The New York Times has a story.

U.S. Special Forces in Arghandab, near Kandahar, have taken to wearing black Taliban turbans.

But out in the Arghandab Valley of Kandahar Province, one of the most volatile regions in the country, locals talk about a different breed of American Special Operations forces who settled in around 2005. They are said to drive civilian vehicles, wear local clothes, speak good Pashto – and yes, sport thick beards.

They are so good at blending in that the locals have taken to calling them “Spin Taliban” – Pashto for White Taliban – because of their resemblance to the actual Afghan Taliban, including the trademark black, puffy turbans.

I first heard about the White Taliban from an Arghandabi relative who was visiting my family in Kabul. He told me about a day he was out working in his pomegranate orchard and mistook one of the bearded Americans for an actual Talib.

“I saw one of them getting out of white Corolla, wearing white shalwar kameez and a black paj turban,” he told me.

Tales of ‘White Taliban’ Sketch a New Legend

It gets worse.

U.S. Special Forces are wearing Taliban getup in Wardak province too.

Wardak province as in, the place of the dumping of the multilated bodies in ditches, of people last seen being hauled off to a Special Forces base there.

Afghan officials have been unable to determine the complete function of the American base while it was operating, and believe that a C.I.A. team may have been responsible for Mr. Kandahari. Mr. Kandahari had been transferred to Nerkh from Camp Gecko in Kandahar, which is a C.I.A. substation.

Suspect in Torture Is Arrested in Afghanistan, New York Times

At the center of the Afghans’ accusations is an American Special Forces A Team that had been based in the Nerkh district until recently. An A Team is an elite unit of 12 American soldiers who work with extra resources that the military calls “enablers,” making it possible for the team to have the effect of a much larger unit. Those resources can include specialized equipment, air support and Afghan partner troops or interpreters. The American official said Mr. Kandahari had been an interpreter working for the team in the Nerkh district without pay in exchange for being allowed to live on the base.

Afghans Say an American Tortured Civilians, New York Times

Which story has some fucked up evil components to it, already.

Like the Afghan-American translator for the unit, who has been arrested by Afghanistan for torture, working under United Nations humanitarian mine clearing cover for his activities.

He was ostensibly part of a team of Afghans working for a mine-clearing aid group, which was a cover for paramilitary activity.

Suspect in Torture Is Arrested in Afghanistan, New York Times

How perfidious.

And then, really. U.S. Special Forces and Kandahari militias, wandering about Nerkh district, Wardak province, which has a Hazara mix to the population, in Taliban getup.

That is one fucked up evil thing.

Speaking of evil.

Zalmay Khalilzad has an editorial in the Washington Post.

Abdul Rabb al-Rasul Sayyaf, the leader of the Ittihad faction, speaking on television during Afghanistan’s constitutional loya jirga, December 2003.
Photograph of fucked up evil. Khalilzad, lurking left. Sayyaf, front and center.
That Zalmay Khalilzad (1/3 down).

And the editorial is banal as all hell.

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