Hundreds of Taliban Buy Their Freedom

Endemic Afghan bribery results in routine release of militants
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2008 12:50 PM CST
Amrullah Saleh, the head of Afghanistan's intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security. American and Afghan sources both attest that endemic corruption is letting hundreds of Taliban go...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of Taliban are buying their way out of jail every year, bribing police, judges, and wardens to return to the fields and streets of Afghanistan to fight again. Despite denials from the government, American and Afghan sources—and the Taliban itself—attest to the growing trend. Newsweek reports from one of the poorest countries in the world, where the quick money is irresistible.

One Taliban officer was arrested on terrorism charges, paraded on television, and handed over to the Afghan government's shady National Directorate of Security, which allegedly tortures prisoners and receives no more cooperation from the coalition. But after 3 days, the detainee's cousin arranged a visit, and less than 2 months later he was free. The price: $1,100 in bribes.