As Endless War Drags On, US Has No Plans to Release Secret Prisoners Kept in Afghanistan
As the U.S. cements a pact to maintain troops in Afghanistan following their reported withdrawal at the end of the year, a top U.S. official has admitted that the military also has no set plan to release the secret prisoners held captive in that country.
Brigadier General Patrick J. Reinert told Reuters that the unknown number of foreign nationals who were abducted and held in captivity near the Bagram Airbase may be sent to their country of origin but will more likely be transferred to the U.S. court system or to Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
“If someone has committed a crime overseas that could be a crime also in the United States, a detainee could be transferred back to the United States,” Reinert said.
“We’ve got to resolve their fate by either returning them to their home country or turning them over to the Afghans for prosecution or any other number of ways that the Department of Defense has to resolve,” Reinert continued. Unless the new Afghan leadership carves out an exception, NATO states will no longer be allowed to hold wartime captives in that country after 2014.
Reinert’s statement comes the same day that Afghanistan swore in their newly elected President Ashraf Ghani. Ghani will head the country’s new unity government along with chief rival Abdullah Abdullah, who was sworn in shortly after Ghani to the newly created post of chief executive. On Tuesday, the new leader is expected to endorse the long-awaited Bilateral Security Agreement, which permits the occupation of 8,000-12,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan for another decade. The agreement further allows that U.S. troops not be subject to Afghan law for criminal acts—even war crimes.
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