Monday, May 02, 2005

You know...just your standard "oath of loyalty" requirement.

Sometimes things are too strange for me to process.

Following my recent blog post on how if the State Department is correct that the "situation in Afghanistan" has changed and former members of the Taliban are being incorporated back into society (and thus all former Taliban should be tried for war crimes or freed), there are new reports that the U.S. "released 85 suspected Taliban from US-run detention facilitities in Afghanistan."

Two items from the report strike me:

"Before their release, the prisoners swore an oath of loyalty to the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai."


"The freed prisoners were given 10,000 afghani (approximately US$220) each."

So that's it? You get some detainees to say, as a military spokesperson says "they would be committed to the government and were deemed to no longer pose a threat to the government or the coalition" and you get out? Where do my clients at Guantanamo sign up?

In all seriousness, the implied requirement of an oath of loyalty to the government strikes me as a particularly strange way to decide that someone is no longer a threat to U.S. forces. I find it odd that the military didn't even try to create a facade of an orderly process (a la the Annual Review Board process at GTMO) to release these individuals.

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