Jan 29 2010

Afghanistan’s Secret Prisons and Night Raids

Feature Stories | Published 29 Jan 2010, 11:10 am | Comments Off on Afghanistan’s Secret Prisons and Night Raids -

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night raidsOfficials from about seventy countries and organizations gathered in London this past week to discuss how to wind down the Afghanistan war, based on President Obama’s pledge last year to start withdrawing troops by 2011. The summit was attended by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, as well as Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who proposed peace talks with the Taliban. While the US responded negatively to any reconciliation, there is some acquiescence on so-called “reintegration” of “low-level fighters.” Meanwhile, as increased numbers of US and NATO troops are actively engaged in the war, part of their mission is a vague and sometimes clumsy mandate to provide aid. Recently a number of prominent aid organizations active in Afghanistan released a report harshly criticizing the militarization of aid, asserting that it is unethical, often misplaced, wrongly used as a tool to glean intelligence, and endangers the lives of aid workers and ordinary Afghans. On the other hand, when US troops are not providing aid, they are apparently carrying out disturbingly destructive night-time raids in villages, apparently arbitrarily executing civilians, sometimes youth, and detaining them in secret prisons. Afghanistan based reporter Anand Gopal has just completed a detailed investigative report of the raids and prisons.

GUEST: Afghanistan-based reporter Anand Gopal, writes for the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor and other publications.

Read Gopal’s investigative report here: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175197/tomgram%3A_anand_gopal%2C_afraid_of_the_dark_in_afghanistan/

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