Afghan War Crime Covered Up…Literally

Monday, December 15, 2008
Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum

Tom Lasseter, writing for the McClatchy Newspapers, reports, “Seven years ago, a convoy of container trucks rumbled across northern Afghanistan loaded with a human cargo of suspected Taliban and al Qaida members who'd surrendered to Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, an Afghan warlord and a key U.S. ally in ousting the Taliban regime. When the trucks arrived at a prison in the town of Sheberghan, near Dostum's headquarters, they were filled with corpses. Most of the prisoners had suffocated, and others had been killed by bullets that Dostum's militiamen had fired into the metal containers. Dostum's men hauled the bodies into the nearby desert and buried them in mass graves, according to Afghan human rights officials. By some estimates, 2,000 men were buried there.”

U.S. special forces and the CIA were working with Dostum at the time, and it is hard to imagine that they didn’t know about the massacre. In fact, researchers for Physicians for Human Rights discovered the mass grave in January 2002. Presumably, Americans are not supposed to care about this crime because a) it happened seven years ago, b) the 9/11 attacks had just happened and c) no Americans were involved in the actual killings.
But sometimes, saying nothing can come back to haunt you. Early in 2008, Dostum’s forces came back, dug up the mass graves and dumped the remaining bones in a nearby river. Again, U.S. and United Nations authorities said nothing. Now the word is out and demands for an investigation are growing
Afghanistan Mass Graves: The Dasht-e-Leili War Crimes Investigation (by Ben Greenberg, Physicians for Human Rights)


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