*Is the term "disgraced journalist" at risk of becoming redundant, like "slimy lawyer" or "corrupt politician?"
Apparently, he's decided that the way to reenter the legal profession is to seek out the most oppressed, maligned and downtrodden people he can find, and then write laughably stupid letters to the editor on their behalf. So, he trolls the world for suitably aggreived clients and settles on..................the Karzais? WTF?
Specifically, Posner, in a letter posted on the WSJ online, objects to the WSJ's earlier characterization of Mahmood Karzai (younger brother to Hamid) as a money-launderer and smuggler. Mahmood was one of two Afghans personally named in the recent report (although of course he's hardly the only one suspected of moving large sums of cash to Dubai).
After conducting his own interview with his new client, Posner concludes:
Mr. Karzai has never transferred large amounts of cash out of the country. He is willing to take a lie-detector test on this matter. This unproven and false accusation hurts him since he is the only Afghan businessman I'm aware of who is investing his money into the country—in large real-estate projects in Kandahar and the nation's infrastructure, such as its only cement plant*— rather than taking money out as many others have done. No Afghan businessman or politician or public figure is more transparent than Mahmood Karzai.
Is he seriously claiming that Mahmood Karzai is "the only Afghan businessman" investing money into the country? That's beyond stupid; it's insultingly stupid. Even my moronic boss, The Rug Merchant, no angel himself, has invested millions of US dollars into Afghanistan, and facilitated the investment of millions more.
*And those real estate deals and the cement plant? Hardly examples of free enterprise at work. There's only one cement plant in Kandahar because Ahmed Wali Karzai, the President's other brother (the really naughty one) only allows one cement plant in Kandahar, so he can charge what he likes to construction companies. Monopolistic extortion. The real estate deals are based on the Afghan conception of emminent domain, basically "I have more guns than you, so get the hell off your land and give it to me so I can rent it to foreigners, OK?"
According to Charles Homans at Foreign Policy, Posner is representing other members of the Karzai clan as well, including older brother Qayum and the aforementioned Ahmed Wali. Posner is quoted as saying, "They're really proud of the reputations they have earned." That statement is so bizarre I can't even begin to ridicule it.*
*Although I suspect that Ahmed Wali Karzai truly is proud of his reputation as the "King of Kandahar." It's just that he's so far gone as to actually believe that he is a virtuous and magnamimous emir, rather than a brutal thug and petty tyrant.
On the upside, I don't think anyone can accuse Posner of plagarizing this stuff, since no one else would ever consider writing it.