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General News    H2'ed 4/1/12

U.S. obstruction of Afghan massacre investigation alleged

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US officials still insist that only one soldier was involved in the shootings. They showed their Afghan counterparts images captured by a surveillance camera on a blimp above the base, which allegedly shows Bales returning after the shooting. But the investigators, for some reason, withheld the surveillance video from Bales' lawyer.

 

An independent Afghan investigation team sent by President Hamid Karzai to the villages in Kandahar analyzed reports from witnesses and survivors who claimed more than one U.S. soldier was involved and concluded that up to 20 troops were involved.

 

The Afghan report firmly stated that "one soldier cannot kill so many people in two villages within one hour at the same time." President Hamid Karzai, who also said that the delegation "did not receive cooperation from the USA regarding the surrender of the US soldiers to the Afghan government," seemed to share the same suspicions.

 

A journalist for SBS Dateline in Australia, Yalda Hakim, provides yet another account. Hakim was born in Afghanistan and as a child, immigrated to Australia. Hakim also said American investigators tried to prevent her from interviewing the children, saying her questions could traumatize them.

 

After appealing to village leaders, interviews were arranged. Hakim and cameraman Ryan Sheridan were granted rare access to President Hamid Karzai's chief investigator, to survivors and their relatives, and to the area where the attacks took place. She is, perhaps, the first international journalist to interview the surviving witnesses.

 

In a video aired by SBS Dateline, children who witnessed the events told Hakim that other Americans were present during the massacre, holding flashlights in the yard. "One man entered the room and the others were standing in the yard, holding lights," an eight year-old named Noorbinak told Hakim. (Note: Above link is to original video, embedded video to left was found on You Tube).

 

Noorbinak says in the video that the shooter first shot her father's dog. Then she says he shot her father in the foot and dragged her mother by the hair. When her father started screaming, he shot her father again. Then he turned the gun on Noorbinak and shot her in the leg. 

 

A brother of one victim told Hakim that his brother's children mentioned more than one soldier wearing a headlamp. They also had lights at the end of their guns, he said. "They don't know whether there were 15 or 20, however many there were," he said in the video.

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Gregory Patin is a free-lance writer residing in Madison, WI. He earned a BA in political science from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a MS in IT management from Colorado Tech. He is politically independent and not affiliated with either (more...)
 
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