US Quashed Inquiry Into 2001 Afghan Mass Murder

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2009 3:45 PM CDT
Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum during his campaign for president in 2004.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The Bush administration stonewalled human rights organizations and branches of the US government that sought an investigation into the alleged mass murder of Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan in 2001, the New York Times reports. As many as 1,500 people may have died in the incident, under the command of a Northern Alliance general in league with the CIA. The general has held high posts in the Karzai government, leading some to believe the apparent reluctance to investigate was politically motivated.

The general, Abdul Rashid Dostum, was recently reinstated in the Afghan government, and insiders say the Obama administration has asked president Hamid Karzai to reconsider. “Our repeated efforts to protect witnesses, secure evidence, and get a full investigation have been met by the US and its allies with buck-passing, delays, and obstruction,” a rights group said. The Pentagon appears to have spearheaded efforts to keep the killings quiet, and investigations by the State Department and FBI were quashed before they produced results.