February 4, 2003

Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death

Thousands of Afghan prisoners were killed while travelling in sealed containers on their way from Konduz to a prison at Sheberghan. The bodies of the dead and some who survived were then buried in a mass grave at nearby Dasht Leile. US special forces were closely involved and in charge at the time. Were they involved in a war crime? The Pentagon denies the events. The eyewitnesses tell what happened.

Watch brief excerpts from a 50 minute documentary, AFGHAN MASSACRE Convoy of Death by Scottish journalist Jamie Doran and Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi. Hear Doran talk about the massacre and its implications and why there's been no investigation into suspected war crimes. Watch the entire film. To purchase a DVD, contact ACFTV.

[More bombs descended on Laos than on Germany and Japan combined during World War II, making it the most bombed country in history. At least 80 percent of those killed were civilian farmers and villagers. And the U.S. government did this illegally and secretly.--Tamara Straus, "When War Doesn't End," AlterNet, January 7, 2002]

[Relying on wire services, NGO and worldwide newspaper reports, I attempted to survey the bombing incidents to date and concluded that more than 3,500 Afghan civilians had been killed.--Marc Herold, "Counting the dead," Guardian, August 8, 2002]

["According to Dai Williams, independent DU researcher, there has been 50 to 100 times greater health hazard in Afghanistan than had been in Balkans from the usage of uranium based weapons - depleted uranium, dirty uranium and uranium ore."--Mohammed Daud Miraki, "Perpetual Death From America,", February 24, 2003]

[. . . new types of radioactive weapons may have been used in Afghanistan. . . . "The results were astounding: the donors presented concentrations of toxic and radioactive uranium isotopes between 100 and 400 times greater than in the Gulf veterans tested in 1999."--Alex Kirby, "Afghans ' uranium levels spark alert," BBC News Online, May 22, 2003]

["Eyewitnesses say when the prisoners began shouting for air, U.S.-allied Afghan soldiers fired directly into the truck, killing many of them. The rest suffered through an appalling road trip lasting up to four days, so thirsty they clawed at the skin of their fellow prisoners as they licked perspiration and even drank blood from open wounds.

"They also say US Special Forces re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried. Now, up to three thousand bodies lie buried in a mass grave.

"The film has sent shockwaves around the world. It has been broadcast on national television in Britain, Germany, Italy and Australia. It has been screened by the European parliament. It has outraged human rights groups and international human rights lawyers. They are calling for investigation into whether U.S. Special Forces are guilty of war crimes."--"'Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death' - Broadcast for the First Time Ever in the US: Eyewitnesses Testify that US Troops Were Complicit in the Massacre of up to 3,000 Taliban Prisoners During the Afghan War," Democracy Now, May 23, 2003]

[". . . the move is seen as logical by the US, which has been attacked worldwide for breaching the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war since it established the camp at a naval base to hold alleged terrorists from Afghanistan."--"US plans death camp," Herald Sun (Australia), May 26, 2003]

Mike Collett-White, "U.S. Military Vows to Keep Afghan Jails Secret," Reuters, May 19, 2004

VIDEO: What I find is that the US Marines act with impunity. They are conducting cordon and search operations designed to humiliate and terrorise the local community into compliance.--Carmela Baranowska, "Taliban Country," 2004

[. . . the bullet wound in his thigh, left untouched, was causing fever.

At Camp Rhino, Lindh, now under Marine Guard, was placed naked and blindfolded on a stretcher and lashed to it with duct tape. He was then put in a metal shipping container . . .

it was very cold in the room where Lindh was being held and he could hear him shaking inside the container. . . When Lindh had to urinate, the metal box was raised upright so the urine would flow out the bottom. Holes were punched out of the metal siding for air. He was fed intermittently - about a thousand calories a day--Richard D. Mahoney, "Getting Away With Murder: The Real Story Behind American Taliban John Walker Lindh And What the U.S. Government Had to Hide," Arcade Publishing (2004)]

[A United Nations human rights monitor who accused American military forces and civilian contractors last week of abusing and torturing prisoners in Afghanistan has been told his job is over.--Warren Hoge, " Lawyer Who Told of U.S. Abuses at Afghan Bases Loses U.N. Post," New York Times, April 30, 2005]

Frank Lindh, "The Real Story of John Walker Lindh," AlterNet, January 25, 2006

[Dostum's men hauled the bodies into the nearby desert and buried them in mass graves, according to Afghan human rights officials. By some estimates, 2,000 men were buried there.

Earlier this year, bulldozers and backhoes returned to the scene, reportedly exhumed the bones of many of the dead men and removed evidence of the atrocity to sites unknown.--Tom Lasseter, "U.S. keeps silent as Afghan ally removes war crime evidence," McClatchy Newspapers, December 11, 2008]

VIDEO: "John Walker Lindh's Parents Discuss Their Son's Story, from Joining the US-Backed Taliban Army to Surviving a Northern Alliance Massacre, to His Abuse at the Hands of US Forces,", July 31, 2009

Jesselyn A. Radack, "TRAITOR: The Whistleblower and the 'American Taliban'," Whistleblower Press (January 30, 2012)

Trevor Aaronson, "Is 'Terrorist Recidivism' Real?,", May 27 2019

back button