initially claiming that two pregnant women and a teenage girl killed
in a US Special Forces raid on an Afghan home in Khataba in February
had been discovered bound and slain by the Americans, the US military
has admitted that they were actually shot and killed by those US
then tried to cover up their "mistake" by carving the bullets out
of the bodies with knives, removing other incriminating bullets from
the compound's walls, and then washing away the bloody evidence with
this new grisly version of the story issued from the US command in
it was a case of the Special Forces Unit lying to superiors about what
had transpired in their botched raid, which also killed an Afghan police
commander and a government prosecutor.
only reason we know all this today is because of the intrepid digging
by a relentless reporter from the Times of London, Jerome
who, unlike the hacks in Kabul passing themselves off as journalists
from American news organizations, didn't just accept the press release
on the incident put out by Gen. Stanley McChrystal's office, but instead
did his own investigation, talking to Afghan and UN investigators, as
well as local people where the incident happened.
his efforts at getting to the truth, Starkey was attacked by the US
military, accused of lying and misrepresenting US statements.
that Starkey has been fully vindicated, there has been no apology from
McChrystal's office, or from the military public relations operation.
Nor have US reporters and editors, who left Starkey undefended while
his credibility was being attacked by the US, said anything about his
role in bringing the truth to light.
New York Times, in an article today by Richard A. Oppel, Jr.,
Kabul, said that the US military, "after initially denying involvement
in any cover-up in the deaths," had "admitted that its forces had
killed the women during the nighttime raid."
The paper also credited the Times of London (without mentioning
Starkey), with, a day before the military's about face, disclosing
that American forces on the scene had "dug bullets out of their victims'
bodies in the bloody aftermath" and then "washed the wounds with
alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened."
the paper didn't mention is that Starkey had broken the story weeks
earlier, only have his expose'ignored by the US media, which allowed
him to be slandered by the American military.
story is not over yet, either.
US military, incredibly, is still claiming that despite an official
investigation by US/NATO personnel into the incident, "Nothing pointed
conclusively to the fact that our guys were the ones who tampered with
the scene." As Oppel demurely observed, "However, given that Special
Operations forces killed the women, it was not clear why anyone else
would have a motivation to remove bullets from the bodies or tamper
with evidence at the scene."
would appear that a cover-up is still underway.
has been no talk of bring charges against the Special Forces personnel
who committed these killings and who then sought to cover up their
or those who were with them who allowed this crime to be committed and
didn't report it.
is worth pointing out that Gen. McChrystal's background is running
Special Forces operations. He ran a major death squad operation in Iraq
before being put in charge of the Afghan War, and was widely reported
to be planning to repeat that tactic in Afghanistan. This particular
night raid, on what was thought to be a Taliban household, but which
turned out to be a party for the naming of a new baby boy, was almost
certainly part of just such a mission.
point to be taken from this ugly window on American operations in
is that far from being an aberration, this is precisely how the war
is being fought. Had this raid not been based on bad information, so
that instead of killing a police officer and a prosecutor, the Special
Forces hit-men had actually taken out a Taliban fighter or two, the
fact that they also slaughtered a few pregnant women and a girl would
have gone unnoticed and unremarked. In fact, the Special Forces killers
wouldn't have even bothered to try to cover up their handiwork by
digging knives into the victims' bodies to gouge out their bullets.
can safely assume that this kind of thing is going on all over
Welcome to Obama's War.