US in direct talks with Taliban: New Yorker

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, February 19, 2011 15:57 EDT
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The administration of President Barack Obama has entered into direct, secret talks with senior Afghan Taliban officials, according to The New Yorker magazine report.

Surrendering Taliban militants are seen in Herat, in November 2010. The administration of President Barack Obama has entered into direct, secret talks with senior Afghan Taliban officials, according to The New Yorker magazine report.

The talks were characterized in the story as an attempt by the Obama administration “to assess which figures in the Taliban’s leadership, if any, might be willing to engage in formal Afghan peace negotiations, and under what conditions.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll on Friday wrote that several sources, which were not identified in the story, briefed him about the talks.

Earlier Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that only a political solution will end the war in Afghanistan.

“We will never kill enough insurgents to end this war outright,” Clinton said during a speech in New York.

Clinton voiced hope for splitting off rank-and-file Taliban from Al-Qaeda extremists in Afghanistan.

Clinton said the surge in US-led troops over the past year was part of a strategy to “split the weakened Taliban off from Al-Qaeda and reconcile those who will renounce violence and accept the Afghan constitution.”

The late Richard Holbrooke, who served as Washington’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, was a leading advocate for a political settlement. Holbrooke died December 13.

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  • Johnny Warbucks

    Gee, I wonder if the US is direct talks with the same fake Taliban guy as the last time. The one that took a bunch of money and made a fool out of them. That guy was good. Really, really good. Imagine, being able to fool the CIA and all. Ha ha!

    And, yeah, the same question is raised once again: why in heavens would the Taliban negotiate with the US when they’re winning? The US must be more desperate than anybody gives them credit for if they have to continue recycling the same old tired psych ops propaganda.

    * * *

    Afghan Taliban “leader” in reports a fake: report


    KABUL — The New York Times said on Tuesday that a man it had described as a “Taliban leader” who had taken part in “secret peace talks” with the Afghan government was in fact an impostor.

    The newspaper said the man had held three meetings with NATO and Afghan officials but that U.S. officials had confirmed on Monday “they had given up hope” he was the leader identified as Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.

    “The fake Taliban leader even met with President Hamid Karzai, having been flown to Kabul on a NATO aircraft and ushered into the presidential palace,” the newspaper said, again citing unidentified officials.

    On October 20, The New York Times quoted an unidentified source as saying talks to end the war involved “extensive, face-to-face discussions with Taliban commanders.”

    On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported two senior Afghan officials believed the man was a “lowly shopkeeper” from Quetta, the Pakistan town where the Taliban leadership fled in late 2001.

    A flurry of often unsourced, or at best guardedly sourced, newspaper reports out of the United States and Europe last month sparked interest that high-level talks, sponsored by NATO, had been held between the Afghan government and Taliban leaders.

    However, senior Afghan, U.S. and NATO officials have since said the “talks” were little more than initial contacts between the two sides that have been going on for the past two years.

  • Anonymous

    “Secret” talks huh? Shhh….A political solution means, here’s a bunch of money, stop blowing things up.

  • Anonymous

    There is a Contradiction here:

    The Taliban do not want foreign troops in their Land and The Pentagon Keeps on Building Military Bases:


    Three $100 million air base expansions in southern and northern Afghanistan show how the Pentagon plans to continue building multimillion-dollar facilities in that country to support increased U.S. military operations well into the future.


  • Guest

    Can you spell O-I-L???

  • Anonymous

    Yep remember the reports well and the first thing I thought reading this was its an attempt to sow confusion amoung Taliban ranks so that they don’t know who to trust. Also would add that the Taliban is so fractured into different groups that no one leader would be able to speak on behalf of the whole.

    The main factions in the Taliban would be:

    The Haqqani Network who operate independently from the Taliban but are thought to be the biggest insurgent force in Afghanistan.

    The Shura Council is the offical Taliban military council based in Quetta with an entirely seperate operation from the other groups. Close to Pakistani intelligence.

    Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin thought to number in the low thousands. Hasn’t always been close with the Taliban due to being financed by Opium. Also was looking to make peace in March 2010 but seems to have come to nothing.

    Hezb-e-Islami split with the above group for unknown reasons. Wants to do away with tribes in favor of one Islamic state which puts them at odds with the traditionally tribal style of the Taliban.

    Those the four main groups in the Taliban add into that Al Qaeda and the Islamic Emirate groups like “The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan” as well as the criminal and warlord groups and you get a picture of the Taliban resistance (and that is just the traditional Taliban not the Pakistani Taliban).

    Basically if the US is making peace it would have to negotiate with all the groups which would be doubtful. Maybe the US just planning on making peace with one group to lower the numbers. Possibly Gulbuddin’s group since they are open to making peace and joining the government but they only have a few thousand and are mainly the drug dealer side of the Taliban.

  • Anonymous

    Direct talks with the Taliban? I thought that was Karzai’s job.

    The facts are they kicked the Russians butt and now they’re kicking ours.

    Get out of there, bring the soldiers out of that damn hell hole and stop forcing democracy down the throats of every foreign country who considers us invaders and occupiers.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Actually, in this particular case, I remember reading an obscure communique (typos and all) put out by the Taliban calling in the lie (I wish I could put my hand on it again). They essentially said that they were winning and had neither the intention nor the need to negotiate. I’ve been seeing this shit spread all over the corporate media now while alternate news sources are showing that they have even re-taken Marjah, after the carnage and destruction these bastards caused there. They want to save face by giving the appearance that the Taliban wanted to negotiate and blah blah blah, when the reality is that they’re losing miserably. The empire is in shambles. It went to Afghanistan to die – even if like every other arrogant empire before them, they thought it wouldn’t happen to them – and they will only get out in a coffin. Good riddance!

  • Anonymous

    That’s a tough one, but I can spell Natural Gas Pipeline.

  • http://skulzstudios.com/ don nash

    Huzzah! The Afghaniscam must almost be over. “Direct secret talks!” Oh yeah! Why on a clear morning and if’n you’re up the mountainside just about high enough, you can sort of almost see that finish line. “Mission Accomplished We’re So Close You Can Maybe Even Smell It.” Smells like bullshit too.
    I can remember when Henry the K had those “secret talks” with North Vietnam. Yeah, I am that old. History records how well that turned out. Cause you know, America “won” the Nam. Sure sure.
    Those “direct secret talks” would mean in diplo-speak, ‘hold your fire while we clear out and sorry about the mess’.

  • Anonymous


  • parrots_abound

    Afghani fighters will go and go forever. I thought this was OBVIOUS to the Government.

    Are we now admitting defeat and that we should pack up our crap and call it a day? If so, good, this was a mistake (farce) in the first place.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/RepublicConstitution?feature=mhum TruthRegimes

    LOL, I guess the Fox news’ world will now come to an end. http://republicconstitution.blogspot.com/

  • Anonymous

    Is this surprising? This is how real diplomacy gets done in the world: negotiation. Even with bad people. It’s not fun, it’s not pretty, but it is the real world. When we indiscriminately bomb various locales, that is the failure of the negotiation process. All of that “with us or against us” bullshit is for the children.

  • Anonymous

    Let me translate this foreign article:

    US is ready to pay off another extremist and medieval-like religious bigots in order to extort money somehow. let it be opium business or oil pipes or perhaps securing a base for the future strike against Iran. They couldn’t give a rat’s a$$ about human rights or what happens to the people living in the region or what sort of Frankenstein monster they are creating, which will of course turn against its master as history has shown it a countless times.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    You do realize that all of that is bullshit, right? It’s just psych ops so the US can save face caused they’re having their ass royally kicked by the Taliban. They did this same things a few months back and it turned out that they were being punked by some guy who stole money from them and laughed on their faces. The Taliban is winning big time, they have no reason to negotiate.

  • Johnny Warbucks
  • Johnny Warbucks
  • Johnny Warbucks

    Trust me, the ain’t gonna allow that to happen, look here:


  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/LEUDUVF5EGJZRZETF3KV53P7BQ Thomas

    Transcript of secret talks.

    USA: How much money do you want to stay where you are and keep destroying the middle east?

    Taliban: What do you mean “money”, you low life scumbags who will do anything for a dollar shoved up your asses? You will pay in gold. Now, get Glenn Beck to tell his followers to send in their gold for cash, you worthless whore.

    USA: Yes sir, anything you say,sir. Also, may the taxpayers pay your parking fee, sir?

  • http://twitter.com/G3nki_Sudo Vajid Ali

    America is a piece of shit, they force other nations like pakistan to avoid peace with the taliban yet they do the same

  • http://twitter.com/G3nki_Sudo Vajid Ali

    Clinton you fat ass stupid bitch there is NO Alqaeda amongst the taliban, stop lying..

  • Anonymous

    “The administration of President Barack Obama has entered into direct, secret talks with senior Afghan Taliban officials, according to The New Yorker magazine report.”

    How secret can these talks be if the New Yorker Magazine is reporting on them?

    Yeah Gen. Betrayus, we believed everything you and your shill buddies said about how well the US fight against terrorism is going. Yep, the US is winning alright. Would I be correct in calling you and them lying assholes?

    Oh, and great job President ASSHOLE on the surge. The Bush Surge didn’t work in Iraq, and yours ain’t working in Afghanistan, unless of course, you want to impress us on the number of Americans you got killed because of it.

    Ah huh, when it’s really going bad for US War policy the next move is to buy off the opposing side. How much money and aid are you going to promise to give the bad guys to stop their crap?

    Good luck on that President ASSHOLE. You should have kept your promise to get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gitmo.

  • Anonymous

    I am waiting for Osama Bin Laden to come out of his hiding place,White House basement.

  • Anonymous

    You figure that the Taliban are a bunch of wonderful humans, do you?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5Z4JRNXBCO4ZYSUY3WGC3S554I nathan

    they’ve been in direct talks for YEARRRRSS

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Who knows? Better yet, who cares? What some of us have figured out is that the US concocted and financed the Taliban. Another one of those little CIA initiatives gone awful wrong.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Actually, the conversation is slightly off. More like the US asking the Taliban how much they want to allow them to move from one point to another and how much so they don’t attack. Well known and document fact.


  • Johnny Warbucks

    Not really, it’s more like the US creating a smokescreen so they can retreat, saving face by claiming that the Taliban wanted a peace treaty and blah blah blah because they’re having their imperial ass royally kicked by the Taliban.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    As long as Rumsfield isn’t involved with these talks, we’re good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    Rumsfield is really, really sorry about the WMD thing, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    It worked in Iraq, didn’t it?

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Yes, he may have even shed a tear of regret just like Boner.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Naw, he’s busy promoting a book now which shows how he really, really didn’t know anything about the WMD (weapons of mass distraction).

  • Anonymous

    He died a long time ago.

    Listen to the former (and assassinated by the usual suspects) leader of Pakistan

    search youtube for the following:
    Benazir Bhutto: Bin Laden was Murdered

  • Anonymous

    ‘Afghanistan where Empires go to die” from Genghis Khan to the USSR. The Taliban has already turned down an American offer of power-sharing and demanded instead a written guarantee deadline for the coalition to pull out of Afghanistan. These direct talks is in all probability with another fake Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.

    So if this is classic divide to conquer 101 it has buckley’s chance of success since all the Taliban has to do is come down from the hills and set another resupply convoy of military equip. medical supplies, food etc on fire to get their message across and wait for it to sink in.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N6BJ56PKHQMYMIH3LYCOQC233I Sidd

    Remember when Bush used to say that “We don’t negotiate with terrorists” ? HaHa! Laughable…

  • Anonymous

    Not really. Things still go boom there.

  • grindermonkey

    Well it’s about time. The Taliban have out bombed, out murdered and out maneuvered the US financially for a long time. They are even better at corruption than we are. It’s about time that our bipartisan president should negotiate a surrender and withdrawal. That’s what bipartisanship is all about and always has – surrender. Just look at the results of bipartisanship domestically, the entire government has surrendered to private corporations and given them all the money. All we have left is to do is take to the streets as they have in an increasing number of middle Eastern countries and burn some tires. We elected a Roosevelt and we got Idi Amin Lite.

    “His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular.” -Idi Amin