⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

‘Unlawful Deaths’ in Afghanistan?

The U.S. military will ensure any crimes are investigated fully, a spokesman says.

Rian Mcconnell
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | May 20, 2010

Afghan relatives wait outside a hospital in Kandahar. (EPA/ZumaPress.com)

A very disturbing — and disturbingly vague — announcement came early this morning from the U.S. military command in Afghanistan. According to Army Lt. Col. Joseph “Todd” Breasseale, a command spokesman, the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division is investigating whether an unknown number of American soldiers are responsible for the “unlawful deaths” of “as many as three” Afghan civilians.

[Security1]Breasseale’s statement leaves many key details vague, including how many soldiers are involved in whatever incident CID is investigating; specifically where it took place; and when it occurred. But whatever occurred was serious enough to get additional soldiers from the same unit to come forward to their chain of command with knowledge of the incident earlier this month. The statement makes it sound as if the potential criminal act was planned in advance of its commission, as allegations of “illegal drug use, assault and conspiracy” are involved, although it isn’t clear if those allegations have to do with the incident or with the cohort of soldiers under investigation more generally.

One of the soldiers in question is being held in pre-trial detention. No charges have been filed yet.

Breasseale said in an email that he couldn’t discuss further detail about the case right now. “The bottom line is that we are executing this investigation by the numbers and will not compromise our ability to gather and maintain evidence,” he said. He added that more specificity about the case will probably be available “once the charges are preferred,” an indication that CID’s investigation has progressed to the point where it is more likely than not that the soldiers involved will face charges.

It is unfortunately difficult to infer what incident this case involves. Over the past few months, despite the restrictions on rules of engagement that Gen. Stanley McChrystal issued last year to minimize civilian casualties, there have been several high-profile cases of civilian deaths at the hands of NATO forces. A so-called “night raid” earlier this month in Nangahar Province left locals saying 11 civilians were killed by U.S. troops, even though NATO considers all to be insurgents, and their anger led to a violent protest in which Afghan police killed someone. On February 12 in Gardez, also in Afghanistan’s east, U.S. Special Forces killed two men and three women — two of whom were pregnant — during a house raid, and had to correct an initial mistaken announcement that attributed the women’s deaths to insurgents. And although this incident doesn’t sound like the one under investigation, a misunderstanding at a Kandahar checkpoint led soldiers to open fire on a passenger bus, leaving four civilians dead.

Statistics from McChrystal’s command compiled by USA Today last month found that NATO-caused civilian casualties have risen in early 2010 from a comparable period in 2009, a disturbing increase the command attributes to an increased tempo of military operations. In a joint press conference last week with Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, President Obama expressed personal anguish over civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Before McChrystal took command in Afghanistan, he said that the perceptions of the Afghan people that the NATO coalition is interested in protecting them from harm and the Afghan government is interested in enriching their lives would be “strategically decisive” in the nearly nine-year war. His counterinsurgency guidance instructs his troops to assume additional risk to their own lives in the interest of preventing civilians from being accidentally killed. After the Paktia incident, McChrystal consolidated his hold over Special Operations Forces operating in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military command in Afghanistan “is committed to the security and safety of the Afghan population,” Breasseale’s statement concluded, “and will ensure any crimes are investigated fully and those responsible will be held accountable.”

Rian Mcconnell | Rian is a Villanova University graduate who was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia with a medical degree. His residency was at Thomas Jefferson and its associated Wills Eye Hospital, and he finished his education with fellowships in cataract and corneal surgery at the University of Connecticut. He has a vast experience in ophthalmic surgery, with a focus on cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, and laser refractive procedures. He serves on the board of Vision Health International, an agency that provides eye care and surgery to indigent patients in Central and South America, in addition to his surgical practice.


Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen

Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)

One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh

Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment

In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep

Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!

The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the

Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’

Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday

Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight

Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight

Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs

Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability

Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store

Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public

Rep. Pete Stark Won’t Dignify Constituent by, er, Micturating Upon His Leg

In the tradition of Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), California Democratic Rep. Pete Stark revealed at a recent town hall gathering that there are limits to what

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy | twi.news@washingtonindependent.com

⭐🔥 Click here to check Latest Celeb News & Celebrity Gossip in 2022! 🔥⭐