Tags: Exclusive Interviews | afghanistan | prison | taliban

Dick Morris: Karzai Seeking 'Deal' With Taliban by Freeing Afghans

By Todd Beamon   |   Friday, 14 Feb 2014 05:37 PM

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's release of 65 detainees from a former American prison despite U.S. objections is an effort to "cut a deal with the Taliban and talk about moving over toward them," political strategist Dick Morris told Newsmax TV on Friday.

"He's crazy like a fox," Morris told John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV. "He knows we're pulling out. He knows his troops won't last five minutes against the Taliban. He'll get eaten alive for it, but he's going to try."

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The Afghan government released the prisoners on Thursday from the Parwan Detention Facility at Bagram Air Base. Karzai had ordered the release several weeks ago, contending that the detainees were being held without cause.

The jail is guarded by U.S. troops, but Karzai's government has authority over the handling of prisoners.

The move roiled U.S. military officials, who charged that some of those set free were directly involved in attacks that have killed or wounded 32 U.S. or coalition personnel and 23 Afghan security personnel or civilians. Most U.S. and international combat troops are to leave Afghanistan by the end of the year.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina denounced the move on Friday, saying that it posed an immediate threat to U.S., Afghan, and allied forces in the country.

"Karzai is doing a lot of damage to his country and to the relationship between us and Afghanistan," Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McClatchy reports.

In his Newsmax interview, Morris said that the release underscored the problems with President Barack Obama's promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba.

"These are 65 not suspected militants, like [Karzai] says. They're 65 terrorists who've killed 32 American soldiers and 23 Afghan soldiers among them," he said. "That's a hell of a body count.

"And we arrested them, we captured them, and we held them. Then we had no place to put them. Normally, you just ship them off to Guantanamo.

"We couldn't repatriate them to the United States because they would get our constitutional rights and lawyers and everything — and we couldn't hold them indefinitely in our training camps or our base camps in Afghanistan," said Morris, who served in the Bill Clinton White House. "We had to turn them over to the Afghans, and they let them go.

"This revolving door highlights the insanity of the decision to close Guantanamo because now — and that's why we're killing them with drones because we can't capture them — we can't interrogate them because we have no place to put them because of this president's stupid pledge to close Gitmo, which he hasn't even done."

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