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Convoy of Death Why have US television stations refused to broadcast this

In Afghanistan, filmmaker Jamie Doran has uncovered evidence of a massacre: Taliban prisoners of war suffocated in containers, shot in the desert under the watch of American troops.
The film has been broadcast on national television in countries all over the world and has been screened by the European parliament. Human rights lawyers are calling for investigation into whether U.S. forces are guilty of war crimes. But no U.S. media outlet has broadcast the film.

Today, on Democracy Now!, the U.S. broadcast premiere of a documentary film called "Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death."

The film provides eyewitness testimony that U.S. troops were complicit in the massacre of thousands of Taliban prisoners during the Afghan War.

It tells the story of thousands of prisoners who surrendered to the US military's Afghan allies after the siege of Kunduz. According to eyewitnesses, some three thousand of the prisoners were forced into sealed containers and loaded onto trucks for transport to Sheberghan prison. Eyewitnesses say when the prisoners began shouting for air, U.S.-allied Afghan soldiers fired directly into the truck, killing many of them. The rest suffered through an appalling road trip lasting up to four days, so thirsty they clawed at the skin of their fellow prisoners as they licked perspiration and even drank blood from open wounds.

Witnesses say that when the trucks arrived and soldiers opened the containers, most of the people inside were dead. They also say US Special Forces re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried. Now, up to three thousand bodies lie buried in a mass grave.

The film has sent shockwaves around the world. It has been broadcast on national television in Britain, Germany, Italy and Australia. It has been screened by the European parliament. It has outraged human rights groups and international human rights lawyers. They are calling for investigation into whether U.S. Special Forces are guilty of war crimes.

But most Americans have never heard of the film. That's because not one corporate media outlet in the U.S. will touch it. It has never before been broadcast in this country.

Today, Democracy Now! brings you the premiere broadcast of "Afghan Massacre" in the United States.

"Afghan Massacre" is produced and directed by award-winning Irish filmmaker Jamie Doran. Doran is has worked at the highest levels of television film production for more than two decades. His films have been broadcast on virtually every major channel throughout the world. On average, each of his films are seen in around 35 countries. Before establishing his independent television company, Jamie Doran spent over seven years at BBC Television.

The film was researched by award-winning journalist Najibullah Quraishi, who was beaten almost to death when he tried to obtain video evidence of US Special Forces' complicity in the massacre. Two of the witnesses who testified in the film are now dead.

"Afghan Massacre: the Convoy of Death" - produced and directed by award-winning Irish filmmaker Jamie Doran.
To purchase an audio or video copy of this entire program, call 1 (800) 881-2359

Watch the video: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3267.htm
i seem to remember 22.Mar.2004 16:50

yak

wasnt this covered in newsweek? there is no date anywhere in the text, but wasnt it 2002? this was a big story. I was in europe at the time and remember seeing the containers refered to on the front page of every major US peridiocal - newsweek, time, et al. however, the story refered to the northern alliance as the perpetrators with the USG forces being somewhat disingenuous observers many miles away. havent read anything about direct USG involvment to date, but this story was def broken many times with the northern alliance given all the blame.

ok, i found this. the story was featured august 26th, 2002 in newsweek. looks like the break in the story is the direct USG involvement, if substantiated.

 http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/08.21A.death.convoy.htm

 http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/sep2002/news-s04.shtml

has anyone seen this film yet? does it give accounts from USG soldiers too? quite frankly i believe it much more likely that the NA is responsible for these container deaths, which happened many times - the taliban also used it against their enemies. I consider it also likely that USG troops might have been able to stop it and didnt, or were ordered not to. anyone who knows anything about afghanistan knows that the pashtun taliban were detested by hazaras and uzbeks which constitute most of the NA. they def had the motive, but possible complicity by US soldiers is horrible all the same.
will view the film...

"yak" 22.Mar.2004 19:47

Tony Blair's dog

"the taliban also used it against their enemies"

Is that so? With what do you back up that statement?

Our responsibility 22.Mar.2004 22:15

Dio

is for the US forces.

you asked for it 22.Mar.2004 22:37

yak

unfortunately my canine friend there is only too much to back it up. ahmed rashid also writes of this incident below on page 74 of his book Taliban. like i said, i suspect the USG may have known about the above refered to incident from 2001, but i prefer to suspend judgement. as far as the taliban, they were ruthless. you care to debate that? do you suppose opium production went down under the taliban? read this tbd:

The Sunday Times , Nov.1,1998
By Michael Sheridan
THE first detailed eyewitness accounts of the massacre of up to 8,000 people by Islamic fundamentalist Taliban fighters who ran amok in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif last August have been passed to western governments.

Testimony compiled by international observers and handed to western diplomats in Pakistan reveals that hundreds of people were packed into containers where they suffocated when the doors were locked in the searing midday heat. Men, women and children were shot in their homes and on the street, and hospital patients were murdered in their beds.

The massacre occurred when, during an offensive aimed at seizing full control of Afghanistan for the first time, Mazar-e-Sharif was overrun by the Taliban, who have imposed the world's most extreme interpretation of Islam, barring women from education, banning television and forcing men to wear beards.

Statements made available to The Sunday Times describe a campaign of slaughter directed against a Shia Muslim minority, the Hazara. The evidence, regarded by experienced aid officials as "highly credible", paints a ghastly picture of butchery and rape as the Taliban shot and cut the throats of Hazaras.

The claims are supported by the influential American group Human Rights Watch, which is due to reveal its own findings on the massacre today and will call on the United Nations to investigate what it describes as "one of the single worst examples of killings of civilians in Afghanistan's 20-year war".

The detailed evidence of Taliban atrocities will embarrass western policymakers who still see the fundamentalists as useful players in a modern "great game" to keep Iranian and Russian influence out of Afghanistan and so ensure that the huge oil and gas riches of central Asia remain a prize for western multinationals.

Ten diplomats from Tehran were among those who died, prompting Iran to mass 200,000 troops on its border with Afghanistan to bolster demands for the killers to be handed over for trial. Troop "manoeuvres" were due to begin yesterday.

Based on eyewitness statements, The Sunday Times has pieced together an account of the nightmare that engulfed Mazar-e-Sharif when the Taliban entered the city from the west on the morning of August 8. They were intent on avenging a massacre of some 2,000 of their own men in 1997, when the Hazaras and other fighters turned against them.

There ensued what one witness called "a frenzy" of vengeance killing. The Taliban fighters swept through the city, firing heavy machineguns mounted on pickup trucks. One man described how the streets were covered with bodies and blood. The Taliban, he said, forbade anyone to bury the corpses for six days.

On the second day, according to numerous witnesses, the Taliban began a house-to-house search for Hazara men. Hazaras, descended from Mongols, are easy to recognise by their distinctive Asiatic features compared with the ethnic Pashtuns who make up the ranks of the Taliban. They share their Shia faith with Iran, while the Taliban are Sunni Muslims.

A witness whose testimony is described as "extremely reliable" by aid officials said most of the victims had been shot in the head, the chest and the testicles. Others had been slaughtered in what he called "the halal way" - by having their throats slit.

One housewife, who has since fled to Pakistan, said the Taliban entered her house and shot her husband and her two brothers dead. Then they cut the men's throats in front of the woman and her children.

Another piece of testimony explained why one Taliban was "very worried he might be excluded from heaven". He had personally shot people in nearly 30 houses, opting to kill them as soon as they opened the door. After killing the men in two homes, he learnt that they were not Hazara but Pashtun. "That he had killed people in 28 Hazara households seemed not to cause him any concern at all," the witness said.

Men not murdered on the spot were "stuffed into containers after being badly beaten", said another witness. He saw the doors opened on a container after all the men inside had died from suffocation.

He also testified that some containers were filled with children who were taken to an unknown destination after their parents had been killed.

Human Rights Watch has obtained gruesome confirmation of the Taliban's penchant for death by container. It quotes a man who was detained by the militia and saw container trucks filled with victims leaving the Mazar-e-Sharif jail several times every day.

Once he watched as the Taliban opened the container doors to find three prisoners alive and about 300 dead. The Taliban drove the trucks to a desert site known as Dasht-e-Leili and ordered porters to dump the cargo of corpses in the sands.

The Human Rights Watch report and other statements identify three Taliban leaders who appear to be guilty of incitement to kill victims purely because of their ethnic origin. They are:

Mullah Manon Niazi, the new Taliban governor of Mazar-e-Sharif. Numerous witnesses heard him make speeches at mosques and on radio inciting hatred of Hazaras. "Wherever you go we will catch you," he said. "If you go up, we will pull you down by your feet; if you hide below we will pull you up by your hair." One witness testified that Niazi personally selected prisoners to be consigned to the death containers.

Mullah Musa, the so-called director of public health. A witness said Musa toured a public hospital looking for Hazara patients to mark out for death. Later that day, the witness heard from a doctor that Musa had taken a group of gunmen to the army hospital, where they had murdered all 20 or so patients, and relatives who had been visiting them.

Maulawi Mohammed Hanif, a Taliban commander who announced to a crowd of 300 people summoned to a mosque that the policy of the Taliban was to "exterminate" the Hazaras.

International aid workers fear the killings are continuing following the recent fall of the central Afghan town of Bamiyan. They have said thousands of people remain unaccounted for.

Thank you... 23.Mar.2004 15:55

Tony Blair's dog

my horned friend.

I will peek and see what can be found.

Warninglights are blinking here though. I'm not sure why at the moment.

Maybe it's the fact that it appears to have arrived a little too timely
after UNOCAL's VP International Relations, John J. Maresca told the House
Committee on International Relations Subcommittee On Asia and The Pacific
in February 12, 1998 that:

"From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of our proposed
pipeline cannot begin until a recognized government is in place that has the
confidence of governments, lenders and our company."
-Maresca lobbying for pipelines through Afghanistan

 http://www.sumeria.net/politics/maresca.html
Copy of original file which has been deleted off the government site.
 http://www.house.gov/international_relations/105th/ap/wsap212982.htm
(Original home of the file, now empty)

The story also appears timely after UNOCAL met with the Talibans in Texas
and threatened them that if they didn't take their bid for the pipelines
instead of the deal from Argentinian company Bridas, they would get
a carpet of bombs. The Talibans decided not to deal with Unocal after that.

The rest is history.

A Creeping Collapse in Credibility at the White House:
From ENRON Entanglements to UNOCAL Bringing the Taliban to Texas and Controlling Afghanistan
 http://www.counterpunch.org/tomenron.html

Dear Mr dog 23.Mar.2004 17:31

yak

am i too understand you are skeptical of the aforementioned acts of august 1998 as having been perpetrated by the taliban?
if so, i encourage you to look into and then post any reports implicating UNOCAL or anyone else in those acts.
i am familiar with the taliban meeting UNOCAL in texas and subsequent dealings with Bridas. but the acts perpetrated outside mazar in aug 98 were in direct retaliation for a justified and reasonable uprising started by hazaras aganist taliban. if you havent read taliban by ahmed rashid it is really clear in its depiction of mostly recent events in afghanistan. fascinating.
anyway,

"yak" 23.Mar.2004 17:57

Tony Blair's dog

"am i too understand you are skeptical of the aforementioned acts of august 1998 as having been perpetrated by the taliban?"

That is correct.

But no worries, time will tell if it's true or not.