Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death

This film tells of the horrific forced journey undertaken by thousands of prisoners who surrendered to America and its Afghan allies after the siege of Kunduz. Over 4,000 are unaccounted for with many of these believed to be buried in a mass grave at Dasht-e-Leili, in northern Afghanistan.

Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death tells of the horrific forced journey undertaken by thousands of prisoners who surrendered to America’s Afghan allies after the siege of Konduz.

Bundled into containers, the lucky ones were shot within minutes. The rest suffered an appalling road trip lasting up to four days, clawing at the skin of their fellow prisoners as they licked perspiration and even drank blood from open wounds.

 Up to 3,000 now lie buried in a mass grave, but this was NOT a simple matter of Afghans killing Afghans.

Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death tells of how American special forces took control of the operation, re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried.

And it details how the Pentagon lied to the world in order to cover up its role in the greatest atrocity of the entire Afghan War. This is the documentary they did not want you to see.

Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death was produced over ten months in extremely dangerous circumstances: eyewitnesses were threatened, the film crew went into hiding and our researcher was savagely beaten to within an inch of his life.

LINKS WE LIKE:

Public Interest (blog), article on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee investigation into the 'Convoy of Death' and the mass grave at Dasht-e-Leili (7 January 2010)

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), site dedicated to the mass grave at Dasht-e-Leili

& [video] PHR on War Crimes and the White House: The Bush Administration's Cover-Up of the Dasht-e-Leili Massacre (15 July 2009)

& [video] PHR on the Dasht-e-Leili Mass Grave in Afghanistan (11 December 2008)

IWPR news site (Institute for War and Peace Reporting)

RFE/RL news site (Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty)

 

PRESS (related press & blog coverage, chronologically):

 Connolly, Kate, and Rory McCarthy (2002), “New film accuses US of war crimes”, Guardian, 13 Jun 2002, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,1284,736324,00.html

Note: Article outlining the findings of an investigative film-crew, calls for an investigation, and statement from Central Command that they “looked into it” but “did not substantiate any knowledge, presence or participation of US service members”.

 Dehghanpisheh, Babak, et al. (2002), “The Death Convoy of Afghanistan”, Newsweek, 26 Aug 2002, at: http://www.rawa.org/na-killings.htm

Note: This extensive article contains corroborative information, including witness testimonies, even though it excludes available information held by the journalists, that placed US personnel at the scene of the crime. The article is not generally available at the Newsweek web site, but the reproduction at the RAWA website is faithful, except for the accompanying photos and text box.

 Pitman, Todd (2002), “Warlord to meet UN war crime unit”, Guardian, 2 Sep 2002, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,784451,00.html

Note: Contains information related to joint-statement of Northern Alliance commanders, admitting some deaths occurred but denying murder.

 Harding, Luke (2002), “Afghan massacre haunts Pentagon”, Guardian, 14 Sep 2002, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,,791946,00.html

Note: This extensive article contains corroborative information about the incident, including witness testimonies and references to the presence of US special forces.

 McCarthy, Rory (2002), “US Afghan ally 'tortured witnesses to his war crimes' “, Guardian, 18 Nov 2002, at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,842082,00.html

Note: Refers to UN investigation confirming deaths, and claims of intimidation of witnesses.

 Laitner, Sarah (2002), “Call to Bush on torture claims”, Financial Times, 28 Dec 2002, at: http://search.ft.com/search/article.html?id=021228000225&query=Afghanistan&vsc_appId=totalSearch&state=Form

Note: Refers to Human Rights Watch report containing allegations of torture of Taleban former combatants in US custody, in northern Afghanistan around the time of the Sheberghan incident.

 Cooperman, Alan (2002), “CIA Interrogation Under Fire: Human Rights Groups Say Techniques Could Be Torture”, Washington Post, 28 Dec 2002, at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45609-2002Dec27.html

Note: More extensive article based upon Human Rights Watch report containing allegations of torture of Taleban former combatants in US custody, in northern Afghanistan around the time of the Sheberghan incident.

 Lloyd, John (2002), “Where the strong spurn a weak state”, Financial Times, 30 Dec 2002, at: http://search.ft.com/search/article.html?id=021230000268&query=Afghanistan&vsc_appId=totalSearch&state=Form

Note: Contains statements of the head of the UN Mission in Kabul, effectively asserting that the UN did not want to investigate the mass graves incident.

 Crimes of War website (2003), “Claims of Torture and Intimidation Against Witnesses to Afghan War Crimes”, Crimes of War website, 9 Jan 2003, at: http://www.crimesofwar.org/print/onnews/afghanistan2-print.html

Note: This article contains information and comment on the incident being researched, including reference to the US having reaffirmed the applicability of the third Geneva Convention to the international armed conflict in Afghanistan and its recognition of the treaty’s importance and value, and harassment of witnesses to the incident. Also contains comment from Ron Miller, advisor to the War Crimes Office of the US State Department, and Charles Allen, the Deputy General Counsel for International Affairs at the Department of Defense, Charles Allen.

 Rose, David (2004), “How we survived jail hell”, Observer, 14 Mar 2004, at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/guantanamo/story/0,13743,1169178,00.html

Note: The story of the ‘Tipton Three’, contains corroborative information, including witness testimonies of named survivors of the Sheberghan/ convoy case.

 Rose, David (2004), “US Afghan allies committed massacre”, Guardian, 21 Mar 2004, at:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1174554,00.html

Note: Follow-up story of the ‘Tipton Three’, containing further corroborative information.

Times online (2006), “America 'has failed to learn from Abu Ghraib' “, The Times, 8 Mar 2006, at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7374‑2072363,00.html

Note: Reports an exchange of differing views between the US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, and the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, regarding the extent of a US soldier’s obligation to intervene in prisoner abuse.

BBC News online (2006), “CIA 'torture' lawsuit thrown out”, BBC, 19 May 2006,

at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4996140.stm

Note: Report of a recent civil lawsuit in the US, brought by a German citizen alleging abduction and torture by US agents in Afghanistan during 2003, where the judge invoked ‘national security’ in dismissing the case.

Grey, Stephen (2006), “Missing presumed tortured”, New Statesman, 20 Nov 2006, at: http://www.newstatesman.com/200611200014

Note: Although ostensibly an article about ‘extraordinary rendition’, the storyline inadvertently overlaps with the storyline of the Sheberghan/ convoy case, providing corroborating information.

RFE/RL (2008), “War Crime Evidence Destroyed In Afghanistan, Commission Finds”, RFE/RL, 29 Dec 2008, at: http://www.rferl.org/content/War_Crime_Evidence_Destroyed_In_Afghanistan/1364774.html 

RFE/RL (2008), “Afghanistan: Prosecutor Suggests 'Some People' Cannot Be Tried”, RFE/RL, 6 Feb 2008, at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1079441.html

Risen, James (2009), “U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.’s Died”, New York Times, 10 Jul 2009, at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/11/world/asia/11afghan.html?_r=1

CNN/ Cooper, Anderson interviews President Obama (2009), “Obama orders review of alleged slayings of Taliban in Bush era”, CNN, 13 Jul 2009, at: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/12/obama.afghan.killings

 

Worthington, Andy (2009), “The Convoy of Death: Will Obama Investigate The Afghan Massacre of November 2001?”, Foreign Policy Journal, 14 Jul 2009, at: http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2009/07/14/the-convoy-of-death-will-obama-investigate-the-afghan-massacre-of-november-2001

 

Synovitz, Ron (2009), “Obama Calls For Facts On Mass Killing Of Taliban At Sheberghan”, RFE/RL, 15 Jul 2009, at: http://www.rferl.org/content/Obama_Calls_For_Facts_On_Mass_Killing_Of_Taliban_At_Sheberghan/1776726.html

 

McEntee, Andrew (2009), “In The Public Interest, President Obama... Investigate Now!”, Public Interest, 18 Aug 2009, at: http://andrewmcentee.blogspot.com/2009/08/in-public-interest-president.html

 

McEntee, Andrew (2009), “Interview on DEMOCRACY NOW!”, Public Interest, 18 Aug 2009, at: http://andrewmcentee.blogspot.com/2009/08/interview-on-democracy-now.html

 

McEntee, Andrew (2010), “US Judge Orders Defense Department To Hand Over 'Convoy Of Death' Evidence”, Public Interest, 4 Jan 2010, at: http://andrewmcentee.blogspot.com/2010/01/us-judge-orders-defense-department-to.html

 

McEntee, Andrew (2010), “Senate Inquiry Into 'Convoy Of Death' ”, Public Interest, 7 Jan 2010, at: http://andrewmcentee.blogspot.com/2010/01/senate-inquiry-into-convoy-of-death.html

 

Wikipedia (2010), “Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death”, Wikipedia, at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.html?curid=4320785