America’s hidden human rights violations in Kabul: Maggot-infested wounds, gangrene, surgery without anesthetics, feces on the floor, blood draining from soldiers’ wounds, freezing and starving at cost of $180 million as Amnesty International remains silent
Lt. General William Caldwell, one of America’s highest-ranking commanders in Afghanistan and now head of the army component of Northcom, has allegedly covered up "Auschwitz-like" abuse at a U.S.-funded hospital in Kabul. Dozens of American mentors and officers saw but remained silent about the grave human rights abuses at Daoud Hospital, including maggot-infested wounds, suffering from gangrene, freezing and starving, and surgeries performed without anesthetics, according to a Congressional hearing, 70 photos and investigative reporter Michael Hastings on Democracy Now! Wednesday.
Rather than remaining silent, some Army whistleblowers have revealed photographs taken in 2010 that ”show severely neglected, starving patients at Daoud Hospital, considered the crown-jewel of the Afghan medical system where the country's military personnel are treated,” reported Democracy Now!
It is believed that the abuses at America's Daoud Hospital in Kabul likely began in 2005 when it opened during the Bush administration.
“The photos show severely emaciated patients, some suffering from gangrene and maggot-infested wounds,” stated Nermeen Shaikh of Democracy Now!
Colonel Mark Fassl, the former inspector general for the NATO training mission in Afghanistan who helped blow the whistle on the Nazi-style facility, reported:
“As we further went into the hospital, we found that not only was there no heat going into the winter, but there was a lack of hygiene, soap—just, again, basic things that you would expect a 250-bed hospital—of course, it was a 500-bed hospital, but it was mainly being used as 250 beds—but, again, the lack of hygiene and soap. And then, Ranking Member Tierney read a very good description of what I saw with the open vats of blood draining out of soldiers’ wounds, the feces on the floor. The other thing that caught my attention was there were many family members taking care of their loved ones, not hospital staff.”Northcom head accused of covering up U.S. funded Nazi-style facility to protect Commander In Chief Obama during pre-election
One of America’s highest-ranking commanders in Afghanistan, who served as the commander of the $11.2 billion-a-year Afghan training program, is accused of the cover-up is Lt. General William Caldwell.
"How could we do this or make this request, with elections coming?" was Caldwell’s first response to Colonel Fassl, the former inspector general for the NATO training mission in Afghanistan who testified before a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week.
“But what does that mean?” Rep. Jason Chaffetz asked Fassl about Caldwell’s question about elections.
“Well, I took it as that he was referring to the president of the United States,” Fassl testified.
Rep. Chaffetz then asked, “And that he had a personal relationship?”
Fassl responded, “I don’t know, Chairman, if he had a personal relationship, but the political pressure there was such that he made those statements.”
“If you look at only one story about the Afghan War this year, make it this one,” begins BuzzFeed’s July 27 article by Rebecca Elliott and Michael Hastings, Horror Hospital: The Most Shocking Photos And Testimony From The Dawood Military Hospital Scandal.
Whistleblowers exposing top U.S. military grave human rights abuses
Last year, The Wall Street Journal broke the story about Afghans receiving “treatment” at the hospital were allegedly suffering neglect and abuse.
“When the story went public, US lawmakers voiced concerns that efforts to rebuild and stabilize Afghanistan were being threatened,” reported Russia Today on July 24. "Defense Secretary Leon Panetta received a letter in June 2012 from a member of the Congressional Oversight Committee asking the Defense Department to investigate the 2010 abuse accusations. The Pentagon replied that 'investigations and corrective action' were underway."
Michael Hastings, contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine and a reporter for BuzzFeed that has been following the story closely, told Amy Goodman Wednesday:
“This was a hospital that was started in 2005 in Kabul and funded almost completely by the United States. And about a year ago, the Wall Street Journal did an original story about how a lot of these patients who were at—these Afghan patients at the hospital were dying, essentially, from starvation, from simple infections that should be treated very easily but instead they were—actually became mortal wounds. There were allegations that, to get treatment, you had to bribe the hospital officials. And so, there were a number of Americans who were advisers there who thought this was horrible, took a lot of these pictures, brought them to the command, this General Caldwell, and General Caldwell said, ‘I don’t want any of this bad news getting out of here. I don’t want an investigation. Let’s just, you know, try to sweep this under the rug.’“Thankfully, the whistleblowers continued—kind of ignored that, essentially, and went ahead, and that’s how we know about this, because of this congressional investigation into it.”
Hastings knows General Caldwell from Green Zone
“General Caldwell is—was the head of the $11.2-billion-a-year Afghan training mission. At one time, he was the spokesperson for the U.S. in Iraq,” Hastings told Goodman. “In fact, I spent many a day next to General Caldwell in the Green Zone, while he would sit next to me and tell us how great things were going in Baghdad. And this was in 2006, 2007, when things were really, really going horribly.”
“Now, one of General Caldwell’s things is he’s obsessed with the idea of messaging. He’s obsessed with public affairs. One of the things he’s wanted to do is tear down the traditional wall between public affairs and information operations—which public affairs are for the Americans, information operations are for the enemy—and combine it into one sort of global strategic communication strategy. So, when he was presented with these allegations, these abuses, these photos, this testimony, his response was, ‘Well, how do we message this? You know, this is not the kind of news we want to get out of here.’
“And now General Caldwell is the head of U.S. Army North, so he’s back in the United States. And he’s in charge of—in case there’s a catastrophe or martial law or whatever, he would be the guy who would be in charge from the Army side of things.”Hastings told Goodman, “What we know right now, we have three U.S. Army colonels, three military colonels, who have testified that General Caldwell decided not to—did not want to investigate because of political pressure and because, as we were talking about, this idea of bad news.”
Rep. John Tierney asked at the hearing, “All the years we’ve been in Afghanistan before you arrived, how many people went through that hospital and saw those conditions and said nothing?
Col. Schuyler Geller responded, “Scores of mentors and scores of general officers.”
Retired Army Colonel Schuyler Geller has said that the US military is "providing half-truths" in the case, according to Reuters. Geller claimed widespread corruption is the primary reason Western aid efforts in Afghanistan are failing.
“There’s something particularly, I think, upsetting about these, because they—it just didn’t have to happen,” Hastings asserted on Democracy Now! “You know, the fact that you have Afghan patients, Afghan soldiers who have been wounded, and they can’t even get food?
“That we’re supplying gasoline, but the gasoline is being sold, so the generators don’t work, so they’re living in—through these, you know, sub—not sub-zero, but very, very cold temperatures? You go down the list. Selling drugs? Patients having surgery on them without anesthesia, though we had provided anesthesia?
“And so, I think it is quite disturbing that all these people could go through there and either not see it or have it hidden, be hidden from them.”
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