedly impeded prosecutions of suspects. When questioned by US officials he comes across as apologetic and can only mumble: “I’m doing this because this is what the President tells me I have to do.”

A recent case illustrates problems with corruption in Afghanistan. The former Minister of Islamic Affairs, Siddiqu Chakari was facing charges of extorting millions of dollars from companies seeking contracts to take pilgrims on the Haj to Mecca. He was banned from leaving the country. But, when he got to the airport he produced a letter from Attorney General Aloko saying he had the right to leave, and leave he did, along with millions of dollars.