Monday, June 30, 2008

JTF-2 on execution missions?

From the CBC:

Canadian military silent on Afghan civilian deaths: UN investigator
Thursday, June 26, 2008
CBC News

The Canadian military is being criticized by a UN investigator for a lack of accountability for civilian deaths in Afghanistan...

The United Nation's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, told CBC News that senior Canadian officers, among those from other NATO countries operating in Afghanistan, have refused to provide him with information about civilian casualties when asked.

"They said, 'We don't have the information; we can't give it to you. We promise you that we look at individual cases and we do it really very conscientiously.' Good, so give me the results. 'Well we don't have them,'" Alston said...

The CBC's Brian Stewart reported Thursday that the raids, dubbed "hunt and kill" operations by American soldiers, are conducted by Canadian JTF-2 commandoes, as well as British and American soldiers. The raids are so secret that some Afghans believe the attacks are really execution missions, Stewart said.

"To the extent that those sort of raids go on fairly systematically, they set up a situation in which people are likely to be shot to death," Alston said.

While he said he has found no evidence Canadian officers involved in the raids have acted illegally, Alston criticized the Canadian military nonetheless for a lack of accountability.

"First of all, there are international law obligations to accountability and transparency. Second, we're pushing the Afghans very much to be accountable on these things. And thirdly, what I said before is we have a self-interest in a sense, as far as the West is concerned, in making sure that we hold ourselves to much higher standards," he said... (link)
I have blogged in the past about an alleged special forces massacre in Toube, Helmand province which sounds a lot like one of the execution missions the CBC alludes to. The story won't be found in the mainstream media in North America. Only the British Telegraph carried a story on the allegations, which British military officials were "taking seriously".

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