An Afghan who once faced war crimes charges at Guantánamo has been cleared for release from the American military prison in Cuba, the US government has announced.
The Periodic Review Board, which conducts parole-style hearings for Guantánamo prisoners, determined it was no longer necessary to detain the man, known by the single name of Obaidullah. A statement announcing the decision was posted on a Pentagon website.
The board found that “the risks that the detainee presents can be adequately mitigated”, according to the three-paragraph statement. Continue reading »
“Opium production has increased 33 fold from 185 tons in 2001 to 6100 tons in 2006. In 2007, Afghanistan provided approximately 93% of the global supply of heroin…”
One of the many catastrophic legacies left behind by the longest war in U.S. history is that Afghanistan produces 90% of the world’s opium. As with most parts of the world, the most vulnerable pay the heaviest price of war, and the country has faced a harrowing escalation in the number of child heroin addicts.
“What’s happened in Afghanistan over the last 13 years has been the flourishing of a narco-state that is really without any parallel in history,” Kabul-based journalist Matthieu Aikins told Democracy Now back in 2014. Continue reading »
This is the best fail you will hear about all week!
Eight terrorists have died following an explosion in the Kunduz province of Afghanistan.
It is believed they intended to attack crowded areas in a series of coordinated attacks, but they failed to get that far. Continue reading »
A massive Taliban suicide bomb as well as a gun attack on a government security office in central Kabul near the US embassy during rush hour on Tuesday killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 320 in Afghanistan earlier today, a week after the militant group announced a spring offensive.
President Ashraf Ghani condemned the assault “in the strongest possible terms” in a statement from the presidential palace, only a few hundred meters away from the scene of the blast in the Afghan capital. Continue reading »
Governor Shaista Khan Akhtarzada of Afghanistan’s Gomal District, in Paktika Province, has announced an investigation into a series of US drone strikes in the district confirmed at least 17 civilians were killed in a series of incidents.
Former Senator Haji Mohammad Hasan also confirmed the incident, saying there were three strikes in the district, and that one had killed a high-profile tribal figure, Haji Rozuddin, who was trying to mediate a land dispute. Continue reading »
Though the US government disputes it, new evidence shows a link between service in Iraq and Afghanistan and cancers and untreatable bronchial illnesses
In 2007, shortly after vice-president Joe Biden learned that his eldest son would be deployed to Iraq, the then-presidential hopeful turned to a modest crowd at the Iowa state fair and admitted that he didn’t want Beau to go. “But I tell you what,” he said, his family lined up behind him. “I don’t want my grandson or my granddaughters going back in 15 years and so how we leave makes a big difference.” Continue reading »
US soldiers told to protect and to ignore the worst terrorists (= pedophiles) of them all.
Probably just a coincidence that TPTB are satanists and pedophiles.
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, a Green Beret and Bronze Star recipient for his heroic actions during a deployment to Afghanistan, is being kicked out of the Army after a decorated 11-year career.The reason is sure to leave you enraged.
Martland it seems, confronted an Afghan police officer trained by the U.S. after learning that the officer raped a young boy and severely beat his mother.
Was the Army justified in their reaction to Charles Martland shoving a rapist and woman beater?
– U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies (New York Times):
KABUL, Afghanistan — In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing boys they had brought to the base.
“At night we can hear them screaming, but we’re not allowed to do anything about it,” the Marine’s father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012. He urged his son to tell his superiors. “My son said that his officers told him to look the other way because it’s their culture.”
Rampant sexual abuse of children has long been a problem in Afghanistan, particularly among armed commanders who dominate much of the rural landscape and can bully the population. The practice is called bacha bazi, literally “boy play,” and American soldiers and Marines have been instructed not to intervene — in some cases, not even when their Afghan allies have abused boys on military bases, according to interviews and court records. Continue reading »
– Afghanistan’s dirty little secret (SFGate):
Western forces fighting in southern Afghanistan had a problem. Too often, soldiers on patrol passed an older man walking hand-in-hand with a pretty young boy. Their behavior suggested he was not the boy’s father. Then, British soldiers found that young Afghan men were actually trying to “touch and fondle them,” military investigator AnnaMaria Cardinalli told me. “The soldiers didn’t understand.”All of this was so disconcerting that the Defense Department hired Cardinalli, a social scientist, to examine this mystery. Her report, “Pashtun Sexuality,” startled not even one Afghan. But Western forces were shocked – and repulsed.
For centuries, Afghan men have taken boys, roughly 9 to 15 years old, as lovers. Some research suggests that half the Pashtun tribal members in Kandahar and other southern towns are bacha baz, the term for an older man with a boy lover. Literally it means “boy player.” The men like to boast about it.
“Having a boy has become a custom for us,” Enayatullah, a 42-year-old in Baghlan province, told a Reuters reporter. “Whoever wants to show off should have a boy.” Continue reading »
The State Department in its 2013 human rights report on Afghanistan said the sexual abuse of boys, or bacha baazi, is on the rise in the region, with the practice becoming common in Kabul.
“The practice of ‘bacha bazi’ (dancing boys) – which involved powerful or wealthy local figures and businessmen sexually abusing young boys who were trained to dance in female clothes – was on the rise,” the State Department said in its human rights report.
The report noted an increase in rapes during the year, with most victims being children. In fact, sexual abuse of children reached an all-time high, according to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Continue reading »
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has labelled yet another project in danger of failing. This time its U.S. plans to develop the country’s oil, gas and minerals industries.
The United States has spent nearly half a billion dollars and five years developing Afghanistan’s oil, gas and minerals industries — and has little to show for it, a government watchdog reported today.
The project’s failings are the result of poorly planned programs, inadequate infrastructure and a challenging partnership with the Afghan government, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction wrote in its newest damning assessment of U.S. efforts in the war-torn country. The finding comes after some 200 SIGAR reports have detailed inefficient, unsuccessful or downright wasteful reconstruction projects. A recent ProPublica analysis of the reports found that there has been at least $17 billion in questionable spending. Continue reading »
British troops have been redeployed to Helmand province after Afghan government forces suffered a defeat to the Taliban. Insurgents re-took much of Sangin, a town in the province where the British army previously lost over 100 soldiers.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed troops had been deployed, but insisted they would not take on a combat role and were in the country to provide support and advice to the Afghan National Army (ANA).
However, reports from the Times and the Wall Street Journal suggest British SAS and American special forces have also been deployed to help on the ground. Continue reading »
One of the biggest money-spinners for Islamic State terrorists is transporting illegal drugs from Afghanistan to Europe through Turkey and the Balkans, according to the head of Russia’s federal anti-drug agency FKSN.
“ISIS fighters are controlling certain territory,” Viktor Ivanov was quoted as saying by TASS. “Now it is targeted by the Russian Air Force, but until recently the terrorists enjoyed great freedom there. Trafficking illegal drugs was one of the major sources of their income.” Continue reading »
Late last month in “Russia’s Mid-East Takeover Continues As Afghanistan Requests Military Assistance From Moscow,” we noted, with some amusement, that Kabul was set to request a weapons delivery from Russia to aid in the fight against the Taliban. “Afghanistan, battered by worsening security, is reaching out to an old ally and patron—Russia—just as the Kremlin is seeking to reassert its position as a heavyweight on the world stage,” WSJ reported, on the way to detailing a request from President Ashraf Ghani who “asked Moscow for artillery, small arms and Mi-35 helicopter gunships for his country’s struggling military.”
The request came just a little over a week after President Obama canceled plans to bring the majority of American troops still stationed in Afghanistan home. Under Obama’s previous plan, Washington would withdraw most of the 9,800 troops operating in the country by the end of next year, leaving a force of just 1,000. Now, all 9,800 troops will remain for “most” of next year and 5,500 troops will remain in 2017. The official reason for the about face is that a resurgent Taliban now controls more territory in Afghanistan than at any other time since 2001.
As a reminder, the Taliban took Kabul in 1996 and ruled until the regime was toppled by the US in the wake of 9/11. Continue reading »
In Charge of Saving Taxpayers’ Money in Afghanistan … Wait Till You Hear His Horror Stories
An ineffective $8 billion counternarcotics effort, $500 million worth of cargo planes that had to be turned into scrap metal and a $30 million program to grow crops that nobody wants — those are just some of the examples of how US funds have been wasted in Afghanistan.
While taxpayers have every right to be upset about how their money has been squandered, they might feel even more strongly about the lack of consequences for those who spend it so unwisely. Continue reading »
Earlier today, we learned that the U.S. government had raided a citizens victim fund to the tune of $1.5 billion in order to use the money for general expenses. It’s all starting to make sense now. When you’re spending $43 million on gas stations that should cost $500K, it doesn’t take long to run out of money.
Taxpayers lose. Again.
The U.S. Department of Defense spent nearly $43 million on a gas station in northern Afghanistan and has been unable to explain why it cost so much, a U.S. special inspector reported on Monday. Continue reading »
KABUL, Afghanistan — A deadly earthquake hit northern Afghanistan and Pakistan on Monday afternoon, registering a preliminary magnitude of 7.5 and causing heavy damage in one of the world’s most impoverished and war-torn regions.
At least 122 people were reported killed, with 100 or more of them in Pakistan, and that figure seemed likely to rise significantly, officials in both countries said. Continue reading »
You know about ISIS in Syria and Iraq …
But did you know that ISIS is also spreading like a cancer in Afghanistan?
The Independent reported in July:
The Americans, who were, just three months ago, dismissing the arrival of Isis in Afghanistan as nothing more than an internal squabble within Taliban, now belatedly acknowledge they are facing a growing threat with very limited means of response after the withdrawal of the bulk of international forces at the end of last year. Continue reading »
In particular, MSF (Doctors Without Borders) quickly publicized numerous facts that cast serious doubt on the original U.S. claim that the strike on the hospital was just an accident. To begin with, the organization had repeatedly advised the U.S. military of the exact GPS coordinates of the hospital. They did so most recently on September 29, just five days before the strike. Beyond that, MSF personnel at the facility “frantically” called U.S. military officials during the strike to advise them that the hospital was being hit and to plead with them to stop, but the strikes continued in a “sustained” manner for 30 more minutes.
– From Glenn Greenwald’s article: The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification
By now, all of you will have read about the U.S. military’s recent bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. What you may not be aware of, is how much the official story has changed in the days since this inexcusable act of barbarism became public.
Doctors Without Borders has been calling the attack a “war crime,” which to the average American sounds outlandish and impossible. The justification for this claim is simple — that the airstrike wasn’t an accident at all, and that the U.S. military intentionally targeted the hospital. As the days go by, it becomes increasingly clear that this is indeed the case, and the Pentagon is now scrambling to justify the intentional targeting of a hospital. Continue reading »
Had the President of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders not warned us of the “imminent threat to global health” posed by the TPP, would these 22 doctors and patients have lost their lives early Saturday?
“I don’t know exactly how long, but it was maybe half an hour afterwards that they stopped bombing. I went out with the project coordinator to see what had happened. What we saw was the hospital destroyed, burning,” describednurse Lajos Zoltan Jecs of the U.S. bombardment of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
Harsh criticism and skepticism surround what is being labeled an errant U.S. bombardment of a hospital in Kunduz that left 22 people dead — many of them volunteers with Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders, the humanitarian aid agency) — but doubt lingers about the vague official story for a reason.
In the aftermath of Saturday’s tragic and unprecedented bombing of an Afghanistan hospital by the US air force, one which killed 22 and continued for 30 minutes after mission command has been allegedly notified of the “error” which the US initially claimed was “collateral damage”, the Doctors without Borders physician group in charge of operating the hospital has come out swinging and has equated the US bombing of a hospital to engaging in nothing short of a war crime. Continue reading »
By way of excuse for what President Obama called “a tragic incident,” (and The UN called a ‘war crime’) US officials have claimed that the Taliban were fighting from within the Kabul hospital (which was destroyed by a US air strike yesterday killing at least 19 including 3 children) using aid workers as “a human shield.” However, this justification for the ‘collateral damage’ has been vehemently denied by Medecins Sans Frontier (MSF) who have issued a statement dismissing the US claims, “the gates of the hospital compound were closed all night so no one that is not staff, a patient or a caretaker was inside the hospital when the bombing happened…” but, the US strike has done one thing, as one local health official concluded, “this city is no longer for the living.” Continue reading »
Update 2: the death toll has risen to 16, including 9 hospital staffers and 3 children.
UPDATE: At least 16 people died- nine MSF staff, 7 patients from Intensive care unit, among them three children http://t.co/5puRbAlgXS
— Doctors w/o Borders (@MSF_USA) October 3, 2015
Update: and now the UN is getting involved, which means the US will have to spend even more taxpayer funds on bribes to make the “international community” forget this collateral damage incident and refocus on evil Russia.
#BREAKING: Kunduz air strikes ‘inexcusable’, ‘possibly criminal’: UN rights chief
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) October 3, 2015
* * *
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for US foreign policy, or for the credibility of the US state department to slide further, it got much worse. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“There really is no comment necessary for this sad case of irony.”
Up to 20 civilians were killed by U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan early Saturday morning that hit a hospital in Kunduz. According to reports, another 37 people have been injured and many more remain unaccounted for. The hospital is operated by a French affiliate of Doctors Without Borders, Médecins Sans Frontières (MFS), and was the only functioning health facility in the area.
According to The Guardian, “The hospital was hit during an aerial bombardment on Saturday morning in the besieged city of Kunduz, destroying a large portion of the facility. An MSF source told the Guardian that up to 20 Afghan members of staff and patients were killed and dozens more injured. They said the death toll could rise further. Among the killed were nine MSF staff and seven patients from the intensive care unit, including three children.” Continue reading »
“The Kite Runner,” Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel, featured a pivotal and highly controversial scene in which one of the young male protagonists is raped by an older youth. That harrowing section of the best-selling book highlighted the rampant sexual abuse of children in Afghanistan. Now, a revelation—even more horrifying—has implicated real-life U.S. soldiers serving in that country. The New York Times on Sunday reported how troops have been instructed to condone the routine rape of Afghan children by our warlord allies. The story is a cringe-inducing example of how corrupt our war in Afghanistan has been.
So rampant is the phenomenon of child rape by Afghan military commanders that it has a name: bacha bazi, which translates into “boy-play.” In some cases, rapes have taken place on U.S. military bases under the noses of American soldiers. But U.S. troops were told to look the other way because Washington considers the rapists’ help in fighting the Taliban central to its military strategy. Consequently, according to the Times, “instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of village—and doing little when they began abusing children.” The hypocrisy of arming human rights violators against the purportedly violent Taliban did not escape the notice of some U.S. troops who attempted to speak out but encountered retaliation.
When confronted with the revelations, the top brass of the U.S. military justified its apparent policy of excusing child rape among allied commanders. Spokesman Col. Brian Tribus, who is stationed in Afghanistan, told the Times, “Generally, allegations of child sexual abuse by Afghan military or police personnel would be a matter of domestic Afghan criminal law,” and that U.S. troops are not obligated to even report the crimes. “An exception, he said, is when rape is being used as a weapon of war.” Strangely, the rape of Afghan children by our warlord friends is not considered a weapon of war, even though the victims are the most vulnerable members of the Afghan public that the U.S. has claimed to protect in the longest war it has ever waged. Continue reading »
Despite billions spent to eradicate opium crops in Afghanistan, the crop is more popular than ever there, leading many to wonder whether some U.S. forces may actually be encouraging its growth and the heroin it later becomes.
In July, the Centers for Disease Control warned of record-breaking numbers of heroin deaths in the United States. “Heroin use more than doubled among young adults ages 18–25 in the past decade,” the CDC reported. Continue reading »