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."
WASHINGTON (CNN) — U.S. forces stationed at or in the vicinity of Forward Operating Base Bermel, located near the border with Pakistan, were subject to repeated attacks from Turkish militants in 2007. Detailed reports on these attacks emerged among the tens of thousands of documents on the war in Afghanistan published by WikiLeaks earlier this week.
NATO ally Turkey has sent peacekeeping forces to Afghanistan. The documents, though, describe attacks on NATO positions by Turkish insurgents. The Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C. did not respond to CNN's request for comment for this story. FULL POST
The U.S. war in Afghanistan has been drawing comparisons to the Vietnam War for many years, and WikiLeaks' publication of more than 90,000 government documents about the war in Afghanistan will give more credence to that comparison. Daniel Ellsberg, the whistle-blower responsible for leaking the U.S. government's top-secret study on the Vietnam War in 1971, says that like the Pentagon Papers, these documents will not justify the ongoing war.
"I think what the Pentagon Papers showed with 7,000 pages was that there was a lack of any good reason for doing what we were doing," Ellsberg told CNN. "My strong expectation is these 92,000 pages will not convey any good reason for the dying and killing and the enormous money we're spending over there in a time we cannot afford it."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Training of and handing over security responsibilities to the Afghan police and military forces has been a central component of Afghanistan strategy during the last two administrations. Among the tens of thousands of documents published by WikiLeaks are a series of reports on the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. The reports chronicle successes and failures of both agencies from 2004-2009. Although both agencies have had failures, a preliminary review of the documents suggests that the ANP has more problems than the ANA.
Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington DC, says that the mixed bag of results in the reports are apparent when reading raw military reporting and traffic. "If you had taken 90,000 documents from the Allied forces that invaded Normandy in 1944 until they reached V-E Day in 1945, you probably would have found the same kind of success stories and failures mixed together," Riedel told CNN. FULL POST