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Report: Taliban Killed Civilians, Not US

From the Marine Corps Times:

Kabul university students shout anti U.S. slogans during a protest in Kabul May 10, 2009. Several hundreds students from the Kabul university stage a protest against the recent civilian causality in Farah province by the U.S. air strikes, on Sunday.

Taliban held to blame in airstrike

By Trista Talton and Andrew deGrandpré – Staff writers
Sunday May 10, 2009

Days before a May 4 U.S. airstrike allegedly killed Afghan civilians in Farah province, Taliban commanders met across the border in Quetta, Pakistan, to hatch a plot to turn Afghan public sentiment against U.S. forces, according to a military source in Afghanistan who is familiar with the incident.

By many accounts, their plan worked: Within hours of the airstrike, international media were reporting that upwards of 150 innocents, including women and children, had been killed. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Adviser James Jones, the former Marine commandant, both expressed sympathy for the loss of life.

But evidence now shows that many of those civilian casualties appear to have been killed by Taliban grenades — after the airstrike — in a blatant effort to drive up the number of dead and stir public resentment of U.S. military power, the source said.

The Taliban killed 30 to 40 civilians, according to the source. An official count has not been released pending completion of a joint U.S.-Afghan investigation.

Army Gen. David McKiernan, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told reporters May 7, “We have some other information that leads us to distinctly different conclusions about the cause of these civilian casualties.”

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking during a news conference that same day in Kabul, said he had seen such reports but that nothing was confirmed. Neither McKiernan nor Gates elaborated.

What went down

The stage was set for the bombing May 4 in Gerani village when Taliban fighters publicly executed three civilians they accused of aiding the Afghan government, the military source in Afghanistan said. The executions, he said, were designed to draw out the Afghan and U.S. forces operating in the area and ambush them when they arrived.

It worked. By midday, a convoy of U.S. and Afghan soldiers headed to the Bala Baluk district, a known Taliban stronghold in southwestern Afghanistan that is home to more than 100,000 Afghans. When they arrived in the village, they were greeted by dozens of Taliban fighters armed with AK47s, rocket-propelled grenades and Russian PKM machine guns, the source said.

A massive firefight ensued. Outnumbered, the American and Afghan troops called for additional support. A group of Marines with Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command responded, said Army Col. Greg Julian, a spokesman for U.S. Forces Afghanistan.

Once the Marines arrived, the fighting escalated substantially. Having identified several Taliban fighting positions, the Marines called in an airstrike, Julian said.

When it appeared that the Taliban were backing off, the air support was called off and the U.S. and Afghan forces returned to their bases.

Making sense of it all

Within hours of the fighting, the Taliban launched an aggressive information campaign, claiming that between 100 and 300 civilians had been killed, the source in Afghanistan said. Indeed, those figures have appeared in various media reports.

That’s where the Taliban commanders’ original planning session comes in, the military source in Afghanistan said. In advance of the battle, he said, they ordered Taliban foot soldiers to use grenades, if possible, to execute the civilians they had corralled into the compounds during the ambush, and then present their bodies to the villagers as “evidence” that U.S. warplanes bombed innocent civilians.

“In the chaos of a firefight, they figured no one would know the difference,” the source said.

Then the Taliban mingled its own dead with the civilians, to make the number of dead appear larger, he said. Taliban corpses were buried with the civilian bodies to give the appearance that they were part of the civilian death toll, the source said, adding that latest estimates put the number of Taliban dead around 50.

In Gerani, the lone gravesite contained 60 bodies “at most,” the source said, and an employee at the provincial hospital reported staff there treated 11 patients as a result of the fighting.

“If 200 people were killed, you would think there would have been a lot more wounded,” he said. “Even if 60 were killed, it seems like that would have been the case — unless, of course, most of those 60 people were executed … after the fact. Two hundred killed and 11 wounded? You do the math.”

Moreover, he added, intel suggest that some of the dead civilians had wounds consistent with fragmentation and bullet holes — rather than the burns and tissue damage commonly found on victims of a bombing.

During a meeting with coalition forces and Afghan government officials after the airstrike, villagers — some of whom were held hostage by the Taliban — confirmed that the Taliban rounded up some of the civilians and killed them, the source said. Most of the villagers understood it to have been a calculated plan carried out by the Taliban to blame the entire incident on U.S. and Afghan forces, he said.

This is not the first incident in which the military has rejected claims of mass civilian casualties resulting from U.S. airstrikes. Last year, following a series of investigations, coalition officials concluded that the Taliban killed most of the civilians who were claimed to have died as a result of an airstrike in Azizabad, a village in the Shindand district in Herat province.

In 2007, a company with MarSOC was kicked out of Afghanistan after claims that a platoon of Marines indiscriminately fired on and killed civilians following a suicide bomb attack on their convoy. After an investigation, Lt. Gen. Samuel Helland, head of Marine Corps Forces Central Command, determined the Marines acted appropriately.

Unfortunately this report will be ignored.

Indeed our media watchdog are still shouting from the rooftops that the US is accepting blame for these civilian deaths.

Even the US Marines can’t match the power of the Democrats, their lackeys in our media, and their terrorist allies.

(Thanks to BannedbytheTaliban for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, May 11th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Report: Taliban Killed Civilians, Not US”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    Some actual reporting from the Marine Corps Times:

    Taliban held to blame in airstrike

    By Trista Talton and Andrew deGrandpré – Staff writers
    Posted : Sunday May 10, 2009

    Days before a May 4 U.S. airstrike allegedly killed Afghan civilians in Farah province, Taliban commanders met across the border in Quetta, Pakistan, to hatch a plot to turn Afghan public sentiment against U.S. forces, according to a military source in Afghanistan who is familiar with the incident…

    http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2009/05/marine_airstrike_050809w/

    Thanks to sympathetic elements of the current administration and their allies in the MSM, the Taliban were successful in their miss-information campaign. The “truth” that Americans indiscriminately bombed Afghan women and children had all ready been spread around the world. All without one shred of corroborating evidence, only the word of some “local tribesman.” The words “fact-check” has completely fallen out of the media’s lexicon over the last decade. It becomes more and more obvious that they have no real interest in reporting news, just their agendas.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      All this with our SOS blessing.

      “Even the US Marines can’t match the power of the democrats, their lackeys in the media and their terrorist allies.”
      Maybe the Marines should take care of the domestic terrorists. This way they are sure that their backs are safe! (media included)

  2. MinnesotaRush says:

    And it’s likely that o-blah-blah and crew will continue to apologize to the world for us about everything and anything because, of course, the US caused it all anyway.

    Notice the banner in the photo .. the MSM outlet that had that baby made up echoing their standard lineage .. wasn’t clear enough in their message. A poor terrorist had to squeeze in an “A” after the US to make sure the message was clear. The font and size of the “A” is NOT the same as the printed stuff .. looks like electrical tape.

    • BigOil says:

      I imagine it took a while for these ragtops to realize their sign needed changing. A bunch of Mohammedans marching under a banner “us is the biggest terrorist around the world” is to much truth in advertising.

  3. jrmcdonald says:

    Come on Guys! Hillary can’t come out and admit she was a stupid tool for the Taliban.

  4. oldswimcoach says:

    GEN McKiernan was replaced yesterday after aprox. 1 year in country. Not sure if this incident played a part in the change, but it couldn’t have helped. Propaganda works.

  5. oldswimcoach says:

    Also, notice the picture has 2 count ’em 2 protesters (without beards no less). If they had 20-25 students total I would be surprised, and what is not in the picture is the 200-250 Afghan National Police in riot gear surrounding the protestors – it’s how you do a protest there in Kabul, not that the AP would mention that little fact.

  6. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    UPDATE!!!

    The AP continues to beat the drum for the terrorists:

    Afghanistan: 95 children among dead in U.S.-Taliban clash

    KABUL (AP) — Ninety-five Afghan children are among the 140 people said to have died in a recent U.S.-Taliban battle in western Afghanistan, according to a list drawn up by Afghan officials, a lawmaker said Wednesday. The U.S. military disputed the claim. Afghans blame U.S. airstrikes for the deaths and destruction in the villages of Gerani and Ganjabad in Farah province.

    Sixty-five of the reported victims on the list were female, either adults or children, said lawmaker Obaidullah Helali, a lawmaker from Farah and a member of the government’s investigative team. If the Afghan toll is correct, it would be the largest case of civilian deaths since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion to oust the Taliban.

    U.S. military spokesman Col. Greg Julian said “there is no physical proof that can substantiate” the Afghan list of victims. The U.S. has refused to release a number of people it thinks died in the May 4-5 clash in Farah’s Bala Baluk district.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-05-13-afghanistan-airstrike-children_N.htm

    How come rapists, murderers, and thieves are alleged in their actions but the US military assumed guilty? After all, it isn’t like there is a war or anything. It would profit nobody to lie about such a tenuous issue and for the MSM to parrot that lie. And how come you never see Afghans protesting civilian causalities caused by suicide bombers?

    • Steve says:

      Sorry, DJ. But we don’t allow posting of images in comments for a number of reasons.

      But your link is fine.


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