by Scott Creighton
Gareth Porter and Shah Nouri have an article on Truth Out today in which they highlight new evidence that suggests that the Kandahar Massacre was not the work of the “crazed lone gunman” Robert Bales, but rather it was a deliberate SOF payback for an IED roadside bombing.
This is what I’ve been saying since day one. That Bales was innocent, probably drugged, and that the massacre itself served several purposes the main one being a deterrent to the indigenous population to keep them from supporting insurgent fighters.
Porter and Nouri have flushed out a great deal more evidence such as threats from the company commander toward the locals and their children as well as the fact that Afghan soldiers have now reported that a SOF unit deployed that night, left the base, before the massacre and that the commander of the base lied about it.
Combine all of this with the eyewitness reports and the shifting official story and you have what appears to be a retaliation leveled against the innocent people of two villages and the framing of Robert Bales.
“Further suggesting a connection between the indiscriminate killing attributed to Bales and an SOF operation that night in the same village is evidence from Afghan guards at the Special Forces camp that a patrol had been sent out that night and that the camp commander had put out a false story on what was known about the movements of Bales.” Truth Out
No matter how many times the officials changed the story to make it meld with the facts that were leaking out about the case, the reality is they can’t keep it hidden forever.
Turns out the Green Beret unit checked into who owned and worked on land near the IED explosion after the attack and before the massacre. Also turns out that the IED attack was located near a vineyard and the family that suffered the most casualties just turns out to be the ones who owned that vineyard.
Muhammad Wazir leased the land the vineyard was on and he and his brother worked the fields. According to the Truth Out investigation, Wazir was away that night but his brother was murdered, his brother’s family, and his entire family with the exception of his 4 year old son who was with him that night.
The location of that home and that massacre is where they found the bodies all piled up in a stack and set on fire. His brother had been identified as working the vineyard and warned by the soldiers.
“But he said that another villager had told him that the day after the IED exploded, Akhter Muhammad had shown his identification card to a US soldier at a checkpoint near Camp Belambay and had been had told by the soldiers that the Americans knew the IED had been planted near his vineyard, according to the account Wazir got from another resident of Najiban. Other residents of Najiban told him that the warning had frightened his brother, Wazir said” Truth Out
Several eyewitnesses claimed that the commander of the base made specific threats to the locals including the women and children.
“Five eyewitnesses said in separate interviews with Truthout that a US commander had blamed the local population for failing to report the IED, and threatened retaliation against civilians, including women and children, if it happened again.” Truth Out
Another eyewitness who’s husband was killed reported seeing as many as 20 soldiers and hearing helicopters before they arrived.
“Globalpost’s Bette Dam reported March 23 that Dawood’s wife, Massouma, said she heard helicopters flying overhead when a uniformed soldier entered her home and flashed what she described as a “big, white light,” and yelled, “Taliban! Taliban! Taliban!”
She recalled the solider had a walkie-talkie and was shouting “walkie-talkie, walkie-talkie” into it just before killing her husband. That was an apparent effort to justify killing him, based on rules of engagement that permit shooting an Afghan holding a walkie-talkie as a potential Taliban spotter in certain areas with heavy insurgent presence.”
… After the soldier had killed her husband, Massouma said she had looked through the curtains and saw “at least 20 Americans, with heavy weapons, in the larger family compound, including her bathroom.” Truth Out
The truth is finally coming out about the Kandahar Massacre and Robert Bales at least in the dissident press. But Truth Out is no fly-by-night WordPress blog and Gareth Porter is no willyloman. Hopefully this well written and researched article will force a bit more of a dialog on this tragic and murderous event beyond the silly “crazed lone gunman” story.