Complaints that the CIA has on its payroll numerous Afghan officials are misplaced. Questioning the war itself and the multi billion dollar sinkhole that it has become is one thing, but once you have a president who has committed the nation to wallowing in that quagmire forever, you have to do what you can to mitigate the situation. If CIA is doing its job properly, it should be wired into the corrupt and duplicitous Karzai government at every level. That way there will be no real surprises when the Afghan government starts direct talks with Taliban leader Mullah Omar and with the Iranians. Those who argue with scarcely concealed horror that the Agency is corrupting former officials should note that those same officials will be corrupt whether or not CIA has a hand in it. The purpose of any intelligence agency is to prey on the venality of others whenever necessary to obtain information that is considered important; indeed, corruption is the currency that fuels any intelligence operation.
Back in my time with CIA we used to regularly pay government officials and politicians throughout western Europe to provide us with insider information. It was not because we thought those governments would act against our interests, but we did need to get access to groups and factions that were outside the sphere of normal diplomatic interaction. For example, the US Embassies in France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal would not meet with communist leaders during the 1970s so it was up to the Agency to establish informal relationships. Of course, they would be lying to us and we would be lying to them but that was understood on both sides. I’m sure Karzai’s boys are lying to us while collecting their pay envelopes.