This would only be more audacious if they dressed up someone as a giant nail file and had him walk into the prison untouched:

The Taliban staged an audacious prison break here early Monday, freeing at least 476 political prisoners through a long tunnel, according to the warden, Gen. Ghulam Dastagir Mayar.

He said that security authorities had discovered in the morning that the prisoners from the political wing of the building were gone, and that the authorities had just found the tunnel. “We do not know if the tunnel was dug from outside or inside the prison,” he said.

The Kandahar prison is the largest and most substantial prison in southern Afghanistan, and it houses Taliban who were captured in Zabul, Oruzgan and Kandahar, including some senior Taliban figures as well as many lower level Taliban, according to security officers working with the prison.

Just as sadly, this isn’t the biggest prison break in Afghanistan in the last few years, in fact not by a long shot. 1,200 prisoners, including 350 Taliban, escaped from the same prison in 2008.

This happened in Kandahar, the city that was supposed to witness a rebirth after a NATO clear, hold and build operation last year. US officials insist that they are winning the fight and that the Taliban is weakened, but not weakened enough to stop them from building a giant, 360-meter tunnel and breaking 500-odd prisoners out in the middle of Kandahar. And the Taliban sent out word of the prison break BEFORE the prison security discovered it. In fact, the whole operation took four and a half hours overnight and security never saw anything until morning.

After the more blunt prison break in 2008, where the Taliban just blew open a wall, the US provided training and funding to increase security measures. Not enough to stop a 360-meter tunnel or anything, but what can you do.

It’s called winning.