Have you heard the charge that U.S. and coalition members are responsible for the deaths of 2000 Afghan prisoners of war, murdering and burying them in a mass grave in 2001? Obama, of course, is investigating.
The President has asked his national security team for a full accounting, saying:
I think that, you know, there are responsibilities that all nations have even in war,” Obama said during an interview at the end of a six-day trip to Russia, Italy and Ghana.
And if it appears that our conduct in some way supported violations of the laws of war, then I think that, you know, we have to know about that.
Yet again he vacillates.
The president’s comments seem to reverse officials’ statements from Friday, when they said 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.
Does he or does he not have legal grounds to get into this?
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 charge is that 2000 Taliban surrendered in November 2001. Witnesses said Northern Alliance forces put the prisoners in sealed cargo containers. The Taliban suffocated. They were buried in a mass grave. Other reports said Northern Alliance soldiers fired into the containers killing some. The Northern Alliance general, Abdul Rashid Dostum, accused of ordering and overseeing the “atrocities” has denied the charges.
God help our soldiers if they are dependent on Afghan military and human rights workers for judgement.