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U.S. Officials: American Detainee in Afghanistan Providing - 2001-12-09


U-S officials say an American captured with pro-Taleban forces in Afghanistan is providing helpful information and is being accorded all the rights of a prisoner of war.

The top U-S military officer, General Richard Myers, told Fox television that the 20-year-old detainee, John Walker, has given some useful information to his interrogators.

General Myers said Mr. Walker is being held at the U-S Marine base (Fort Rhino) near the southern Afghan city of Kandahar and is being treated as a battlefield detainee.

On another program (NBC), Vice President Dick Cheney said U-S civilian authorities will eventually determine whether Mr. Walker will face criminal prosecution.

Mr. Cheney said he has trouble understanding why an American would fight in Afghanistan on behalf of the Taleban and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network.

Some members of the U-S Congress are calling for Mr. Walker to be prosecuted and sent to prison. Republican Senator Trent Lott said he believes at a minimum Mr. Walker should be imprisoned and that the detainee appears to be a traitor.

Mr. Walker was found among captured al-Qaida guerrilla fighters who survived a bloody prison uprising near the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif last month.

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