Huffpost Politics

Reporter Matthieu Aikins Crafts Powerful Twitter Essay On U.S. Complicity In Afghanistan Torture

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ABDUL RAZIQ
U.S. Lt. Col. William Clark, second from left, talks with Gen. Abdul Raziq, the border police commander for southern Afghanistan, during a joint patrol along the border with Pakistan, on the outskirts of Spin Boldak, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 7, 2009. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) | ASSOCIATED PRESS

Few words are necessary when the facts speak for themselves. So when Afghanistan reporter Matthieu Aikins saw the recent New York Times report of a 23-year-old plumber allegedly tortured to death by Kandahar police, he took to Twitter.

Aikins, author of an earlier expose on revenge executions and gruesome torture methods under Kandahar police chief and warlord Abdul Raziq, crafted a Twitter "essay" reprising the larger story at play.

"I thought it would be an appropriate way to let people know about the long history of these killings, along with the context of U.S. support that has enabled them," Aikins told The WorldPost via email.

Aikins' 2011 story detailed a pattern of abuse surrounding Abdul Raziq as the young commander rose the ranks of power in southern Afghanistan, supported by the U.S. army and Afghan government because of his fight against the Taliban.

Aikins said Wednesday that Raziq's career has continued unchecked because of his "usefulness" to the Afghan government, the U.S. military, and the CIA. "They refer to him as a single, critical point of failure, meaning that his death would cause the entire situation in the south to unravel."

Aikins also critiqued some U.S. media for "mealy-mouthed reporting" of Raziq's abuses. "Referring to documented torture and abuse as 'somewhat unorthodox methods' allows it to persist unchallenged," he explained.

Read Matthieu Aikins' Twitter "essay" on Abdul Raziq below and follow his reporting from Afghanistan on his website.