Here we go again: Afghan inmates 'tortured, abused' at US-run prison. Of course, if there aren't any pictures, nobody will care:
Afghanistan investigators revealed that many inmates were held without evidence at Bagram prison, officially known as the Parwan Detention Center that holds 3,000 detainees, including terror suspects. . . . The head of the commission investigating abuse accusations, Gul Rahman Qazi, said prisoners had complained of abuse including beatings, humiliating body searches and being exposed to extreme cold.
"During our visit to Bagram some of the prisoners talked of misconduct, some alleged they had been tortured," he said.
This Russian news service has more. (For some mysterious reason I'm not finding a lot about this in U.S. media, at least not yet.)
A small group of Taliban are said to have laid down their arms in Herat and joined the peace process in a formal ceremony.
The U.S. is now testing pilotless cargo helicopters in Afghanistan. Hey, why not turn the whole war over to the robots?
Eric Schmitt of the NYT says CIA drone attacks in Pakistan have been suspended since November due to tensions between the U.S and Pakistan. According to his informants, this has allowed militant groups in Pakistan, including the Haqqani network, to regroup and increase their activities. Make of it what you will. I link to this MSNBC reprint so people won't have to burn their NYT freebie privilege, in case that matters to someone.
Twin bombings in Karbala, targeting Shiite pilgrims, kill 2 and injure 13.
Explosion in Mahmoudiya kills 1 pilgrim and injures 5.
Interior Ministry formally calls on Kurdistan to hand over Hashimi. Titular Iraqi president Jalal Talabani says he will go to Baghdad this week to discuss the issue. Meanwhile the Iraqiya bloc is showing signs of strain, with six members suspended over dissent about the tactic of blocking the session of parliament.
Isaac J. Bailey hopes for the best for the Iraqi people, but concludes it's not up to the U.S. to secure it for them. Meanwhile, Mike Dorning of Bloomberg News totes up the financial cost:
Direct federal spending on the war through 2012 will reach $823 billion, surpassing the $738 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars the U.S. spent on the Vietnam War, the Congressional Research Service estimated in a March 29 report. Only World War II had a higher direct cost, $4.1 trillion, in current dollars. Not counted in that is the interest of more than $200 billion the federal government has already had to pay on the resulting debt, said Linda Bilmes, a senior lecturer in public finance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Bilmes also estimates the price over the next 40 years of health care and disability compensation for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts will be almost $1 trillion. “The veterans’ costs in particular will dwarf the other budget costs,” said Bilmes, who was an assistant commerce secretary under President Bill Clinton.
By any measure, the price of the Iraq conflict has far outstripped forecasts by President George W. Bush’s administration as it made the case to go to war. Then-White House budget director Mitch Daniels and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld projected the U.S. would spend $50 billion to $60 billion and said they believed part of that would be defrayed by other countries.