The U.S. Embassy in Kabul this week said it would cut off aid and called back staff working at an Afghan government media center after a press conference held there that criticized foreign troops over civilian casualties, center officials said Wednesday.
Ezatullah Safi, deputy director of the Afghan Government Media and Information Center, said it was told after the press conference that the embassy would review its aid to the center.
An Afghan fact-finding team appointed by President Hamid Karzai on Saturday blamed NATO-led troops for what it said was the unnecessary killing of dozens of civilians. The press conference the team held at the center criticized foreign forces as “brutal.”
But U.S. Embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall denied that the U.S. moves were linked to the criticism.
“This decision to begin the transition was under consideration and happened to coincide with the press conference,” Sundwall said.
Just watch. If the administration has time, this will become the flashpoint issue, the excuse, for full withdrawal from Afghanistan, just as legal immunity was for Iraq. There are negotiations that can be made, and could have been made in the former case, but they won’t be, because this is the cover, the excuse, that will be used.