December 1st, 2010
01:36 PM ET

WikiLeaks: Pakistan quietly approved drone attacks, US special units

On the record, Pakistan has persistently criticized the United States' use of unmanned drones to attack militant hideouts in its mountainous border region.

But diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks reveal that in private the Pakistani government was not unhappy about the strikes, and secretly allowed small groups of U.S. special operation units to operate on its soil.

In a cable sent in August 2008, the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan at the time, Anne W. Patterson, recounted a meeting with Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. It coincided with a military operation in one of the restive frontier territories.

Patterson wrote: "Malik suggested we hold off alleged Predator attacks until after the Bajaur operation. The PM brushed aside Rehman's remarks and said, 'I don't care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We'll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it.'"

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Filed under: Drone strikes • Pakistan • WikiLeaks
December 1st, 2010
01:28 PM ET

WikiLeaks docs show US frustration on Karzai's prisoner releases

The early and pre-trial release of prisoners by the Afghan government, at times with the intervention of the country's president, has frustrated U.S. officials, diplomatic documents released by WikiLeaks reveal.

In one case, Afghan President Hamid Karzai used his authority to pardon
five border police officers who were caught with 124 kilograms of heroin in
their police vehicle, according to an August 2009 State Department cable
published by WikiLeaks.

The policemen, known as the Zahir Five, were tried and convicted at the
Central Narcotics Tribunal, and sentenced to serve prison terms of 16 to 18
years each. But Karzai pardoned them, "on the grounds that they were distantly related to two individuals who had been martyred during the civil war."

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Filed under: Karzai • WikiLeaks
Police, Taliban offer differing portrait of suspect in troop deaths
December 1st, 2010
10:47 AM ET

Police, Taliban offer differing portrait of suspect in troop deaths

A gunman in an Afghan Border Police uniform who killed six U.S. troops was a reliable officer who had been with the force for three years, a senior official said Wednesday.

But the Taliban claimed that Hezatullah had been a member of the militant group who joined the border police precisely to launch an attack on U.S. forces.

Six U.S. troops died Monday when a gunman opened fired on NATO-led service members, the Pentagon said.

Hezatullah, a 23-year-old who goes by one name, was a trusted member of the border police and had been receiving training from coalition forces, said Aminullah Amarkhil, commander of the border police in eastern Nangarhar province.

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December 1st, 2010
10:43 AM ET

Court-martial hearing set for soldier accused of misconduct in Afghanistan

Wednesday's hearing will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington.

UPDATE: Attorneys for Staff Sgt. Robert Stevens Wednesday entered guilty pleas
for him on four of five counts at his court martial on charges of serious
misconduct in Afghanistan.

The first court-martial of one of the soldiers connected to a group of soldiers accused of killing Afghan citizens for sport, is scheduled to start Wednesday.

Staff Sgt. Robert G. Stevens is one of seven soldiers "facing charges of serious misconduct while deployed in Afghanistan," the Army said in a statement.

Stevens' charges include conspiracy to commit assault and battery, dereliction of duty, aggravated assault and wrongfully and wantonly engaging in conduct likely to cause death or bodily harm to other soldiers, the Army said.

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Filed under: Soldier tapes • Troops • Understanding Afghanistan
December 1st, 2010
10:38 AM ET

Kuwait minister's fix for 4 Gitmo detainees: Send them to Afghanistan

As the United States negotiated with countries around the world to find new homes for the remaining detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Kuwait's minister of interior had a solution for the four Kuwaiti citizens left in the prison.

"You picked them up in Afghanistan; you should drop them off in Afghanistan," Shaikh Jaber Al-Khalid Al-Sabah is quoted as saying, "in the middle of the war zone," where the detainees could be killed in combat.

The 2009 cable titled "The Interior Minister's remedy for terrorists: Let them die," is among the diplomatic documents posted online by WikiLeaks.

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Filed under: WikiLeaks