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.
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The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.
"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."
No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."
"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."