|code: 247038||Date: 2011/06/13||source: Inteldaily|
US: 90% of Captured as ’Taliban’ were Civilians
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - However, it turns out that more than 80 percent of those called captured Taliban fighters were released within days of having been picked up, because they were found to have been innocent civilians, according to official U.S. military data. Another set of misleading figures that was circulated claimed that US Special Operations Forces had captured 1,355 rank and file Taliban militants, killed 1,031, while having killed or captured 365 middle or high-ranking Taliban members through May and July of the same year.
The figures were released for media publicity and intended to reverse the US reputation over its losses in war-torn Afghanistan. The International Press Service (IPS) report indicates that the timing of Petraeus's claim of Taliban fighters captured or killed, moreover, shows that he knew that four out of five of those he was claiming as "captured Taliban rank and file" were not Taliban fighters at all.
Although the number of Taliban deaths claimed by the US is impossible to double check, the number of detainees can be monitored, as detainees can only be held in a Forward Operating Base for 14 days before being released or sent to long-term detention.
IPS obtained an unclassified graph by Task Force 435, the military command responsible for detainee affairs, on Parwan's monthly intake and release totals for 2010, which shows that only 270 detainees were admitted to that facility during the 90-day period from May through July 2010.
That figure also includes alleged Taliban commanders who were sent to Parwan and whom Petraeus counted separately from the rank and file figure. Thus more than four out of every five Afghans said to have been Taliban fighters captured during that period had been released within two weeks as innocent civilians.
The deceptive nature of those statistics, as now revealed by U.S. military data, raises anew the question of whether the statistics released by Petraeus on killing of alleged Taliban were similarly skewed.