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Thread: Afghan Targets May Include "Children with Potential Hostile Intent"

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    Default Afghan Targets May Include "Children with Potential Hostile Intent"

    A recent comment by an U.S. Army officer about looking for "children with potential hostile intent" has increased concerns about targeting policy and the killing of civilians in Afghanistan.

    Afghan Targets May Include "Children with Potential Hostile Intent"

    The New American
    10 December 2012

    A recent comment by an U.S. Army officer about looking for "children with potential hostile intent" has increased concerns about targeting policy and the killing of civilians in Afghanistan.

    The statement was attributed to Army Lieutenant Colonel Marion Carrington in a Marine Corps Times article of December 3 that appeared under the headline, "Some Afghan kids aren't bystanders." In recounting an incident in mid-October in which three Afghan children ages 8, 10 and 12 were killed in Helmond Province, the Times article described Marines directing a strike at "three shadowy figures that appeared to be emplacing an "improvised explosive device" in the ground. The Marines got clearance for air strike, the Times said and "took out the targets."

    The article appears to contradict earlier accounts of the killing. While the Marine Corp Times article indicates the children were the shadowy figures targeted in the strike, the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul issued a statement at the time of the incident saying it might have "accidentally killed three innocent Afghan civilians." A New York Times article dated October 19 said the children were out gathering dung for fuel, and quoted the governor of a neighboring province who said the children were "wandering by" when they were struck by shrapnel from a strike on Taliban members who were placing the explosives in the ground. Major Adam Wojack, a spokesman for the coalition forces, said at the time that reports of the children killed were being investigated.

    "I.S.A.F. did conduct a precision strike on three insurgents in Nawa district, and the strike killed all three insurgents," Wojack said. "None of our reporting shows any civilian casualties or any children." Yet a tribal council member who found the children's bodies said he did not see any other bodies in the area. And while earlier reports had described the action as an air strike, the New York Times ran a correction in its October 19 article, nothing that military officials said the "precision strike" was an artillery barrage.

    The Marine Corps Times article cited statements by military officials claiming the Taliban often use children to carry out their missions or as a shield, and the children may have been recruited to plant explosives. The Guardian of London last week cited a statement by a U.S. official who said the Marines has seen the children digging a hold on a dirt road and "the Taliban may have recruited the children to carry out the mission."

    There were 36 documented cases of underage recruiting in the war in 2011, the Marine Corps Times said, citing an April 2012 United Nations report. Eleven children, including an eight-year-old girl, were killed in Afghanistan while carrying out suicide attacks, the report said. Human Rights Watch also reported a sharp increase in the Taliban's deployment of children in suicide bombings, some as young as seven.

    "It kind of opens our aperture," said Army Lt. Col. Marion "Ced" Carrington, whose unit, 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, assists the Afghan police. "In addition to looking for military-age males, it's looking for children with potential hostile intent." That set off alarm bells among some counterterrorism experts and human rights groups.

    "I have great respect for people who put themselves in harm's way," Amos Guiora a University of Utah law professor who spent years in the Israeli Defense Forces told The Guardian. "Carrington is probably a great guy, but he is articulating a deeply troubling policy adopted by the Obama administration., Guiora said. "That is beyond troubling. It is also illegal and immoral."

    "This is one official quoted," said Pardiss Kabriaeri, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights, whom The Guardian identified as a specialist in targeted killings, "I don't know if that standard is what they are using but the standard itself is troubling," she said. "If you are looking to create a paradigm where you increase the 'aperture' that scares me. It doesn't work, operationally, morally or practically."

    The Obama administration has frequently come under criticism for the way it counts civilian casualties, as well as for its deliberate targeting of terrorists and their supporters for extra-judicial killings the administration disputes the term "assassination" in locations outside of any battlefield. The president's secret list of persons designated for targeted killing is said to include U.S. citizens operating outside the United States. Anwar al-Awlaki an American-born Muslim cleric who published an online Jihadist magazine, was targeted and killed by a drone strike in Yemen. Samir Khan, an American citizen and the editor of Awlaki's magazine, was traveling with Awlaki and was killed in the same attack. A later drone attackkilled Awlaki's 16-year-old, American-born son.

    Obama has also implemented a policy for counting civilian casualties designed to keep the count artificially low. John Brennan, the president's counter-terrorism adviser, claimed in a 2011 speech that not a single non-combatant had been killed in a year of U.S. air strikes. Another senior administration official told the New York Times that civilian killed by drone strikes in Pakistan numbered only in "single digits," despite reports of hundreds of deaths from various sources. But the Times in a May 29 2912 report, based on interviews with more than three dozens current and former cabinet members, counselors, and advisers to the president, said administration policy has been to count all military-age males killed in a strike zone as combatants unless there is explicit posthumous evidence to the contrary.

    "Al Qaeda is an insular, paranoid organization innocent neighbors don't hitchhike rides in the back of trucks headed for the border with guns and bombs," an administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Times.

    Such a loose definition of combatants lends itself to a wide range of prospective targets, from children digging in the ground to farmers with a truckload of fertilizer, who might be mistaken for bomb makers. There is virtually no limit to the number of activities that might show "potential hostile intent."


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    God help us if we ever have as brutal of an enemy as our own government.

    Oh wait..............
    Those who want liberty must organize as effectively as those who want tyranny. -- Iyad el Baghdadi

  4. #3


    US Admits to Imprisoning Hundreds of Afghan Children

    The United States has admitted to imprisoning hundreds of Afghan children as ‘enemy combatants’ in a report to the United Nations.

    The Associated Press reports that the State Department informed the world body of the detentions as part of compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    More than 200 children, who were mostly 16-year-olds according to the United States’ admission, have been captured during the ongoing 11-year-long US invasion and occupation in Afghanistan. Many have been held for more than a year at the Parwan Detention Facility, a military prison next to Bagram Airfield where detainees are held without charge or trial and where Afghan President Hamid Karzai and former prisoners claim they are held in “Guantanamo-like conditions” and tortured.

    Pentagon documents report at least two detainee homicides committed by US troops at Bagram.

    The US has been imprisoning the Afghan children “to prevent a combatant from returning to the battlefield,” according to the report.

    “Many of them have been released or transferred to the Afghan government,” the report states.

    While the military admits that the average age of the captured detainees is around 16, human rights advocates claim that much younger children have been rounded up and imprisoned by US forces.

    “I’ve represented children as young as 11 or 12 who have been at Bagram,” Tina M. Foster, executive director of the International Justice Network, a group that represents Bagram detainees, told the Associated Press. Foster also questioned the number of children imprisoned by the United States.

    “I question the number 200, because there are thousands of detainees at Parwan. There are other children whose parents have said these children are under 18 at the time of their capture, and the US doesn’t allow the detainees or their families to contest their age.”

    Jamil Dakwar of the American Civil Liberties Union also believes that younger children are being held in the prison.

    “It is highly likely that some children were as young as 14 or 13 years old when they were detained by US forces,” Dakwar told the Associated Press.

    Dakwar said that imprisoning youngsters for lengthy periods “exposes children in detention to greater risk of physical and mental abuse, especially if they are denied access to protections guaranteed to them under international law.”

    In its last report to the United Nations, filed in 2008, the US admitted that the military held around 500 Iraqi children. According to that report, the US imprisoned around 2,500 children, most of them in Iraq, during the course of the War on Terror. Children as young as 12 were also jailed in the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

    At the notorious Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad, former commander Gen. Janis Karpinski said she visited child detainees, including one boy who “looked like he was eight years old.”

    Children as young as 11 were imprisoned at Abu Ghraib. Girls, as well as boys, were held. Both girls and boys were raped and sexually assaulted, as were older women, by US troops and contractors at the prison; Maj. Gen. Anthony Taguba’s scathing 2004 report compiled in the wake of the torture photo scandal tells of an Army translator who raped a teenage boy while a female soldier photographed the attack.

    Sadly, the vast majority of prisoners held by the US in Iraq– as many as 90 percent of them, according to US intelligence estimates– were innocent. Many innocent Iraqis, especially women, were imprisoned as bargaining chips in the hope that male relatives suspected of resisting the US-led invasion and occupation would turn themselves in, another clear violation of international law.

    Gen. Karpinski, who was in charge of Abu Ghraib at the time of the torture photo scandal, told the BBC that a superior officer told her he didn’t care about innocent civilians imprisoned by mistake.

    “I don’t care if we’re holding 15,000 innocent civilians,” Maj. Gen. Walter Wodjakowski, then the second-highest Army general in Iraq, allegedly told Karpinski. “We’re winning the war.”

    Although the United States is submitting its report in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the US and Somalia are the only two nations which have not ratified the treaty.

    The Obama administration also indirectly supports the use of child soldiers by repeatedly granting waivers from the Child Soldiers Protection Act, signed into law by George W. Bush in 2008, to countries in Africa and the Middle East which use children in their armed forces. The waivers, personally authorized by President Barack Obama, allow war-torn nations such as Libya, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in US military aid despite the fact that they are known to use child soldiers.

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    Tagged Abu Ghraib, abu ghraib rape, abu ghraib torture, American Civil Liberties Union, bagram airfield, child prisoners afghanistan, child prisoners war on terror, child soldiers protection act, detainees killed by u.s. troops, Guantanamo Bay, Hamid Karzai, international justice network, jamil dakwar, janis karpinski, obama child soldiers, parwan detention facility, tina m. foster, u.s. holding child detainees in afghanistan, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, walter wodjakowski
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    Theye have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    Theye kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies

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    Theye are at this time transporting Armies of Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of a civilized nation.

  5. #4


    Let's not forget, it was the CIA that first began recruiting Afghan children for jihad.
    9/11 Thermate experiments

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  6. #5


    If those children weren't terrorists before being detained and likely tortured, they probably are now. We're turning into Israel with our "constant strife" strategy.
    Those who want liberty must organize as effectively as those who want tyranny. -- Iyad el Baghdadi

  7. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by FrankRep View Post

    ^^ Terrorists
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