Obama Admin: No Grounds To Probe Afghan War Crimes
2009-07-11 0:00

By Lara Jakes | HuffingtonPost.com

Obama administration officials said Friday they had no grounds to investigate the 2001 deaths of Taliban prisoners of war who human rights groups allege were killed by U.S.-backed forces.

The mass deaths were brought up anew Friday in a report by The New York Times on its Web site. It quoted government and human rights officials accusing the Bush administration of failing to investigate the executions of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of prisoners.

U.S. officials said Friday they did not have legal grounds to investigate the deaths because only foreigners were involved and the alleged killings occurred in a foreign country.

The Times cited U.S. military and CIA ties to Afghan Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, whom human rights groups accuse of ordering the killings. The newspaper said the Defense Department and FBI never fully investigated the incident.

Asked about the report, Marine Corps Col. David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said that since U.S. military forces were not involved in the killings, there is nothing the Defense Department could investigate.

"There is no indication that U.S. military forces were there, or involved, or had any knowledge of this," Lapan said. "So there was not a full investigation conducted because there was no evidence that there was anything from a DoD (Department of Defense) perspective to investigate."

A Justice Department official said the FBI had no jurisdiction to investigate. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Separately, Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller declined to comment.

A spokesman for former President George W. Bush did not have an immediate comment Friday night.

Reacting to the Times' report, human rights group Physicians for Human Rights called for the Justice Department to begin a criminal investigation into whether the Bush administration blocked inquiries into the Taliban deaths.

"For U.S. government officials to claim that there is no legal basis to investigate this well-documented mass atrocity is absurd," said the groups deputy director, Susannah Sirkin.

The allegations date back to November 2001, when as many as 2,000 Taliban prisoners died in transit after surrendering during one of the regime's last stands, according to a State Department report from 2002.

Witnesses have claimed that forces with the U.S.-allied Northern Alliance placed the prisoners in sealed cargo containers over the two-day voyage to Sheberghan Prison, suffocating them and then burying them en masse using bulldozers to move the bodies, according to the State Department report. Some Northern Alliance soldiers have said that some of their troops opened fire on the containers, killing those within.

Dostum, the Northern Alliance general who is accused of overseeing the atrocities, has previously denied the allegations.

A former U.S. ambassador for war crimes issues, Pierre Prosper, told the Times that the Bush administration was reluctant to investigate the deaths, even though Dostum was on the payroll of the CIA and his soldiers worked with U.S. special forces in 2001.

Dostum was suspended from his military post last year on suspicion of threatening a political rival, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently rehired him, the Times reported.



Article from: HuffingtonPost.com



Related Articles
New Revelations Compel Obama and Congress to Prosecute Bush and Aides for War Crimes
McClellans Missile: Media Crimes As War Crimes
U.S. reverses Afghan drug policy
Pentagon admits "problems" with Afghan air strike
More Than 17,000 Troops Headed to Afghanistan
US and NATO protecting Afghan drug trade
GLARE Non-Lethal Green Laser in Afghanistan (Video)
Germany-Afghan istan-ISAF/WRD ISAF used Afghan children to detect land-mines: ex-German soldier
Airstrikes kill scores of Afghan civilians: officials


Latest News from our Front Page

Professor: Reason Itself Is A White Male Construct
2015-07-04 3:55
A philosophy and religion professor at Syracuse University gave an interview to The New York Times Thursday in which he critiqued the notion of pure reason as simply being a “white male Euro-Christian construction.” Prof. John Caputo was being interviewed by fellow philosophy professor George Yancy for the 13th installment of an interview series Yancy conducts with philosophers regarding racial topics. Given its emphasis on first principles ...
The Broken Window Fallacy
2015-07-04 3:48
Youtube description: This short video explains one of the most persistent economic fallacies of our day. Source: youtube.com
Jenji Kohan and the Jewish Hyper-Sexualization of Western Culture
2015-07-04 3:33
As detailed in The Culture of Critique, Freud and his followers regarded anti-Semitism was a universal pathology which had its roots in sexual repression. The theoretical basis for this can be found in Freud’s Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality where he linked aggression to the frustration of human drives — especially the sex drive. Kevin MacDonald notes that: ...
Confederate History - Dispelling the Myths
2015-07-03 3:28
History books, the media, the school systems, etc abound in falsehoods and inaccuracies of Confederate and Southern history. This fact sheet will help to clarify and dispell some of these rampant inaccuracies. MYTH - The War of 1861 - 1865 was fought over slavery. FACT - Terribly untrue. The North fought the war over money. Plain ...
Gays Rights May Open Door for Pedophile Rights
2015-07-03 3:31
Democrats have attempted to normalize pedophilia as a sexual orientation. A recent Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage may soon allow pedophiles to argue they are suffering discrimination. “Using the same tactics used by ‘gay’ rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals,” writes Jack Minor ...
More News »