Soon after taking office, President Obama pledged to open a new inquiry into the deaths of perhaps thousands of Taliban prisoners of war at the hands of U.S.-allied Afghan fighters in late 2001.
Last month, the White House told ProPublica it was still “looking into” the apparent massacre.
Now it says it has concluded its investigation – but won’t make it public.
The investigation found that no U.S. personnel were involved, said White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden. Other than that, she said, there is “no plan to release anything.”
She declined to answer the following lingering questions:
- What was the scope of the investigation? …
- Did the investigation cover the allegations, reported in the New York Times, that Bush administration officials had discouraged inquiries by the FBI and State Department?
- Did the U.S. help with related inquires by the U.N. or the Afghan government? …
- Did the new investigation cover revelations that graves were disturbed and evidence removed as late as 2008? …
A parallel investigation began by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2010 also never made headway. The committee staffer leading that investigation was former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who is currently serving time in federal prison for revealing the name of an undercover officer to a reporter.
In letters from prison to ProPublica and an interview published recently in Salon, Kiriakou said that Secretary of State John Kerry, who was then chairman of the committee, personally called off the investigation. The State Department declined to comment, but a former Senate aide to Kerry called Kiriakou’s account “completely fabricated.”
So that’s all right then. We know that this government always tells the truth so there is no need for us to get pesky details.
Xeni Jardin says that that august institution of higher learning MIT seems to be following the Obama administration’s lead. It investigated itself and issued a report clearing itself of any wrongdoing in the death of Aaron Swartz. But at least they released the report.