Warlord, Inc. report and the injustice dealt Bill Shaw

Guest commentary by Gary H. Johnson, Jr.
The U.S. Report
7/2/2010

The troubling case of Bill Shaw has not reached mainline news in America for a reason. I had previously read the BBC story in my studies of Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan, and I was disgusted by it. But, here is the thing. Bill Shaw may be a victim of timing more than anything.

The US Government has recently been involved with what is known as the Afghan Host Nation Trucking contract worth $2.16 billion slated to be paid out to eight private security contractor firms.

The House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, chaired by Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.), conducted a six month investigation into some rather credible allegations in November.  The Private Security Contractors (PSCs) hired to provide security for the bulk of US/NATO supply lines in Afghanistan were allegedly paying subcontractors, who would in turn pay warlords and Taliban bribes to ensure the safety of the cargo.  The House subcommittee investigation resulted in a document entitled Warlord, Inc.

TIMING OF RELEASE OF ROLLING STONE STORY

The document was troubling for multiple reasons, so troubling that the situation with Gen. Stanley McChrystal may have been timed to coincide with the release of the report.

From what I can gather, the leak of the Rolling Stone story ‘The Runaway General’ occurred between 7-10 p.m. on June 21, 2010.  The Warlord, Inc. report was released at an odd time – 10:30 p.m. EST the same day.

On June 22, 2010, the government held two hearings. The first hearing included three representatives of the Dept. of Defense. The second included four scholars. Of those four, only Carl Forsberg, a research analyst with the Institute for the Study of War, had recognized the reality playing out in Kandahar.

Media chose to cover the Rolling Stone story on McChrystal and the hearings went forward without much notice.  But what was certain at the end of the hearings was that the US government had little oversight on its Private Security Contractors. The main contractor was the brother of President Hamid Karzai, Ahmed Wali Karzai, allegedly a drug kingpin and also the top councilman for Kandahar…

…Bill Shaw has fallen through the cracks just as US national security interests have in Afghanistan.  What should happen now is a focus on leverage.

The US citizenry should lean on Sec. of State Clinton and force her hand on the matter, stating publicly, forcefully, that “we the people” demand that US ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, from his embassy headquarters in Herat, move swiftly, in person, with a military escort, to exact the release of Bill Shaw and also his G4S associate, Maiwand Limar. They should immediately be removed from Afghan custody, with expectations of Karzai’s apologies for the misunderstanding.

FREE BILL SHAW

No questions should be asked about Shaw’s trumped up second trial or his two year sentence; the US has lost more than a thousand men.  Britain has lost more than 300 men. There are no excuses, no need for further dialog.

Sec. Clinton needs to get to work.  She is the ultimate author of the three ‘Ds’—Defense, Diplomacy & Development—as the source of smart power.  Clinton was the one who added economic power to the mix in a comprehensive setting.  This is Clinton’s baby…and the US citizenry is not concerned about the labor pains. We just want to see the baby.

Bill Shaw must be released by Karzai, else the United States must be willing to drop Afghanistan…

Read the complete article at The U.S. Report

H/T Michael Yon

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