Thursday, November 22, 2007


Update 6/18/08: Easing of laws that led to detainee abuse hatched in secret
Update 6/18/08: General who probed Abu Ghraib says Bush officials committed war crimes
Update 6/17/08: Documents confirm U.S. hid detainees from Red Cross
Update 6/16/08: U.S. abuse of detainees was routine at Afghanistan bases

Update 1/7/08: US Prison Grows Beyond Capacity in Afghanistan, NYT
US Detention Center in Afghanistan Criticized by Red Cross

"This is a kid who'd never spent...a night away from home in his life," says writer/director Alex Gibney, "until he was taken forcibly from his taxicab, thrown into Bagram Prison, and five days later he was dead."

Update 12/30/07:
Interrogation Tapes Lived And Died To Save CIA Image

---Thursday Dec 13, 2007
" WASHINGTON (AFP) — Fifteen detainees at the US "war on terror" camp in Guantanamo, Cuba, have been transferred to Afghanistan and Sudan, the Pentagon said in a statement Thursday.

The US Defense Department says there are about 290 detainees still at the facility on its naval base on Cuba's southeastern tip.

Thirteen detainees were sent to Afghanistan, and two others were sent to Sudan, the statement said...."

That's not good news for the detainees. At best being detained by the U.S. in Afghanistan is mysterious, no one knows much, or no one talks.

Fifteen-year-old Omar Khadr is unique because he is the only Western citizen still imprisoned at Guantanamo.
UPDATE 2/4/08: Khadr shot by U.S. forces before capture: witness

The United Nations Optional Protocol on the Rights of the Child, which the U.S. ratified in 2002, says that people under 18 who are enlisted or conscripted into armed conflict are not adults and therefore “are entitled to special protection.”

------ Tuesday December 11, 2007
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen testify before the House of Armed Services Committee.
"In Afghanistan, we do what we can,"
It was a pleasant day in Congress. A few problems acknowledged but Afghanistan is not a priority. Lack of training, helicopter and equipment issues, failed policies... more rough going for the troops. It's up to NATO to "support our troops".
Gates slams U.S. counternarcotics in Afghanistan

Cpl. Tanner J. O’Leary, 23, of Eagle Butte, S.D., died Dec. 9 in Musa Qal’eh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
Six luckier Army 82nd Airborne soldiers lived.
They were awarded purple hearts for their courage.
PHOTOS: Bagram’s Task Force Med, a unit comprised at Craig Joint Theater Hospital

Afghanistan 2007

"How long do we continue to watch this [Afghanistan] thing?" asked one senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "There is a desire to keep the heat on NATO and see if they will pony up the resources." But

"If they aren't willing to do that,"

the United States may have to change its policy.
Afghanistan 2007

"We need to look at our training model. We break young trainees of many other bad habits, but we reinforce the arrogance. Something wrong here. Yeah, okay, you jump out of planes and you're a bad-ass... have some humility, kid."

Afghanistan 2007

"We don't train our line units in counterinsurgency. We train them as maneuver units, and they are damned fine soldiers; the best in the world. However, they often don't play well with others. Treating your host country's forces with disdain is a huge mistake. I saw this mistake blatantly made out in The Valley by junior leaders. It made an impression on the men who I was working with, the Afghans. Everyone can tell when they are being disrespected, even in another language; and it is not a motivator. In fact, it is not a positive in any regard. To my Afghans, the American platoon making this major error did not look like a force that they wanted to emulate; they looked like assholes. Ugly Americans.

Those young Americans, even if they read this, would never put it together. They see nothing wrong with their behavior. They will go home and tell stories about how f'd-up the Afghans were. That's like making yourself look better by racing against a guy with broken legs. They will totally misrepresent the progress being made here and unwittingly perform the same function as PVT Beauchamp, degrading our efforts and calling into question the very reason why we are here."
Blogging Afghanistan
One Third And A Wakeup

[click image to enlarge]

Ciara Durkin was found shot dead on Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan on Sept. 27, 2007 shortly after she told her family to investigate in the event that she died.

The U.S. military flew some of its oldest aircraft in airstrikes in Afghanistan

Bagram Airbase

Robin Williams

National Guard medic from South Carolina currently serving in Afghanistan

The war on the walls

US abuse of Afghan prisoners 'widespread'

The Dark Art of Interrogation

CIA accused of torture at Bagram base
Some captives handed to brutal foreign agencies

From Bagram to Abu Ghraib

Laura Bush joins US troops as they dine in the Dragon Chow Dining Hall on Bagram Air Base in Kabul, Afghanistan Wednesday, March 30, 2005. White House photo by Susan Sterner

Charlie Daniels Afghanistan

Afghanistan — Bagram Airbase

Bagram Airbase is located in the Parvan Province approximately 11 kilometers (7 miles) southeast of the city of Charikar and 47 Kilometers (27 miles) north of Kabul. It is served by a 10,000 foot runway built in 1976 capable of landing large cargo and bomber aircraft.

Bagram Airbase has three large hangars, a control tower, and numerous support buildings. There are over 32 acres of ramp space. There are five aircraft dispersal areas with a total of over 110 revettments. Many support buildings and base housing built by the Soviets, have been destroyed by years of fighting between the various warring Afghan factions.

Bagram Airbase played a key role during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, serving as a base of operations for troops and supplies. and Aircraft based at Bagram provided close air support for Soviet and Afghan troops in the field. Some of the Soviet forces based out of Bagram included the elite 105th Guards Airborne Division."How long do we continue to watch this [Afghanistan] thing?" asked one senior official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "There is a desire to keep the heat on NATO and see if they will pony up the resources." But he added: "If they aren't willing to do that," the United States may have to change its policy.

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