Karzai Attacks U.S. Officials in Prisoner-Release Fight

The 65 detainees were released over strong objections from U.S. officials.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29: H.E. Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan speaks during the Opening Ceremony & Leaders Panel at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum at ExCel on October 29, 2013 in London, England.
National Journal
Jordain Carney
Feb. 13, 2014, 11:13 a.m.

Afghan Pres­id­ent Ham­id Kar­zai ac­cused the United States of “har­ass­ing” his coun­try over the de­cision to re­lease 65 pris­on­ers, adding that Afgh­anistan’s sov­er­eignty must be re­spec­ted.

The Afgh­anistan gov­ern­ment re­leased the de­tain­ees on Thursday des­pite strong ob­jec­tions from U.S. of­fi­cials, who be­lieve the pris­on­ers are re­spons­ible for the death or in­jury of co­ali­tion and Afghan se­cur­ity forces.

“Afgh­anistan is a sov­er­eign coun­try. If Afgh­anistan ju­di­ciary au­thor­it­ies de­cide to re­lease pris­on­ers, it is of no con­cern to the United States,” Kar­zai said while speak­ing at a sum­mit in Tur­key, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­ports.

Ad­min­is­tra­tion, De­fense De­part­ment, and con­gres­sion­al of­fi­cials re­peatedly pressed for Afgh­anistan to keep the de­tain­ees in cus­tody. The Pentagon on Wed­nes­day char­ac­ter­ized the re­lease as “a ma­jor step back­ward for the rule of law in Afgh­anistan.”

The back-and-forth over the de­cision by Afgh­anistan’s ju­di­cial sys­tem to re­lease the de­tain­ees has fur­ther frayed the already strained U.S.-Afghan re­la­tion­ship. U.S. of­fi­cials have be­come in­creas­ingly frus­trated as Kar­zai has re­fused to sign a bi­lat­er­al se­cur­ity agree­ment — which would dic­tate a U.S. mil­it­ary pres­ence in the coun­try after the end of the year — un­til after the up­com­ing elec­tions.

A State De­part­ment spokes­man sug­ges­ted Thursday that the United States was no longer put­ting a strict timeline on when the the se­cur­ity pact should be signed, ex­cept that “it needs to be signed soon.” Ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials have re­peatedly said that a pact needs to be inked in weeks.

What We're Following See More »
DONATING TO FOOD BANKS
Government Buying $20 Million in Cheese
6 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

Thanks to competition from Europe, America's cheese stockpiles are at a 30-year high. Enter the U.S. government, which announced it's buying 11 million pounds of the stuff (about $20 million). The cheese will be donated to food banks.

Source:
BRIEFER THAN TRUMP’S?
Clinton to Receive Classified Briefing on Saturday
9 hours ago
THE DETAILS
FHFA RULES APPLY
Judge: Freddie Mac Doesn’t Have to Open Its Books
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Freddie Mac shareholders cannot force the mortgage finance company to allow them to inspect its records, a federal court ruled Tuesday." A shareholder had asked the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to allow him to inspect its books and records, as Virginia law allows him to do. "The court held that Freddie shareholders no longer possess a right to inspect the company’s records because those rights had been transferred to the Federal Housing Finance Agency when the company entered into conservatorship in 2008."

Source:
MANY BEING TRADED ON BLACK MARKET
Pentagon Can’t Account for 750k Guns Provided to Iraq, Afghanistan
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The Pentagon has "provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns." Trouble is, it can only account for about 700,000 of those guns. The rest are part of a vast arms trading network in the Middle East. "Taken together, the weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses."

Source:
BIG CHANGE FROM WHEN HE SELF-FINANCED
Trump Enriching His Businesses with Donor Money
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.

Source:
×