Afghanistan: Cleared of Wrongdoing
|by Sarah Meyer|
Mr Nawab Buntangyar's murder in Afghanistan was brought to my attention through an article by Robert Parry, George Bush’s Thug Nation. “According to evidence emerging from a military court hearing at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, US Special Forces are empowered to kill individuals who have been designated “enemy combatants,” even if they are unarmed and present no visible threat.
The hearing involves two Special Forces soldiers who took part in the cold-blooded execution of an Afghani who was suspected of leading an insurgent group. Though the Afghani, identified as Nawab Buntangyar, responded to questions and offered no resistance when encountered on Oct. 13, 2006, he was shot dead by Master Sgt. Troy Anderson on orders from his superior officer, Capt. Dave Staffel.
Mr Parry then continues the story of Mr. Buntangyar's murder.
Parry then notes: “However, the greater significance of the case is its confirmation that the US chain of command, presumably up to President Bush, has approved standing orders that allow the US military to assassinate suspected militants on sight.
In effect, these orders have reestablished what was known during the Vietnam War as Operation Phoenix, a program that assassinated Vietcong cadre, including suspected communist political allies. “
Here are more stories on “legal sparring’ in the NY Times.
Green Berets Face Hearing on Killing of Suspect in Afghan Village
17.09.07. P. von Zielbauer, NY Times.
Green Beret Hearing Focuses on How Charges Came About
18.09.07. P. von Zielbauer, NY Times. “The admission was one of a few unusual moments in a hearing that cracks open a window onto some of the most secret Special Operations tactics in Afghanistan, including the hunting and killing of people designated as enemy combatants.
The hearing is meant to determine whether there is enough evidence to convene a court-martial for Capt. Dave Staffel and Master Sgt. Troy Anderson, the two Green Berets accused of killing a man the Army considered an “enemy combatant.
It is unusual for an enlisted soldier to formally accuse other soldiers of crimes, particularly soldiers of higher rank. It is rarer still for a military lawyer in a criminal inquiry to request or order a subordinate with no firsthand knowledge of any wrongdoing to allege a crime formally.”
Mr. Von Zielbauer’s story becomes more complex and interesting and is worth reading.
Hearing in Killing of Afghan Puts Army War Effort on Trial
19.09.07. P. von Zielbauer, NY Times / anti-war. From the beginning of the proceeding, Col. Kevin A. Christie, the presiding officer, seemed pressed to figure out why a military lawyer pursued murder charges after an Army investigation cleared the two soldiers of wrongdoing when they killed Mr. Buntangyar, who as a designated enemy combatant was subject to attack under the Special Forces’ classified rules of engagement. … But the focus of the hearing frequently shifted from the soldiers’ actions and toward the Army’s decision to bring charges against them. It also shifted to the effect on the Afghan people of Special Forces soldiers being allowed to kill some Afghan fighters more or less on sight.
There is always, in a civilian murder case , the Hot Air / Bad Taste / Rah Rah John Wayne Department rustling in from the right.
Case result? Special Forces soldiers cleared in Afghan killing (28.09.07. H. Cuningham, fay observer)
Meanwhile, as with so many war murders by Americans - including 'friendly fire' incidents - the procedures are more important than the person. Mr. Nawab Buntangyar’s death disappears - along with many others - into murky shadows.
The Human Cost - Civilian Casualties in Iraq & Afghanistan
03.09.07. American Civil Liberties Union. Since U.S. troops first set foot in Afghanistan in 2001, the Defense Department has gone to significant lengths to control and suppress information about the human cost of war. It banned photographers on U.S. military bases from covering the arrival of caskets containing the remains of soldiers killed overseas. It paid Iraqi journalists to write positive accounts of the U.S. war effort. It invited U.S. journalists to "embed" with military units but required them to submit their stories to the military for pre-publication review; according to some reports, the policy was meant to co-opt the embedded journalists and make independent and objective reporting more difficult. It has erased journalists' footage of civilian deaths in Afghanistan . And it has refused to disclose statistics on civilian casualties. "We don't do body counts," General Tommy Franks has said.
Afghan civilians again killed in airstrike
20.09.07. earthtimes. Kabul - A number of civilians were killed in an International Security Assistance Force airstrike in southern Afghanistan, the NATO-led force reported in a statement Thursday. According to the statement, the civilians were killed on Wednesday in operations to clear militants from the Islamist extremist Taliban out of an area in Helmand province.
Six Afghan civilians killed in air strike: governor
22.09.07. AFP / ICH. NATO warplanes killed six Afghan civilians, most of them women and children, in an air strike during a battle with Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan, a district governor told AFP.
Rebels, 2 children killed in Afghanistan clashes
?.09.07. AFP/pakistantimes. Two Afghan children were killed when a stray rocket hit their home late on Saturday near a military base used by the US-led coalition in the troubled eastern province of Kunar, a local spokesman said.
Poll: Civilian death toll in Iraq may top 1 million
14.09.07. LA Times. A British survey offers the highest estimate to date
US troops fire on Afghan civilians
all Index on Afghanistan monthly research articles, to be seen on sidebar of Index Research . Particularly Murder in Nangahar
Sarah Meyer is a researcher living in the UK.
The url to Afghanistan: Cleared of Wrongdoing is: http://indexresearch.blogspot.com/2007/09/afghanistan-cleared-of-wrongdoing.html
Shorter url: http://tinyurl.com/ywru7x
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
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