Monday, 2. November 2009
As the bodies in Afghanistan are piling up and the number of wounded keeps escalating, while Washington is buzzing with the long-known but selectively-buried corrupt and criminal past and present of our installed government officials there, some are cashing in on both sides, and some are paving the way to the next pot(s) of gold reserved for carpetbaggers and war-profiteers in every war or conflict. In this game there are always a few known names and faces who are publicized and who draw the spotlight, and there are those who enjoy operating and profiting quietly without drawing deserved attention and needed scrutiny. That’s how Washington’s war and conflict machine works, and that’s the way our foreign policy decisions are influenced and made. I am going to introduce one such character as an introduction to my upcoming longer story on this same topic. Ladies and gentlemen please meet our Neocon Ex Congressman, Don Ritter, and be informed of his new lucrative ‘Laundering Business’ in Afghanistan.
Don Ritter, former Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania from 1979 until 1992, is known to have received positions and benefits due to his consistent and heavy involvement in Afghanistan related operations and activities, starting when Brzezinski’s vision was put in practice in 1979. He authored the “Material Assistance” to Afghanistan legislation in the Congress, created the Congressional Task Force on Afghanistan to promote such material assistance of all kinds to the Afghan resistance (including the Bin Laden Group), and held numerous meetings on Afghanistan with representatives of the State Department, CIA, and DIA to enhance U.S. assistance to the Mujahideen (which included now-evil Osama Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistani ISI). These are only the ‘known’ activities of Mr. Ritter during his years in Congress. Now let’s look at what he’s been busy with since he left the Congress in 1992.
According to Mr. Ritter’s openly available biography, provided on various websites including Wikipedia, he founded and chaired the Afghanistan Foundation in 1996. He’s been living in Washington DC, and very interestingly, since the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks, he has spent about one-third of his time in Afghanistan! Why? This is what he says when you ask him the question:
Since 2002, he has been active in developing a market economy in Afghanistan: personally as a businessman and investor in Afghan companies, and public policy wise in promoting’ free market policies of the Afghan government through organizations like the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and the Afghan International Chamber of Commerce (AICC).
So who are these Afghan this and Afghan that organizations? What do they really do? You could conduct tons of research, but rest assured you won’t find much outside the gobbledygook provided by founders and board members such as Ritter himself. Let’s start with the Afghan Foundation which was founded and operated by Don Ritter himself:
The foundation has recently changed its name to Afghan-American Foundation; I guess it makes it less suspicious and more palatable to some. Ritter is the Chairman, and his long list of advisors and players includes known and infamous personalities: Qayum Karzai, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, and congressional figures including Duncan Hunter, Tom Davis, and Dana Rohrabacher, and several well-known names from the State Department. If you check their ‘Activities’ section you’ll get nothing but a handful of whitepaper and forum lists. That’s it for the Afghan Foundation.
Next, let’s quickly look at the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC). Don Ritter and Mahmood Karzai are the founding members. They say they are the leading organization facilitating U.S.-Afghan business, investment, and trade ties through their Matchmaking Conferences and related activities. That’s interesting to me because last time I checked we were sending Afghanistan arms and defense contracts, and the only major export they had, which happens to be pretty major, was their poppies. Maybe they are recruiting and sending tourists over there for some R & R! Their board members and trustees include another Karzai brother, Mahmood Karzai, a dear friend of the Karzais and major Afghan Carpetbagger Mr. Aziz Azimi, and Dyn Corporation’s John A. Gastright, along with other US and Afghan war profiteers. For some reason I couldn’t find the son of Abdul Rahim Wardak, current Defense Minister in Afghanistan who promotes himself as one of the founders and the Vice President, on the website of the organization.
As for the Afghan International Chamber of Commerce (AICC), I haven’t been able to locate their website. While mentioned in several newsletters and articles the links cited come back as invalid or take you directly to Ritter and the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce.
Let’s go back to Mr. Ritter’s entrepreneurial ventures in Afghanistan. His self aggrandizing website has this to say:
“Don is the U.S. investor and Chairman of the U.S. – Afghan company that built and operates the most modern laundry and dry cleaning plant in the region to serve the population of Kabul and execute military and government contracts. He is also currently engaged in building a mountain lodge tourism industry in the Panjshir Valley, a mini-mill for steel products for the Afghan construction boom in Herat, a business development services company in Kabul and an Afghan-American prime contractor to compete for large construction contracts.”
For the real juice on Mr. Ritter’s business dealings, my highly informed sources point me to Afghanistan’s current Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak. The Afghan diaspora in DC name Wardak as one of the key figures in the highly lucrative Poppy & heroin market; albeit in hushed voices. I can’t fathom the feasibility and profitability of a laundry and dry-cleaning business in Afghanistan owned and operated by a Neocon former congressman. What is Mr. Ritter ‘laundering?’
The mainstream media has begun the farewell to their now-fading Karzai Man in Afghanistan as per instructions from their string holders in Washington. I’m sure you’ve seen the latest on President Karzai’s Heroin connection, a fact known by many for over a decade, and now loudly played up by the New York Times:
“The brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.”
As they have done to previous Afghan heroes turned villains in the past, the MSM now have begun ousting the Karzai clan in a prelude to introducing our foreign policy makers’ new faces and puppets for the next round. Soon we’ll find out who they want us to cheer for, but meanwhile we can begin the guessing game since there seems to be little indicators buried here and there. I’d say take a closer look at current Defense Minister Wardak, the Afghan Carpetbaggers, and the greedy war profiteers behind the scenes in Washington DC, those such as Neocon Ex Congressman Don Ritter.
Stay tuned for my upcoming related tale!