Friday, July 10, 2009

"We believe that anyone suspected of war crimes should be thoroughly investigated"


Earlier I noted the recent story on the Bush Administration's cover up of war crimes by an Afghani warlord, and the creation of Afghani mass graves. (You may recall that George W. Bush was particularly incensed by Saddam Hussein's mass graves, and saw them as a justification for having gone to war, but apparently he was less upset by mass graves created by American allies. (Oh, wait, Saddam Hussein was our ally in the 1980s. . . .)

I should note that the Obama Administration is now faced with the urgent question whether to investigate what the Bush Administration sought to cover up. Risen reports that Obama Administration officials have opposed General Dostrum's reappointment and are considering finally looking into the killings:

A senior State Department official said that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Richard C. Holbrooke, the special representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan, have told Mr. Karzai of their objections to reinstalling General Dostum. The American officials have also pressed his sponsors in Turkey to delay his return to Afghanistan while talks continue with Mr. Karzai over the general’s role, said an official briefed on the matter. Asked about looking into the prisoner deaths, the official said, “We believe that anyone suspected of war crimes should be thoroughly investigated.” (emphasis added)

I fully agree, But the last time I checked, torture was also a war crime, and a violation of American domestic law as well. Does this mean that the Obama Administration will now consent to a Truth Commission on U.S. violations of domestic and international law? If we are finally going to investigate war crimes by our allies, why not American officials suspected of committing war crimes as well?

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