“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Obama Hints at Bush Era War Crimes

Any doubts as to what this is about or where this is going? Obama is not fit to be President of the United States of America. Obama had better not even dare try and turn over anyone to the Hague. Forget about having a robust intelligence agency or special ops with steel teeth.


Obama orders review of alleged slayings of Taliban in Bush era

(CNN) -- President Obama has ordered national security officials to look into allegations that the Bush administration resisted efforts to investigate a CIA-backed Afghan warlord over the killings of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001.

"The indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention," Obama told CNN's Anderson Cooper in an exclusive interview during the president's visit to Ghana. The full interview will air 10 p.m. Monday.

"So what I've asked my national security team to do is to collect the facts for me that are known, and we'll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all of the facts gathered up," Obama said.

The inquiry stems from the deaths of at least 1,000 Taliban prisoners who had surrendered to the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in late 2001.

The fighters were in the custody of troops led by Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, a prominent Afghan warlord who has served as chief of staff of the country's post-Taliban army.

Dostum, a former communist union boss and militia leader who fought against the U.S.-backed mujahedeen in the 1980s, is known for switching sides as Afghanistan's political conflict has evolved. When the United States invaded Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, Dostum sided with the Americans and received military and CIA support to battle the Taliban.

The allegations against him first surfaced in a 2002 Newsweek report, which cited a confidential U.N. memo saying the prisoners died in cramped container trucks while being transported from their Konduz stronghold in northern Afghanistan to Sheberghan prison, west of Dostum's stronghold at Mazar-e Sharif.

At the time, the Boston, Massachusetts-based group Physicians for Human Rights said it found a mass grave in nearby Dasht-e Leili, where witnesses said the bodies of Taliban prisoners were buried. The finding prompted U.S. Gen. Tommy Franks, who led the invasion of Afghanistan, to support an investigation into the allegations.

But The New York Times, citing government officials and human rights organizations, reported Friday that the Bush administration "repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode."

State Department officials recently have tried to derail Dostum's reappointment as military chief of staff to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the newspaper reported, citing several senior officials who suggested the administration "might not be hostile to an inquiry."

Dostum, a key ally of Karzai, was reportedly living in exile in Turkey until last month, when he was reinstated to his post as defense minister. He had left Afghanistan over allegations that he had kidnapped Akbar Bai, a former ally turned political rival.

When asked by CNN about whether Obama would support an investigation, the president replied, "I think that, you know, there are responsibilities that all nations have, even in war. And if it appears that our conduct in some way supported violations of laws of war, then I think that, you know, we have to know about that." Watch part of CNN's exclusive interview with the president »

Susannah Sirkin, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights, on Sunday praised Obama "for ordering his national security team to collect all the facts in the Dasht-e-Leili massacre and apparent U.S. cover-up."

"U.S. military and intelligence personnel were operating jointly and accepted the surrender of the prisoners jointly with General Dostum's forces in northern Afghanistan," Sirkin said earlier in the week.

"The Obama administration has a legal obligation to determine what U.S. officials knew, where U.S. personnel were, what involvement they had, and the actions of US allies during and after the massacre. These questions, nearly eight years later, remain unanswered."


  1. If I were serving in the US military today, my letter of resignation would be signed sealed and delivered. I would never serve under this president.

  2. Did General Dostum kill 1,000 prisoners?

    Do not the inquiring minds even want to know?

  3. This enquiry should have been delayed until the war ended, however it is too late now.

    You cannot win a war like this. On D-day German troops were murdered en masse. Call it destroying the enemy if it makes you feel better, but it was and is a necessary component to winning a war

    Might as well call it a day.

    This is a propaganda gold mine for the enemies of the US and especially in Afghanistan. The left will be energized in the US and Europe.

    Nato support will crumble.

    After this, there will be no way that the current war in Afghanistan can be won. The military will be micro-managed by politicians at the expense of US lives.

    This will demoralize the troops and allies. The Afghans fighting on the US side will see the end game and realize that they are on the wrong side.

    The men who will not agonize over the deaths of their enemies will prevail. They usually do.

    Would I have ordered the suffocation of the Taliban prisoners if that is what happened? No, but that does not matter now. It is simply over. Mission accomplished. The political left got what they wanted. there is no point to losing more lives. we will have to live with the consequences.

    Obama has ended his effectiveness as a pretender to be a uniter. Americans in sufficient numbers will not be sympathetic to war crime trials. That will cause a whole new round of problems.

  4. While Frank Rich at the NYTimes has some interesting polling numbers:

    In the aftermath of her decision to drop out and cash in, Palin’s standing in the G.O.P. actually rose in the USA Today/Gallup poll. No less than 71 percent of Republicans said they would vote for her for president. That overwhelming majority isn’t just the “base” of the Republican Party that liberals and conservatives alike tend to ghettoize as a rump backwater minority. It is the party, or pretty much what remains of it in the Barack Obama era.

    That’s why Palin won’t go gently into the good night, much as some Republicans in Washington might wish. She is not just the party’s biggest star and most charismatic television performer; she is its only star and charismatic performer. Most important, she stands for a genuine movement: a dwindling white nonurban America that is aflame with grievances and awash in self-pity as the country hurtles into the 21st century and leaves it behind. Palin gives this movement a major party brand and political plausibility that its open-throated media auxiliary, exemplified by Glenn Beck, cannot. She loves the spotlight, can raise millions of dollars and has no discernible reason to go fishing now except for self-promotional photo ops.

    The essence of Palinism is emotional, not ideological

    Read More, if you're a mind to

  5. The "War" did end, for a while.

    Couple, three years there the Taliban were on the skids.

    Besides, it is all about policing, just as it is in Iraq. Read the releases, it is all about arrests. Not much news of convictions.

    In Afghanistan the Pashtuns cannot be expected to "get on board" with a US/Nato backed government that killed 1,000 prisioners, their kinsmen, with impunity.

    If General Dostum is with Karsai and he did have 1,000 prisoners killed, you're right, it is over. GW Bush and his Team killed it, when they suppressed the investigation.

  6. Here's A Major etal. Who Wants To Find Out If He Even Has A Commander In Chief

    This case seems not to have, I've read, the disability of many of the others, the standing to sue question.

  7. At least, that's what they're trying to get around. The court may say, get outta here.

  8. Heh--Willie Brown, a likeable cad, who was going good two lifetimes ago when my sis was in the Bay Area, thinks Sarah Palin Knows What She's Doing

  9. I told you this was just another Vietnam.

    Iraq, you could support. There was the oil, there, and in the southern kingdoms.

    Here, there's nuthin.

  10. Welcome to Alice in Wonderland...

    This whole situation reminds me of the famous line in the James Bond movie...

    "No, mister Bond, I expect you to die!....

    I do not shed a tear about 1000 taliban dying in custody...

    rather upon learning of these human animals being removed from the collective gene pool I rejoice...

    now if only this type of treatment could happen to all the terrorists that plague the world....

  11. Too many people have forgotten that after 911 the Taliban were given a chance to turn over AQ to the US. They refused and got the air war they were warned against. The CIA and army and naval special forces did a masterful job enlisting the Northern Alliance in the fight. In fact, the US gave the Northern Alliance an air force.

    Remember the CIA man Mike Spann who was double crossed at that prison and killed?

    Remember American operatives on horse back and real concern about AQ possibly having nuclear weapons?

    The Northern Alliance with US support and direction routed the Taliban. They won a dirty war using tough and smart tactics. If a few thousand Taliban were killed so what? That is the idea of war, kill your enemies in such numbers and in such ways to destroy them and get the side benefit of discouraging future enemies.

    We have too many people that enjoy the spoils of the hunt, but hate the hunters.

  12. I am going to continue this on the next thread.

  13. But duece, they were no longer the "Enemy", they were prisoners of the war. The US Army, in 1978, spent more time training on the Geneva Accords and the treatment of prisoners than they did on map reading or survival on a nuclear battlefield

    Those prisoners were "out of the game".
    They had, reportedly, surrendered to US. The US military is crystal clear on the care and conditions that prisoners be held under.

    1,000 prisoners, murdered, justified just how many beheadings of US personnel across the arc of localized wars?

    The results of the US ignoring the behaviour, contemporaneously, General Dostrum can now return to Afghanistan, from his exile in Turkey, and continue to disrupt US/Nato operations to "Awaken" the Pashtun.

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