A friend sent me this article from the Seattle Times. I've read Mortenson's and the Central Asia Institute's responses to the accusations, and I've been trying to reserve judgment about the situation. But it's not looking good.
The charity ratings Web site, Charity Navigator, has a donor advisory message on the Central Asia Institute. According to this site, 88 percent of its revenue goes toward program expenses...which contrasts with the claim that it spent more money in 2009 on travel than on schools.
And if you haven't read enough, here is Mortenson's lengthy interview with Outside magazine--here he defends himself. I haven't had a chance yet to read it, and it's late now, but will plan to take a look soon.
What are your thoughts? I find this whole situation to be mighty depressing. As Krakauer said, he's no Bernie Madoff...but something clearly does not smell right.