Former Guantanamo Detainee Running For Office in Afghanistan

What do detainees do when they’ve been released from Guantanamo? Well, Izatullah Nusrat decided to run for office. What would it mean for Afghan-American relations if Nusrat wins? WGBH News reports:

Izatullah Nusrat, 42, was held at the U.S. facility in Guantanamo for nearly five years. Now he is back in Afghanistan and running for election to Parliament in the Sept. 18 election. Nusrat has harsh words for Americans, but he favors working with the current government over the Taliban and says he wants the fighting to stop.

So far, not many clear themes have emerged in the campaign for the Sept. 18 parliamentary elections.

But one candidate has an interesting distinction: He is the only former Guantanamo detainee running for office.

Anti-American, Anti-Karzai Sentiment

Campaigning is in full swing, but that’s not what is bringing people into the streets these days in Kabul. Anti-American sentiment is strong in Afghanistan, particularly among people outraged over recent incidents in which civilians have been injured and killed.

It’s a current many politicians might like to harness. And there may be no candidate better positioned than Izatullah Nusrat, a 42-year-old village elder from Sorobi, east of Kabul.

Nusrat says he used to believe the Americans were good people. But that was before U.S. soldiers arrested him and his 80-year-old father in March 2003 and sent them to the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“When they took me to the airplane, when they shaved my beard, I realized that Americans are the most cruel people in the world, and they’re very stupid. Someone whose crime is not proved, so you destroy his whole life. And in the world you claim that you are the protector of the human rights, and you’re doing such actions with a human being,” Nusrat says.

Continues at WGBH News

24 Comments on "Former Guantanamo Detainee Running For Office in Afghanistan"

  1. Hadrian999 | Aug 10, 2010 at 7:46 pm |

    his statements show he is no better than those who ruined his life,
    claiming all Americans are stupid and cruel because of the people that hurt him is no different
    than thinking all afghans are terrorists because of the Taliban, it's thinking like this that keeps the
    ugly game going.

    • A Bad Joke | Aug 10, 2010 at 8:31 pm |

      Yes, it is.

    • Gemmarama | Aug 11, 2010 at 3:30 am |

      yeah it's hard to imagine feeling any differently if you were in his shoes though.

      • Hadrian999 | Aug 11, 2010 at 3:50 am |

        I'm all for sticking it to the people responsible but this mindless
        unfocused vindictiveness on both sides only serves the cynical
        bastards behind the scenes making fortunes playing us all off one another.
        it would be nice to think some of us will stop falling for the game at some point.

        • Gemmarama | Aug 11, 2010 at 7:51 am |

          well exactly, that's the whole point isn't it. it's all a game to divide us and play us off each other. once again i must refer folks to the genius of adam curtis:

          i say fuck it all, let's just pick an island and colonise it, start all over again and leave these bastards to their mutually assured destruction. who's with me?

          • I am. But I wan't to be president, OK?

          • Gemmarama | Aug 12, 2010 at 3:19 am |

            we can take turns. 😉

          • Hadrian999 | Aug 12, 2010 at 4:50 am |

            I think a constitutional monarchy is the way to go.

          • Gemmarama | Aug 12, 2010 at 7:02 am |

            well i'm open to suggestions… my friends and i were thinking the isle of bute, just off the west coast of scotland, near glasgow. it's beautiful and lush (gulf stream), plus we (the monarchs/presidents) can live here:


            built by the third marquess of bute (a prominent occultist, regarded as demonic by the presbyterian islanders) at the end of the 19th century, it was the first house in the UK to have electric lighting and even an indoor swimming pool in the basement. the interior is ornate with occult imagery. rothesay, the main town, is full of fading victorian seaside splendour. plus it's now populated mainly by pensioners, so give it a decade or so and the place will be fucking empty anyway…

            i love it when a plan comes together.

      • Connie Dobbs | Aug 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm |

        We are. Al Qaeda started this war (this one, not the other one), supported by the taliban, but *some* of us don't lump all Afghanis together as terrorists. I say some, because there are a lot of idiots out there screaming “terrorist” at anyone with a deep tan and accent. To be fair to him, though, he's mostly right. We have a lot of idiots here. See “ground-zero mosque” (which is neither at ground zero, nor a mosque) controversy for details.

        • Gemmarama | Aug 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm |

          there's no such thing as “al-qaeda”. watch the documentary i've posted a link to below. it'll only take up an hour of your time.

          • Connie Dobbs | Aug 11, 2010 at 3:36 pm |

            Sum up, bitch, this is the internet not a fuckin library. What is your conspiracy point du jour? Is it that the mujahideen don't actually exist, or that they're called something besides al qaeda? If it's a “name” thing, then who gives a fuck. If it's about the organizational abilities of the organization to which our media and government label “al qaeda” (i.e. are they a loose group like the LVF or a full blown Cobra-style paramilitary force), also – who gives a fuck. I hate when people argue semantics. There are people who are pissed off because we keep killing them. Those people in turn have collected into loose confederations in order to fight back. Those loosely affiliated groups are what I am referring to. Sorry if that doesn't suffice. BTW, while I don't condone “al qaeda”, I absolutely understand their anger (i.e. I don't buy the line from washington, or time magazine. The way I see it, that girl on the cover got a free nose job and an easy divorce – not to mention a free trip out of a warzone)

            And is your documentary as bad as GI Joe? Cuz if so, never gonna watch.

          • Gemmarama | Aug 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |

            sorry, i stopped reading at “bitch”…

          • Connie Dobbs | Aug 12, 2010 at 9:10 am |

            I'll sum up – I don't give a shit about your wacky semantic conspiracy theory.

          • Gemmarama | Aug 12, 2010 at 11:11 am |

            sorry im unwilling to reduce complicated issues into easily-digested soundbites for you.

            sorry you need to sink to using misogynistic language against someone you don't even know.

            educate yourself.

          • Connie Dobbs | Aug 12, 2010 at 11:55 am |

            misogynistic? ummmm…. ok, fine. I suppose today is the day a bitch can't call a bitch a bitch. So much for feminism.

            But anyway, glad to see you're willing to just ignore it. Honestly, just like your conspiracy theory, I don't care about the subject at all. There are much more interesting things to educate myself about that have an actual impact in the world and my own life. If you want to be “spread your gospel”, you should probably learn the whole “soundbite” skill. You don't even need to dumb it down, I'm plenty smart enough. But until I (and others who'd rather not waste an hour watching some poorly edited can master the whole “watching at near absolute zero so the effects of time dilation make an hour last 2 minutes”, you're SOL for spreading your word. ESPECIALLY since I agree with the synopsis from and pretty much everything you've said that I've read here on disinfo. Yeah, so your loss, not mine. I already have a new project – converting all of my friends' masses to hella-electron volts. It's fun! Much more fun than being reminded again that the american right wing and muslim extremists are peas in a pod. Been there, done that, it's illegal to kill them first.

          • Gemmarama | Aug 12, 2010 at 2:19 pm |

            yeah, exactly. so i don't know where the aggression came from. personally i think it's an awesome film, but there you go. truce?

          • Connie Dobbs | Aug 12, 2010 at 3:18 pm |

            I'm moody, but it's better than being pregnant.

          • Gemmarama | Aug 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm |

            i hear ya.

  2. This article omits any mention of WHY Izatullah Nusrat was held for 5 years, withholding relevant information from the reader. Shoddy journalism.

    He was in custody because “Izatullah Nusrat said the weapons [over 700 weapons, including bazooka-type rockets] were in another part of the compound where he lived, and that the Afghan government paid him and 50 other men to guard them.” So, he was guarding weapons the Taliban were using against American soldiers.

    Whatever your opinions about the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Izatullah Nusrat was not a neutral peasant accidentally caught up in the fog of war. He was an active participant.

    Read more:

    • Hadrian999 | Aug 11, 2010 at 8:44 am |

      working for the government of your home country is now a terrorist offense?
      that makes as much sense as charging that kid with murder for fighting against a foreign invasion,
      some of this crap is just silly.

      • Connie Dobbs | Aug 11, 2010 at 12:28 pm |

        LOL yeah, it is if you're stupid. Unlike in America, whose “founding fathers” and “minutemen” waged a guerrilla war against an “oppresive government”.

        So can we spay people who don't understand perspective yet? Is that legal?

    • If armed forces invaded the US, killing its citizens as well as its soldiers, would you wish to fight back in any way possible? Would you help your government fight back maybe by guarding weopons?

      If so you deserve to be tortured for five years. And when you are finally free you may not say anything bad about your torturers.

  3. Gemmarama | Aug 12, 2010 at 8:35 pm |

    i hear ya.

Comments are closed.