U.S. officials confirm release of senior Taliban
May 7th, 2012
06:43 AM ET

U.S. officials confirm release of senior Taliban

By Nick Paton Walsh

Up to 20 high-level insurgent prisoners have been released from NATO custody in Afghanistan over the past two years in an effort to boost peace negotiations with the Taliban in various regions of the country, according to U.S. officials.

The insurgents, held at the jointly-run NATO-Afghan detention facility of Parwan, are considered "bad guys," said one U.S. official who did not want to be identified discussing a sensitive issue. Their release was undertaken, the official said, often at the request of the Afghan government. In all cases, they were assessed as unlikely to rejoin the insurgency.

The official added that the Taliban detainees had been in the maximum security Parwan detention center “for a reason” – but that NATO "does not release anyone when there is a high likelihood they will rejoin the insurgency." The official said he was aware of only two releases in the last nine months.

Some previously released Afghan detainees, especially from the U.S.-run detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have allegedly rejoined the insurgency, suggesting such programs are not without risk.

The U.S. official said the releases occur “when officials determine that the benefits significantly outweigh the risks.”

The releases are often intended to assist efforts by ISAF field commanders to negotiate truces or peace with local insurgent leaders in areas where the Taliban are strong.

News of the releases was first broken by the Washington Post which quoted U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker as telling reporters: "The Afghans have come to us with information that might strengthen the reconciliation process. Many times we do act on it."

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Monday expanded upon the ambassador's comments, with spokesman Gavin Sundwall saying, “Ambassador Crocker was referencing a two-year old, rarely-used program in which senior military officials, together with their Afghan counterparts, weigh the benefits of releasing certain individuals who are being detained at the Parwan Detention Facility and who are willing to denounce violence and engage in the process of reconciliation."

"Fewer than 20 detainees have ever been released under this program,” he added, “and the decision to release a detainee takes into account whether they pose any further security threat.”

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Diplomacy • ISAF • Military • NATO • Taliban
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Suellen Werma

    the holy bible is really important in my life, i always read it everyday.;

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    January 16, 2013 at 6:01 am | Reply
  2. Bangash

    Hundreds years of Afghan history, specially last 12 years of war on terror has proved that none can occupy Afghanistan through military means however all finally have to negotiate for safe exit. As usual history is repeating itself and it is a good news for all mankind that finally Americans have started listening to the world and Vice President Joe Baiden even told media that Talibans are not our main enemies, which mean they are looking different now and are ready to give peace a chance. Afghans are generous and have open hearts on negotiating tables and sometime pardon their worst enemies for future peace and prosperity. Talibans being Afghans have already given consent by opening office in Qatar and above mentioned contacts in Parwan therefore USA must not waste this opportunity as issues like desecration of holy Quran in American base at Afghanistan, merciless killing of Afghans by marine in Qandahar or constant drone attacks in FATA may result in popular uprising both in Pakistan and Afghanistan Which may make safe exit difficult out of Afghan quagmire.
    Unfortunately none have learnt from the past therefore despite two world wars, killing of millions none have emerged victorious and in the end all were losers and then under UN charter all these big one of today with Americans in the vanguard had committed to save succeeding generation from the scourge of wars but contrary to this same champions of human rights and democracy under the leadership of USA have turned Afghanistan and Pakistan into a battleground for the third world war. This was wrong yesterday and has proved wrong today therefore there is no doubt that it will be wrong tomorrow.
    Americans as a nation are committed to universal peace, universal justice and universal prosperity under their commitment in US declaration of independence. It is a universal human tragedy that Americans after 2nd world war have been diverted towards the same centuries old barbarism which all have condemned in respective constitutions and UNO.

    May 8, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
  3. are we there yet...

    pull the troops out and cut the aid... if they attack on american soil again then the entire might of the united states needs to be mobolized and sent over there to completely cleanse these fools from history

    May 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • Shut Up

      No. Let them destroy you. Let them rain hell upon you. Let them give you a taste of what you and your country have done to people all around the GLOBE for over 500 years. Biggest terrorist organization=America.

      May 8, 2012 at 12:03 am | Reply
    • CCCP

      Shutup must be a Chinese imposter, since the US wasn't even around for 500 years.

      May 8, 2012 at 12:23 am | Reply
      • Shut Up

        wow you are retarded, since 1492? What is that? 500 years ago? yeah deedeedee! since colombus's raping raids of the Aztecs, then to the English killing of Native Americans, then to various CIA operations and unjust wars (Veitnam, Korea, Iraq) America has killed roughly over 40 million innocent people in 500 years. Hmmmm if that isnt terrorism then idk what is.

        May 8, 2012 at 1:57 am |
      • Shut Up

        Cortes raped the Aztecs and Colombus is responsible for letting him *** even better

        May 8, 2012 at 1:58 am |
      • Shut Up

        In fact they reffered to themselves as AMERICAN not English anymore lol ooohhh thats right it was AMERICANS

        May 8, 2012 at 2:00 am |
      • CCCP

        Columbus did not establish America, you poorly paid Chinese troll. Go eat some toxic waste food in China from your local vendor. You piece of crap.

        May 8, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • Cooze

      Just as long as it's someone else who spills their blood so you can stay morbidly obese, eh chickenhawk?

      May 8, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  4. ger republikins

    wii betr kil al uv da teroriz b4 dey cum 2 da sowt wair wii republikins liv. wii don wunt moos lims dun sowt neder. moos lims are lyk demokrates. da unly wunt 2 tayk awey jezuz n r gunz n stuf. da wunt 2 raz mor taxiz 2. wii don ned taxiz fer skools. wii kin bii hom skoold lyk my dady n hiz siztr (mi mumy). iv thoz moos lims cum dun sowt da wil lite mi hous on fyr n i juz gut nu wheelz un et. ger republikins!!!!!!!!

    May 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • ...

      ....what?

      May 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  5. krm1007

    This is worse than I thought.....begging the talibans for peace?

    May 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • brown

      Yup. Keep on re-electing the fools in Congress!

      May 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  6. yup

    Why dont the top brass and the taliban just sleep together....sure buddy, you can kill our men and woman, even better lets release most of your top people and lets give you more political power......what was that....you want a BJ too......sure we can give you that also, general.....give this sand nig a BJ. So much for treating this like a war, there are too many restrictions with no real war time actions....McArther and Patton must be flipping in their graves.

    May 7, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Shut Up

      And then you walk in on me and your mom having amazing sex

      May 8, 2012 at 12:06 am | Reply
    • John McClane

      Well, the real issue isn't the Taliban themselves. It's the backwards mentality and lack of coherent government and nationality. Without infrastructure and a solid government, places like Afghanistan will always be a breeding ground for terrorists.

      I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we can even give them those things, only that until they stop identifying themselves as tribe/religion first, Afghani second, they'll remain a not-so-charming little throwback to the Dark Ages.

      May 8, 2012 at 3:35 am | Reply
  7. Everett Wallace

    islam your allah is dead the prophet mohammed is a no show. The United States Military and Allies do not want to conquer your land We are after those who have been doing these terrorists attacks do not fight just for a cause helping terror is not a cause to fight for. I would like very much for you to drop the religion and the karun, pick up a Holy Bible (new international version) get to know my BOSS, GOD THE FATHER. HE is not a GOD of violence and agression HE is the Almighty, peace and prosperity is HIS way, I have seen the unseen GOD and I will share this with you, you want to be in HIS family, ya see the thing about HIM though is that if you come against HIS chosen then you are against HIM and it is a terrible thing to have the hand of GOD against you. I and my Military we are out to kill the evil that pumps you up to do this stuff, so pass the word GOD THE FATHER hears the prayers of those who are pure in heart and mind, no specific direction no specific time to pray to HIM. HE is everywhere all the time at the same time. Now religion will block you from HIM. HE hates religion. The door is open for peace if you want it and by the way all women are not unclean or cursed, I like women and evedently my BOSS does to cause there is a QUEEN of Heaven it is in the Holy Bible in the book of jeremiah, only false I have found so far in the Holy Bible is the crucifixtion there is noway GOD THE FATHER would let HIS firstborn be killed by any one that would be HIM killing HIMSELF. These folk who have put you out there has been tryin to kill me, poisened, bomb under my car these are the ones WE want. If iran is the messenger do not listen to them lucifer (the devil) is their supreme leader. Have a good day folk. By the way there are 6 billion children of GOD and 1 billion children of the devil the Holy Bible speaks of the children of the devil john 8:42-47.

    May 7, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • Clinton

      Holy crap Everett, You need to lay off the Meth when you read the Bible buddy, you got some crazy conspiracies and ideas... BTW God didn't abandon Jesus on the Cross, God used this event to show us that he could defeat even death.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
      • Everett Wallace

        you don't have a clue bonehead. if I were to be on meth I would STILL be closer to GOD than you will ever be. You see the HOLYSPIRIT knows exactly who you are so you opened mouth insurted foot you are IN the 1 billion count

        May 7, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
      • The REAL Truth...

        Everett – you have a very distorted view of your god. And who's to say that he's any more real than the god that Muslim's, Jews, Buddhist's and other religions espouse? There is more proof that Aliens exist than has ever been shown for god. Yeah, I know.. that's why the call it faith. Your's is a little weird!

        May 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
      • Shut Up

        yeah and then you wake up from your dream and realize that christianity is dead, jesus is dead, the bible was a forgery, and america is a failing state.

        May 8, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Woof78

      All I know is that Jesus promised to get rid of the wicked people, and Odin promised to get rid of the Frost Giants... and I don't see any Frost Giants, do you? All HAIL Mighty ODIN!!

      May 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  8. ipayattention

    america you are a joke....i am no longer proud to call you home

    May 7, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • Tosspot

      I do believe a cascade of abuse is headed your way. Try to ignore it.

      May 7, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • Everett Wallace

      what did we do this time. We always doin somthin

      May 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Uncle Sam

      I know you. We let you in, but I believe you have overstayed you welcome. Please hand in your citizenship and get out. I knew you'd be a big dissapointment to your family someday, welcome to someday. Good bye... Go on now, leave. What are you waiting for? Yeah, that's what I thought.......

      May 7, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • brown

      You sentiments are shared by many average working class Americans.

      May 7, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  9. Hahahahahahaha

    Tagged with micro chips!!!! Hahahahahahahahahaha

    May 7, 2012 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • uniquitous

      shhhhh, they could be reading this article. we do not want them trying to rip them out. LOL

      May 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply

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