The book on Khairkhwa is even more disturbing. During Khairkhwa’s habeas proceedings, according to Judge Urbina’s decision, the U.S. government “raised a host of additional allegations against [Khairkhwa], including allegations that the petitioner had ties to Usama bin Ladin, harbored al Qaida operatives in Herat during his tenure as Governor of Herat and commanded a Taliban garrison at Mazar-e-Sharif during Operation Enduring Freedom.” The court did not address these allegations because other evidence was “sufficient to establish the lawfulness of [Khairkhwa’s] detention.”
As THE WEEKLY STANDARD has reported, the allegations of Khairkhwa’s ties to bin Laden and al Qaeda are contained in the declassified and leaked files authored by Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO). The fact that the government introduced these allegations into evidence during Khairkhwa’s habeas proceedings demonstrates that the Obama administration still believes this evidence to be true. That is, the Obama administration still believes that Khairkhwa was tied to al Qaeda’s most senior leader.
In any event, there is no material dispute over Khairkhwa’s importance, regardless of the tales some are now spinning.
According to Judge Urbina’s ruling, Kharikhwa “rose to the highest level of the Taliban and had close ties to Mullah Omar, who repeatedly appointed [Kharikwha] to sensitive, high-profile positions.” Even “after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, [Khairkhwa] remained within Mullah Omar’s inner circle, despite the fact that Mullah Omar had limited his contacts to only his most trusted commanders.”