Pentagon: Bombing ‘Doctors Without Borders’ Hospital and Killing Innocent Staff Inside is “Not a War Crime”

Adam Klasfeld | Courthouse News Service

(CN) — Stopping short of labeling the airstrike a war crime, a Pentagon report on the October bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan recommended discipline for 16 members of U.S. armed services.

Three days after the Oct. 3 attack, Gen. John Campbell assured the Senate Armed Services Committee that his troops had “mistakenly” hit the Kunduz hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the French name of the well-known nongovernmental organization.

“We would never intentionally target a protected, medical facility,” Campbell testified at the time.




The strike killed 42 people, including 14 MSF staffers, and wounded dozens more.

Released Friday, U.S. Central Command’s unclassified summary of a five-part, 726-page report says that troops strayed from their training while attempting to target a Taliban-controlled area 400 meters away.

“The commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan concluded that certain personnel failed to comply with the law of armed conflict and rules of engagement,” the five-page summary memo states. “However, he did not conclude that these failures amounted to a war crime. The label ‘war crimes’ is typically reserved for intentional acts — intentionally targeting civilians or intentionally targeting protected objects.”


Human rights lawyers quoted in the New York Times rejected that premise.

John Sifton, the Asia policy director of Human Rights Watch, told the paper that the supposed requirement of deliberate or intentional action is “flatly wrong” and that failing to criminal prosecute violators was “simply put, inexplicable.”

Centcom identified 16 service members “whose conduct warranted consideration for appropriate administrative or disciplinary action, including a general officer,” according to the memo.

The report says that Gen. Campbell took action against 12, whose discipline ranged from “suspension, removals from command, letters of reprimand, formal counseling and extensive retraining.”

“Five personnel involved were directed out of theater,” the memo states.

MSF’s president Meinie Nicolai described the Pentagon’s briefing as an “admission of an uncontrolled military operation in a densely populated urban area, during which U.S. forces failed to follow the basic laws of war.”




“It is incomprehensible that, under the circumstances described by the U.S., the attack was not called off,” Nicolai continued in a statement.

Centcom’s report has not slowed calls for an independent investigation.

On Thursday, Amnesty International responded with outrage to leaked descriptions of the report to the press revealing that the U.S. military would only take administrative actions.

“Amnesty International has long expressed serious concerns about the Department of Defense’s questionable track record of policing itself,” Naureen Shah, the director of its Security With Human Rights program, said in a statement. “These reports demonstrate the need for an independent investigation, outside of the chain of command, to determine what happened in Kunduz and to assess potential criminal wrongdoing.”

The Pentagon memo called its investigation the product of “more than 3,000 pages of documentary evidence, much of it classified.”




The broader reports redact the names of all 16 service members facing possible discipline, along with other information.

Published by Courthouse News Service.

tun

You might also like

It’s Happening: Crackdown on High-Profile Pedophiles Begins

UPDATED: 9:01 PM EST | March 20, 2017 There have been over 1,500 arrests of pedophiles and human traffickers since January, 2017, by far the largest crack down in American history.

Just Six Corporations Own 90% of all the Media You Consume

An infograpic created by Jason at Frugal Dad sheds light on just how powerful the media has become in engineering our emotions and perceptions. The infographic has been around for

Mayor Faces Life in Prison After Pleading Guilty to Rape of 4-yr-old Child

  March 20, 2017 HUBBARD, OH – Now-former Mayor of Hubbard, Richard Keenan has pleaded guilty to raping a 4-yr-old child. The news emerges in parallel to arrests and investigations surrounding

Majority Finds Media Coverage Of Trump Is “Too Critical, Exaggerated”

Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge Three weeks after a poll found that the Trump administration was seen as more “truthful” than the news media, a new WSJ/NBC News poll has

WARNING: Police on High Alert Nationwide for Terror Attacks Around Thanksgiving

Whatever else can be said of Donald Trump, everybody can agree that he is not a groomed politician. He is a legitimate outsider. The entire banking-media industrial complex stands in

Breaking: Fmr UK Prime Minister Linked to “Satanic Ritual” Torture of Children

“Satanic Cult” said to be involved in reports of Sir Edward Heath’s sexual abuse of children. A police chief has just come forward and confirmed that a former Prime Minister

Cop Admits He “Saw No Weapon” But Shot Mentally Ill Man to Death Anyway

Bianca Bruno | Courthouse News Service SAN DIEGO (CN) – An official police statement released by the family of a mentally ill man shot and killed by a San Diego

Footage Shows Moment of Deadly Terrorist Attack in London

March 23, 2017 Footage has surfaced revealing what happened on Westminster Bridge during yesterday’s terrorist attack. Five people have now been pronounced dead (including the assailant himself). It is estimated

Dennis Kucinich: I Was Wiretapped as a Congressman, They Probably Wiretapped Trump

The deep state consists of individuals in private finance and industry; billionaires with intelligence agencies at their disposal. This oligarchical organization governs us without our knowledge, and it rules over us without