Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 09, 2013

Afghan's Care For Human Rights - U.S. "Disappointed"

Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states:
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.
The UDHR further guarantees the rights of liberty, due process and to be presumed innocent until proved guilty.

The United States does not like that Afghans and their parliament insist on these rights. The United States arbitrarily arrests Afghans who it assumes, without evidence, to be "terrorists" or at least "Taliban". After some struggle it finally agreed to hand over the arrested to the Afghan government. Now an Afghan commission decides if the evidence, if there is any at all, is sufficient enough for to case to go to a trial. In four out of five cases the evidence is insufficiant or lacking at all and the prisoner is set free. 

Such laudable due process is disliked by the U.S. military. It therefore pressed on the Afghan government and the parliament to allow for long term detentions without evidence of guilt and without trials. The Afghan parliament, rightfully, rejected such severe violations of universal human rights. That, says the United States, is a "problem":

A key problem, U.S. officials said, is the Afghan parliament’s unwillingness to pass legislation that would permit the government to detain individuals even if insufficient evidence exists to prosecute them in court. Most of the detainees were apprehended in military operations where the collection of evidence was not a priority; in other cases, information leading to their capture came from sources the U.S. government deems too secret to share with the Afghan government.

“This is very disappointing,” said a U.S. official involved in Afghanistan policy who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss detention operations.

The U.S. military knows of course how to avoid such "disappointment":
"If they can't prove they're Taliban, bam"
But that solution is just as dumb as the anonymously quoted disappointment of the U.S. official above.

What is again the U.S. trying to do in Afghanistan?

Posted by b on November 9, 2013 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

Comments

Afghan's Hearts and minds.

Winning them was too difficult, so now we just put bullets through them.

And cheaper than flying them to that torture chamber in Guantanamo.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 9, 2013 11:23:32 AM | 1

What is again the US trying to do in Afghanistan?
They're trying to out-Nazi the Nazis.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 9, 2013 11:29:28 AM | 2

I assume the quote has left out a crucial word, and that if they can't prove that they are NOT Taliban, bam. Or am I missing something? This is the second time you are using the quote.

Posted by: sarz | Nov 9, 2013 12:09:21 PM | 3

@2 No. I think it's just one more case of American Exceptionalism, which holds that people outside the United States (and a not inconsiderable number inside) are not fully human and therefore don't deserve protection. I think the habit came from exterminating the Native Americans and from the enslaveent of black Africans. Turns out to be a hard habit to break.

Posted by: Knut | Nov 9, 2013 12:12:50 PM | 4

@sarz, no, the quote is accurate. It's from Sy Hersh describing one method of dealing with somebody who troops think is a Taliban fighter but without sufficient cause to hold them. Rather than let them go, the troops just kill them.

Similar practices are described in this Rolling Stone story, The A Team Killings.

Posted by: Weldon | Nov 9, 2013 12:22:55 PM | 5

"@2 No. I think it's just one more case of American Exceptionalism, which holds that people outside the United States (and a not inconsiderable number inside) are not fully human and therefore don't deserve protection. I think the habit came from exterminating the Native Americans and from the enslaveent of black Africans. Turns out to be a hard habit to break.

Posted by: Knut | Nov 9, 2013 12:12:50 PM | 4"

http://www.amazon.com/Bury-Chains-International-Rights-Movement/dp/0333904915

http://ascsunited.blogspot.com/2009/04/sugar-plantation.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=908-OYuTkUE

The country you indict is hardly an innocent bystander but from what little I know, the iron link between slavery and sugar in the 18th century involved England, France, and other non-American entities. Perhaps history has been air-brushed un-noticed even by some sophisticated posters here?

Posted by: avidlurker | Nov 9, 2013 3:24:51 PM | 6

Off topic, but new: The homepage of the Iranian nuclear project.

Posted by: g_h | Nov 9, 2013 3:32:57 PM | 7

All one need do is ponder the character and integrity of the satanically evil scum that engineered our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan...the Patriot act....Gitmo....Abu Ghraib....

Cheney, anyone?

And we lecture other nations?

News, folks;

We ARE the "Evil Empire".

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 9, 2013 5:35:14 PM | 8

"...the iron link between slavery and sugar in the 18th century involved England, France, and other non-American entities."

You are right, avidlurker@6, the slave trade involved all the usual suspects: Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, England and France. Not to mention Denmark, Sweden and just about anyone else who could crew and provision a ship.
As to America, the demand came from the colonies of those same countries. Creole, maybe but hardly American.

What is often airbrushed, but Knut highlights, is the Exceptional evil that arose from the conjunction of European greed and disease with American wealth and vulnerability to the diseases that come from societies in which men and (literally domesticated) animals live together.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 9, 2013 5:39:54 PM | 9

"...even if insufficient evidence exists to prosecute them in court. Most of the detainees were apprehended in military operations where the collection of evidence was not a priority; in other cases, information leading to their capture came from sources the U.S. government deems too secret to share with the Afghan government."

This is Carl Schmitt law. His apologetics for authoritarianism have long since displaced the more traditional Anglo Saxon Common Law commentators.

This particular smidgeon of doctrine would have had the defendants at Nuremberg nodding their agreement while the Judges would have shaken their heads.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 9, 2013 7:03:26 PM | 10

It's funny that the 5 eyes ... anglo-saxon colonies and colonizer ... are the greatest of the exterminators of 'natives', of the 'others' ... and that the sixth pair of eyes is Israel, the exterminator of Palestinians.

But America is exceptional in that she is exceptionally large, hence rich, and was isolated from the devastation of the wars of the twentieth century. America is really just the first among the equally rapacious, and the rest have been quite content to see America foot the bill for the Wehrmacht which is at the bottom of their collective 'well-being'. And of course it is not just the 5 eyes but the whole of Europe that is indebted to America for these yeomanly labors and expenditures.

All nicely laid-out in Year 501.

The question that now occurs to me is, who is going to (try to?) pick up the slack when America is done ?

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 9, 2013 7:41:50 PM | 11

@PissedOffAmerican

"We ARE the "Evil Empire"."

Yup, you are.

Your understanding of evilness is subliminal and instinctive - probably an academic theme. Therefore "evil" isn't good noun. Genocidal is more appropriate one. Maybe that one will take you closer into realm of those who experienced Genocidal Empire from the first hand. Some experienced a death, some are crippled wounded, raped. Those who survived are traumatized by loss of those aforementioned and by lack of future thanks to Genocidal Empire.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 9, 2013 8:01:52 PM | 12

"The question that now occurs to me is, who is going to (try to?) pick up the slack when America is done ?"

My hope is no one. It is quite possible that the world has finally developed to the point where military adventurism as practiced by the United States after WW2 can be safely put in the dustbin.

Can we read into the failures of Iraq and the stare down over Syria that even small countries (with the right allies) now hove the power to stand up to the big ones? Or is that going to far. It's a nice thought anyway.

Hopefully the United States and Israel, along with their increasingly poodle-ish allies in Europe, have not destroyed international organizations such as the UN so much that they can't be revived. What other chance does the world have, really?

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 9, 2013 9:13:47 PM | 13

"What is again the U.S. trying to do in Afghanistan?"

They thought they knew the difference between being primitive, and being backward, and being uncivilised and why it matters. But they discovered, the day after they arrived in 2003, that the Afghans don't agree. So they want to stay until they've changed the minds of all the Afghans who disagree; or killed them.
If the Afghans don't kill them first.
Which they will.
With my blessing.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 9, 2013 11:17:54 PM | 14

If there were to be a discussion in the major media of human rights, the United States and Afghanistan, one would of course expect the basic truth about 9/11 to miss mention. What, after all, is the ownership of the major media all about if one can't control this crucial discourse? But in a context like this blog, minus the implicit recognition of 9/11 as an inside job, the discussion has an air of unreality.

Posted by: sarz | Nov 9, 2013 11:48:03 PM | 15

' My hope is no one. It is quite possible that the world has finally developed to the point where military adventurism as practiced by the United States after WW2 can be safely put in the dustbin. '

Maybe you're right. Hope so. But the structure of the Western/neoliberal economy seems to require endless expansion and that has to take place at someone (else's) expense. Without restructuring it's hard to imagine anything but musical chairs. 'Til everyone's on their ass on the floor.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 10, 2013 1:42:40 AM | 16

minus the implicit recognition of 9/11 as an inside job, the discussion has an air of unreality. Posted by: sarz | Nov 9, 2013 11:48:03 PM | 14
Well, I always push this, because I take great pleasure in deducing from it that all so-called "AQ affiliates" are phony, or in the jargon that they are 'pseudo-gangs', and from this in turn I deduce a whole series of behaviours for them which they indeed fulfill: they pop up wherever there is genuine anti-imperialist guerrilla struggle and they destroy and discredit it, by themselves assassinating its leaders, by terrorising the local populations under the pretext of imposing Shari'a Law, and by committing spectacular atrocities against the local government which real anti-imperialist guerrillas would know better than to commit, because their effect is to bring down massive retaliation both from the local government and from the West (drone strikes, nowadays), and these retaliations cleverly manage to just miss the leaders of the pseudo-gangs while butchering local residents on a wholesale basis. So it all fits together, in a nightmarish vision of 'fourth-generation warfare' which is entirely based on the empire creating false enemies and then pretending to do battle with them. To some extent, people here seem to agree with this. Though there are a few childish anti-conspiracy theory people who ridicule it, there are not many of them, and they don't by any means dominate the relevant threads of comments.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 10, 2013 4:08:30 AM | 17

bevin @8 & john francis lee @10

I think it was Roger Garaudy that pointed to the messianic nature of both north-american and israeli - and south african, one could argue - genesis. In both there is a divine promised land, and extermination is, as in Joshua's, a divine command.

Posted by: estouxim | Nov 10, 2013 5:25:36 AM | 18

The sheer incompetence of the 'brains' at the CIA is undoubtedly responsible for most of the attacks by 'al Qaeda' against the USSA ...

Iran/Contra => Osama bin Laden => Obama|bomb|Boston
http://www.robinlea.com/wordpress/2013/06/29/irancontra-%C2%B7-osama-bin-laden-%C2%B7-obama-bomb-boston/

... but I think the CIA knows it cannot run an al Qaeda job itself, making the operatives think the CIA is Mr Secret Wahabi himself.

But the Israelis certainly could. And I'll bet they did on 9/11. Can't know though, They may have stumbled upon a plot and discretely removed any and all obstacles in the plotters' way ... and equally discretely installed the thermite in Larry Silverstein's new property to make a really big show. I imagine Larry was only in it for the money, Almost prevailed in claiming double payment from the insurance company ...

But, yeah, Al Qaeda was, is, and will be a CIA operation. When Bandar's not using the logo.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 10, 2013 8:06:28 AM | 19

What are they trying to do in Afghanistan? Probably the same bunch of nothing they are trying to do at home. Maybe they are making some money off heroin deals, but "counter-terrorism" well... apparently "nobody wants to work [those] cases".

From newly released Wikileasks StratFor emails:


"According to a reliable inside the beltway investigative journalist that
covers national security affairs, the RCMP is up in arms over several
pending requests to the FBI on terrorist suspects on the loose in Canada
and the U.S. that the FBI has failed to respond back on. Reportedly,
MI5 has expressed similar frustrations w/leads dying in the FBI in-box.
There is a meeting today at Foggy Bottom in which the FBI declined to
attend on UK/Canada/US cooperation on CT investigations.
Note - The arrogance continues...I attribute the dysfunction to
mis-management (or lack of supervisors at Hqs) since nobody wants to
work CT [counter-terrorism] cases
."

No one wants to work the terror cases? But the NSA/FBI is all about terrorism 9/11 blah blah?

Keeping us safe indeed. Where do all those billions go I wonder.

via Wikileaks

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 10, 2013 9:48:20 AM | 20

b,

One SHOULD NOT be surprised by the actions of France . There is BHL (friend of Fabius and DSK) behind this. Make one wonders that France is becoming like the US, they need that Zionist vote. In this case BHL is keeping a low profile after he got a good slap in the face ( figuratively) wrt Libya - he was not welcomed for a visit there last yr when France (Fabius) went to Tripoli. The artsy crowd has the Quartier Latin but the Zionists are up and up in the 16 arr and Neuilly sur Seine together with the wealthy Arabs ( whether they are Syrians like Mme O, the Saudis or Qataris) who couldn't careless about their brethren in the ME.

Posted by: Yul | Nov 10, 2013 10:30:46 AM | 21

In regards to my post in 20, it all ties back to Rowan's and JFL posts. It is likely no one wants to work the cases because the chance of coming face-to-face with deep state shenanigans - and all that implies for ones career and family - is simply too great.

@Rowan: I truly think the scenario you laid out in @17 is rock-solid. And though you gave it an al Qaeda slant I'm sure you'd agree that it applies across the globe too - what are "Islamic-extremists" across MENA, Central, and South East Asia have their counterparts in the US-trained drug gangs and right-wing paramilitaries in Latin America.

They appear to be the exact same phenomena with the exact same purpose. You have only to look at events in Michoacán, Mexico to see very clear parallels.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 10, 2013 10:53:41 AM | 22

What actually happened, in my opinion, from having read certain Afghan emissary documents presented at the International Conference on Afghanistan in 2009, was that State wrote what Karzai and his ministers presented. The language in those documents was undeniably from Inside the Beltway, an area and a language style I have some small experience with.

So what is US doing in Afghanistan, that Hill-Mill were willing to divert $5B a year in US humanitarian aid for the Karzai Mafia for? Well, then she flew to Kabul five times during the next 18 months, and miraculously paid off her -$35M in the red bankrupt presidential run! Look at where Milliband has gotten himself! Karzai is a master political chimera. He knows how to spread the money around, and when he lost those $B in failed Dubai R/E deals, there was Hillary again, desperate not to let Bank of Kabul get audited, grifting Karzai another $3.2B. That's our money, by the way, the last life savings of Americans. Poof!

Ms. "Who cares about Benghazi!?"

Now I read that PNAC co-founder Khalilzhad is in Kabul, being groomed for Karzai's job, with the full support of the CIA and lavish expenditures to squire Khalilzhad around to the various Afghan villages and jurgas, so much so that the Afghans I know have stated that many players who had intended to run for president, are now running for the exits.

Which still begs the question, what's America doing there with Khalilzhad as understudy!?

What did Cheney see in those Russian geo-survey documents brought to Houston in 1998 when his Energy Policy Group met with the Taliban, then put them up in a NYC suite? Was is just the TAPA pipeline deal? The Afghans I know have told me there is unbelievable minerals wealth there, including an artisanal mine that glows in the dark (uranium? radium?), and we already know that Aynak and Hajigak are two of the largest mineral plays on earth, yet those resource leases were awarded to China and India. No soup for USA!

So all Americans got for Hill-Mill's perfidy was a bigger bar tab, and I'm thinking it's all really abstract geo-politics involving Iran-Russia-China and oil/gas pipeline routes, certainly a career for life for Zbigniew, mastermind of this whole schlemel from Day Dot.

Posted by: PeeDee | Nov 11, 2013 6:28:51 AM | 23

If Khalilzhad wants to be mayor of Kabul for a few years, let him.

What is clear is that, as the US winds down its last major front of the Cold War and gets sucked into the blackhole of indebtedness, corruption, and social collapse, war torn Afghanistan will finally recover as a protectorate under the cooperation (and vigorous but certainly less bloody competition) of China and Pakistan and India, with the Russians doing their best to keep their say by keeping both sides in balance.

Once the US military leaves, it won't take much effort by the surrounding powers to run the last of the CIA stooges out of the country on a rail.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 11, 2013 8:14:13 PM | 24

Over at emptywheel:
by Jim White


Just One Week Before Jirga on US Troop Immunity, Reuters Finds Afghan Murder Investigation Stymied by Immunity
By: Jim White Tuesday November 12, 2013 8:45 am
With Hamid Karzai’s loya jirga only about one week away, Reuters has published information that adds fuel to one of the major objections to the new Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and the US that the jirga is meant to bless. Despite clear evidence provided recently in full by Matthieu Aikins that US special forces were involved in the murders of a number of civilians in the Nerkh district of Maidan Wardak province, Afghanistan’s security directorate has had to close their investigation into those deaths because the US will not provide access to the troops who were involved. The current status of forces agreement provides full criminal immunity to US troops and it is widely believed that criminal immunity going forward after 2014 will be the key decision point at the jirga and for Karzai signing the agreement.

For their article, Reuters came into possession of a report from Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security that was written in September:

Afghanistan’s intelligence service has abandoned its investigation into the murder of a group of civilians after being refused access to U.S. special forces soldiers suspected of involvement, according to a document obtained by Reuters.

/snip/

In the report authored by Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) intelligence agency, investigators said they had asked the United States for access to three U.S. Green Berets and four Afghan translators working with them but were rebuffed.

“Despite many requests by NDS they have not cooperated. Without their cooperation this process cannot be completed,” said the report, which was originally published on September 23.

U.S. military officials were not immediately available for comment but they have long said the Green Berets did not take part in, or turn a blind eye to, illegal killings in Wardak.

Yeah, right. How can the US claim they didn’t turn a “blind eye” when, among the many things Aikins documented, it was clear that Zakariah Kandahari was in Facebook contact with the special forces unit in question while he was officially “missing”?

There has been much posturing over the jirga in recent days, with assemblies of politicians and other leaders being called to both support and oppose any approval of the bilateral security agreement. The Taliban also has weighed in, warning that any tribal leaders voting for the US to retain a presence in Afghanistan will be targets of future attacks.

Of course, the US claims that even though US forces are immune from being charged by Afghan authorities, US troops are subject to the military justice system and that crimes are investigated and prosecuted. However, given the rush to prosecute only Robert Bales on the Panjwai massacre even though it seems quite possible he had help with at least some of those killings, by blocking Afghan access to the remainder of the death squad involved prompts speculation that Kandahari will be the scapegoat for the Nerkh killings, especially since the US continues to maintain that Kandahari wasn’t even officially working for the US.

Will the blocking of Afghanistan’s investigation into these brutal murders be the final straw that blocks approval of immunity and the BSA?

- See more at: http://www.emptywheel.net/#sthash.hETVST6O.dpuf

Posted by: bevin | Nov 12, 2013 9:21:47 AM | 25

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