Top of the Morning: A Taliban Prisoner Release from Gitmo? Discouraging Signs of Sectarian Rift in Iraq

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A Taliban Prisoner Release from Gitmo?  

Reuters has the scoop on secret negotiations between the United States and Taliban — talks that have apparently reached a ‘critical juncture.’ “As part of the accelerating, high-stakes diplomacy, Reuters has learned, the United States is considering the transfer of an unspecified number of Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay military prison into Afghan government custody. It has asked representatives of the Taliban to match that confidence-building measure with some of their own. Those could include a denunciation of international terrorism and a public willingness to enter formal political talks with the government headed by Afghan President Hamid Karzai.” (Reuters

Discouraging: Iraqi Government Issues Arrest Warrant for Sunni VP

With the last American troop off Iraqi soil it looks like sectarian tensions are starting to boil over. On Monday, the Shi’Ite led Iraqi government leveled some improbable charges against vice president Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni, whom it accused of running a hit squad operation. “The move against the country’s highest-ranking Sunni official marked a sharp escalation in sectarian tensions, raising fears of a resurgence of large-scale bloodshed. Although many Iraqis welcomed the American withdrawal, ending the nine-year U.S. war, there are also considerable fears here that violence will worsen. “Iraq is slipping into its worst nightmares now, and Iraqi people will pay a high price because of the struggle among political blocs after the pullout of U.S. troops,” said Baghdad-based political analyst Kadhum al-Muqdadi, a Shiite. (ABC