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So finally the truth comes out…sort of.
After initially claiming that two pregnant women and a teenage girl killed in a US Special Forces raid on an Afghan home in Khataba in February had been discovered bound and slain by the Americans, the US military has admitted that they were actually shot and killed by those US troops–who then tried to cover up their mistake by carving the bullets out of the bodies with knives, removing other incriminating bullets from the compounds walls, and then washing away the bloody evidence with alcohol.
In this new grisly version of the story issued from the US command in Afghanistan, it was a case of the Special Forces Unit lying to superiors about what had transpired in their botched raid, which also killed an Afghan police commander and a government prosecutor.
The only reason we know all this today is because of the intrepid digging by a relentless reporter from the Times of London, Jerome Starkey, who, unlike the hacks in Kabul passing themselves off as journalists from American news organizations, didnt just accept the press release on the incident put out by Gen. Stanley McChrystals office, but instead did his own investigation, talking to Afghan and UN investigators, as well as local people where the incident happened.
For his efforts at getting to the truth, Starkey was attacked by the US military, accused of lying and misrepresenting US statements.
Now that Starkey has been fully vindicated, there has been no apology from McChrystals office, or from the military public relations operation. Nor have US reporters and editors, who left Starkey undefended while his credibility was being attacked by the US, said anything about his role in bringing the truth to light.
The New York Times, in an article today by Richard A. Oppel, Jr., datelined Kabul, said that the US military, after initially denying involvement in any cover-up in the deaths, had admitted that its forces had killed the women during the nighttime raid.
The paper also credited the Times of London (without mentioning Starkey), with, a day before the militarys about face, disclosing that American forces on the scene had dug bullets out of their victims bodies in the bloody aftermath and then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened.
April 6, 2010