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NATO Tries to Silence a Truth-Teller in Afghanistan After Killing Pregnant Women

Posted by Derrick Crowe on March 26th, 2010

Q: Why would U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan go out of their way to smear a journalist?

A: Because he told the truth about a night raid that killed Afghan civilians, including pregnant women.

Last week, I spoke with Afghanistan-based journalist Jerome Starkey about his reporting on special forces raids that killed civilians and NATOs surprising–and disappointing–response. This video contains disturbing images, and an even more disturbing story of violence, and an attempt to silence a truth-teller. It shows why its absolutely essential that we keep pushing back against the Pentagon’s message machine.

Over the past few months, Starkey exposed two incidents where NATO initially claimed to have engaged and killed insurgents, when they’d in fact killed civilians, including school children and pregnant women. In both cases, when confronted with eye-witness accounts obtained by Starkey that clearly rebutted NATO’s initial claims, NATO resisted publicly recanting.

In the first case, NATO officials told him they no longer believed that the raid would have been justified if they’d known what they now know, but no official would consent to direct attribution for this admission.

In the second case, NATO’s initially made sensational claims that they’d discovered during the raid the bodies of pregnant women that had been bound, gagged and executed. Starkey’s reporting forcefully rebutted this claim. Instead of simply retracting their story, NATO went so far as to attempt to damage Starkey’s credibility by telling other Kabul-based journalists that they had proof he’d misquoted ISAF spokesman Rear Adm. Greg Smith. When Starkey demanded a copy of the recording, NATO initially ignored him and eventually admitted that no recording existed. NATO only admitted their story was false in a retraction buried several paragraphs deep in a press release that led with an attack on Starkey’s credibility.

Under Gen. Stanley McChrystal, NATO’s made a big show of apologizing early and often when civilians are killed in broad daylight. But Starkey’s reporting and ISAF’s reaction to it shows that their natural inclination to escape accountability remains strong and operative when they think they can get away with violent mistakes under the cover of darkness.

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to “NATO Tries to Silence a Truth-Teller in Afghanistan After Killing Pregnant Women”

  1. earlnash says:

    For a blog that follows these types of stories, every day, and adds a bit of humor, try:

  2. aja says:

    This is just the tip of the ice-berg of the message machine.

    Here's a fun fact, many young Pakistanis think Bin Laden works for the CIA and that a jihad movement didn't exist in their country until after we invaded Afghanistan.

    Anyways, the myth of Bin Laden as the American hating terrorist is a great one. Every time the fake news network known as Al Jazeera gets an “authentic” Bin Laden tape, Americans all go, “oh my gosh, we need to spend more money on defense to get that evil doer.”

    The western oil companies and the Saudi Royal Family go, “oh boy, let's get the fear up again so we can boost our oil profits.”

    This “war on terrorism” is easy to figure out. Follow the money. See who has gotten rich off these wars and you'll see a new reality.

    The “War on terror” is the newest religion in America – we've been fooled and many of the followers of Bin Laden are also ignorant fools following a “false prophet” who was manufactured by the CIA way back during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

    You may also want to forget what you think you know about 9/11.

    When it all dawned on me, it felt just like the day when I realized religion was a fraud too.

  3. Chopin says:

    McChrystal and his Pentagon bosses are trying to suppress an inconvenient truth about US forces' complete callous disregard of Afghan civilian lives in the same way that they tried to suppress an inconvenient truth about the death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman. The truth tellers are maligned, the guilty troopers go scot free, the murdered Afghan civilians are dead, their people's hatred of the US grows, and the complicit guilty generals and Pentagon chiefs continue their immoral conduct unchecked.

  4. paul says:

    The U.S. military reserves the “right” to lie to the American people, in an attempt to build and secure public support for its actions (it is euphemistically referred to as “Information Operations”). It is incumbent upon all Americans (and others) to resist this immoral, and unconstitutional activity by the Pentagon. These people are not patriots, remember that.

  5. Think Again says:

    Whats Obama thinking? Fire that SOB general.

  6. [...] For more details on this incident, please check out this video produced by Rethink Afghanistan: [...]

  7. Winston Warfield says:

    The American public is simply part of the suite of “enemy factors” the Pentagon figures into its planning. The suppression of journalists is an attack on our right to know, and therefore an attack on us. In war, manipulation and deception are key to any military's operations. So how does it feel to be a target?

  8. Johnny says:

    Unfortunately, Lying comes very easy to McChrystal, it's one of his tools of war, remember Pat Tillman?

    If our troops are so noble, and our task so just, why do our commanders on the ground find the need to repeatedly lie about their conduct and actions?

    This is NOT A WAR, it is an oppressive act of naked aggression.

  9. john66 says:

    NATO official is yet another fig-leaf to hide behind for the AMERICAN WAR CRIMINALS.

  10. jaymee gabriel says:

    why is anyone surprised with anything this government does? it's been like this for decades. who's worse, the u.s. government or the catholic church?

  11. [...] literally kills tens of thousands of actual human beings, where is the outrage over stories like this? It’s not like religious institutions abstain from political debates. You may recall [...]

  12. dumbfrumscum says:

    The US government would kill you and your entire family if they could make money or gain power off of it. Enjoy the decline suckers.

  13. michaelvalentine says:

    But it is a war and war is an act of oppressive act of naked aggression, always was always will be.

    That is why war should be the last resort, not the first.

  14. michaelvalentine says:

    Who says we didn't learn anything from Viet Nam? No draft (which would support the troops) and no taxes to pay (just public debit because it's all about the children) for this war means no large scale public demonstrations against it.

    The fact that the Pentagon is breaking the laws regarding propagandizing to the American people is well known but unchallenged by anyone.

    A nation of laws indeed.

  15. steve says:

    Paul, you need to study up on the facts a bit. IO is not lying, in fact it has nothing to do with telling a lie. IO is all about conveying truthful information. I think you might be referring to propaganda, where the intent is to mislead a foreign adversary. Notice I said foreign… propaganda is only used against foreign audiences, not the American public. Do you really think the military would be dumb enough to try that on the American people?? Do you know what kind of blowback that would bring! You need to give our military a little more credit than that. IO is not a bad thing, rather it is a great and wonderful doctrine that can greatly enhance the military's capability to fight a war. So please stop giving it a bad rap. IO is the wave of the future and is how we are going to be fighting future wars.

  16. [...] 27, 2010 “Rethink Afghanistan” [...]

  17. Myra L. Khatib says:

    I don't understand why the Oil & Gas Pipelines aren't reported – and no pictures. Follow the Poppy Field Cultivations and Harvesting. Contracts for Businesses and Corporations should be followed also – then you would see what our Soldiers are guarding and why. The Value of Life? In War Time? I don't think so – regretibly.

  18. [...] U.S. troops in Afghanistan killing two pregnant women and a teenage girl, then covering it up, then smearing the journalist who reported it, I just assume it probably happens a [...]

  19. [...] its absolutely essential that we keep pushing back against the Pentagon’s message machine…..Source: Posted in [...]

  20. [...] Long War, we could ask for congressional hearings on, say, NATO trying to silence a journalist over the murder of innocent civilians: Over the past few months, Starkey exposed two incidents where NATO initially claimed to have [...]

  21. Fhasgadfjsgfas says:

    NATO forces should immedialtely leave AFGHANISTAN.They have no right to stay on anyones home land for false propagandas

  22. if youre going to kill pregnant women and children, at least fess up and apologize. I think that is all the people are looking for— an explanation and apology. That might make it better than a cover up.


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