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Afghanistan

WobbieWobbie Posts: 26,831
edited March 2012 in A Moving Train
time to go. now.
If I had known then what I know now...

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  • IdrisIdris Posts: 2,317
    edited March 2012
    .
    Post edited by Idris on
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 18,955
    hearts and minds boys and girls, hearts and minds....


    US soldier kills 16 Afghan civilians, officials say

    http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/20 ... icials-say

    Updated at 10:55 a.m. ET: KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A U.S. service member killed at least 15 members of two Afghan families as well as a 16th person before turning himself in, witnesses and officials said Sunday.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a statement called it "an assassination," adding that nine of the dead were children, and three were women.

    The soldier, who has yet to be identified, reportedly left his base in the early hours Sunday and went to two villages just a few hundred yards away. He then opened fire on Afghan civilians sleeping in their homes, Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs Asadullah Khalid told Reuters. The service member entered three homes in the villages in Kandahar province, he said.

    Twelve of the dead were from Balandi, said Samad Khan, adding that 11 were from his family, including women and children. Khan was away from the village when the incident occurred. One of his neighbors was also killed, he said.

    "This is an anti-human and anti-Islamic act," said Khan. "Nobody is allowed in any religion in the world to kill children and women."

    Khan demanded that Karzai punish the American shooter. "Otherwise we will make a decision," said Khan. "He should be handed over to us."

    Four people reportedly killed in the neighboring village were also from a single family, said a female relative who was shouting in anger. She did not give her name because of the conservative nature of local society.

    "No Taliban were here. No gun battle was going on," said the woman. "We don't know why this foreign soldier came and killed our innocent family members. Either he was drunk or he was enjoying killing civilians."

    Five were wounded in the incident, said Khalid, who is investigating the incident.

    The BBC reported that the soldier was thought to have suffered a breakdown.

    Meanwhile, Afghanistan's defense ministry told Reuters that "coalition forces" killed civilians in the shooting spree. NATO did not immediately comment on the report, which implied that there had been more than one attacker.

    American and NATO officials apologized for Sunday's shootings.

    The American Embassy in Kabul said in a statement that it was "saddened by this violent act against our Afghan friends."

    "The United States extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims of today’s tragic shooting incident," the statement said. "We assure the people of Afghanistan that the individual or individuals responsible for this act will be identified and brought to justice."

    NATO, meanwhile, called the attack "appalling" and said it was in no way part of its authorized activities.

    "An investigation is already underway and every effort will be made to establish the facts and hold anyone responsible to account,"
    Lt. Gen. Adrian Bradshaw, deputy commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, said in a statement.

    Civilian casualties have been a major source of friction between Karzai's government and U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan.

    "U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, in cooperation with Afghan authorities, will investigate this incident," NATO said.

    Anti-American sentiment is running high in Afghanistan and it may deepen if news of the shooting spreads.

    Anger gripped the country after U.S. soldiers burned a large number of copies of the Koran at a NATO base last month. NATO said it was a tragic blunder.

    Thirty people were killed in protests and Afghan forces turned their weapons on U.S. soldiers, killing six.



    so honestly, when is this bullshit and these empty toothless apologies and promises for prosecution going to stop? senseless murder has been tolerated for too long....anyone want to bet this motherfucker gets off just like the haditha massacre soldiers did?? we use these same empty apologies every time this happens and nothing ever comes from it except more civillian massacres..

    we need to get out of there NOW...
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 18,955
    sorry idris, you posted your article while i was composing mine :oops:
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
  • Dirtie_FrankDirtie_Frank Posts: 1,347
    I agree time to leave for multiple reasons. This story does not make much sense to me for a few reasons. One is that one soldier is not authorized to leave the base there are measures in place to stop this from happening. There has to be more to this.
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  • peacefrompaulpeacefrompaul Posts: 25,293
    If the Russian's failed we can surely succeed! :roll:

    We've had over a decade to "win" in Afghanistan, it's NOT going to happen.
  • BinauralJamBinauralJam Posts: 14,158
    But there's a lot of herion and cellphone raw materials there, not to mention the Pakistan border and Iran's border, it's just so damn special. oh ya and the spread of democracy and stuff.
  • peacefrompaulpeacefrompaul Posts: 25,293
    But there's a lot of herion and cellphone raw materials there, not to mention the Pakistan border and Iran's border, it's just so damn special. oh ya and the spread of democracy and stuff.

    Yeah and this too. Fucking ridiculous...
  • WobbieWobbie Posts: 26,831
    hearts and minds boys and girls, hearts and minds....

    yep....it's never gonna happen. they never wanted us there. time to go.
    If I had known then what I know now...

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  • Cliffy6745Cliffy6745 Posts: 31,708
    Fucking sickening. This shit got to me.
  • g under pg under p Surfing The far side of THE Sombrero GalaxyPosts: 17,916
    Well as sad as this is we ALL know this has happened many times before both there in Afghanistan and in Iraq. It just happens this tradgedy was reported. Like Michael Franti would say....it's Time To Go Home.

    Peace
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  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 34,808
    I wonder is another reason we're there is to lay claim to rare earth elements found there.

    http://www.livescience.com/16315-rare-e ... istan.html

    (Notice I said lay claim to. We in the west seem to think we own the planet.)
    "The earth- we could have saved it but we were too damn cheap and lazy."
    -Kurt Vonnegut










  • peacefrompaulpeacefrompaul Posts: 25,293
    brianlux wrote:
    I wonder is another reason we're there is to lay claim to rare earth elements found there.

    http://www.livescience.com/16315-rare-e ... istan.html

    (Notice I said lay claim to. We in the west seem to think we own the planet.)

    Interesting

    Sad but true, a terrible way to think.
  • CosmoCosmo Posts: 12,217
    Remember all that talk about 'Cut And Run', 'Cut and Run' and 'Cut And Run'?
    It's now the time to Cut our losses and Run like Hell outta that place. Has been for about 7 years, now. Afghanistan went from a 'Just Cause' in 2002 to a 'Lost Cause' the day we stepped into Iraq.
    ...
    "Support Our Troops!!!" ... bring them home to their families.
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  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 34,808
    Cosmo wrote:
    Remember all that talk about 'Cut And Run', 'Cut and Run' and 'Cut And Run'?
    It's now the time to Cut our losses and Run like Hell outta that place. Has been for about 7 years, now. Afghanistan went from a 'Just Cause' in 2002 to a 'Lost Cause' the day we stepped into Iraq.
    ...
    "Support Our Troops!!!" ... bring them home to their families.

    I totally agree. :thumbup:

    Maybe someone thinks they can profit from those rare earth elements I mentioned but I'm guessing that would be a lot like trying to walk through a mine field without a bomb or metal detector. You might get lucky.

    Better to do what you suggested, "Cut our losses and Run like Hell outta that place".
    "The earth- we could have saved it but we were too damn cheap and lazy."
    -Kurt Vonnegut










  • catefrancescatefrances Posts: 29,003
    I agree time to leave for multiple reasons. This story does not make much sense to me for a few reasons. One is that one soldier is not authorized to leave the base there are measures in place to stop this from happening. There has to be more to this.

    of course it makes sense.. a person, not quite of sound mind at the time has access to weapons. for whatever reason he feels the need to expel some demons. after mutliple tours of iraq this man shouldve been home, not in another war zone. and clearly this one soldier did make it off the base regardless of measures in place. im not seeing any conspiracy here... just a tragic event.
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  • CosmoCosmo Posts: 12,217
    of course it makes sense.. a person, not quite of sound mind at the time has access to weapons. for whatever reason he feels the need to expel some demons. after mutliple tours of iraq this man shouldve been home, not in another war zone.
    ...
    He needs to be tried in Afghani Courts, not American or U.S. Military Courts. He murdered Afghani civilians... including women and children.
    ...
    I feel this way because if something like that were to happen here... a foriegn person going nuts and killing American citizens on American soil... I would want our courts to dispense justice... not theirs.
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  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 18,955
    Soldier accused in Afghan massacre could get death penalty

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/ ... th-penalty

    The American soldier who is accused in a massacre of 16 villagers near Kandahar could face the death penalty, a military defense attorney said Monday, in one of the worst cases of alleged mass murder by a U.S. service member since the Vietnam War.

    U.S. officials have said the soldier acted alone, leaving his base in southern Afghanistan and opening fire on sleeping families. After the massacre, he went back to his base and turned himself in, officials said.

    The military will not identify the soldier until charges are filed, Pentagon spokesman William Speaks told msnbc.com Monday. The suspect remains in Afghanistan while the attack is being investigated.

    According to military officials, the soldier will be tried within the military justice system, not turned over to Afghan authorities for trial, rebuffing a call from Afghan lawmakers to use their courts.

    The suspect is based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. He has been identified as a staff sergeant in the Stryker brigade who was taking part in a village stability operation in Afghanistan. He is a 38-year-old married father of two on his first deployment to Afghanistan after three previous deployments in Iraq.

    "Based on what we’re hearing I suspect this will be prosecuted as a death penalty case," Philip Cave, a Washington-based military defense attorney told msnbc.com. "You’ve got felony murder, and certainly the number of victims and the circumstances -– very young children as victims –- I think there will be sufficient grounds to move forward as a death penalty case."

    Before charges are filed, the soldier will likely undergo heavy psychological testing as part of the investigation, Cave said. Then an Article 32 investigation -- a thorough examination of the case with testimony from witnesses -- will be conducted before any court-martial proceedings. If there is a conviction at court-martial with the death penalty imposed and all appeals exhausted, the president of the United States himself would have to sign the death warrant for the soldier's execution.

    Retired Army platoon Sgt. Jonn Lilyea, a Desert Storm veteran who writes the blog "This Ain’t Hell," told msnbc.com he expects the military to make an example out of the shooter as the case moves through the justice system.

    Still, Lilyea cautioned that people should not rush to blame the killings on the soldier’s deployments during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "I’d wait to see if he really was in a position that would have affected him in this way," Lilyea said. "But I’m more concerned people will try to use this like they did after Vietnam with the My Lai massacre and taint all combat veterans of this generation as if they were like this one guy." Millions of Americans have served in combat, seen and done "terrible things," but have gone on to normal productive lives after their service, Lilyea pointed out.

    Lt. William Calley was convicted of killing 22 villagers in My Lai village in 1968 in an incident that heightened U.S. opposition to the Vietnam War.

    If the number of people slain in the attack is confirmed at 16, and the soldier is convicted, the mass killings would be the most of any convicted killer on the military’s death row, which currently has six inmates.

    Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009. He also faces a possible death penalty. His trial was scheduled to begin this month but was delayed until June to allow his defense more time to prepare.

    John Bennett was the last U.S. soldier to be executed by the military. He was hanged in 1961 after being convicted of the rape and attempted murder of an 11-year-old Austrian girl.

    Lethal injection is the current method of execution under military justice, according to military defense lawyer Cave.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway

    "Well, you tell him that I don't talk to suckas."
  • catefrancescatefrances Posts: 29,003
    Cosmo wrote:
    of course it makes sense.. a person, not quite of sound mind at the time has access to weapons. for whatever reason he feels the need to expel some demons. after mutliple tours of iraq this man shouldve been home, not in another war zone.
    ...
    He needs to be tried in Afghani Courts, not American or U.S. Military Courts. He murdered Afghani civilians... including women and children.
    ...
    I feel this way because if something like that were to happen here... a foriegn person going nuts and killing American citizens on American soil... I would want our courts to dispense justice... not theirs.


    and if that afghani crazy man was part of an invading army?? you know this is a bit different cause the gunmen was a soldier... a soldier not off the clock just gone crazy, but a soldier as part of an invading force. i know it shouldnt make a difference but it does. and yes i agree he needs to be tried in afghani court.. but no death penalty.
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  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 34,808
    Another story on the Afghanistan massacre. Very sad.

    http://www.progressive.org/end_the_occu ... istan.html

    The Massacre Underscores the Message: End the Occupation of Afghanistan

    By Matthew Rothschild, March 12, 2012

    It is time, it is way, way past time, for the U.S. military to leave Afghanistan.

    The grotesque massacre on Sunday by a U.S. soldier only underscores the point.

    And the massacre was almost inevitable. When you have 100,000 soldiers under stress in a foreign country where they’re not wanted, when you have soldiers on their fourth tour of duty as this one was (who reportedly spent three tours in Iraq), at some point, someone’s going to break.

    And what a horrific break it was.

    Hunting down villagers door to door, killing 16 people, nine of them children and burning some of their bodies—it doesn’t get worse than this.

    But the massacre is just the latest in a long and bloody string of deaths that have U.S. fingerprints on them. Just two days before, NATO helicopters killed four civilians and wounded three. And other wayward bombing raids and drones have taken an awful toll in Afghanistan, as well.

    The Afghan people have had more than enough. Since the U.S. invaded ten and a half years ago, U.S. forces have been responsible for the deaths of between 9,000 and 29,000 Afghan civilians.

    This latest massacre, on top of all the other deaths inflicted upon the people of Afghanistan, plays into the hands of the Taliban, which prides itself on fighting the occupiers.

    We must end the occupation, end the bidding for a permanent military presence there, and let the Afghan people decide their own fate.
    "The earth- we could have saved it but we were too damn cheap and lazy."
    -Kurt Vonnegut










  • catefrancescatefrances Posts: 29,003
    not only have the afghan people had enough.. it is clear the soldiers have had more than enough too.
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  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 34,808
    not only have the afghan people had enough.. it is clear the soldiers have had more than enough too.

    Excellent point.
    "The earth- we could have saved it but we were too damn cheap and lazy."
    -Kurt Vonnegut










  • stuckinlinestuckinline Posts: 3,186
    http://kucinich.house.gov/News/Document ... tID=284381


    No Amount of Troops, Training or Money will Result in a Stable Afghanistan




    Kucinich 111th2


    Washington, Mar 12 -

    Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich today released the following statement after an American soldier killed at least 16 Afghan civilians, including children:

    “Yesterday’s shooting in Afghanistan which left at least 16 civilians dead is a tipping point. This shooting follows days of deadly rioting after it was revealed that U.S. troops had incinerated copies of the Koran. Despite more than a decade at war and nearly $600 billion of U.S. tax-payer dollars, it is obvious that the U.S. presence in Afghanistan has created instability in that country, not stability.”

    “According to a recent Washington Post poll, more than half of the American public wants the U.S. to withdraw from Afghanistan before it can complete its stated mission of training Afghan troops. Increasing anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan has placed U.S. troops at great risk. There is no amount of troops, training or money that will result in a stable Afghanistan. It is time to bring the troops home now.”

    ###
  • CosmoCosmo Posts: 12,217
    Cosmo wrote:
    ...
    He needs to be tried in Afghani Courts, not American or U.S. Military Courts. He murdered Afghani civilians... including women and children.
    ...
    I feel this way because if something like that were to happen here... a foriegn person going nuts and killing American citizens on American soil... I would want our courts to dispense justice... not theirs.

    and if that afghani crazy man was part of an invading army?? you know this is a bit different cause the gunmen was a soldier... a soldier not off the clock just gone crazy, but a soldier as part of an invading force. i know it shouldnt make a difference but it does. and yes i agree he needs to be tried in afghani court.. but no death penalty.
    ...
    Agreed. I also believe there should not be a Death Penalty. Not just because he is an American soldier, but, because I don't beleive in the Death Penalty.
    And yes... from the Afghani point of view, a soldier in the uniform of a foriegn country that does not understand your country, language, religion, customs or culture. I imagine if the case were the same, except a foriegn soldier, mass murdering American civilians (including women and children), no American would be okay with him being tried by their military tribunal.
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  • ByrnzieByrnzie Posts: 21,037
    According to military officials, the soldier will be tried within the military justice system, not turned over to Afghan authorities for trial, rebuffing a call from Afghan lawmakers to use their courts.

    And of course the same would apply if an Afghan (or Saudi) murdered some Americans on U.S soil. It goes without saying that the Americans would apply the same set of rules and let him be tried by his own people, right?


    U.S hypocrisy knows no bounds.
  • catefrancescatefrances Posts: 29,003
    Byrnzie wrote:
    According to military officials, the soldier will be tried within the military justice system, not turned over to Afghan authorities for trial, rebuffing a call from Afghan lawmakers to use their courts.

    And of course the same would apply if an Afghan (or Saudi) murdered some Americans on U.S soil. It goes without saying that the Americans would apply the same set of rules and let him be tried by his own people, right?


    U.S hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    if this man was not a soldier then im sure he would be tried by the local legal system. the fact that this man IS a soldier changes things and you know it.
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  • pandorapandora Posts: 21,855
    I'm not falling for the randomness ...
    of this
  • bennett13bennett13 Posts: 439
    Obama should be put on trial for war crimes.
  • peacefrompaulpeacefrompaul Posts: 25,293
    bennett13 wrote:
    Obama should be put on trial for war crimes.

    At that rate so should W.
  • WobbieWobbie Posts: 26,831
    brianlux wrote:

    This latest massacre, on top of all the other deaths inflicted upon the people of Afghanistan, plays into the hands of the Taliban, which prides itself on fighting the occupiers.

    We must end the occupation, end the bidding for a permanent military presence there, and let the Afghan people decide their own fate.

    ^^^^ 2 great points:

    we're creating more terrorists

    who are we to decide what afghanistan "needs"?
    If I had known then what I know now...

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  • Pepe SilviaPepe Silvia Posts: 3,758
    But there's a lot of herion and cellphone raw materials there, not to mention the Pakistan border and Iran's border, it's just so damn special. oh ya and the spread of democracy and stuff.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/world ... wanted=all

    Reports link Karzai's brother to heroin trade
    By James Risen

    WASHINGTON — When Afghan security forces found an enormous cache of heroin hidden beneath concrete blocks in a tractor-trailer outside Kandahar in 2004, the local Afghan commander quickly impounded the truck and notified his boss.

    Before long, the commander, Habibullah Jan, received a telephone call from Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of President Hamid Karzai, asking him to release the vehicle and the drugs, Jan later told American investigators, according to notes from the debriefing obtained by The New York Times. He said he complied after getting a phone call from an aide to President Karzai directing him to release the truck.

    Two years later, American and Afghan counternarcotics forces stopped another truck, this time near Kabul, finding more than 110 pounds of heroin. Soon after the seizure, United States investigators told other American officials that they had discovered links between the drug shipment and a bodyguard believed to be an intermediary for Ahmed Wali Karzai, according to a participant in the briefing.

    The assertions about the involvement of the president's brother in the incidents were never investigated, according to American and Afghan officials, even though allegations that he has benefited from narcotics trafficking have circulated widely in Afghanistan.

    Both President Karzai and Ahmed Wali Karzai, now the chief of the Kandahar Provincial Council, the governing body for the region that includes Afghanistan's second largest city, dismiss the allegations as politically motivated attacks by longtime foes.

    "I am not a drug dealer, I never was and I never will be," the president's brother said in a recent phone interview. "I am a victim of vicious politics."

    But the assertions about him have deeply worried top American officials in Kabul and in Washington. The United States officials fear that perceptions that the Afghan president might be protecting his brother are damaging his credibility and undermining efforts by the United States to buttress his government, which has been under siege from rivals and a Taliban insurgency fueled by drug money, several senior Bush administration officials said. Their concerns have intensified as American troops have been deployed to the country in growing numbers.

    "What appears to be a fairly common Afghan public perception of corruption inside their government is a tremendously corrosive element working against establishing long-term confidence in that government — a very serious matter," said Lieutenant General David Barno, who was commander of coalition military forces in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2005 and is now retired. "That could be problematic strategically for the United States."

    The White House says it believes that Ahmed Wali Karzai is involved in drug trafficking, and American officials have repeatedly warned President Karzai that his brother is a political liability, two senior Bush administration officials said in interviews last week.

    Numerous reports link Ahmed Wali Karzai to the drug trade, according to current and former officials from the White House, the State Department and the United States Embassy in Afghanistan, who would speak only on the condition of anonymity. In meetings with President Karzai, including a 2006 session with the United States ambassador, the Central Intelligence Agency's station chief and their British counterparts, American officials have talked about the allegations in hopes that the president might move his brother out of the country, said several people who took part in or were briefed on the talks.

    "We thought the concern expressed to Karzai might be enough to get him out of there," one official said. But President Karzai has resisted, demanding clear-cut evidence of wrongdoing, several officials said. "We don't have the kind of hard, direct evidence that you could take to get a criminal indictment," a White House official said. "That allows Karzai to say, where's your proof?"

    Neither the Drug Enforcement Administration, which conducts counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan, nor the fledgling Afghan anti-drug agency has pursued investigations into the accusations against the president's brother.

    Several American investigators said senior officials at the DEA and the office of the Director of National Intelligence complained to them that the White House favored a hands-off approach toward Ahmed Wali Karzai because of the political delicacy of the matter. But White House officials dispute that, instead citing limited DEA resources in Kandahar and southern Afghanistan and the absence of political will in the Afghan government to go after major drug suspects as the reasons for the lack of an inquiry.

    "We invested considerable resources into building Afghan capability to conduct such investigations and consistently encouraged Karzai to take on the big fish and address widespread Afghan suspicions about the link between his brother and narcotics," said Meghan O'Sullivan, who was the coordinator for Afghanistan and Iraq at the National Security Council until last year.

    Humayun Hamidzada, press secretary for President Karzai, denied that the president's brother was involved in drug trafficking or that the president had intervened to help him. "People have made allegations without proof," Hamidzada said.

    Spokesmen for the Drug Enforcement Administration, the State Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment.

    An Informant's Tip

    The concerns about Ahmed Wali Karzai have surfaced recently because of the imprisonment of an informant who tipped off American and Afghan investigators to the drug-filled truck outside Kabul in 2006.

    The informant, Hajji Aman Kheri, was arrested a year later on charges of plotting to kill an Afghan vice president in 2002. The Afghan Supreme Court recently ordered him freed for lack of evidence, but he has not been released. Nearly 100 political leaders in his home region protested his continued incarceration last month.

    Kheri, in a phone interview from jail in Kabul, said he had been an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration and United States intelligence agencies, an assertion confirmed by American counternarcotics and intelligence officials. Several of those officials, frustrated that the Bush administration was not pressing for Kheri's release, came forward to disclose his role in the drug seizure.

    Ever since the American-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, critics have charged that the Bush administration has failed to take aggressive action against the Afghan narcotics trade, because of both opposition from the Karzai government and reluctance by the United States military to get bogged down by eradication and interdiction efforts that would antagonize local warlords and Afghan poppy farmers. Now, Afghanistan provides about 95 percent of the world's supply of heroin.

    Just as the Taliban have benefited from money produced by the drug trade, so have many officials in the Karzai government, according to American and Afghan officials. Thomas Schweich, a former senior State Department counternarcotics official, wrote in The New York Times Magazine in July that drug traffickers were buying off hundreds of police chiefs, judges and other officials. "Narco-corruption went to the top of the Afghan government," he said.

    Suspicions of Corruption

    Of the suspicions about Ahmed Wali Karzai, Representative Mark Steven Kirk, an Illinois Republican who has focused on the Afghan drug problem in Congress, said, "I would ask people in the Bush administration and the DEA about him, and they would say, 'We think he's dirty.' "

    In the two drug seizures in 2004 and 2006, millions of dollars' worth of heroin was found. In April 2006, Jan, by then a member of the Afghan Parliament, met with American investigators at a DEA safe house in Kabul and was asked to describe the events surrounding the 2004 drug discovery, according to notes from the debriefing session. He told the Americans that after impounding the truck, he received calls from Ahmed Wali Karzai and Shaida Mohammad, an aide to President Karzai, according to the notes.

    Jan later became a political opponent of President Karzai, and in a 2007 speech in Parliament he accused Ahmed Wali Karzai of involvement in the drug trade. Jan was shot to death in July as he drove from a guesthouse to his main residence in Kandahar Province. The Taliban were suspected in the assassination.

    Mohammad, in a recent interview in Washington, dismissed Jan's account, saying that Jan had fabricated the story about being pressured to release the drug shipment in order to damage President Karzai.

    But Khan Mohammad, the former Afghan commander in Kandahar who was Jan's superior in 2004, said in a recent interview that Jan reported at the time that he had received a call from the Karzai aide ordering him to release the drug cache. Khan Mohammad recalled that Jan believed that the call had been instigated by Ahmed Wali Karzai, not the president.

    "This was a very heavy issue," Mohammad said.

    He provided the same account in an October 2004 interview with The Christian Science Monitor. Mohammad said that after a subordinate captured a large shipment of heroin about two months earlier, the official received repeated telephone calls from Ahmed Wali Karzai. "He was saying, 'This heroin belongs to me, you should release it,' " the newspaper quoted Mohammad as saying.

    Languishing in Detention

    In 2006, Kheri, the Afghan informant, tipped off American counternarcotics agents to another drug shipment. Kheri, who had proved so valuable to the United States that his family had been resettled in Virginia in 2004, briefly returned to Afghanistan in 2006.

    The heroin in the truck that was seized was to be delivered to Ahmed Wali Karzai's bodyguard in the village of Maidan Shahr, and then transported to Kandahar, one of the Afghans involved in the deal later told American investigators, according to notes of his debriefing. Several Afghans — the drivers and the truck's owner — were arrested by Afghan authorities, but no action was taken against Karzai or his bodyguard, who investigators believe serves as a middleman, the American officials said.

    In 2007, Kheri visited Afghanistan again, once again serving as an American informant, the officials said. This time, however, he was arrested by the Karzai government and charged in the 2002 assassination of Hajji Abdul Qadir, an Afghan vice president, who had been a political rival of Kheri's brother, Hajji Zaman, a former militia commander and a powerful figure in eastern Afghanistan.

    Kheri, in the phone interview from Kabul, denied any involvement in the killing and said his arrest was politically motivated. He maintained that the president's brother was involved in the heroin trade.

    "It's no secret about Wali Karzai and drugs," said Kheri, who speaks English. "A lot of people in the Afghan government are involved in drug trafficking."

    Kheri's continued detention, despite the Afghan court's order to release him, has frustrated some of the American investigators who worked with him.

    In recent months, they have met with officials at the State Department and the office of the Director of National Intelligence seeking to persuade the Bush administration to intervene with the Karzai government to release Kheri.

    "We have just left a really valuable informant sitting in jail to rot," one investigator said.
    don't compete; coexist

    what are you but my reflection? who am i to judge or strike you down?

    "I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank." - Barack Obama

    when you told me 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em'
    i was thinkin 'death before dishonor'
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