Afghan Doctor Slaughter Pulls Back Curtain

The apparent U.S. slaughter of at least 22 people at an Afghan hospital, including Doctors Without Borders medical staff, is part of the grim reality of indiscriminate death when U.S. Special Forces undertake their secret raids and often toss aside the rules of warfare, reports Nicolas J S Davies.

By Nicolas J S Davies

On Dec. 26, 2009, a U.S. Special Operations team flew from Kabul to Ghazi Khan village in the Narang district of Kunar province. They attacked three houses, where they killed two adults and eight children. Seven of the children were handcuffed before they were shot. The youngest was 11 or 12, three more were 12, and one was 15. Both the United Nations and the Afghan government conducted investigations and confirmed all the details of the attack.

U.S. officials conducted their own inquiry, but no report was published and no U.S. military or civilian officials were held accountable. Finally, more than five years later, a New York Times report on Joint Special Operations Command’s (JSOC) Seal Team 6 named it as the U.S. force involved. But JSOC operations are officially secret and, to all practical purposes, immune from accountability. As a senior U.S. officer told the Times, “JSOC investigates JSOC, that’s part of the problem.”

Seen through a night-vision device, U.S. Marines conduct a combat logistics patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 21, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz)

Seen through a night-vision device, U.S. Marines conduct a combat logistics patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 21, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Anthony L. Ortiz)

Accountability for the U.S. attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz on Saturday, killing at least 22 people, is likely to be just as elusive. The bilateral security agreement that President Karzai refused to sign, but which President Ghani signed in September 2014, provides total immunity from Afghan law for U.S. forces and officials. So whoever should be held legally responsible for the massacre at the hospital will only be subject to accountability under U.S. military and civilian legal systems, which routinely fail to prosecute anyone for similar war crimes.

What makes this attack unique is not that U.S.-led forces attacked a hospital or killed civilians, but that, for the first time in many years, a Western NGO found itself operating behind enemy lines in territory controlled by Anti-Coalition Forces (ACF) or Taliban. Doctors Without Borders (or MSF for its French initials) thus found itself subject to U.S. rules of engagement under which Afghans have lived and died in their thousands for the past 14 years, effectively excluded from the protections formally guaranteed to civilians, the wounded and medical facilities by the Geneva Conventions.

While UN officials have condemned the attack on MSF in Kunduz, the UN itself has been complicit in the under-reporting of civilian casualties in ACF-held territory in Afghanistan. The UN has issued reports on civilian casualties based only on the small number of civilian deaths that it has fully investigated. When Western officials and media have cited these numbers as estimates of total civilian deaths in Afghanistan, the UN has failed to correct that misleading and dangerous impression.

For instance, when the UN documented 80 civilian killings in U.S. night raids in 2010, this was based on completed investigations of only 13 of the 73 incidents reported to the UN that year. Nader Nadery of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, who worked on the UN report, estimated that 420 civilians were killed in all 73 incidents.

But Nadery still failed to make it clear that these 73 incidents were only the ones reported to the UN, which had little or no access to ACF-held areas that were targeted by thousands of U.S. night raids and the bulk of 5,100 U.S. air strikes in 2010. U.S. officials and the Western media have used these absurdly low estimates of civilian casualties in Afghanistan to whitewash the deadly effects of 60,000 U.S. air strikes and thousands of special forces night raids over the past 14 years.

‘War Is Not Pretty’

As a former U.S. Navy Seal told the New York Times, “War is not this pretty thing the United States has come to believe it to be.” But it is not really “the United States” that has come to see war as a “pretty thing.” Rather it is our leaders who have targeted the American public with propaganda or “Stratcom” “strategic communications” — to disguise the horrific reality of war, while providing JSOC and other U.S. forces with secrecy and legal cover to systematically violate the Geneva Conventions.

As retired Admiral James Stavridis told the Times, “If you want these forces to do things that occasionally bend the rules of international law, you certainly don’t want that out in public.”

While U.S. forces feel free to disregard the Geneva Conventions and international humanitarian law, the People On War survey conducted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) found that ordinary people in war-torn countries like Afghanistan hold strongly to the international legal conventions that are supposed to protect them.

This ICRC report did find the United States exceptional, not in believing war to be “pretty,” but in its failure to educate its people and its soldiers about the Geneva Conventions and the protections they guarantee to civilians in wartime.

While three-quarters of people in other developed countries knew that soldiers in war “must attack only other combatants and leave civilians alone,” only 52 percent of Americans were aware of this basic principle of military law. Twice as many Americans as people in other countries subscribed to an erroneous and lower legal standard that military operations should only “avoid civilians as much as possible.”

The ICRC concluded that, “Across a wide range of questions, in fact, American attitudes towards attacks on civilians were much more lax.”

U.S. officials claim that their air strikes are carefully designed and vetted by military lawyers and planners to ensure minimum “collateral damage,” but William Arkin discovered a dirty little secret about this process when he was invited to observe an attack on an alleged ACF leader in Afghanistan from the safety of the U.S. Combined Air and Space Operations Center in Qatar.

Arkin watched on a large TV screen as A-10 Warthog planes dropped two 500-pound bombs on a convoy of vehicles. U.S. officials explained that 1,000-pound bombs would have caused more casualties, while 150-pound Hellfire missiles might have missed their target, so the 500-pound bombs were carefully chosen to kill the target without causing unnecessary casualties.

But then one of the planes did something unexpected. It turned to make a second pass and blanketed the whole area with 30mm armor-piercing shells from its Gatling gun, which fires 65 shells per second. A “precision strike” had just turned into an indiscriminate massacre. A U.S. official quickly told Arkin that this was “not unauthorized.”

The dirty little secret Arkin had discovered was that, once such an operation is under way, special forces ground controllers in the area take full control, and the plans drawn up by lawyers and controllers far from the action no longer apply. Similar rules may have applied to the U.S. air strikes on the MSF hospital in Kunduz, making it difficult for anyone in Washington or Kabul to stop them once they were under way.

Erroneous Raids

Senior U.S. military officers have told Dana Priest of the Washington Post that more than 50 percent of U.S. special forces night raids target the wrong person or house. But that didn’t stop President Obama making them a central tactic in his escalation of the war in Afghanistan, boosting the number of night raids from 20 raids in May 2009 to 1,000 per month a year later.

There is no reason to believe that U.S. air strikes are more accurate or based on better intelligence than night raids by special operations forces. British military adviser Kamal Alam explained to the BBC last Friday that Russian air strikes in Syria are likely to be more accurate than U.S. ones because they have the critical advantage of being guided by Syrian military intelligence on the ground.

Alam noted that even the Iraqi government depends on Syrian military intelligence in its campaign against the Islamic State, and added that this is a source of embarrassment to U.S. officials, who have no such human intelligence capabilities in Syria or Iraq.

Maybe the attack on the MSF hospital in Kunduz will force more Americans to confront the ugly reality of the devastating air war our country has waged across half a dozen countries for 14 years. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “America’s Endless Air Wars.”]

Whether any institution can succeed in holding U.S. officials legally accountable for the bombing of the MSF hospital or not, it may finally bring home the horrors and the indiscriminate nature of our country’s endless air war to millions of Americans. U.S. propaganda will try to portray this as a tragic isolated incident. It is not. It is a war crime, and only the latest in a 14-year-long policy of systematic war crimes.

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

26 comments for “Afghan Doctor Slaughter Pulls Back Curtain

  1. Mortimer
    October 9, 2015 at 09:51

    Bush, Enron, UNOCAL and the Taliban

    by TOM TURNIPSEED
    JANUARY 10, 2002

    The Bush Administration’s entanglement with ENRON is beginning to unravel as it finally admits that Enron executives entered the White House six times last year to secretly plan the Administration’s energy policy with Vice-President Cheney before the collapse of the Texas-based energy giant. Meanwhile, even more trouble for our former-Texas-oil-man-turned-President is brewing with reports that unveil UNOCAL, another big energy company, for being in bed with the Taliban, along with the U.S. government in a major, continuing effort to construct pipelines through Afghanistan from the petroleum-rich Caspian Basin in Central Asia. Beneath their burkas, UNOCAL is being exposed for giving the five star treatment to Taliban Mullahs in the Lone Star State in 1997. The “evil-ones” were also invited to meet with U.S. government officials in Washington, D.C.

    According to a December 17, 1997 article in the British paper, The Telegraph, headlined, “Oil barons court Taliban in Texas,” the Taliban was about to sign a “?2 billion contract with an American oil company to build a pipeline across the war-torn country. … The Islamic warriors appear to have been persuaded to close the deal, not through delicate negotiation but by old-fashioned Texan hospitality. … Dressed in traditional salwar khameez,Afghan waistcoats and loose, black turbans, the high-ranking delegation was given VIP treatment during the four-day stay.”

    Dick Cheney was then CEO of Haliburton Corporation, a pipeline services vendor based in Texas. Gushed Cheney in 1998, “I can’t think of a time when we’ve had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian. It’s almost as if the opportunities have arisen overnight. The good Lord didn’t see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratically elected regimes friendly to the United States. Occasionally we have to operate in places where, all things considered, one would not normally choose to go. But we go where the business is.”

    Would Cheney bargain with the harborers of U.S. troop killers if that’s where the business was?
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2002/01/10/bush-enron-unocal-and-the-taliban/

  2. Mortimer
    October 9, 2015 at 09:20

    US sponsored ISIS terrorists establish foothold in Afghanistan, extending into Central Asia

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-sponsored-isis-terrorists-establish-foothold-in-afghanistan-extending-into-central-asian-heartland/5480861

    (warfare against the Russia/China New Silk Road)

  3. October 8, 2015 at 08:39

    if it is not an accident, it’s a policy. if it’s a policy, it has objectives and is achieving them. one of them is obviously “to terrorize the population by showing what they are more than willing to do” and it’s been working nicely.

  4. October 6, 2015 at 23:13

    If the US wanted to end the ‘war’ in Afghanistan or anywhere it would, but it doesn’t want to end war, it is the biggest business going in all of its various facets…thus the 90% collateral damage rate is ‘good for business’ since it continues to create new and more ‘enemies’ (sic)
    ‘commodities’…yup, it is that bad. Americans are bar none some of the most ignorant and least informed citizens on this planet…unfortunately, because the MSM is bought and sold and spoon feeds the sleeping public ie. sleeple the ‘stratcom’ crap and no one is the wiser. PUKE!! The next False-Flag attack will make the 9-11 FFattacks look like a walk in the park…and you can bet who will be fingered for that one….can you say ‘axis of evil’?…if it weren’t so tragic it would be a joke!! … a really bad joke

  5. Don Phillips
    October 6, 2015 at 14:16

    Maybe the doctors need to ask Putin if Russia can provide them protection!

  6. Joe L.
    October 6, 2015 at 12:49

    When it comes to stories like this and JSOC, I am reminded of the documentary by Jeremy Scahill called “Dirty Wars” – I highly recommend that people watch it. It is information about JSOC that has us realize that the US has covert operations in “75 countries” (along with bombing in 7 countries) – if that isn’t Empire then I don’t know what else is!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7UCFSbduuY

    • Pat
      October 7, 2015 at 03:07

      Thank you for that link! I missed this when it came out and then forgot about it. Even for those who have a clue, it is sickening. I can’t believe (well OK, yes I can) it lost an Academy Award to a film about backup singers.

      Funny, but a minute ago I was on Facebook and found an old film in my feed about defense contractors in the Iraq war. I’m careful about how I used the word “evil,” but if this isn’t evil, then I don’t know what is.

      • Joe L.
        October 7, 2015 at 11:47

        Pat… you are welcome. I think when I started watching or reading about all of this stuff I was a little shocked but now I am just getting numb. We can go back to WW2 and the US trying to cover-up the effects of radiation on Japan using the New York Times to the countless wars, coups etc. ever since. I watched “War on Democracy” by John Pilger (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeHzc1h8k7o) and I actually did find that shocking, in essence the US trained 11 Latin American dictators at the School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia (now WHINSEC) and removed democracies in order to install them. Now looking at the US seemingly angry about Russia bombing Al Qaeda in Syria, since US General Austin told Congress that there was only 4 or 5 “moderate” Syrian rebels fighting in Syria, and then making claims about Russia killing civilians in Syria meanwhile the US bombs a hospital run by Doctors without Borders the next day. US foreign policy has gone beyond stupidity at this point and all that we have to do is look at the flood of refugees into Europe from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan etc. This is a “War of Terror” and not a “War on Terror”. If anyone has any sense at all, after 14+ years of BS to sell wars and regime change, they will stop listening to the US government and mainstream media and I actually do believe that what the US is doing in the world is “EVIL” and I know I am not alone when there was a massive poll which suggests that the world believes that the US is the greatest threat to world peace, I believe that as well.

      • Ethan Allen
        October 7, 2015 at 17:06

        @Joe L.
        October 7, 2015 at 11:47 am
        While there is a wide and growing informed understanding and consensus around the world regarding the underlying causes of the ongoing death and destruction, due largely to the dedication of thousands of uncompromised and dedicated independent journalists and scholars, such as those found here at ConsortiumNews, there continues to be very little success at creating a coordinated well-organized effort to effectively compete with the highly organized and dominate government/corporate propaganda infrastructure.
        As Usual,
        EA

      • Joe L.
        October 7, 2015 at 12:14

        Pat… I actually believe, at this point in history, that the US is trying to evoke another “red scare” in order to cover up its’ own actions using an Edward Bernays’ style emotional response from the days of the Cold War instead of logic and realism. There are countless examples of US atrocities throughout history yet somehow the US public still supports a government that continually lies to them meanwhile drawing on “patriotic” fervour to maintain the fiction.

  7. Pat
    October 6, 2015 at 05:14

    The Enron stuff is interesting, but the real activity was with Unocal, which was competing with Bridas of Argentina to get the pipeline deal. That was one of my beats as an energy reporter in Washington in the 80s and 90s. Here’s an interesting timeline. I don’t know anything about this publication, but the work seems thorough:
    http://www.worldpress.org/specials/pp/pipeline_timeline.htm

    Times have changed since then. Natural gas is “the new oil” (although oil is still important). That foreign companies are trying to build a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan and that the Taliban is a concern is not a secret:
    http://thediplomat.com/2015/03/a-breakthrough-on-the-tapi-pipeline/

    Note the other countries involved. Also, it’s interesting that Chevron, which eventually took over Unocal, was going to lead the project but balked for legal reasons.

    All of the above notwithstanding, this isn’t just about oil and gas. Does anyone remember the report a while back about how the Pentagon is spending billions to combat the drug trade in Afghanistan, and opium production is higher than it was before?
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/30/afghan-opium-production-explodes-billions-spent-us-report

    Given the sordid history of the CIA and drugs, would anyone be surprised if they’re getting major funding for black ops? Afghan government officials also are in on it. The Taliban is cutting into their business, so getting rid of the Taliban is to their advantage.
    http://blogs.voanews.com/durand/2015/04/30/afghanistan-pakistan-drug-transit-routes/

    However, since the oil companies and top-level U.S. officials had connections with the Taliban at one time, shouldn’t we assume they still do? Seems to me that they have not outlived their usefulness. And while the UN says Kunduz is “poppy free, here’s some interesting history:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fg-drugs29may29-story.html

    • Bob Van Noy
      October 6, 2015 at 10:21

      “Given the sordid history of the CIA and drugs, would anyone be surprised if they’re getting major funding for black ops?”
      I for one would not Pat. As I have said before on this forum I was stunned to read Fletcher Prouty explain that the CIA often used heroin as currency. As always, if it’s around it will be abused. in fact, for those who covet gold as a secure “investment,” you should probably consider heroin, there is a great demand on every street corner in America.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 6, 2015 at 12:07

      Pat, I will complement you, as I did Mortimer. Between Mortimer and you, you both give a hungry reader a lot to chew. I’ll be busy over the next week satisfying my hunger. Thanks!

      • Mortimer
        October 9, 2015 at 09:30

        Ditto that, Joe. – Pat has provided eye-opening detail. It is well received, Pat- Thanks!

  8. Joe Tedesky
    October 6, 2015 at 00:51

    How would we Americans feel, if we were occupied by another nation, and our president gave our occupiers immunity? How corrupt should a leader be to agree to such a deal? Apparently Afghanistan President Ghani is such a guy. From all the news I get about Afghanistan, corruption is the key word. The Afghan people have turned more towards the Taleban, just because of the American support of the corrupt leaders it has decided to call it’s comrades. Between the U.S. support of a corrupt Afghan government, and the wholesale slaughter of the Afghan citizens, it’s like the U.S. wants to lose this war. The U.S. Government is already spinning this, and placing the blame on it’s victims. This spin job will more than likely work on the American public, who lacks a responsible media, so what else is new. I always wondered how the German people could have been so duped by Hitler, now I know.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 6, 2015 at 01:49

      I happen to find Thierry Meyssan at Voltaienet.org always an interesting read. You may also find his reporting…let’s say, a bit different. The link here isn’t about Afghanistan, but none the less it is truly revealing (at least by Meyssan’s view of things), when it comes to Obama and Putin’s relationship. Check it out.

      http://www.voltairenet.org/article188939.html

  9. F. G. Sanford
    October 5, 2015 at 16:17

    Gee whiz, I’m reading about this atrocity right after reading a transcript of Gen. Petraeus’ recent speech to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He outlined propositions for military/political management of the debacle we created there by suggesting that our rules of engagement are “too restrictive”. I guess in the fantasy land of Neocon alternate reality, we should also be bombing animal shelters and kindergartens…to reassure our partners that…”We can do that”.

    • Joe Tedesky
      October 6, 2015 at 02:02

      I just finished reading that Petraeus transcript, and what garbage it is. Petraeus should be in Mannings cell, and Chelsea should be freed, and allowed to live the life she desires. This world we live in, is truly upside down.

  10. Mortimer
    October 5, 2015 at 12:23

    I always question this sort of “incident.” To ere is human, as they say, but theres alway something fishy connected to the stuff we do.

    Why is Manning serving a 30 year term for exposing the very clear chopper murder in Iraq?

    The AC-130 is a Lethal death machine. Some of our soldiers/pilots are subject to adrenaline rush and over-exuberance.

    US version events are disputed by hospital administrators and Doctors Without Borders officials,
    who declare that they continuously contacted the military informing them of their GPS coordinate position.

    Is this simple Human Error, pilot callousness or — some sinister plan to turn this Provincial Capital over to the Taliban? (“All politics is war” – Karl von Clausewitz)

    The Taliban, as is Al Qaeda/ ISIS a very useful Calamitous Tool in our hands. Afghanistan turmoil is/will be a continuous abeyance to pipeline connections in and thru Central Asia to China and South Asia.

    • Mortimer
      October 5, 2015 at 12:50

      http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/oilwar1.html
      .

      Is Enron Behind The War In Afghanistan?
      From Robert Lederman
      robert.lederman@worldnet.att.net
      5 February 2002

      I’ve added a few url’s from oil industry websites to this forwarded email as further evidence of Enron’s involvement in the motivation for the war in Afghanistan. Reading this material will allow you to see the Enron scandal and its ties to Bush-Cheney in a whole new light. To find thousands of other energy industry website articles on this do a GOOGLE search (at http://www.google.com) using these keywords: – Pipeline Enron Uzbekistan Cheney Halliburton

      Enron and the oil pipeline deal

      “Uzbekistan has difficulties finding venues for its gas,”
      Alexander’s Gas & Oil Connections, 22 Oct 1998
      http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/ntc85031.htm

      “Enron/Uzbek Oil and Gas: Represented a multinational energy company in connection with its joint venture to develop an oil and gas deposit in Uzbekistan.”

      “Mayer, Brown, Rowe, & Maw / Project Finance Practice Group
      http://www.mbpprojectfinance.com/transactions/s_oilgas.html
      “LIST OF AMERICAN COMPANIES AND JOINT VENTURES IN UZBEKISTAN”, Bisnis, 1996
      http://www.advancenet.net/~k_a/uzbekistan/companies.htm
      “The one serious drawback companies have faced is getting the supplies to the right market, the energy-hungry Asian Pacific economies. Afghanistan — the only Central Asian country with very little oil — is by far the best route to transport the oil to Asia. Enron, the biggest contributor to the Bush-Cheney campaign of 2000, conducted the feasibility study for a US$2.5 billion trans-Caspian gas pipeline which is being built under a joint venture agreement signed in February 1999 between Turkmenistan, Bechtel and General Electric Capital Services.”

      Source: “Drillbits & Tailings: October 31, 2001”, reprinted in: Project underGround
      http://www.moles.org/ProjectUnderground/drillbits/6_08/1.html
      UZBEKISTAN – The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC) has agreed to provide $400 million in financing for a joint venture of Uzbekneftegaz and Enron oil and Gas Co. (Houston) to develop a clutch of gas fields in Uzbekistan. It is the largest OPIC commitment in Central Asia thus far.”

      Source: “Drillbits & Tailings: August 1, 1996: Page Seven”, reprinted in: Project underGround
      http://www.moles.org/ProjectUnderground/drillbits/0801/96080107.html
      Here’s an email I recieved this morning. You may already know about the oil pipeline deal in Afghanistan and the Bush threats to the Taliban to invade before 9/11 but these links show how Enron and the new Afghan leader we just installed are all directly connected to Bush, to the so-called war, Cheney refusing to reveal who he met with and the supression of the 9/11 investigation Bush has threatened Congress with.

      FORWARD:
      From: The Daily Brew: http://www.thedailybrew.com/

      The Motive

      For years, US oil interests have been trying to build a pipeline across Afghanistan to access the oil and gas around the Caspian Sea; efforts that have continued past the 9-11 attacks.

      Source: “Unocal Still Pushing Afghan Pipelines”, Indymedia, 1 Oct 2001
      http://www.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=69078&group=webcast
      REPRINT: Women living under muslim laws, 23 Oct 2001
      http://www.wluml.org/english/new-archives/wtc/at-stake/unocal.htm
      Enron was a key player in this game. Way back in 1996, Enron had cut a deal with the president of Uzbekistan for joint development of the nation’s natural gas fields.

      Source: Houston Chronicle, Date: Tuesday June 25, 1996, Section: Business, Page: 4, Edition: 3 STAR
      Enron had also done the feasibility study for the pipeline.

      Source: “Afghanistan, the Taliban and the Bush Oil Team,” by Wayne Madsen, democrats.com, Jan 2002
      http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MAD201A.html
      For a time, the Taliban appeared to be a potential partner. They had even visited Sugarland, Texas to talk things over.

      Source: “Taleban in Texas for talks on gas pipeline,” BBC News, 4 Dec 1997
      http://news6.thdo.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/west_asia/newsid_37000/37021.stm
      The Crime

      Unfortunately, the talks broke down, and by late last summer, the US Government was threatening to commence war against Afghanistan (an attack which would have violated every precept of international law).

      Sources:

      “US `planned attack on Taleban’,” George Arney, BBC News, 18 Sep 2001
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/south_asia/newsid_1550000/1550366.stm

      BBC’s George Arney Audio of report on US intentions to invade Afghanistan before Sept 11th (above citation)
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1550000/audio/_1550366_afghan01_arney.ram
      At least twice, Bush conveyed the message to the Taliban that the United States would hold the regime responsible for an al Qaeda attack. But after concluding that bin Laden’s group had carried out the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole, a conclusion stated without hedge in a Feb. 9 briefing for Vice President Cheney, the new administration did not choose to order armed forces into action.

      Source: “A Strategy’s Cautious Evolution, Before Sept. 11, the Bush Anti-Terror Effort Was Mostly Ambition”, by Barton Gellman, Washington Post, 20 January 2002
      PART I: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A8734-2002Jan19?language=printer
      PART II: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A8802-2002Jan19?language=printer
      Simultaneous with making, but not following through on these threats, Bush took a number of actions to make the US decidedly more vulnerable to a terrorist attack. He ordered the Naval strike force, which Clinton placed in the Indian Ocean on 24 hour alert so he could hit Osama as soon as he had solid intelligence, to stand down. Bush threatened to veto the Defense Appropriations Bill after Democrats tried to move $600 million out of Star Wars and into anti-terror defense. Bush opposed Clinton’s anti-money-laundering efforts, which were designed to stop al Qaeda’s money. Bush abandoned Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, or as the two-star general Donald Kerrick told the Washington Post, reflecting on his service to both President Clinton and President Bush: Clinton’s advisors met nearly weekly on how to stop bin Laden and al Qaeda. “I didn’t detect that kind of focus” from the Bush Administration. So Cheney has strong — but bad — reasons to oppose an inquiry into 9-11.

      Source: “Democrats.com Chat with Paul Begala”, 30 Jan 2002
      http://democrats.com/view2.cfm?id=5714
      I don’t have to tell you what happened next.

      The Cover Up

      Dick Cheney is openly breaking the law by defying GAO requests to turn over his records of meetings with Enron.

      Source: “GAO V. CHENEY IS BIG-TIME STALLING: The Vice President Can Win Only If We Have Another Bush v. Gore -like Ruling,” by John W. Dean, 1 Feb 2002
      http://writ.news.findlaw.com/scripts/printer_friendly.pl?page=/dean/20020201.html
      At the same time that Cheney has refused to turn over his records, Enron and its accountants have shredded millions of pages of documents.

      Source: “Enron Says Shredding of Records Was Not Stopped Until Recently,” by Barnaby Feder and Michael Brick, NYT, 30 Jan 2002
      http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/30/business/30SHRE.html?pagewanted=print
      The Bush’s themselves may have destroyed evidence. When the Justice Department instructed the Bush administration to preserve any documents related to Enron Corporation, a senior administration official said that until now, “the White House had not been making any formal effort to preserve or catalogue information about Enron contacts.”

      Source: “Justice: Preserve Enron Papers, White House Says It Will Comply,” by Susan Schmidt and Mike Allen, Washington Post, 2 Feb 2002
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A10918-2002Feb1?language=printer
      While all of this law breaking, stalling, and destruction of evidence has gone on, Bush has asked Daschle to limit Congressional probes into Sept. 11.

      Source: “Bush asks Daschle to limit Sept. 11 probes,”, CNN, 29 Jan 2002
      http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/01/29/inv.terror.probe/index.html
      Note that the supposedly “liberal press” has so far failed to put all of these pieces together. They are too busy giving Bernard Goldberg and Bill O’Reilly the airtime to sell a canard called “Bias.”

      http://globalresearch.ca/articles/MAD201A.html

      • Mortimer
        October 5, 2015 at 15:34

        Many of these URL’s have been terminated
        please skip down for the live ones… .

      • Joe Tedesky
        October 6, 2015 at 00:56

        Wow, Mortimer, this is great stuff. I’m going to save your post and really get into it over the next week. Approaching 9/11 and the Afghanistan war, from these angles is probably the way to go. Nice work.

    • Baldie McEagle
      October 5, 2015 at 19:45

      I do not believe this was any kind of accident. The hospital was well established, having opened in 2011, and was known to help anyone who needed help.

      Hospitals such as this tend to serve as information exchanges during a conflict. Taliban soldiers were present but unarmed by agreement with MSF.

      We’ve been doing this for decades. “Oops, we had no idea your infant daughter was in that tent. Lucky strike!”

  11. W. R. Knight
    October 5, 2015 at 08:28

    The main problem with air strikes (day or night) is that 90% of the damage is collateral. The overall effectiveness of air strikes is abysmal and U.S. air strikes create more enemies than they kill.

  12. VoxPax
    October 5, 2015 at 03:36

    While three-quarters of people in other developed countries knew that soldiers in war “must attack only other combatants and leave civilians alone,” only 52 percent of Americans were aware of this basic principle of military law. Twice as many Americans as people in other countries subscribed to an erroneous and lower legal standard that military operations should only “avoid civilians as much as possible.”
    In a nation where any neighbor is a potential enemy, that is legally armed to it’s teeth ready to fend off or kill any intruder into their privat lives through using the arsenal, will never understand.

  13. jose
    October 4, 2015 at 22:09

    “Maybe the attack on the MSF hospital in Kunduz will force more Americans to confront the ugly reality of the devastating air war our country has waged across half a dozen countries for 14 years.”
    that is an optimistic thought, and very naïve.
    the leading commentary is that ‘it was an error common to war.’ any body who refers to it as a war crime is reminded of the scores of civilians killed by … ‘putler’ … in Syria. some may also allude to the bombings of hospitals in Germany during world war two. reading the commentary on reports regarding ” … the apparent u.s. airstrike,” is pretty much in line with the main stream Kool-Aid vendors.
    it was a long and painful road to accepting that my adoptive country which I so admired was not the “good guy” I was brought up to believe. it is not evil by any means, just sycophantic. it is going to take a proverbial act of the gods to wake people up.

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