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Posts Tagged ‘Afghan War’

M&G News, Sep 27, 2010

Washington – One of five US soldiers charged with premeditated murder described his unit leader as ordering the gruesome death of unarmed Afghan civilians in a military interrogation video obtained by US media on Monday.

Corporal Jeremy Morlock, who faced a pretrial military hearing Monday in Washington state, admitted in the interrogation his role in the slayings of three Afghans. He described how his ‘crazy’ Staff Sargent Calvin Gibbs would seek out civilians and order them killed by the military unit.

‘We identify a guy. Gibbs makes a comment, like, you know, ‘You guys wanna wax this guy or what?” Morlock told the military interrogators.

The soldiers allegedly cut off fingers and other body parts of their victims to keep as trophies, according to charging documents released earlier this month. The murders were allegedly committed in January, February and May by the soldiers from an armoured brigade out of Washington that was deployed to Afghanistan’s Kandahar province.

Morlock, Gibbs, Specialist Adam Winfield, Specialist Michael Wagnon II and Private First Class Andrew Holmes face the death penalty or life in prison if convicted by a military court.

Aside from premeditated murder, they also face charges of using hashish, obstructing justice, possessing human body parts and retaining mortar rounds for personal use.

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Panetta: “Not much choice’ but to use Blackwater

RAW STORY- By David Edwards and Daniel Tencer
Sunday, June 27th, 2010 — 12:33 pm

CIA director says ‘at most’ 50 to 100 Al Qaeda in Afghanistan

How can a company allegedly responsible for killing 17 unarmed civilians in Baghdad in 2007 continue to get State Department and CIA contracts? CIA Director Leon Panetta says there is “not much choice” because few companies have the capabilities of Blackwater.

“Since I have become director, I have asked our agency to review every contract we have had with Blackwater and whatever their new name is now — Xe — to ensure first and foremost that we have no contract in which they are engaged in any CIA operations. We’re doing our own operations. That’s important that we not contract that out to anybody,” Panetta told ABC’s Jake Tapper Sunday.

“But at the same time I have to tell you that in the war zone, we continue to have needs for security. You’ve got a lot of forward bases. You’ve got a lot of attacks on some of those bases. We’ve got to have security. Unfortunately, there are few companies that provide that kind of security,” Panetta continued.

“State Department relies on them. We rely on them to a certain extent. So, we’ve bid out some of those contracts. They provided a bid that underbid everyone else by about $26 million and a panel that we had said that they can do the job, that they’ve shaped up their act,” he said.

MORE HERE

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General McChrystal Relieved Of Command: Obama Takes General Off Top Afghan Post

JENNIFER LOVEN and ANNE GEARAN | 06/23/10 01:59 PM | AP Via: Huff Post

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Wednesday, saying his scathing published remarks about administration officials undermined civilian control of the military and eroded trust on the president’s war team.

Obama chose McChrystal’s immediate superior – Gen. David Petraeus – to take over the troubled 9-year-old war in Afghanistan.

The president said he did not make the decision to accept McChrystal’s resignation over any disagreement in policy or “out of any sense of personal insult.”

“I believe it is the right decision for our national security,” Obama said in a statement in the Rose Garden, where he was flanked by Petraeus along with Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

McChrystal relieved: Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been relieved of command by President Obama. Gen. David Petraeus will replace McChrystal.

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama says he has accepted the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal with regret, but is certain that it is the right decision for the country’s national security and the future of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

Speaking in the Rose Garden, Obama says McChrystal’s biting comments about the president and his aides in a magazine article did not meet the standards of conduct for a commanding general.

Obama named Gen. David Petraeus to assume McChrystal’s role as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. He says the move will allow the U.S. to maintain leadership and momentum in the war.

Obama made the announcement following a private meeting with McChrystal and a separate meeting of his national security staff.

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General McChrystal’s Rolling Stone Interview A ‘Significant Mistake,’ Gates Says

ANNE GEARAN and JULIE PACE | 06/22/10 12:33 PM | AP – Via Huff Po

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the top U.S. general in Afghanistan made “a significant mistake” and used poor judgment in remarks to a magazine reporter.

Gates says Gen. Stanley McChrystal has apologized to him. Gates also says he has recalled McChrystal to Washington to discuss the matter in person. That’s on top of the White House summons that McChrystal appear there Wednesday.

The Pentagon says McChrystal will hold a separate meeting with Gates.

Gates’ statement says nothing about whether McChrystal should keep his job.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the top U.S. general in Afghanistan made “a significant mistake” and used poor judgment in remarks to a magazine reporter.

Gates says Gen. Stanley McChrystal has apologized to him. Gates also says he has recalled McChrystal to Washington to discuss the matter in person. That’s on top of the White House summons that McChrystal appear there Wednesday.

The Pentagon says McChrystal will hold a separate meeting with Gates.

Gates’ statement says nothing about whether McChrystal should keep his job.

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McChrystal’s Rolling Stone Interview: General’s Team SLAMS Key Obama Officials (SLIDESHOW)

Huff Post- First Posted: 06-22-10 10:18 AM   |   Updated: 06-22-10 11:25 AM

Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s candid Rolling Stone interview prompted the White House to summon McChrystal, the most senior military commander in Afghanistan, to the capital for a standing meeting. McChrystal usually participates via teleconference.

Below are some of the most notable quotes and details from Michael Hasting’s profile of McChrystal, his staff, and the war that the U.S. is fighting in Afghanistan.

>>>PHOTOS HERE<<<

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White House Briefing Video: Live Stream Of Press Briefing With Robert Gibbs

Huffington Post First Posted: 06-22-10 12:54 PM   |   Updated: 06-22-10 12:55 PM

Visit this page for live streaming video whenever Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gives the White House press briefing.

>>>VIDEO HERE<<<

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Roger Morris and George Kenney, The Huffington Post, Nov 27, 2009

The rare resignation on principle is always telling in American government. When Matthew Hoh recently left the State Department — a Marine Captain in Iraq who became a diplomat in Afghanistan — his act was significant far beyond the first reports.

Hoh speaks grim truth to power. His message is that to pursue the Afghan war policy in any guise — regardless of the troop level President Obama now chooses — will be utter folly, trapping America in an unwinnable civil war in the Hindu Kush, and only fueling terrorism.

Continues >>

 

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Foreign Service officer and former Marine captain says he no longer knows why his nation is fighting

by Karen DeYoung, The Washington Post, October 27, 2009

When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.

[Matthew Hoh was asked to stay in the job. (Gerald Martineau - The Washington Post) ]

Matthew Hoh was asked to stay in the job. (Gerald Martineau – The Washington Post)

A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.

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by Eric Margolis, Toronto Sun, Oct 11, 2009

Truth is war’s first casualty. The Afghan war’s biggest untruth is, “we’ve got to fight terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them at home.”Many North Americans still buy this lie because they believe the 9/11 attacks came directly from the Afghanistan-based al-Qaida and Taliban movements.False. The 9/11 attacks were planned in Germany and Spain, and conducted mainly by U.S.-based Saudis to punish America for supporting Israel.

Taliban, a militant religious, anti-Communist movement of Pashtun tribesmen, was totally surprised by 9/11. Taliban received U.S. aid until May, 2001. The CIA was planning to use Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida to stir up Muslim Uighurs against Chinese rule, and Taliban against Russia’s Central Asian allies.

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