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CIA Lures Afghan Warlords With Viagra

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Monday, December 29, 2008 8:24 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Viagra, Erectile Dysfunction Drugs

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IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons / Viagra pack / author: Selefant

CIA agents are offering Viagra and other gifts to win over Afghan warlords in the war against Taliban insurgents, reports the Washington Post.

Paying for information is nothing new for the CIA, but officers have begun employing unusual incentives to persuade Afghan local leaders to share intelligence about the Taliban’s movements, wrote the Post, citing unnamed sources.

“Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people – whether it’s building a school or passing out Viagra,” one CIA operative who worked in Afghanistan reportedly said.

For many U.S. operatives in Afghanistan, Western drugs such as Viagra were just part of a long list of enticements available for use in special cases. Two veteran officers familiar with such practices said Viagra was offered rarely, and only to older tribal officials for whom the drug would hold special appeal.

“You didn’t hand it out to the younger guys, but it could be used as a silver bullet to make connections to the older ones,” a retired operative told the WaPo. Viagra isn’t given out widely in the country, but it can prove helpful for aging leaders who have several younger wives.

The Post tells a story of a 60-something clan leader with four wives (the maximum number allowed), who was neither supportive of nor actively opposed to American operations in his region. But a few days after an American official gave him four Viagra pills, the chief “came to us beaming,” the official told the paper. “He said, ‘You are a great man.’ “

“After that,” the official said, “we were able to do whatever we wanted in his area.” #


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