Bush Ambassador To Afghanistan, Iraq Investigated For Money Laundering

** FILE ** Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to reporters at U.N. Headquarters in New York in this Sept. 27, 2007 file photo. More and more, top government diplomats are straying off off... ** FILE ** Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to reporters at U.N. Headquarters in New York in this Sept. 27, 2007 file photo. More and more, top government diplomats are straying off official Bush foreign policy lines as the administration wanes, leaving Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice struggling to keep them in check. (AP Photo/David Karp, File) MORE LESS
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VIENNA (AP) — Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and the United Nations under President George W. Bush, is being investigated by American authorities for suspected money laundering, Austrian officials said Monday.

State prosecutor Thomas Vecsey confirmed a report in the Austrian weekly Profil about the investigation of Khalilzad, who played a key role in the political transition in Afghanistan after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion and the fall of the Taliban.

According to the magazine, the investigation centers on the alleged transfer of 1.15 million euros ($1.5 million) in May 2013 to an account in Vienna owned by Khalilzad’s wife, Cheryl Benard. The money came from business activities in Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, it reported. Vecsey would not elaborate on the allegations, nor did the magazine’s report.

Profil said the case became public after a blogger found documents while rummaging through a garbage container used by the state prosecutor’s office in Vienna.

The magazine said several bank accounts owned by Benard were ordered frozen in February — a ruling that is under appeal. Benard’s lawyer, Holger Bielesz, told Profil that U.S. authorities have yet to express “reasonable grounds for suspicions.”

Khalilzad was born in Afghanistan and went to the United States as an exchange student. He later became a professor and a favorite of Republican presidents, especially Bush.

Khalilzad was the U.S. special presidential envoy to Afghanistan from 2001 to 2003, then U.S. ambassador there until 2005. He was the ambassador to Iraq from 2005 to 2007, and the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations from 2007 to 2009.

Many Afghan officials and foreign observers saw Khalilzad as the country’s de-facto ruler in the initial months after the Taliban’s collapse. He took center stage organizing the traditional grand councils, or loya jirgas, that would eventually approve Afghanistan’s constitution.

In the private sector, Khalilzad is founder and president of Gryphon Partners, which advises companies and wealthy individuals on business opportunities in several industries and regions, including high-risk territories.

He sits on the boards of the National Endowment for Democracy, America Abroad Media, the Mideast studies center at Rand Corp., the American University of Iraq and the American University of Afghanistan. He also is a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and writes about foreign policy issues and frequently appears on U.S. news shows.

Khalilzad holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the American University of Beirut, as well as a doctorate from the University of Chicago.

___

Associated Press writer Deb Riechmann contributed from Washington.

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  1. A bush admin official accused of money laundering??? dam I wonder if he will get any advice from brimmer…he had 9 billion come up missing under him…sounds like one hell of a retirement fund

  2. “In the private sector, Khalilzad is founder and president of Gryphon Partners, which advises companies and wealthy individuals on business opportunities in several industries and regions, including high-risk territories.”

    Stolen money from stolen lands, a better description than high-risk territories.

  3. Khalizad also has experience in moving large pallets of money to unspecified destinations. Sounds like we now know where some of those untold billions that disappeared in Iraq and Afghanistan may have went. Have they checked to the accounts of other Republican officials to determine how they split up the war booty they went to war for.

  4. Why doesn’t this surprise me…?

    This is from the first lines of his Wikipedia profile:
    “From 1979 to 1989, Khalilzad worked as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. During that time, he worked closely with Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Carter Administration’s architect of the policy supporting the mujahideen resistance to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.(See also: Operation Cyclone.)”

    Mujahideen = Al Qaeda. Yeah, who couldn’t have seen that coming?
    And yet, if you listen to McWar et al., they want to do the same thing all over again with “the good rebels” in Syria…you know, basically ISIS or ISIS’s jr. cousin wannabe.

    Khalilzad was always a hired political shill, used to sell action in Afghanistan after 9/11, and he was supposed to be more palatable because his all-knowing words came out of the mouth of an actual Muslim on teevee…so, no worries…even some Muslims thought we should go to War with other Muslims. No…it didn’t work out.

    Moreover, he was used primarily to sell the War in Iraq. And he was another one of those you could add to the list of Neocons that couldn’t have been more wrong about both those countries in the aftermath of military action. Therefore, expect to see even more of him on your teevee. Cable rewards wrong-headed pundits forever. Call it a business model.

    But sure… who doesn’t go from being a political science professor to an international wealth manager worth millions of dollars? Being a Bushie always paid well…until they get caught and indicted.

    How much you wanna bet that money he and his wife began laundering initially came directly under-the-table from the Bush Administration for services rendered, and were also off the books when calculating the actual cost of the war. He’s just one of many I suspect. Afterall, he was Bush and Cheney’s go-to guy, made famous by his ever-present appearances on CNN as a pundit on all things to do with War and Muslims, and all things in regards to shaping the NEW MiddleEast. And people bought the shitty goods he sold, too.

  5. I can’t believe any corruption in the Bush administration.

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