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If I pay you enough, will you listen to me?

Exactly how much does it cost to have your voice heard in Washington?

Mother Jones: In his memo to Afghanistan’s finance minister, Omar Zakhiwal, which is dated April 21 and marked “confidential,” Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad surveys the competition. Pakistan, he writes, employs nine American lobbying firms, including two “that alone represent and promote President Asif Ali Zardari’s interests in Washington.”

According to the ambassador’s missive, these include Locke Lord Strategies-LP, which since May 2008 has been on retainer from the Pakistan government for more than $100,000 per month, and JWT Asiatic and Hill & Knowlton, which together collect a monthly payment exceeding $100,000.

All told, according to Jawad’s estimate, Islamabad spent at least $3 million on Washington lobbyists in 2008 alone.

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