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One of The Best and Most Important Stories About Afghanistan

QUENTIN

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One of the best and most important articles I've read on the war:

How Americans are propagandized about Afghanistan

On February 12 of this year, U.S. forces entered a village in the Paktia Province in Afghanistan and, after surrounding a home where a celebration of a new birth was taking place, shot dead two male civilians (government officials) who exited the house in order to inquire why they had been surrounded, and then shot and killed three female relatives (a pregnant mother of ten, a pregnant mother of six, and a teenager) who sought to help the victims. The Pentagon then issued a statement claiming that (a) the dead males were "insurgents" or terrorists, (b) the bodies of the three women had been found by U.S. forces bound and gagged inside the home, and (c) suggested that the women had already been killed by the time the U.S. had arrived, likely the victim of "honor killings" by the Taliban militants killed in the attack.

Although numerous witnesses on the scene as well as local investigators vehemently disputed the Pentagon's version, and insisted that all of the dead (including the women) were civilians and were killed by U.S. forces, the American media largely adopted the Pentagon's version, often without any questions. But enough evidence has now emerged disproving those claims such that the Pentagon was forced yesterday to admit that their original version was totally false and that it was U.S. troops who killed the women:

After initially denying involvement or any cover-up in the deaths of three Afghan women during a badly bungled American Special Operations assault in February, the American-led military command in Kabul admitted late on Sunday that its forces had, in fact, killed the women during the nighttime raid.

One NATO official said that there had likely been an effort to cover-up what happened by U.S. troops via evidence tampering on the scene (though other NATO officials deny this claim). The Times of London actually reported yesterday that, at least according to Afghan investigators, "US special forces soldiers dug bullets out of their victims’ bodies in the bloody aftermath of a botched night raid, then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened."

What is clear -- yet again -- is how completely misinformed and propagandized Americans continue to be by the American media, which constantly "reports" on crucial events in Afghanistan by doing nothing more than mindlessly and unquestioningly passing along U.S. government claims as though they are fact. Here, for instance, is how the Paktia incident was "reported" by CNN on February 12:

cnn.png


Note how the headline states as fact that the women were dead as the result of an "honor killing." The entire CNN article does nothing but repeat what an "unnamed senior military official said" about the incident, and it even helpfully explained:

An honor killing is a murder carried out by a family or community member against someone thought to have brought dishonor onto them.

The U.S. official said it isn't clear whether the dishonor in this case stemmed from accusations of acts such as adultery or even cooperating with NATO forces.

"It has the earmarks of a traditional honor killing," said the official, who added the Taliban could be responsible. . .

The operation unfolded when Afghan and international forces went to the compound, which was thought to be a site of militant activity. A firefight ensued and several insurgents died, several people left the compound, and eight others were detained.

Similarly, The New York Times, while noting that there were "varying accounts of what happened" among U.S. forces and their allies in the Afghan police, also passed along the Pentagon's false version of events with no questioning. Here's the NYT's February 12 article in its entirety:

Several civilians were killed in Paktia Province on Friday when a joint Afghan-NATO force went to investigate a report of militant activity, but NATO and the Afghan police gave varying accounts of what happened. A NATO statement said the joint force went to a compound in the village of Khatabeh, in the Gardez district, where insurgents opened fire on them from a residential compound. Several insurgents were killed and a large number of men, women and children fled and were detained by the NATO force. Inside the compound, soldiers "found the bodies of three women who had been tied up, gagged and killed," the NATO statement said. The Paktia Province police chief, Aziz Ahmad Wardak, confirmed the episode but said the dead in the house were two men and three women, who he said were killed by Taliban militants. He said the killings took place while the residents were celebrating the birth of a baby.
CNN conveyed its version of events without the slightest contradiction or doubt, and the NYT simply ignored entirely the claims of the residents of the village -- notwithstanding the fact that serious conflicts about what actually took place were known from the very beginning. Consider, for instance, this February 12 article by Amir Shah of the Associated Press, who actually bothered to pick up a phone to determine if the Pentagon's claims were true before "reporting" them as fact; this is what Shah found:

However, relatives of the dead accused American forces of being responsible for the deaths of all five people when contacted by The Associated Press by phone.

A man who identified himself as Hamidullah said he had been in the home as some 20 people gathered to celebrate the birth of a son when a group of men he described as "U.S. special forces" surrounded the compound.

When one man came out into the courtyard to ask why, Hamidullah said he watched U.S. forces gun him down.

"Daoud was coming out of the house to ask what was going on. And then they shot him," he said.

Then they killed a second man, Hamidullah said. The rest of the group were forced out into the yard, made to kneel and had their hands bound behind their back, he said, breaking off crying without giving any further details.

A deputy provincial council member in Gardez, Shahyesta Jan Ahadi, said news of the operation has inflamed the local community that believes the Americans were responsible for the deaths.

"Last night, the Americans conducted an operation in a house and killed five innocent people, including three women. The people are so angry," he said.
The Pentagon's version of events was vehemently disputed from the start. But there was not a hint of any of that in the CNN or NYT "reporting," which simply adopted the press release claims of NATO forces. That Press Release, false from start to finish, claimed that "a combined force of Afghan and international troops last night found the bound and gagged bodies of two women and the bodies of two men during an operation in the province's Gardez district," and "members of the combined force found the bodies inside." Ironically, the Pentagon Press Release ended this way: "'ISAF continually works with our Afghan partners to fight criminals and terrorists who do not care about the life of civilians,' ISAF spokesman Canadian army Brig. Gen. Eric Tremblay said." On March 16 -- more than a month later, and only after a major investigative report about this incident was published by Jerome Starkey of The Times of London -- the NYT ran a story detailing the gruesome claims of residents about what really happened; click that link for the horrific details and to get a sense for how false were the Pentagon and U.S. media's original claims about what took place.

Contrast the pure propaganda dissemination of the American media with the immediate reporting of the Pajhwok Afghan News, an independent news agency created in Afghanistan to enable war reporting by Afghans. Here is how they reported the Pakita incident from the beginning, on Febraury 12 (via NEXIS):
US Special Forces have shot dead a district intelligence chief along with four family members in the volatile southeastern province of Paktia, a senior police officer claimed on Friday. Brig. Gen. Ghulam Dastagir Rustamyar explained that Daud and his family were celebrating the birth of his son. But acting on a misleading tip-off, foreign troops raided the intelligence official's residence. . . . He said the dead included Daud, his brother Zahir, an employee of the attorney's office, and three women. . . .

But the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) claimed Afghan and international forces found the bound and gagged bodies of three women during the operation in Gardez late Thursday night. "The joint force went to a compound near the village of Khatabeh, after intelligence confirmed militant activity. Several insurgents engaged the joint force in a firefight and were killed," the ISAF press office in Kabul said. . . .

When the troops entered the compound, according to the press release, they conducted a thorough search and found the bodies of three women who had been tied up, gagged and killed. "The bodies had been hidden in an adjacent room."
Note the crucial difference: the Afghan news service shaped its report based on the statements of actual witnesses on the ground and local investigators, while also including the Pentagon's version of events. Put another way, anyone reading about what happened from American news outlets would be completely misled and propagandized, while anyone reading the Pajhowk Afghan News would have been informed, because they treated official U.S. claims with skepticism rather than uncritical reverence.

* * * * *

All of this is a chronic problem, not an isolated one, with war reporting generally and events in Afghanistan specifically. Just consider what happened when the U.S. military was forced in 2008 to retract its claims about a brutal air raid in Azizabad. The Pentagon had vehemently denied the villagers' claim that close to 100 civilians had been killed and that no Taliban were in the vicinity: until a video emerged proving the villagers' claims were true and the Pentagon's false. Last week, TPM highlighted a recent, largely overlooked statement from Gen. McChrystal, where he admitted, regarding U.S. killings of Afghans at check points: "to my knowledge, in the nine-plus months I've been here, not a single case where we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it and, in many cases, had families in it. . . . We've shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force." And as I documented before, the U.S. media constantly repeats false Pentagon claims about American air attacks around the world in order to create the false impression that Key Terrorists were killed while no civilians were.

At the Nieman Watchdog Foundation, Jerome Starkey, the Afghanistan war reporter for The Times of London who published the March 13 investigative report, has a crucial, must-read piece on all of this. Amazingly, his Nieman piece was written three weeks ago, and recounted in detail: (a) how clearly the U.S.-led forces had lied about what happened in Paktia; and (b) the reasons why the U.S. media continuously spews false government propaganda about the war. Starkey wrote under this headline:

nieman.png


In this mid-March piece, Starkey explained how he had discovered that NATO's claims about the Paktia incident were false (he recounted that evidence in gruesome detail in the Times on March 13, three days before the NYT finally returned to the story to correct its original reporting), and more importantly, highlighted why the U.S. media so frequently disseminates false NATO claims with no questioning:

The only way I found out NATO had lied -- deliberately or otherwise -- was because I went to the scene of the raid, in Paktia province, and spent three days interviewing the survivors. In Afghanistan that is quite unusual.

NATO is rarely called to account. Their version of events, usually originating from the soldiers involved, is rarely seriously challenged. . . .

It’s not the first time I’ve found NATO lying, but this is perhaps the most harrowing instance, and every time I go through the same gamut of emotions. I am shocked and appalled that brave men in uniform misrepresent events. Then I feel naïve.

There are a handful of truly fearless reporters in Afghanistan constantly trying to break the military’s monopoly on access to the front. But far too many of our colleagues accept the spin-laden press releases churned out of the Kabul headquarters. Suicide bombers are “cowards,” NATO attacks on civilians are “tragic accidents,” intelligence is foolproof and only militants get arrested.

Starkey describes some of the understandable reasons so many reporters do nothing more than regurgitate officials claims: resource constraints, organizations limits, dangers of traveling around, and the "embed culture." But he also recounts how NATO tries to intimidate, censor and punish any reporters like him who report adversely on official claims. Illustratively, in response to Starkey's March 13 article detailing what really happened at Paktia and the cover-up that ensued, NATO issued a formal statement singling him out and accusing him of publishing an article that was "categorically false." As recently as that mid-March statement, NATO was still claiming -- falsely -- that the women in Paktia were killed prior to the arrival of American troops, and they were impugning the integrity of the reporter (Starkey) who was proving otherwise.

There are some very courageous and intrepid reporters in Afghanistan, including some who work for American media outlets. It was, for instance, a superb and brave investigative report by the NYT's Carlotta Gall in Afghanistan that uncovered what really happened in that air attack on Azizabad and who documented the Pentagon's false claims. But far more often, Americans are completely misled about events in Afghanistan by the combination of false official claims and mindless stenographic American "journalism." And no matter how many times this process is exposed -- from Jessica Lynch's heroic firefight to Pat Tillman's death by Al Qeada -- this relentless propaganda machine never seems to diminish.
 
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Salon.com. For a minute there, I was actually gonna read this shit. Thank God, I checked the 'source' before I wasted minutes of my life.
 
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QUENTIN

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What it's reporting on is the fact that NATO has now had to issue a press release admitting that for over a month it had been lying about and actively covering up the execution of three pregnant women and two civilians in cold blood by U.S. Troops.

NATO's report had claimed the women were found bound and already dead when troops arrived, likely the result of an "honor killing" by the Taliban perhaps for working with coalition forces. This was then passed on uncritically by CNN, The NY Times, and many other media outlets deemed "liberal" as well as the entirety of the rest of the mainstream press, conservative press, etc.

Investigative reporters went to the scene and discovered that story was a 100% intentional lie and actually amassed so much proof that after a month of denying it, NATO finally had to go on record and admit that yes, U.S. troops shot down innocent and unarmed pregnant women as the women tried to help their dying (also unarmed, also innocent civilian) family members in the street, and yes they lied about it then covered it up then lied about it some more.

This is all independently verifiable via the ISAF's own official website, which is linked to in the article. The article is chock full of links to all of the sources and other news stories, press releases, and official government reports it references.

It also re-publishes the incredible quote that is being widely circulated but has been ignored by the mainstream media, General Stanley McChrystal, the Commander of US, NATO, & JSOC forces in Afghanistan admitting on the record:

"to my knowledge, in the nine-plus months I've been here, not a single case where we have engaged in an escalation of force incident and hurt someone has it turned out that the vehicle had a suicide bomb or weapons in it and, in many cases, had families in it. . . . We've shot an amazing number of people and killed a number and, to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat to the force."

To be skeptical of a news story due to its source is smart and savvy. To completely ignore reading a news story due to its source is stupid and willfully ignorant.

There are many other news outlets now reporting on this story, this article just happened to be the best one. But you can't dismiss the factual content contained therein just because it happened to be covered by a news organization you deem liberal.
 
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You mean CNN (Communist News Network) and the NY Slimes were covering for their Hopey Changey again? No way! Can't be? Oh well if it ain't Da BOOOOOOOOOOSSH,the Liberal Media just ain't interested in such things. It is what it is i guess.
 

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Oh yea you can bet if a Republican President was in there,ole Wolfy Blitzer and the NY Slimes would be up on their high horses preaching away 24/7. It's their Hopey Changey so all is well i guess. The Liberal Press is a joke at this point.
 

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Yea even though one of the stories retracted was from 2008 when Bush was president, but ok cool. RTFA before commenting next time.

Our media, liberal and right wing, have problems here in America. Trying to divide it as a partisan issue ignores the true fault here; we need more accurate, transparent media in our country on both ends of the spectrum.
 

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Yea it was just an "Honor Killing." Man if this President had an 'R' by his name,CNN (Communist News Network) and the NY Slimes would have never reported it that way. They would have instead immediately declared the soldiers guilty. I don't care how their fellow Liberals try and spin this,most common sense thinking people understand what i'm saying.
 

hyakku

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Yea it was just an "Honor Killing." Man if this President had an 'R' by his name,CNN (Communist News Network) and the NY Slimes would have never reported it that way. They would have instead immediately declared the soldiers guilty. I don't care how their fellow Liberals try and spin this,most common sense thinking people understand what i'm saying.

Yes, everyone gets what you are saying. Just like in 2008 when Fox news did the SAME thing for the Bush administration and was forced to backtrack.

I don't see why this is JUST a liberal problem. American media in general have this problem, whether you want to see it or not. Jeez, you can't even agree with you people without getting into an argument :lol:
 
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Yep, It's clearly C.ommunist N.ews N.etwork covering the madman Obama's (so-called anti-War) ass.
The poor OP was hoping to bash The Military but ended up exposing this mentally deranged administrations hypocrisy and the filthy Leftist medias as well. ~BH
 

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Y'all can go on believeing everything our media and govt says if you want.
But not me.
I check foreign sources as well.
America has an alive and well propaganda dept. Did during Bush and still does.
 
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Y'all can go on believeing everything our media and govt says if you want.
But not me.
I check foreign sources as well.
America has an alive and well propaganda dept. Did during Bush and still does.

Of course their is propaganda from C.N.N, Fox News ect. It's called the Government media Complex. It's called The Government in bed with the International Banks and Corporations. It's called political and financial contributions to whoever sings the requested tune the loudest. ~BH
 
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This really has nothing to do with liberal or conservative anything. All of the American corporate owned news outlets reported it the same way. It's about the mainstream media being subservient, uncritical stenographers to the Government and especially the military and allowing them to get away with lies and war crimes while dishonestly shaping Americans' perceptions about the war.

We have millions of people who believe we're fighting "Islamofascism" and people who "hate us for our freedom" when in reality the vast majority of people pissed off at us in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the rest of the Muslim world are not radical, hardened ideological jihadists but normal people who are fed up with being occupied and murdered by an invading Army. It is stories like these that happen all the time and shape public opinion overseas but almost never get revealed for what they are to the American public. The only reason this one false report was discovered was because an individual investigative reporter made the dangerous trek to go check out the site of the killings himself and ultimately collected so much proof it was no longer possible to refute (after the Pentagon tried officially refuting it and smearing him when it was first published). It's just the tip of the iceberg.

Moreover it goes to show that there is no reason to believe the daily reports coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq about what happens in these skirmishes, because as this proves, the Pentagon can make up whatever it wants and the corporate media (from the New York Times to the New York Post, MSNBC to CNN to FOX) will just parrot it as fact without doing any verifying of their own (i.e., doing their jobs). When it comes to these issues, like many others, the mainstream media and government are in bed together and have zero credibility, so people take their word at their own intellectual and informational peril.
 

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Recall the lies about the Jessica Lynch episode?
The lies about Sadam's capture?

These are just a few of the ones that were exposed as lies.
How many more lies did not get exposed?
 
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Pat Tillman, the Azizabad attacks that killed over 100 civilians and had no Taliban in the area, how seemingly all of our air strikes kill exactly 30 terrorists every time, how we've apparently killed [URL="http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/5989.html"]"Al Qaeda's number 3 man"a dozen times (and the last guy keeps popping up alive after having been reported killed 3 times)[/URL], how the leader of Al-Qaeda in Yemen was killed twice then it turned out oops we just bombed a bunch of innocent people both times and he's still out there...

The list goes on and on and those are just the few we know about because someone knew of the lies and set out to prove them. In most cases, we're not so lucky. Again, it's the tip of the iceberg. The corporate media has completely abandoned their role as a check on government power and claims so the government has no reason not to lie. 9 times out of 10, they'll get away with it, meanwhile the American people are woefully misinformed about the crucial realities of our foreign occupations.

After all this deceit, no reasonable person has any rationale for believing claims reported about the latest raid, strike, drone bombing, or execution in any of our wars nor the narratives about how we're doing and what we're fighting that are based on them. If you're getting your news from the corporate press, you're going to be basing your opinions on pretty fictions and have no idea what you're talking about.
 
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Are you fucking kidding?

This isn't a "Conspiracy Theory" by any stretch of the imagination.

It's a report on something the The Pentagon has now admitted. They have gone back on their first official story to admit they lied and that the reporter's story was right. This has now been reported on by hundreds of other mainstream media outlets.

What we're discussing are not wild speculation, but stories where the media passes on government claims that have then been proven to be false and the government has been forced to recant their lies, and the facts come out and make it into press reports.

How on Earth is that a "Conspiracy Theory"?

This simply does not belong here and it's disrespectful to and dismissive of the topic, an important story about 5 innocent people killed by U.S. troops and the subsequent coverup that was uncovered. It's not a theory. It's being widely reported now and moreover, the Pentagon has admitted it.

What was the justification for placing this here? Moving it to Afghanistan or Middle East or Media or Military all make sense, but this is not a conspiracy theory.
 

CrimsonWhite

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Are you fucking kidding?

This isn't a "Conspiracy Theory" by any stretch of the imagination.

It's a report on something the The Pentagon has now admitted. They have gone back on their first official story to admit they lied and that the reporter's story was right. This has now been reported on by hundreds of other mainstream media outlets.

What we're discussing are not wild speculation, but stories where the media passes on government claims that have then been proven to be false and the government has been forced to recant their lies, and the facts come out and make it into press reports.

How on Earth is that a "Conspiracy Theory"?

This simply does not belong here and it's disrespectful to and dismissive of the topic, an important story about 5 innocent people killed by U.S. troops and the subsequent coverup that was uncovered. It's not a theory. It's being widely reported now and moreover, the Pentagon has admitted it.

What was the justification for placing this here? Moving it to Afghanistan or Middle East or Media or Military all make sense, but this is not a conspiracy theory.

What is it about the questioning Staff action in public rule that people do not understand? If you have a problem then take it up with Staff via PM.

Also, the staff here will place threads in whatever forum they choose and do not have to justify moving it to anyone but Gunny and myself.
 
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I PMed Echeaux Zulu (saw "Super Moderator" under his name), but I don't know who moved it or who is best to PM. It's such an unscrupulous move though that I'd really like to know who did it and what their rationale was.

Burying a thread about a war crimes coverup that has now been admitted by the Pentagon and reported in every national media outlet in a forum filled with 9/11 conspiracies and fake moon landing nonsense is disrespectful to those we now know were innocent civilians killed by troop and a completely dishonest maneuver that misrepresents the subject of the thread and the story it contains.


Afghan Investigators Say U.S. Troops Tried to Cover Up Evidence in Botched Raid

The joint American and Afghan assault team shot five Afghans — all family members — from the roofs of buildings in a large residential compound near Gardez, in southeastern Afghanistan, where members of an extended family lived in different homes, survivors said. The Americans did the killing, they said.

At first, the American-led military command in Kabul said that the two men who died were “insurgents” who had “engaged” — in other words, shot at — the forces at the scene. The initial account also said that the troops then stumbled onto the bodies of three women “tied up, gagged and killed” and hidden in a room.

Military officials later suggested that the women — who among them had 16 children — had all been stabbed to death or had died by other means before the raid, implying that their own relatives may have killed them.

But the military later said the men were innocent civilians shot after they went outside, armed, to investigate the presence of the forces conducting the raid. Then on Sunday night they admitted that the women were also killed during the raid.

In an interview, Mr. Yarmand said the raiding party had killed all five Afghans — and then meddled with the scene.

“We came to the conclusion that the NATO patrol was responsible for the killing of the two men and the three women, and that there was evidence of tampering in the corridor inside the compound by the members” of the assault team, Mr. Yarmand said. “There was a mess at the scene.”

He said he was pleased that the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, had accepted findings that all five Afghans were civilians killed during the raid.

/\ That is not a "conspiracy theory." It's not just that the thread shouldn't have been moved here, it's a question of why it was in the first place.

Just because staff reserves the right to "place threads in whatever forum they choose" doesn't mean they should have zero accountability and be able to do so arbitrarily.

It's the second time this has happened too, and last time I got no answer either, which is why it's a cause for concern. If an admin can arbitrarily bury a news story thread among a "conspiracy" forum because he doesn't like the subject or what it reveals, then the place has no standards.
 
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CrimsonWhite

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I PMed Echeaux Zulu (saw "Super Moderator" under his name), but I don't know who moved it or who is best to PM. It's such an unscrupulous move though that I'd really like to know who did it and what their rationale was.

Burying a thread about a war crimes coverup that has now been admitted by the Pentagon and reported in every national media outlet in a forum filled with 9/11 conspiracies and fake moon landing nonsense is disrespectful to those we now know were innocent civilians killed by troop and a completely dishonest maneuver that misrepresents the subject of the thread and the story it contains.


Afghan Investigators Say U.S. Troops Tried to Cover Up Evidence in Botched Raid

The joint American and Afghan assault team shot five Afghans — all family members — from the roofs of buildings in a large residential compound near Gardez, in southeastern Afghanistan, where members of an extended family lived in different homes, survivors said. The Americans did the killing, they said.

At first, the American-led military command in Kabul said that the two men who died were “insurgents” who had “engaged” — in other words, shot at — the forces at the scene. The initial account also said that the troops then stumbled onto the bodies of three women “tied up, gagged and killed” and hidden in a room.

Military officials later suggested that the women — who among them had 16 children — had all been stabbed to death or had died by other means before the raid, implying that their own relatives may have killed them.

But the military later said the men were innocent civilians shot after they went outside, armed, to investigate the presence of the forces conducting the raid. Then on Sunday night they admitted that the women were also killed during the raid.

In an interview, Mr. Yarmand said the raiding party had killed all five Afghans — and then meddled with the scene.

“We came to the conclusion that the NATO patrol was responsible for the killing of the two men and the three women, and that there was evidence of tampering in the corridor inside the compound by the members” of the assault team, Mr. Yarmand said. “There was a mess at the scene.”

He said he was pleased that the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, had accepted findings that all five Afghans were civilians killed during the raid.

/\ That is not a "conspiracy theory." It's not just that the thread shouldn't have been moved here, it's a question of why it was in the first place.

Just because staff reserves the right to "place threads in whatever forum they choose" doesn't mean they should have zero accountability and be able to do so arbitrarily.

It's the second time this has happened too, and last time I got no answer either, which is why it's a cause for concern. If an admin can arbitrarily bury a news story thread among a "conspiracy" forum because he doesn't like the subject or what it reveals, then the place has no standards.

Okay, you got your thread moved to the Afghanistan forum. Also, when you PM the staff, it ends there. You don't create another post on the issue. Nobody owes you a justification for moving it.

Since you are slow, I will make this simple. If you comment on staff action in public again, I will make you go away. Thanks for playing.
 

uscitizen

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Ohh yeah I had forgotten the Tillman lies spread by our govt/military and parroted by the media.


fo one reason or another our media has forgotten how to question our governments actions and just tends to parrot whatever our govt tells them.

I no longer have any trust in the US MSM.
They have all devolved to the level of the National Enquirer.
Which actually still does question the govt a bit. But mostly about aliens and such bizarre things.
 

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