US ‘Pauses’ Detainee Handover in Bagram Over Fear Afghans May Give Them Trials

Karzai: Celebration for Transfer Completion Will Continue

What was already going to be a “partial” handover of the Bagram prison in Afghanistan to the Karzai government has gotten even moreso, as the Obama Administration has ‘paused‘ the handover with several dozen detainees left to go.

The pause came, according to officials, because of “concern” that the Karzai government wouldn’t comply with the restrictions of a memorandum of understanding about the detainees, particularly a US demand that they never be given a trial of any sort under any circumstances.

The issue reportedly sparked an argument between President Karzai and Gen. John Allen, the top commander of the occupation forces. Karzai was reportedly averse to slowing the transfer, calling it a “breach of Afghan national sovereignty.”

But that’s no reason to ruin a perfectly good party. Karzai didn’t discuss the reported blow-up with Allen but his office did say that the “transfer ceremony” and accompanying celebration was going to be “splendid” and that they would under no circumstances cancel or delay it just because the transfer never actually took place.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of