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Monday, November 27, 2006

Index on Afghanistan : November 2006

by Sarah Meyer
Index Research

Has Rumsfeld Really Gone?

Rumsfeld and "elected" President Karzai

Rumsfeld retired, but the disastrous Iraq and NATO ‘plans’ roll on unobstructed, with a little help from Rumsfeld’s UN-Nato ally, Victoria Nuland. Meanwhile, ‘Exit Strategy’ are the mots du jour amongst the “elected” leaders of and invading forces in both war-ravaged countries.

A coalition of US and international human rights groups announced a "plan to file a war crimes lawsuit" against Rumsfeld, and 13 others*.

Junior Bush has a knack for nominating strange bedfellows. Two U.S. NATO commanders, who headed notorious prisons, are not on the war crimes list. U.S. Army Chief Branz Craddock was an assistant to Rumsfeld and oversaw Guantanamo. Army General Dan K. McNeil oversaw the disgraced Bagram Prison in Afghanistan.

It would appear that no participatory NATO country in Afghanistan has the least idea what Rumsfeld’s big idea, ‘Global NATO’, actually entails. And have any Mainstream Media actually read the PNAC documents in which Rumsfeld spells out with 'cutesy' vocabulary, the US imperial policy, which is now destroying the NATO enterprise in Afghanistan? Even now, the US is still trying to run the show and change the ground rules.

‘Global NATO’ is a Psycho-Pop cover-up term for a U.S. military operation that financially benefits ONLY corporate America and its greedy arms industries. A small amount of reading would clarify the US imperial plans for NATO.

Now that the U.S. government has blamed their puppet, Maliki, for the U.S. occupation’s disaster in Iraq, is the blame also to fall, soon, on Karzai for the NATO fiasco?

*Along with Rumsfeld, Gonzales and Tenet, the other defendants in the case are:
• Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone;
• former assistant attorney general Jay Bybee;
• former deputy assisant attorney general John Yoo;
• General Counsel for the Department of Defense William James Haynes II; and
• David S. Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff.
• Senior military officers named in the filing are General Ricardo Sanchez, the former top Army official in Iraq;
• Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former commander of Guantanamo;
• senior Iraq commander, Major General Walter Wojdakowski;
• Col. Thomas Pappas, the one-time head of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib.

UPDATE: New NATO commander raises questions
08.12.06. RADIO NETHERLANDS. Human rights groups have expressed concern over the appointment of NATO's new military chief who was sworn in at the Alliance's military headquarters in Belgium on Thursday. General Bantz John Craddock, who is taking over from General James Jones as Supreme Commander of all NATO forces, has a long and glittering military career. But there is one major stain on his otherwise impeccable military record - Guantanamo Bay.

1. ISAF / PRT Map of Afghanistan (15.11.06)
2. Oil and Gas in Afghanistan
3. Strategic Imperatives: Reports & Documents; Articles
4. Military Contracts
5. NATO, General
6. NATO, participating countries (Belgium; Canada; Germany; Holland; Poland; Sweden; UK
7. Corporate Investment in Afghanistan
8. Opium
9. Human Rights, War Crimes: Documents / Reports; Articles; Case Studies
10. Some of the Dead in Afghanistan: ‘regrets’ are not enough.
11. War Crimes: The Dead and Future Dead
12. References

Please also see :

Index on Afganistan to end .08.06.

Nato: The Bathtub of Unreadiness

Afghanistan: NATO is now US-ATO

Index on Afghanistan September 2006

Index on Afghanistan October 2006

I would be grateful, if you use this document for source material, if you would mention Index on Afghanistan. Thank you.

1. A map of Afghanistan showing the Provincial Reconstruction Teams; Data valid as of 15 November 2006.

2. Oil and Gas in Afghanistan

Why Are Canadians Dying in Afghanistan? For Oil?
16.11.06. J. Warnock, Global ‘Remembrance Day this year brought home to many Canadians the reality of Canada’s war in Afghanistan. Despite a campaign by the mass media, recent public opinion polls reveal that around fifty percent of Canadians think the government should bring our kids home. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear some Canadian general or colonel strongly advocate an active military role in Afghanistan. We are told that Canadian forces are fighting a war to defeat the Taliban, defend the democratic government in Kabul, and help with economic reconstruction. But when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice comes to Canada, she emphasizes that Canada is in Afghanistan to support U.S. policy objectives. … The new administration of George W. Bush began talks with the Taliban government, which went from February 2 to August 6, 2001. Dick Cheney’s report on U.S. energy needs, released in May 2001, called for major U.S. involvement in the development of the Caspian Sea reserves. … Despite what we hear from our political and military leaders, this war to support U.S. oil policy is not going well.’

Hollow visions of Palestine’s future
17.11.06. J. Cook, ICH. ‘David Grossman’s widely publicised speech at the annual memorial rally for Yitzhak Rabin earlier this month has prompted some fine deconstruction of his “words of peace” from critics. … In reality, of course, Grossman draws from the same ideological well-spring as Israel’s founders and its greatest warriors. He embodies the same anguished values of Labor Zionism that won Israel international legitimacy just as it was carrying out one of history’s great acts of ethnic cleansing: the expulsion of some 750,000 Palestinians, or 80 per cent the native population, from the borders of the newly established Jewish state. … Remove the halo with which he has been crowned by the world’s liberal media and Grossman is little different from Zionism’s most distinguished statesmen, those who also ostentatiously displayed their hand-wringing or peace credentials as, first, they dispossessed the Palestinian people of most of their homeland; then dispossessed them of the rest; then ensured the original act of ethnic cleansing would not unravel; and today are working on the slow genocide of the Palestinians, through a combined strategy of their physical destruction and their dispersion as a people. … David Ben Gurion, for example, masterminded the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 before very publicly agonising over the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza -- even if only because of the demographic damage that would be done to the Jewish state as a result.

Golda Meir refused to recognise the existence of the Palestinian people as she launched the settlement enterprise in the occupied territories, but did recognise the anguish of Jewish soldiers forced to “shoot and cry” to defend the settlements. Or as she put it: “We can forgive you [the Palestinians] for killing our sons. But we will never forgive you for making us kill yours.”

Yitzhak Rabin, Grossman’s most direct inspiration, may have initiated a “peace process” at Oslo (even if only the terminally optimistic today believe that peace was really its goal), but as a soldier and politician he also personally oversaw the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian cities like Lid in 1948. … ’

3. Strategic Imperatives: Reports & Documents; Articles; Media


Countering Afghanistan’s Insurgency: No Quick Fixes
02.11,06. International Crisis Group. Summary and Report. “The desire for a quick, cheap war followed by a quick, cheap peace is what has brought Afghanistan to the present, increasingly dangerous situation. It has to be recognised that the armed conflict will last many years but the population needs to be reassured now that there is a clear political goal of an inclusive state. … Wrong-headed choices of allies within Afghanistan and across the border have contributed greatly to the current crisis.” (more) Recommendations given.


Enforcing insecurity in Afghanistan
01.11.06. S. Kolhatkar / J. Ingalls, Z Net. Overview of the Afghani situation from Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence. The authors are also the co-directors of the Afghan Women’s Mission, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that works with the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA).

Defence Secretary under fire over Taleban comeback
01.11.06. Loyd / Browne.

I will build more and kill less, says Nato's Afghanistan general
01.11.06. Evans / Loyd, Times on Line.

FACTBOX-Foreign hostages in Afghanistan
03.11.06. Reuters /

Time for Rumsfeld to go
04.11.06. Army Times.

No Clear Strategy in Afghanistan, Say Britons
04.11.06. Angus-Reid. Many adults (64%) in Britain question their country’s role in the war on terrorism, according to a poll by YouGov.

Afghan politician flays U.S., Britain roles in Afghanistan
04.11.06. Xinuanet. Padram opposed the presence of the U.S. and the UK forces unless they get legitimacy and mandate from the UN and Afghan parliament.

C.I.A. Review Highlights Afghan Leader’s Woes
05.11.06. Rohde / Risen. NY Times.

NGOs in Afghanistan fear backlash over NATO’s humanitarian role
07.11.06. Online News.

Rumsfeld resigns as US Defense Secretary
08.11.06. The Jurist.

US was warned of Iraq chaos, says ex-diplomat
09.11.06. A. McSmith, Independent. Mr Ross said when he was serving in the embassy in Afghanistan, as early as April 2002, British officials there knew troops were being held back in readiness for the Iraq invasion.

Staggering New Bill For Iraq?
09.11.06. Forbes. The U.S. armed services have requested a $160 billion supplemental appropriation to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the remainder of fiscal year 2007.

Italy wants review of international strategy in Afghanistan
AP. Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema also called on the United States to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. … D'Alema made the comments on the eve of a trip to Afghanistan, where he will hold talks Saturday with President Hamid Karzai as well as with U.N. and EU envoys. He said he would press Afghan and international officials to hold a global conference on the future of the country. "The strategy of military intervention that has been followed so far unfortunately has turned out to be ineffective.”

Afghan violence 'likely to rise'
16.11.e06. BBC. (Shades of Iraq?) General Michael Maples said that insurgents had expanded their operations and abilities even while incurring serious combat losses. Gen Maples is head of the US Defence Intelligence Agency.

U.S. Airstrikes Climb Sharply in Afghanistan
17.11.06. D. Cloud, NY Times / ‘The Air Force has conducted more than 2,000 airstrikes in Afghanistan over the past six months, a sharp increase in bombing that reflects the growing demand for American air cover since NATO has assumed a larger ground combat role, Air Force officials said.’

In Afghanistan, European troops avoid combat
16.11.06. P. Koring, Reporter ‘Troops from most major European nations are kept far from the fighting in Afghanistan, crippling NATO's effort to defeat the Taliban and secure the embattled south, according to NATO officers and independent analysts. .. That leaves U.S., British and Canadian soldiers doing most of the fighting and dying in the battle with the fierce Taliban insurgency, a review of casualties shows.’


For One Reporter, Embedding Is Journalistic Folly
02.11.06. M. Weisskopf, NPR. “It became very difficult to objectively assess the role of U.S. soldiers who were housing, feeding, befriending and protecting me. After three weeks in a platoon, I came dangerously close to adopting the mindset and mission of a soldier. Their danger became my danger, their desensitizing forms of recreation -- war movies and heavy metal music -- became mine.”

News From Afghanistan
13.11.06. Channel 4’s Alex Thomson and their news team is in Afghanistan for a week. NON-embed material. Read/ watch videos. As good as his previous excellent reports from Lebanon. More MSM reporting should be like this? !

Media Pimp Alert:

Pentagon boosts 'media war' unit
31.10.06. BBC. The US defence department has set up a new unit to better promote its message across 24-hour rolling news outlets, and particularly on the internet.

4. Military Contracts

Military contractors' shares fall on news of Rumsfeld resignation
08.11.06. AP / IHT. … the largest U.S. military contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp. was one of the biggest losers The decline in defense stocks was broad, with armaments maker General Dynamics Corp., combat communications systems maker Raytheon Co., and government services company Halliburton Co. all falling into negative territory.

Boeing Wins Deal To Build Helicopters, Beating Lockheed
10.11.06. R. Merle, Washington Post. ‘Boeing Co. won a coveted contract yesterday for 141 Air Force search-and-rescue helicopters, a program that could be worth as much as $15 billion, besting rivals Lockheed Martin Corp. and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. The helicopters will replace the Air Force's fleet of HH-60 Pave Hawks, which have been used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan.’

Blair scales back aims in Afghanistan as war takes toll on shattered people
20.11.06. C. Brown, Independent.

5. NATO, General

Turkey rejects NATO Afghanistan request
01.11.06. UPI.

NATO takes the fight to Pakistan
02.11.06. S. S. Shahzad. Pak. Times. It was agreed at that meeting that NATO forces operating in Afghanistan would be allowed to conduct hot-pursuit operations. Although Pakistani officials claim that Monday's operation was conducted by the Pakistani military, Asia Times Online contacts in the area are convinced that foreign forces were also involved, including US unmanned Hellfire Predator aircraft.

03.11.06. The U.S. government, not content to control just NATO, now also wants to take over UN forces:
Washington bid to take over UN forces
03.11.06. J. Bone / R. Beeston, The Australian / legitgov. ‘The United States is lobbying to put an American, possibly a general, in charge of all UN peacekeeping operations. The unprecedented US bid for the top UN peacekeeping post would place an American in command of the 95,000 UN peacekeepers in [US-created] trouble spots from Lebanon to Sudan. The American lobbying effort is set to prove hugely controversial. If successful, the change would amount to a radical remaking of the organisation, bringing it closer to its origin in World War II as a US-led alliance. Some UN officials fear that putting an American at the head of peacekeeping potentially could enable the US to use UN operations for covert activities - as it did with the UN weapons inspection teams in the Iraq of Saddam Hussein.’

NATO soldier says Afghan operations to extend a decade

NATO fighting the wrong battle in Afghanistan
04.11.06. M K Bhadrakumar, Asia Times. “The pre-dawn attack on the Zia-ul-Uloom madrassa in Pakistan's Bajour tribal region on Monday killing 80 people, mostly students, is bound to impact on the course of the Afghan war. No matter the repeated assertions by Islamabad to the contrary, widespread suspicions of US involvement in the attack have arisen. … Almost everyone in Bajour is convinced that the missile strikes were launched by the US military through its pilotless Predator spy plane with the objective of subverting Islamabad's imminent peace agreement with militants. … The crisis forms several concentric circles. At the center lies the problem of a non-functioning, corrupt government that doesn't command respect because it lacks real popular support. Around it, an entire crisis area has developed in terms of weak authority, warlordism, breakdown of law and order, rampant opium trade, etc. This, in turn, provides a fertile ground to the Taliban's resurgence, which is inevitable regardless of whether or not Pakistani officials are turning a blind eye to Taliban activity in their territory. These are wrapped up with a fourth ring, namely the growing resentment among Afghans (and Pakistanis) about the continued foreign occupation of their country.”

United States Outlines "Ambitious Agenda" for Riga NATO Summit
03.11.06. V. Crawley, US Heads of state plan to discuss Afghanistan, global missions, allied partnerships
RIGA SUMMIT SEEKS TO EXPAND ALLIED STRATEGIC DIALOGUE. Speaking October 30 at the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels, Belgium, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Victoria Nuland said the United States has “a very, very ambitious agenda. … We want the strongest possible NATO; we want the strongest possible EU [European Union]; and we want the strongest-possible NATO-EU relationship.”

France blocks Nato bid to create a global terror force
04.11.06. S. Castle, Independent. ‘Paris has always been suspicious of Nato because of America's domination of the organization.’

US consul questions wisdom of Scottish independence
05.11.06. P. Hutcheon, Sunday Herald. Lisa Vickers, the new US consul in Scotland, questioned the effect of separation on American energy firms and criticised the SNP’s anti-Nato policy

Afghanistan expects no changes with U.S.
09.11.06. AP.

The face of Afghanistan five years after fall of the Taleban
11.11.06. Loyd / Lludin, Times. ‘On November 13, 2001, rebel forces marched on Kabul to oust the Taleban. But the triumph and hope have given way to despair and disappointment.’

U.S. Senate urges prompt NATO action to extend membership
17.11.06. AP / Int. Herald Tribune. Legislation passed by the U.S. Senate urges NATO to act quickly to make Albania, Croatia, Georgia and Macedonia full members of the alliance.What this article does not mention is the amount of $s the US and armament factories stand to gain; by yet more members in NATO.

NATO Trains ISAF for Possible Nuclear Attack in Afghanistan
17.11.06, zaman.

UN chief: Nato cannot defeat Taliban by force
18.11.06. D. Walsh, Guardian.

More Equipment Needed in Afghanistan, U.S. Commander Says
21.11.06. B. Brubaker, Washington Post. (This equipment, by the laws of NATO contracts, benefits the US arms industry. Mr. B.B. doesn’t mention this.)

Nato set to expand role to tackle WMD and terrorism
24.11.06. By Daniel Dombey andStephen Fidler, Financial Times. ’The classified document - officially called the "comprehensive political guidance" - says Nato should put a premium on "the ability to deter, disrupt, defend and protect against terrorism, and more particularly to contribute to the protection of the alliance's populations, territory, critical infrastructure and forces". Some US officials are keen to open the door to a greater Nato role in helping with "homeland security", although this remains controversial within the alliance.’

More troops won't solve Afghan crisis -Italy PM
24.11.06. Reuters.

UK says Nato's ambiguous N-policy does not inflame arms race
25.11.06. Irna. The British government has denied that NATO's ambiguous policy on using nuclear weapons is counter-productive by provoking an arms race.

US ‘global NATO’ plan to get summit thumbs-down
25.11.06. Financial express.

Nato runs critically short of combat troops to keep Taliban at bay
26.11.06. K. Sengupta, Independent.

Nato urges end of right to opt out of Afghanistan combat
27.11.06. M. Evans, The Times. “Germany, France, Spain and Italy will come under pressure this week to surrender the “red cards” that allow them to keep their troops away from the most dangerous areas of operations in Afghanistan.”

Nato urged to plan Afghanistan exit strategy as violence soars
27.11.06. S. Castle / K. Sengupta, Independent. “Nato's fragile unity over Afghanistan has begun to crack ahead of an important summit - with one public call to discuss an exit strategy from the Allied forces' bloody confrontation with the Taliban. “

Weakened Bush to meet NATO allies on Afghanistan
27.11.06. P. Taylor, Reuters.

Europe must shoulder its share of the Nato burden
28.11.06. J. Chirac, Guardian.

Afghanistan Takes Top Priority at NATO Talks
28.11.06. Washington Times.

Accept defeat by Taliban, Pakistan tells Nato
29.11.06. Ahmed Rashid, The Telegraph.

Nato's divided allies
30.11.06. Telegraph. “The Nato summit in Riga, which ended yesterday, confirmed the alarming gap between military requirements in Afghanistan and the political will to meet them. Some improvements were agreed. Poland and Romania lifted their "national caveats" on where their troops might be deployed; France said it would allow its forces to operate outside the capital, Kabul; a small American/Polish theatre reserve was designated; and Germany and Italy said they were prepared to move their contingents from the north "in extremis". But the alliance as a whole was unwilling to give the commanders the 2,200 extra troops they say they need or to furnish them with a sufficient number of helicopters. The brunt of the fighting in the embattled southern provinces will continue to be borne by America, Britain and Canada.”

6. NATO: participating countries


Nato urged to plan Afghanistan exit strategy as violence soars
27.11.06. S. Castle, Independent. ‘Nato's fragile unity over Afghanistan has begun to crack ahead of an important summit - with one public call to discuss an exit strategy from the Allied forces' bloody confrontation with the Taliban.
While heads of government are to make a show of unity over Afghanistan at tomorrow's alliance summit in Riga, Belgium's Defence Minister has questioned the future of Nato's most important mission.’


O'Connor says military 'scrambling' to find soldiers for Afghanistan
18.11.06. D. Walsh / R. Norton-Taylor, Guardian. ‘Official says alliance failing in Afghanistan as Blair admits Iraq is a 'disaster.'

Two Canadian soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan
28.11.06. Xinhuanet. The death toll among Canadian troops in Afghanistan since 2002 now stands at 44, along with one diplomat. Thirty-six have died this year.


Germany rules out troops to Iraq and hot spots in Afghanistan
14.11.06. Reuters/Gulf News.

Berlin sends roadmakers, not troops, to south Afghanistan


Dutch soldier refusing service in Afghanistan convicted without punishment
07.11.06. English People.


Poland to have 1,200 troops deployed in Afghanistan by February, defense minister says
10.11.06. AP.


FM: Sweden should join NATO plane pool
11.11.06. Xinhuanet. Sweden should join NATO's pool of military transport capacity, instead of buying two American aircraft at a cost of 2 billion kronor (280 million U.S. dollars) each.

Sweden may send more soldiers to Afghanistan
29.11.06. People’s Daily Online.


Turkey To Open 27th Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan
05.11.06. Conservative Voice. ‘The new PRT, in Wardak province, will assist Afghan authorities with reconstruction efforts and enhance development and stability within the province.’


U.K. Military, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Is Short-Staffed, NAO Says
03.11.06. M. Deen, Bloomberg.

7. Corporate Investment in Aid and Reconstruction in Afghanistan

Kroll Looks to Sell Security Subsidiary
01.11.06. AP. Kroll, the risk consulting and technology division of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., is looking to sell a subsidiary that provides security services in Iraq and Afghanistan. … Two KSI workers were killed in Iraq in January 2005. Another Kroll employee died in December 2005, the company said.

EU To Give $3.2 Million To Afghanistan
02.11.06. Pak Tribune.

UNICEF plea for Afghanistan drought aid
07.11.06. UPI. ‘The U.N. Children's Fund has issued an urgent appeal for $3.8 million to help 2.5 million drought-stricken people in Afghanistan, half of them children. The appeal comes after there was no response to UNICEF's initial plea this summer for $2.5 million.’

AFGHANISTAN: Health crisis brewing in isolated Nuristan province
27.11.06. Reuters. "Despite billions of dollars of international aid coming to the country during the past five years, unfortunately the residents of Nuristan [province] are still deprived of a hospital to treat their women and children," provincial governor Mohammad Tamim Nuristani, told IRIN.

8. Opium

Opium Production at Highest Levels in Afghanistan! Thanks to Foreign Occupation Forces and their Corrupt Afghani Government Officials
02.11.06. J. Straziuso, AP/aljazeerah. Afghan farmers now planting opium poppies will probably reap a harvest comparable to this year's record crop (something never happened during the Taliban rule, before the 2001 US invasion). … Drug production has skyrocketed since a U.S.-led offensive toppled the Taliban regime five years ago.

Growing insurgency and booming opium trade major challenges – Security Council
13.11.06. Irin / The growing Taliban-led insurgency and the ongoing rise in opium production are the major challenges facing war-ravaged Afghanistan. … The new report was released on Sunday by the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) - a body that is overseeing the implementation of the Afghanistan Compact

cpath=20061128\ACQDJON200611281353DOWJONESDJONLINE000662.htm&selected=9999&selecteddisplaysymbol=9999&StoryTargetFrame=_top&mkt=WORLD&chk=unchecked〈=&link=&headlinereturnpage=">UN Report Says Afghan Government Protect Drug Traffickers
24.11.06. Nasdaq.

9. Human Rights: Documents/Reports; Articles; Case Studies


List/Links of Rendition documents

Monitoring Terrorist Lists">News, Reports, Lists, Legal Anaysis, Links

Dangerous Ambivalence: UK Policy on Torture since 9/11
02.11.06. Human Rights Watch, press release. Lessons from History; A New Ambivalence Towards Torture; Torture as Response to Terrorism; Human Rights and Security: the False Dichotomy; Policing and prosecution as a means of confronting terror; The cost of abandoning the rules; Undermining the Torture Ban; Torture Evidence in Legal Proceedings: Sending People back to the Risk of Torture; The British way; No safeguard against torture; Trying to Rewrite the Rules on Deportation to Torture; Complicity in U.S. Abduction and Torture: British Refusal to Ask Questions; Complicity in Illegal Transfers; Whitewashing U.S. Government Abuses; Conclusion: A Stark Choice. See

Afghanistan: NATO must ensure justice for victims of civilian deaths and torture

27.11.06. Amnesty international press release. NATO leaders must set up a joint body, together with partners in Afghanistan, to pursue justice for civilians whose human rights may have been violated by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan, said Amnesty International ahead of the NATO summit in Riga, Latvia on 28/29 November.


Military Commissions Act argued unconstitutional
02.11.06. Jurist.

Ex-Judges: Detainee Law Unconstitutional
02.11.06. M Apuzzo, Newsday. Seven retired federal judges from both political parties have joined dozens of Guantanamo Bay detainees in urging an appeals court to declare key parts of President Bush's new anti-terrorism law unconstitutional.

Prison Planet
03.11.06. N. Turse & T. Englehardt & N. Turse. The US has ‘supermax’ prisons in 40 out of 50 states. The US also has ‘ghost jails – a ‘network of detention facilities. One of these is The Salt Pit at Bagram, outside Kabul. Another is Kandahar. Other CIA ‘secret’ prisons discussed. In an investigative article in The Guardian (19.03.05) 'One huge US jail' the reporters say that a “network of over 20 U.S. prisons was believed to exist in Afghanistan.”

Canada justice minister declines to appeal anti-terror law ruling
03.11.06. Jurist. Friday's announcement responds to the first of two Canadian court decisions last month that ruled unconstitutional portions of the Anti-Terrorism Act [text; CBC backgrounder] that was passed three months after the Sept. 11 attacks [JURIST news archive] on the United States. In a separate decision last week, the Superior Court of Ontario ruled that a section of the act that defines "terrorism" is unconstitutionally vague [JURIST report] and contradicts several provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [text].

U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons
04.11.06. C. Leonnig / E. Rich, Washington Post. “Court Is Asked to Bar Detainees From Talking About Interrogations. The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods" (torture) that their captors used to get them to talk.”

The documents, which were first reported by The Washington Post, were filed in opposition to a request that terror suspect Majid Khan should be given access to an attorney. Khan, 26, immigrated from Pakistan and graduated high school in Maryland.

War Criminals, Beware
05.11.06. Brecher / Smith, The Nation / ICH. On November 14 a group of lawyers and other experts will come before the German federal prosecutor and ask him to open a criminal investigation targeting Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales and other key Bush Administration figures for war crimes. The recent passage of the Military Commissions Act provides a central argument for the legal action, under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction: It demonstrates the intent of the Bush Administration to immunize itself legally from prosecution in the United States, even for the most serious crimes.
For the Human Rights First ‘Case Against Secretary Rumsfeld’ see here.

CIA aircraft made 80 flights in UK air space, claims MP
08.11.06. A. McDermid, Herald. Transport Minister replies to Lib.Dem question about CIA Gulfstream jet registration N379P.

Rights groups set to file Rumsfeld war crimes lawsuit in Germany
09.11.06. The Jurist. The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [advocacy website] announced [press release] Thursday that a coalition of US and international human rights groups plan to file a war crimes lawsuit against outgoing US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld [official profile] after his resignation Wednesday. Rumsfeld enjoys statutory immunity in the United States and so CCR, the National Lawyers Guild, the International Federation of Human Rights [advocacy websites] and others will file the complaint in Germany under that country's universal jurisdiction [AI backgrounder] law. (see also Video).

• Human Rights Denial Deserves Impeachment
11.09.06. P. Phillips, ICH. The U.S. government is actively torturing people to death. One need only read the 44 official U.S. military autopsy reports on civilian detainees from Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002 to 2004 posted on the American Civil Liberties website to see the horrendous details of deaths by "strangulation," "asphyxiation" and "blunt force injuries. The Military Commission Act retroactively approved the use of torture to the beginning of the 9/11 Wars. Congress's reaction to the ACLU report in October of 2005 was to pass legislation banning further use of the Freedom of Information Act to request documents on current military operations."

• Donald Rumsfeld: The War Crimes Case
Marjorie Cohen, President of the National Lawyers Guild, The Jurist Forum.

• CIA pressed on torture guidelines
16.11.06. SMH. THE CIA has acknowledged for the first time the existence of two classified documents, including one signed by the US President, George Bush, that it used as guidelines in the interrogation and imprisonment of terrorist suspects.

Afghan rights deteriorating, watchdog tells Security Council
10.11.06. AP / . ‘A UN Security Council team due to visit Afghanistan at the weekend must immediately address a "deteriorating rights situation" that has led to the deaths of 1,000 civilians in insurgency-linked unrest this year.’ Lists of problems.

Despite US Confession, Europe Insists on Hiding CIA Bases
11.11.06. Zaman. …”the European Parliament Investigation Committee failed to obtain proof from the investigation conducted in the United States, the UK, Romania, Macedonia and Poland.”

Administration: Detainees Have No Rights
13.11.06. ABC. ‘It's the first time that argument has been spelled out since President Bush signed a law last month setting up military commissions for the thousands of foreigners being held in U.S. prisons abroad. … Human rights groups and attorneys for the detainees say the law is unconstitutional. Prisoners normally have the right to challenge their imprisonment.’
Poll: Most U.S. Voters Say Guantanamo Bay PrisonersDeserve Legal Rights

Senate to investigate rendition abuses
14.11.06. Sturke, Guardian.

1,245 Secret CIA Flights Revealed by European Parliament
28.11.06. ABC news. It listed the number of CIA flights, or stopovers, it found in a number of countries: Italy: 46 stopovers; United Kingdom: 170 stopovers; Germany: 336 stopovers; Spain: 68 stopovers; Portugal: 91 stopovers; Ireland: 147 stopovers; Greece: 64 stopovers; Cyprus: 57 stopovers.

Senior EU officials accused of covering up secret CIA prisons for terror suspects
29.11.06. A. Duval Smith, Independent.


Osama Hassan Mustafa Nasr (Abu Omar)

Kidnapping of Egyptian in Italy shines light on U.S."extraordinary renditions"
01.11.06. AP / IHT. A Muslim preacher is snatched off the streets of an Italian city — purportedly by CIA agents — and whisked off to his homeland of Egypt. There he all but vanishes for more than three years. … According to Italian officials, the 43-year-old cleric fought in Afghanistan and Bosnia and was suspected of recruiting fighters for radical Islamic causes. Italian prosecutors say the kidnapping on Feb. 17, 2003, was conducted by CIA agents with help from Italian agentBut his Egyptian lawyer, Montasser al-Zayat, said Abu Omar had only traveled to Jordan, Yemen, Albania and Germany before entering Italy illegally in 1997. … Abu Omar was freed in spring 2004 and returned to his native Alexandria on Egypt's Mediterranean coast. Three weeks later, he was arrested again for violating the terms of his release by talking about his torture in detention. … No charges have ever been brought against him.’

In Letter, Radical Cleric Details CIA Abduction, Egyptian Torture
10.11.06. C. Whitlock, Washington Post / ICH. … Although the case has caused a furor in Italy, the U.S. government has neither confirmed nor denied playing a role in Nasr's disappearance. Egyptian officials have also remained silent. A CIA spokesman declined to comment for this story.’

Abou Elkassim Britel

Italy: Documents sent to European Parliament committee on renditions allege other renditions and details of Abu Omar cover-up and the Britel rendition
11.06. List of documents sent to EU included. Even Graham Greene could not have invented this bizarre travelogue of prisons and torture.

Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost

Pakistan: "Disappearance"/fear of torture, Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost (m)
01.11.06. Amnesty International. Afghan national Abdur Rahim Muslim Dost was arrested without a warrant on 29 September in Peshawar. His whereabouts are now unknown and he is at risk of torture. Dost was imprisoned in Bagram (3 yrs), Kandahar and Camp Xray.

Cyrus Kar

U.S. moves to quash lawsuit by filmmaker imprisoned in Iraq
04.11.06. CBC. The U.S. government has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an American filmmaker who spent two months in an Iraqi prison.

Kar, of Iranian descent, was taken into custody in May 2005 while visiting Iraq to make a documentary about the Persian king who wrote the world’s first human rights charter.

The lawsuit says the 45-year-old filmmaker was sometimes hooded, threatened, humiliated and abused when a U.S. soldier slammed his head into a wall. He was detained without charges for the two months.

10. Some of the Dead in Afghanistan: ‘regrets’ are not enough

Picasso’s Guernica

UN conceals Picasso’s “Guernica” for Powell’s presentation

"Every great work of art goes through messy phases while it is in transition."
-Major General William Caldwell, chief military spokesman in Baghdad

NATO sees body counts as a measure of success
03.11.06. P. Koring, Globe and Mail. “Alliance vision of Afghanistan is being painted by numbers. … The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's high-level decision to resurrect body counts apparently reflects an inability to find any other headline-grabbing measure to demonstrate success. Body counts were last used by the Pentagon in Vietnam, where the wildly optimistic and soaring totals were completely at odds with the grim reality that the United States was losing.”

Death as art: See also:

Iraq a 'work of art in progress' says US general after 49 die
03.11.06. J. Borger, Guardian / uruknet. An American general in Baghdad called Iraq a "work of art" in progress yesterday in one of the most extraordinary attempts by the US military leadership to put a positive spin on the worsening violence.

Taliban attacks kill 700 Afghans in 2006: NATO
04.11.06. Pak Tribune. Foreign forces in Afghanistan says bomb and suicide attacks carried out by Taliban militants have killed more than 700 civilians this year.

Insurgent activity rising in Afghanistan; 3,700 deaths this year
12.11.06. AP / Int. Herald Tribune.

U.K. minister criticizes U.S. military
12.11.06. The State. A British government minister criticized the U.S. military for failing to cooperate with inquests into the deaths of British soldiers allegedly killed by "friendly fire" in Iraq.

Afghan conflict deaths quadruple
13.11.06. BBC. The study on the situation in Afghanistan was compiled by the Joint Co-ordinating and Monitoring Board - made up of the Afghan government, its key foreign backers and the UN. It says more than 3,700 people had been killed since January this year and that the frequency of insurgent or terrorist-related security incidents had now risen four-fold to 600 a month.

U.S. Occupation Forces Acknowledge Attack Killed 31 Civilians
14.11.06. Rohde / |Shah, NY Times / ICH.

No militants killed in Pakistan madrassa attack, commission says
14.11.06. Turkish Press / ICH.

Afghan Civilians Shot Dead By British Troops
16.11.06. NASDAQ. Two Afghan civilians were killed and a child injured on Thursday after their van was shot at by the British troops. The incident happened north of Girish in Helmand province. The spokesman said that a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances of the incident has commenced. He also expressed regrets.

*REGRETS and “SORRY” are not enough.

Concerned more for the dead than for the living
16.11.06. P. Dasgupta , ICH. The British intercede when they see their war dead threatened but when innocent Palestinians are killed in their sleep by monstrous unprovoked Israeli violence, they set about quibbling about the balance of blame between the two sides.

NATO Apologizes as Troops Kill 2 Afghan Civilians, Injure Child
17.11.06. E. Johnson, Bloomberg. The incident happened two days ago in southern Helmand province, where the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force is battling Taliban and al-Qaeda insurgents seeking to destabilize President Hamid Karzai's government. The deaths, which follow the killing of at least 12 civilians in fighting on Oct. 24, are a potential set back for NATO, which is trying to win the support of Afghan locals as it seeks to quell the insurgency.

4 civilians working for U.S. military killed in E. Afghanistan
27.11.06. People’s Daily Online.

11. War Crimes: The Dying and Future Dead

Scientist questions use of depleted uranium munitions
02.11.06. ABC. In the 1991 war with Iraq, the United States fired 320 tonnes of depleted uranium munitions. In 2003 they used as much as 2,000 tonnes. … When the US and Britain defend their use of these materials, they sometimes cite a World Health Organisation study compiled in 2001.” …Dr Keith Baverstock, a senior radiation adviser with the WHO, told the BBC a study showing the munitions could be carcinogenic was kept out of the final report or monograph.
DU was also used in Afghanistan.

12. References

T. Paglen/ A. Thompson, Torture Taxis, Melville House, 2006.

Afghanistan National Development Stragegy

NATO wird US-ATO: Geht die NATO als militärischer Arm der amerikanischen Weltherrschaft in Führung?
29.09.06. Zeit Fragen.

Sarah Meyer is retired and now a researcher living in England.

The url to Index on Afghanistan: November 2006 is:

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