If you wonder why it is the Afghanis want us to go the hell away, the reasons are too numerous to count.
Whether it would be us abandoning them to warlords who turned them into slaves on opium plantations, or all those promises we made them about rebuilding that turned into pie-in-the-sky, or all of the innocents we’ve killed with drones…. the list goes on and on. And even when we know what we’re doing is wrong, we don’t stop doing it, as this storyshows.
Is it any wonder the Taliban has returned as a force to be reckoned with? We’ve succeeded in making them look like a peaceable alternative.
Across the street from U.S. military headquarters in Kabul, shrouded from view by concrete walls, the Afghan intelligence agency runs a detention facility for up to 40 terrorism suspects that is known as Department 124. So much torture took place inside, one detainee told the United Nations, that it has earned another name: “People call it Hell.”
But long before the world body publicly revealed “systematic torture” in Afghan intelligence agency detention centers, top officials from the State Department, the CIA and the U.S. military received multiple warnings about abuses at Department 124 and other Afghan facilities, according to Afghan and Western officials with knowledge of the situation.
Despite the warnings, the United States continued to transfer detainees to Afghan intelligence service custody, the officials said. Even as other countries stopped handing over detainees to problematic facilities, the U.S. government did not.
U.S. Special Operations troops delivered detainees to Department 124. CIA officials regularly visited the facility, which was rebuilt last year with American money, to interrogate high-level Taliban and al-Qaeda suspects, according to Afghan and Western officials familiar with the site. Afghan intelligence officials said Americans never participated in the torture but should have known about it.
When the United Nations on Aug. 30 brought allegations of widespread detainee abuse to Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. military commander here, he took swift action ahead of the public release of the findings. Coalition troops stopped transferring detainees to Department 124 and 15 other police and intelligence agency prisons. They also hastily began a program to monitor those facilities and conduct human rights classes for interrogators.
But the prospect that U.S. officials failed to act on prior warnings raises questions about their compliance with a law, known as the Leahy Amendment, that prohibits the United States from funding units of foreign security forces when there is credible evidence that they have committed human rights abuses.
The State Department is investigating whether the law applies and what funding might be affected, according to U.S. officials.
I’m thinking it’d be a mistake to hold my breath waiting for those accountable for this to be brought to justice. The only people who ever see the inside of a jail cell these days are dumbassed enlisted people. The people who give them atta-boys? Not so much.
Unless and until we return to a standard of behavior worthy of our Constitution, the rest of the world is going to regard us as a bunch of brutal, sadistic hypocrites.
And they’ll be right.