US Soldiers Participate in Torture of Afghan Detainees

The Rolling Stone‘s Matthieu Aikins, who reported on alleged U.S. war crimes of torture, executions, and disappearances in Afghanistan, has posted another short piece and a video depicting U.S. soldiers standing by as Afghan forces whip a detainee.


The scene depicted in the video, and similar allegations of torture that were made to Rolling Stone in the investigation, fit with a general pattern of recurring abuse in U.S. and Afghan custody that has been documented by the UNCongress, and human rights groups in Afghanistan since 2001. While the main detention facilities in Afghanistan have technically been transferred to Afghan control, American military units are allowed to hold detainees for “tactical questioning” for up to two weeks. On an isolated firebase occupied by a tightly-knit special forces team, that means the detainees are at the mercy of their enemies. “If an ODA member was killed or critically injured then I can see tactical questioning getting way out of hand,” the former Green Beret tells me. For special forces and the interpreters, there is little sympathy for the men who want kill them. “Unless you’ve been in combat and had people who want to shoot you in the face, you can’t understand what it’s like,” one special forces officer told me. “There’s a reason that they say that war is hell. Because it is hell.”

An even bigger problem is U.S. complicity in the abusive methods used by its Afghan allies. As one military intelligence soldier told me in Kandahar in 2011, they would often take a “smoke break” when interrogating recalcitrant detainees, stepping outside and leaving the prisoner alone with Afghan police or soldiers. And despite over a decade and billions of dollars spent training the Afghan security forces, torture and abuse remain endemic in Afghan prisons. As I reported in the investigation, ISAF has halted transferring detainees to some of the worst locations, but the CIA has not — a discrepancy that led to a temporary breakdown in joint military operations under the OMEGA program last year.

The UN has repeatedly found there to be rampant torture in Afghan prisons, but U.S. complicity in the abuse is pretty well known too. An Afghan commission last year accused the U.S. military of abuse of Afghan prisoners, including holding them in freezing cold cells, forced nudity, extended isolation, and other physical abuse, in addition to being held without due process. See here for a round-up of recent torture issues in Afghanistan.

22 thoughts on “US Soldiers Participate in Torture of Afghan Detainees”

  1. Are Barack Obama and David Cameron blaming Assad for these incidents in Afghanistan too? Why not just add them to the list…it's always "theoretically" possible…right? If it's not Assad's fault, who exactly is "responsible" for all this?

    Must Obama and David Cameron "step down" now and be sent to the Hague? I'm certain the "Afghan people" didn't choose either Obama or Bloke Cameron to rule them…no logical case can be made to support that claim. Assad, on the other hand, is both Syrian (born and raised) and the official Syrian Head of State according to "The Syrian Constitution"–"The Syrian Constitution" which was approved by the "Syrian people" via popular referendum "vote". He has also run Syria for almost 14 years now–the first 11 and 1/2 somehow 'incident' free.

    Yet somehow, according to Obama and Cameron, Assad's not even 'allowed' to order the Syrian Arab Army to lift a finger while car bombs are going off all over the g-damn place at the same time swarms of heavily armed mercenary terrorists financed from abroad (i.e. Obama and Cameron themselves) pour into Syria…pour into Syria from US stooge states Turkey and Jordan with "logistical support" and "training" in many cases?


  2. There has been so many evidences that US army has done improper operations in Afghanistan. I am wondering why UN could not ask US to go out from Afghanistan. Let them solve their own problems. US should never think that they can solve Afghanistan problem.

    They know what they are dealing with. Let them solve their problem US..

  3. The problem here is; none of this story will reach the majority of Americans, and if it does, they don't give a crap, to them its just another "Terrorist" who doesn't share their values.

  4. I'm assuming Matthieu Aikins knows what events followed after another Rolling Stones author revealed some of the sordid actions and thinking of the invaders. Not saying he's gonna wrap his car around a tree in LA but it's been found to be dangerous to expose the nasty business being conducted under the American flag by the elite killers we've trained.

    But then again, the American people have been to a large degree softened into accepting these transgressions against our humanity. They are tired and do not want to have this stuff forced down their awareness so I will be very, very surprised if any of the MSM or near-MSM ever touch this one. After all, who are we to disagree with the White House lawyers who've codified torture into the SOP of the wars against the Muslims.

  5. Human Rights? Whatchu mean "Human RIghts?" You don't deserve no "Human Rights!" Yous just a G-D rag headed camel jockey an don't deserve em! …

    …Okay folks, move along, move along, nothing to see here…

  6. The Special Forces member's justification for torture is bogus. Nobody is suggesting that a combat soldier cannot defend himself with deadly force or deliberately kill a known or apparent enemy combatant when under orders to do so. What is involved here is the torture of an unarmed prisoner in a secure prison where there is no threat of harm whatsoever to the people who are torturing the prisoner or watching him being tortured. Such conduct of an unarmed prisoner in a secure prison is clearly prohibited by US military law and the rules of engagement which apply to all US armed forces personnel, not excluding those of the Special Forces. This guy apparently is under the impression that he has an unlimited license to kill, and he doesn't belong in the US armed forces. I say this as a Korean War veteran and on behalf of my late brother who served in combat during WWII (and on behalf of my long-departed uncle who fought in the trenches of France during WWI. I understand war very well, and I know bullshit when I see it.

    1. The UCMJ only suits them when it is convenient. Kind of like the Constitution does for civilian politicians, bureaucrats, cops, etc.

    2. As a follow-up, let me ask you a hypothetical question, sir, and please don't take this as a personal attack. If you, your brother, or your uncle had a crystal ball before all of you went off to fight WW1, WW2 or the Korean War and were able to see what a degenerate, zionist- orchestrated morally and financially bankrupt cesspool this country has become today, would any of you have then gone off to fight in those wars for the zionists and banksters?

    1. command responsibility, id much rather see some people with lots metals on their coat or in a nice expensive suite put away for life

  7. its hard for me to understand how one can use the word "complicity", for the actions of people who are funded, trained, armed, supported and overseen by the united states.

    wouldn't responsibility be more appropriate.

  8. The entire student should respect their teachers and learn from them. The student should respect their teacher and obey all the orders of their teachers. Teachers should give the education to their students and make their future with the help of their education and experience.

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