Friday, June 21, 2013

War, What is it good for: US to hold talks with Taliban!

After over a decade of war against the Taliban, the Crusaders now decide to hold peace talks--Remember Vietnam! Why was it necessary to kill and maim in Afghanistan when ultimately peace talks will take place? There must be another reason, as in Capsian Sea oil, opium and jobs for the 

US military, corporate complex.--Marvin X

Taliban Talks Could Depend on Detainees

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WASHINGTON — Two were senior Taliban commanders said to be implicated in murdering thousands of Shiites in Afghanistan. When asked about the alleged war crimes by an interrogator, they “did not express any regret and stated they did what they needed to do in their struggle to establish their ideal state,” according to their interrogators.
Department of Defense
The five Taliban prisoners in the proposed exchange are from top left: Mohammad Nabi Omari, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Mullah Norullah Noori, Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa.

There is also a former deputy director of Taliban intelligence, a former senior Taliban official said to have “strong operational ties” to various extremist militias, and a former Taliban minister accused of having sought help from Iran in attacking American forces.
These five prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, could be the key to whether the negotiations the United States has long sought with the Taliban are a success, or even take place. A Taliban spokesman in Qatar said Thursday that exchanging them for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, an American prisoner of war who has been held by militants since 2009, would be a way to “build bridges of confidence” to start broader peace talks.
Less than a month ago, President Obama gave a speech reiterating his desire to close Guantánamo. But one official familiar with internal deliberations emphasized that any exchange involving the Afghan prisoners should not be seen as part of efforts the president has ordered to winnow the prison of low-level detainees.
The five Taliban members are considered to be among the most senior militants at Guantánamo and would otherwise be among the last in line to leave.
The Taliban offer, which was made at the same time they were opening a long-delayed office in Doha, Qatar, breathed new life into a proposal floated in late 2011 that collapsed amid Congressional skepticism and the strict security conditions the Obama administration sought as part of any exchange. They included the stipulation that the Taliban prisoners be sent to Qatar and forbidden to leave there.
Those conditions, created by the Obama administration to comply with legal restrictions imposed by Congress to prevent any detainees from returning to the battlefield in Afghanistan, led the Taliban to walk away from the negotiations. It is not clear whether the Taliban position on transfers to Qatar, as opposed to outright release and repatriation, has softened.
Any prisoner release, according to officials familiar with the deliberations, is not imminent. The transfer restrictions require 30 days’ notice to lawmakers before any detainee leaves, and the administration has not yet given any notification. The officials would not comment on the record because of the diplomatic and political delicacy of the issue.
One of the leading skeptics of such a deal has been Representative Howard P. McKeon, a California Republican who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. On Thursday, Claude Chafin, a spokesman for Mr. McKeon, said the congressman would want to know what plans the administration had to ensure that the five would remain under watch.
“Absent any actual details, the chairman remains very concerned that these five individuals should never be allowed to re-engage,” Mr. Chafin said.
The details of what the government believes about what the five former Taliban leaders have done were made public in classified military files given to WikiLeaks by Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is now being court-martialed and faces a possible life sentence if convicted of the most serious charges against him. Because the five men have never been given a trial, the quality of the evidence and the credibility of the claims against them in the files — some of which they deny — have not been tested.
Mohammad Nabi Omari is described in the files as “one of the most significant former Taliban leaders detained” at Guantánamo. He is said to have strong operational ties to anti-coalition militia groups, including Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Haqqani network. He is also accused of participating in a cell in Khost that was “involved in attacks against U.S. and coalition forces,” maintaining weapons caches and smuggling fighters and weapons.

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