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In February, Hamid Karzai tried to expel U.S. Special Forces from Wardak province.

In today's [weekly] national security council meeting, Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered the ministry of defence to kick out the US special forces from Wardak ... within two weeks," Faizi said.

Faizi said "misconduct" by people linked to the US special forces in Wardak included the beheading of a student and the capture of nine missing locals.

Karzai expels US forces from Afghan province, Al Jazeera

This was over allegation of killings, disappearances, torture, and abuse by joint U.S. Special Forces/Afghan militia operations.
Two days after masked men burst in to Bibi Shereen's house and took her son away, villagers found his corpse - half-eaten by dogs - under a bridge in Afghanistan's volatile Wardak province.

"His fingers were cut off, he was badly beaten. His hands were swollen, his throat was slit," she told Reuters in her small mudbrick house.

"Why is the government not listening to our voices - why are they not stopping Americans from doing such things."

Afghan move against U.S. special forces tied to abuse allegations, Reuters

Going back to 2010, the U.S. had set up a local militia program in Wardak. The local militia programs are theoretically done with the cooperation of village and tribal elders, and in cooperation with Afghan security officials. But no one in Wardak wanted to go along with the idea.

Thomas said ISAF special operations forces in Nerkh never had a unified Afghan partner there to work with. While they had Afghan allies on the ground, including Afghan local police and sometimes Afghan special forces, Thomas said those groups never had any unified oversight on the Afghan side.

“What we did suffer from is that we were in Wardak almost by ourselves,” he said. “There was no overarching Afghan security official in charge, and we suffered from that.”

Local political tensions have negative impact on special ops in Afghan district, Stars and Stripes

So to lead the militia in Wardak, the United States settled on a former Guantanamo prisoner, and his former Taliban brother. To be able to deal financially with the brother, the United States got the United Nations to take the brother off the Taliban sanctions list.
Ghulam Mohammad and his brother Haji Musa Hotak are significant local figures with strong Jihadi credentials, having previously been involved with the Taliban and the Islamist party Harakat-i-Inqilab-iIslami. Ghulam Mohammad was detained by US Forces in 2004 and spent two years in the US military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. Haji Musa Hotak was a commander of Harakat-i-Inqilab-iIslami, a deputy minister in the Taliban government, and a member of parliament for Wardak province from 2005-2010. Hotak was delisted from the UN’s sanction list in January 2010.

Just Don't Call It a Militia, Human Rights Watch

Complaints of abuse from the militia started almost immediately.
Elders interviewed from Wardak had made a number of complaints, which they said had little impact. Ajmal B., described the activities of three commanders in his village, which included theft of money, clothing, and mobile phones at checkpoints:
We went to complain to the government. We went to the chief of police. We told them they were looting. But they said bring us evidence. I told them I didn’t have any way to film this. Ten or fifteen elders went to see them. We said this is the evidence, you should trust us.
Just Don't Call It a Militia, Human Rights Watch
The Governor of Wardak at the time was a hand-picked U.S. selection. He had strong shadow war connections. The repeated complaints to the government, about the abuse by the joint U.S./Afghan operations, went nowhere.

Going back even further, to 2002, the United States had set up joint CIA/Special Forces/Afghan militias at Mullah Omar's old house in Kandahar, called Camp Gecko. On the Afghan side, Ahmed Wali Karzai, current National Directorate of Security head Asadullah Khalid, and our "mad dog on a leash", Abdul Raziq Achakzai, operated there. The joint operations out of Camp Gecko have been the source of the frequent torture allegations, from 2002 up to now.

Last fall, heavy fighting broke out in Wardak province. The United Sates sent up a Special Forces A team from Camp Gecko. With them came what the New York Times styles as "Mr. Kandahari".

Afghan officials have been unable to determine the complete function of the American base while it was operating, and believe that a C.I.A. team may have been responsible for Mr. Kandahari. Mr. Kandahari had been transferred to Nerkh from Camp Gecko in Kandahar, which is a C.I.A. substation.

Suspect in Torture Is Arrested in Afghanistan, New York Times

At the center of the Afghans’ accusations is an American Special Forces A Team that had been based in the Nerkh district until recently. An A Team is an elite unit of 12 American soldiers who work with extra resources that the military calls “enablers,” making it possible for the team to have the effect of a much larger unit. Those resources can include specialized equipment, air support and Afghan partner troops or interpreters. The American official said Mr. Kandahari had been an interpreter working for the team in the Nerkh district without pay in exchange for being allowed to live on the base.

Afghans Say an American Tortured Civilians, New York Times

He is an Afghan/American translator for U.S. Special Forces, and seems to have had humanitarian
He was ostensibly part of a team of Afghans working for a mine-clearing aid group, which was a cover for paramilitary activity.

Suspect in Torture Is Arrested in Afghanistan, New York Times

mine clearing cover.

Our translator/enabler/humanitarian mine clearer took to riding around Wardak, hunting insurgents from ATVs

Afghan officials give a different account of his role. They say he and others working with the team wore American-style military uniforms, but had long beards and often, bizarrely, rode motorized four-wheeled bikes on hunts for insurgents. The Afghan officials said Mr. Kandahari appeared to be in a leadership position in the unit.

Afghans Say an American Tortured Civilians, New York Times

The inquiry found that up to eight Afghan translators for American troops were operating in the northern Nerkh district of Wardak, wearing the uniforms of Afghan commandos in the national army. People had complained about abusive treatment by the group, the report said.

Afghan officials say NATO ignored complaints of abuses by U.S. Special Operations forces, Washington Post

and
Two days after masked men burst in to Bibi Shereen's house and took her son away, villagers found his corpse - half-eaten by dogs - under a bridge in Afghanistan's volatile Wardak province.

Afghan move against U.S. special forces tied to abuse allegations, Reuters

The footless corpse of an Afghan man missing since November was found on Tuesday near the former American Special Forces base to which he was last seen being taken, according to Afghan officials and victims’ representatives.

Torture Victim’s Body Is Found Near U.S. Base, Afghans Say, New York Times

dumping bodies.

Last September, Hamid Karzai sacked five of the most American-connected Governors, and replaced them with Governors more friendly to himself. The American-picked Governor of Wardak, with the shadow war connections, was among the sacked. Complaints about U.S. connected abuse in Wardak were now less likely to be ignored.

Afghan officials got ahold of a videotape of an interrogation session.

Allegedly, there’s a videotape in Afghan government hands showing a man named Zakaria Kandahari presiding over the torture of an Afghan civilian who, along with 15 others, recently disappeared from Wardak Province.

Afghans Claim to Have Video of U.S. Special Forces Guy Torturing Civilians, Wired

Leading back to the top of this diary, that in February, Hamid Karzai tried to expel U.S. Special Forces from Wardak province.

The United States took the torture allegations against itself "seriously"

Afghan officials ... said they had tried for weeks to get the coalition to cooperate with an investigation into claims that civilians had been killed, abducted or tortured by Afghans working for American Special Operations forces in Maidan Wardak. But the coalition was not responsive, they said.

Afghanistan Bars Elite U.S. Troops From a Key Province, New York Times

and assisted in getting to the bottom of the story.
Afghan officials are seeking Mr. Kandahari’s arrest on murder, torture and abuse of prisoner charges, and accuse the American military of shielding him from capture.

American military officials have insisted they do not have Mr. Kandahari and do not know where he is;

Torture Victim’s Body Is Found Near U.S. Base, Afghans Say, New York Times

An Afghan defense official now says that Zakaria Kandahari is in Afghan custody.

The arrest of Mr. Kandahari, who was sought on charges of murder, torture and abuse of prisoners, was confirmed by Maj. Gen. Manan Farahi, the head of intelligence for the Afghan Defense Ministry. He said Mr. Kandahari, who escaped from an American base in January after President Hamid Karzai demanded his arrest, was captured in Kandahar by the National Directorate of Security, the Afghan intelligence service.

Suspect in Torture Is Arrested in Afghanistan, New York Times

"Everybody knows and you should know that Zakaria Kandahari and these people with him were there with the Americans and were working for the Americans," Farahi said. "Whether they killed people on their own or were directed by the Americans to kill people, it needs extensive investigation. Now that Mr. Kandahari is in custody most of these things will become clear."

Afghanistan-American translator arrested for alleged slayings, UPI

The U.S.-connected torture suspect is now in the hands of the U.S. created and funded National Directorate of Security. I sincerely hope he is being treated humanely. But we have created, in Afghanistan, some pretty ugly things.
 
 
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Comment Preferences

  •  yech. (4+ / 0-)

    Time to go?

    •  This is our exit strategy (9+ / 0-)

      Continued U.S. Special Forces operations with our local militias.

      ALP is the exit strategy.
      —International civilian official, Kabul, October 9, 2010

      Just Don't Call It a Militia

      The first stages may be similar, but then the army or the ANCOP hand off responsibilities to what are known as Afghan Local Police (ALP), essentially armed community-watch organizations of 200 to 300 locals each. This approach may increase further in 2013.

      ...

      This is perhaps because the Taliban recognize that the ALP deprive them of their fictional but powerful narrative that the existing Afghan government and its security forces are illegitimate concoctions of foreign occupiers having little to do with traditional Afghan mores.

      Toward a Successful Outcome in Afghanistan, Center for a New American Security

      And continued U.S. Special Forces/CIA operations with the Afghan secret police and other internal security forces.
      Western sensibilities may not prefer the idea of a nation held together largely by the strength of its armed forces. But in fact this is a time-tested path that states from Turkey to South Korea to Colombia have followed at certain stages of their development. And there is good reason to think Afghanistan may do so successfully as well.

      Toward a Successful Outcome in Afghanistan

      Plus continued CIA involvement with the warlords.

      Quite an exit plan, no?

  •  We have done some ugly things. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, ballerina X

    But let's not pretend that Afghanistan was not a violent country before we ever got there. Under the Taliban, a violation of religious law results in an array of violent punishments, including death. While we have states like Texas that execute people, we don't stone women for adultery or burn people alive for uttering the name of God.

    •  the "best times" in Afghanistan (10+ / 0-)

      were under Soviet rule.

      We all but created the Taliban to stop that.

      And don't measure America by what happens in Texas . . . measure America by what we did in Vietnam and Iraq . . .

      Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

      by Deward Hastings on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:47:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Our favored warlords, though, (6+ / 0-)

      are no friend of women in Afghanistan. Rape by our sponsored militias is a severe problem now. No one can stop it, because you can't politically go after people with Special Forces backing. There is a near complete impunity.

      Our Wahhabi fundamentalist friend Abdul-Rab Sayyaf, I'd single out in particular here.

      The Afghan National Directorate of Security head Asadullah Khalid is one of his guys. Khalid is presumably behind the scenes here. He operated out of the Camp Gecko base. He is a strong backer and highly involved in the Afghan Local Police programs.

      And as far as our Sayyaf/Ittihad guy currently running amok in partially Hazara Wardak province, yuck.

      Not that our sponsored Hazara militias are much better. They have a real rape problem now, coming from the impunity we give them.

    •  So it's official, doc2 is a supporter of torture (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, Superskepticalman, Simplify

      because after all, "they do worse".  Of course, it's not really torture is it, merely enhanced interrogation.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 04:08:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If this is the best the Administration's defenders (0+ / 0-)

        can do here, the gig is already up with over three years to go.

        "There's a conceptual zone within which the romanticized historical past and the immanentizing historical future converge in a swamp of misapprehension and misstep. It's called 'the present'." - David Beige

        by Superskepticalman on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:21:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Moral relativism as a defense is no defense at all (0+ / 0-)

      Our original beef was with Al Qaeda, not the Taliban.

      "There's a conceptual zone within which the romanticized historical past and the immanentizing historical future converge in a swamp of misapprehension and misstep. It's called 'the present'." - David Beige

      by Superskepticalman on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:21:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Al Qaeda would not have had (0+ / 0-)

        training camps were it not for the Taliban. The Taliban made Afghanistan into a protected haven for terrorists from which the 911 attacks and others were hatched. So our beef was with the Taliban almost as much as it was with al Qaeda. This is new information for you?

  •  Afghan "local police" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, peacestpete

    are only rarely/coincidentally "local", and don't match any definition of "police", even the paramilitarized repressive apparatus that ios installed in most US communities, never mind more traditional definitions.  What Afghan "local police" are are the gunmen loyal to the particular warlord given suzerainty over some Afghan district.  It hardly matters at all where a warlord and his forces are from, if they are given rule of the district, that makes them "Local Police".  

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" ~Dr. Samuel Johnson

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 12:45:40 PM PDT

  •  You seem conflicted on multiple levels (0+ / 0-)

    Some child was killed and tortured.  Some Afghani reportedly didi it.  Said Afghani has some ties to US established security/military units.  Afghani officials are mad that an Afghani reportedly perpetrated these crimes and blames the US and the scurrilous CIA.  Too bad they don't get as upset when their soldiers and police murder US and coalition forces in cold blood.

    You conclude:

    The U.S.-connected torture suspect is now in the hands of the U.S. created and funded National Directorate of Security. I sincerely hope he is being treated humanely. But we have created, in Afghanistan, some pretty ugly things.
    So this is the U.S.'s fault?  Yet it seems that it all the Afghanis involved in the actual events?  And let's all hope this "torture suspect" is being treated humanely?  In Afghanistan? By Afghani security forces?

    We should have left this hell hole years ago.  Our never ending extraction will only show the wisdom of that statement as more atrocities occur and the blessed Kharzai regime finds ways to blame the US for their corruption and inability to govern.

    My advice is put your outrage toward getting us the hell out of there ASAP, no matter what else it not's gonna get better there and we should leave them to themselves to sort it the f*ck out.

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:05:01 PM PDT

    •  I don't think any of the torture victims (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      mentioned in this diary are children.

      •  My Bad (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett
        Two days after masked men burst in to Bibi Shereen's house and took her son away
        Somehow I always assume the worst concerning Afghanistan.  Well, if the "son" was 18 or 22 or 32 that would make it all different....

        "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

        by EdMass on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:21:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  On assuming the worst (3+ / 0-)

          Locals are saying this comes the U.S.

          "Why is the government not listening to our voices - why are they not stopping Americans from doing such things."
          Afghan officials are saying that it comes from the U.S.
          At a press conference in the Afghan capital on Sunday, Aimal Faizi, presidential spokesman, said US special forces were responsible for furthering "insecurity and instability" in Maidan Wardak.
          American officials are saying that it comes from the U.S.
          What we did suffer from is that we were in Wardak almost by ourselves
          We've been talking a lot about the continuation of NSA spying lately. The continuation of American torture doesn't get so much discussion.

          An American contract translator working with the military. Same thing as at Abu Ghraib.

          American torture, as a political issue, is still here. Just like NSA spying is.

          •  Authoritarian activities by rogue politicians in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Garrett

            the name of We the People. Infuriating, just waiting for the blowback.

            "There's a conceptual zone within which the romanticized historical past and the immanentizing historical future converge in a swamp of misapprehension and misstep. It's called 'the present'." - David Beige

            by Superskepticalman on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 07:23:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  We should leave the place and let them (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Garrett, snacksandpop

    deal with the Taliban on their own.  We should not be there propping up drug dealers, or the like. We have sunk billions into the place and only lined the pockets of the corrupt government we put in power.  Obama has failed to end the war, only made it worse, has seen more US Soldiers killed under his leadership, and is dragging his feet to get us out.

    We need to pull out of ALL of the middle east and let them deal with their problems with out the US trying to run things.  Not our nations, Not our Problems.

    Stupid question hour starts now and ends in five minutes.

    by DrillSgtK on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 02:26:13 PM PDT

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