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The US government has been bribing foreign government officials for a very long time. In past years they kept it secret, of course, knowing that the American public would not support such policies. But now it has been uncovered, and Congress has to deal with it. Can we bribe foreign officials with a good purpose in mind? Can sin bring righteousness? Can we end corruption through bribery? Does the end justify the means? Professor John Turley, a recognized legal scholar, writes about this:
Our government has long seemed to be descending into a type of Orwellian universe of double speak. The Libyan War was not a war but a “time-limited, scope-limited military action” under Obama. Torture of detainees was not torture but “enhanced interrogation” under Bush. Now it appears open bribery of foreign officials is not bribery but “incentives” to implement policies favorable to their own people. Congressional members are moving to address what is being called a “slush fund” with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) where millions are paid to political figures in foreign countries….
The USAID routinely makes “incentive” payments to lawmakers to pass legislation or enact policies throughout the world. Even policies that benefit their own people, like granting rights to women or protecting the democratic process, are secured by greasing the palms of corrupt officials. In doing so, the United States perpetuates the rampant corruption in these countries and enriches officials who will only act if it benefits them personally….
Consider the $15 million forked over to Afghan lawmakers in 2013 to get them to pass a law prohibiting violence against women….
Of course, many citizens may find it “unpalatable” for the United States to engage in open corrupt practices that are illegal for businesses. Indeed, the $15 million is nothing. The USAID has an “incentive fund” of $175 million just for Afghanistan to pass legislation protecting basic rights. It has not worked very well since the country continues to deny basic rights and protections to women and religious minorities. Now that U.S. money is declining, Karzai is openly denouncing the U.S. and seeking alliances with Russia, China, and Iran. That is the problem with dealing with corrupt politicians –they tend to follow the money.