US silent about CIA asset’s cover-up of Afghan massacre

During the US invasion of Afghanistan, local warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum was among the CIA’s most valuable assets. With the close cooperation of CIA agents and members of the US Special Forces, General Dostum and his army supported countless American operations in northern Afghanistan. In the process, Dostum and his men participated in a considerable number of documented war crimes. In one of those instances around 2,000 Taliban prisoners of war were locked in large metal containers and allowed to suffocate to death, or were massacred by bullets fired into the containers by Dostum’s troops. Their remains were buried in large mass graves in a desert north of Mazar-e-Sharif. Recently, large bulldozers and backhoes were used to exhume the remains of the murdered men and move them to an unknown location. Local authorities say this was the job of General Dostum, who has become alarmed by the impending change of guard in Washington. What is more, NATO troops, as well as UN and US authorities in the area, have remained silent about the illegal removal of the evidence of the massacre. A representative of the UN mission in Afghanistan has even acknowledged in writing that “the UN had known that the graves had been dug up but had kept quiet” for fear of retribution by Dostum’s forces. It is reported that Dostum’s men have already killed a number of Afghan witnesses of the massacre who later tried to investigate it, while the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission says that Dostum’s control of northern Afghanistan makes it “almost impossible to visit the [massacre] site”. The few Western observers monitoring the incident speculate that the Afghan warlord is getting “a free pass” from the US Administration, and especially the CIA, who fears that uncovering the massacre may lead to questions about the role of its agents on the ground who “were working closely with Dostum in late 2001”. [JF]

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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