Shocking: Major New Findings on the Extent of US Crimes in Afghanistan

The more that emerges regarding America’s twenty-year stint in Afghanistan (you can review some here, here, here and here), the more tragic it just gets.

A reporter, Lynzy Billing, whose mother and sister were killed in Afghanistan thirty years ago, went back to the country to investigate what exactly had happened (Billing was orphaned and then adopted by a British couple), only to be overcome by the stories and eye-witness accounts she heard about special operations, CIA-backed units that went on night raids—“brutal operations designed to have resounding psychological impacts while ostensibly removing [i.e., killing] high-priority enemy targets.”

Here is one of the stories that compelled her to investigate these crimes:

“Mahzala watched as the gunmen questioned Safiullah, 28, and 20-year-old Sabir, before roughly pinning them against a courtyard wall. Then, ignoring their frantic protests of innocence, the masked men put guns to the back of her sons’ heads. One shot. Two. Then a third. Her youngest, ‘the quiet, gentle one,’ was still alive after the first bullet, Mahzala told me, so they shot him again.

Her story finished, Mahzala stared at me intently as if I could somehow explain the loss of her only family. We were in the dim confines of her home, a sliver of light leaking in from the lone window above her. She rubbed at the corner of her eyes; her forehead creased by a pulsing vein. The voices of her sons used to fill their home, she told me. She had no photos of them. No money. And there was no one who would tell her, a widow in her 50s, why these men dropped out of the sky and killed her family or acknowledge what she insisted was a terrible mistake.”

Haunted by Mahzala’s story, the reporter embarked on an investigation into these crimes (there are more heart-breaking stories in her piece)—this was an investigation that took years—culminating in a new report, documenting her findings.

Below are some highlights from the report along with my own two cents.

These special CIA-backed units were called “Zero Units.” There were four of these units in total, and the report focuses on the operations of just one of them, known as “02,” spanning over a four-year period.

The units, or at least the one that the report focused on, comprised Afghan soldiers accompanied by “US special operations soldiers working with the CIA.” Here is what one Afghan soldier from the unit described about his experience in these raids:

“‘These deaths happened at our hands. I have participated in many raids…and there have been hundreds of raids where someone is killed and they are not Taliban or ISIS, and where no militants are present at all.’”

During the four years investigated, “at least 452 civilians were killed in 107 raids. This number is almost certainly an undercount.” This is in part because of the way in which militaries are allowed to count and categorize kills. In places like Afghanistan, where villagers and actual combatants may live side-by-side, the military can be quite lazy in their categorization of civilians versus combatants killed. Others killed, Billing notes, are often just “written off as collateral.” A’udhu Billah!

Another reason for the likely too-low civilian count is this:

“One coroner in Jalalabad described how, at times, 02 soldiers had brought bodies to the morgue themselves, dismissing the staff and using the facilities before leaving with the dead. These deaths were not allowed to be recorded by him or other staff.”

RELATED: A Step-By-Step Guide to Avoid Accountability for War Crimes: Afghanistan Edition

Shooting in the Dark

A significant number of raids were carried out based on “faulty intelligence by the CIA and other US intelligence-gathering services.”

Subhan Allah. This always gets me—one would think that with all of the money and resources the US has at their disposal, they would be able to get the story straight. But far too often, they seem to stumble through their “freedom wars,” rarely winning yet astonishingly still eager to undertake wars, both declared and undeclared, time and time again. I’ve discussed this problem before and, once again, it seems relevant. As Billing reports:

“Lisa Ling spent 20 years in the military and built technology that was ultimately used to process intelligence that targeted Afghans. ‘I understand very viscerally how this tech works and how people are using it,’ she said. The counterterrorism mission is essentially: “Who am I fighting, and where will I find them,” she said. But the U.S. struggled to differentiate combatants from civilians, she said, because it never understood Afghanistan.”

This time, I think I’m closer to understanding why exactly this is the case, closer to understanding why the US almost always fails to ‘get’ the people they are fighting. I think the reason is arrogance. Why even bother trying to understand those that are beneath you?

Indeed, Billing also discusses America’s history of sloppy, carnage-filled raids, dating it back to the Phoenix Program of the Vietnam War. The raids under that program killed only 3% of “full or probationary” Viet Cong members. Nonetheless, the program, she describes, served as a “blueprint” for future raids (you can read about that here, especially in Chapter Four).

It will come as little surprise to you then that “[former US Air Force intelligence analyst Daniel] Hale was convicted for disclosing classified information that nearly 90% of the people killed by U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan were not the intended targets.” We commend Hale for his bravery in speaking out.

The US’s twenty-year foray into Afghanistan created a vicious cycle of destruction. Whether the US was busy installing corrupt leaders, figuring out how to brand the war in an attempt to legitimize it (a war for women, a war [not] against opium), this new report reaffirms that seemingly every action taken by the US in Afghanistan led to deeper entrenchment and, by default, more harm for civilians. In the words of one US Army Ranger:

“You go on night raids, make more enemies, then you gotta go on more night raids for the more enemies you now have to kill.”

RELATED: US Evacuates Elite Killing Squad that Murdered Countless Muslims

The Leahy Law: Convenience Human Rights

The Zero Units have been kept under wraps thanks to a legal loophole—the Leahy Law. With this law, the US military is prohibited from “providing training and equipment to foreign security forces that commit human rights abuses, but it does not apply to US intelligence agencies.”

This law plus bogus bureaucracy and nonchalance makes for a terribly grim combination which allows for selective ‘human rights.’

Despite all of this, what do we typically hear from the US?

The TaLiBAnS iS HarMINg WoMYN!

Go and tell that to all those women whose children and husbands you killed, to whom you offered little or no support after the fact. It simply makes my blood boil.

Let us never forget that so many innocent people have perished from these heinous actions; that so many lives and families were destroyed.

May Allah reward the people of Afghanistan for their steadfastness through all that they have suffered, and may He preclude us from being among the arrogant. Amin.

RELATED: Lessons from the Arrogance of Iblis

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FrenchMuslim

It also makes my blood boil akhi.
The hypocrisy and crimes of the Western leaders makes me so mad.
At least I know for sure that if I was to fight, I would have so many reasons to : Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria…
The morale of our troops would be through the roof and we wouldn’t fear death.

FrenchMuslim

I’m curious how the Taliban see the Muslim world and the Arabs and if they feel bretayed because there wasn’t much or any help from them.
I would understand if they did, because other countries should have defended the Muslims of Afghanistan at all cost. My view is that either we defend one another at every cost and we all go down or nobody goes down. I’m maybe too idealist and not realist but that’s how I see it.

RealOne

I as an Afghan am totally disappointed in the Muslim world. I think us Afghans should know that we are not seen as part of the Muslim community and have never been, therefore it is better for us to stay alone and not become allies to such a hypocritical community like the Muslim community. It’s better to have real enemies than fake friends. I love being Muslim but I don’t believe in the ummah. We are the only muslims that are brave enough to face any kufar the rest of the Muslim world are coward

FrenchMuslim

Not denying your sentiment but many Muslims tried to revive Islam and the Muslim Ummah and were killed by their puppet governments. Afghanistan had a unique position because of their fearless warriors and advantage of a less modernized therefore less indocrinated population on top of the mountains that provide a good tactical advantage for guerilla warfare.
Don’t fall into tribalism, many Muslims if they knew the truth would root for the Taliban and the Afghan people.

Last edited 4 days ago by FrenchMuslim
Dar

Brother,

In the 80’s thousands of Muslims went to Afghanistan to help fight the Soviet invasion, in addition to the millions donated.

That this did not happen with the US invasion is primarily because Afghanistan’s neighbours (Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan etc…) helped America close the borders..

Also, countries like Saudi Arabia, who in the 80’s helped fund and transport Arab volunteers, did the opposite in 2001 by bocking and arresting anyone wanting to go and help.

Dar

They tried the same with Iraq, but Syria was hostile to the US so allowed fighters to cross into Iraq.

Haziq Farhan

Well considering how my country got colonized at one point in history. Would it be fair for me to say why ottoman empire didn’t came and try to successfully liberate us? Actually they did but it wasn’t successful, things are just unfortunately the way they are. We should try to offer our help the best of our abilities even if it’s just small. They way i see it is that, if we fail to help Afghanistan repelling U.S then at least we can do is to get them back on their feet economically

FrenchMuslim

I agree. I’m saying this with the premise that they didn’t help Afghanistan. If they did, then of course I retract what I said.

RealOne

I grew up in a environment with Muslims from diffrent countries most of them were just braindead eating the wests propaganda agreeing to the war happening to fight “terrorism”. No one ever even raised there voice for Afghans like they do perpetually for Palestinian. I traveled to different Muslim countries and they were looking down on me for being Afghan. I really wouldn’t want to be ally with any Muslim country they seem to be very disloyal and egotistical cowards Turkey is part of NATO too…

Haziq Farhan

Sorry this happens to you, although always remember that Allah is with you wherever you go. Don’t trust human alone, trust in God.

Having said that, i do believe that as an average joe who has no knowledge in what’s going on. I admit, i am negligent/ignorance on many things about Afghanistan, primarily because of the way that no one has ever unambiguously told us about what is going on in Afghanistan. I believed that Afghanistan being illegally invaded but i don’t know much about taliban

Haziq Farhan

Continued:

Therefore, i ignorantly assume that taliban bad, because the Media even in my country calls them bad.

But Alhamdulilah, i have matured and understands the whole situations and how to react to it and how to dealt with information being propagated towards me.

Haziq Farhan

Continued 2:

I understand, if you felt any grievances towards Muslim world. I hope you can recover your country a lot better, even if you don’t want to be urbanized or modernized. At least, i hope you always have the rizki and blessings. Such as Plentiful food, plentiful water, healthy society free from fitnah, Islamically educated and the likes. Believe me, the last thing you want is to develop for the sake of being developed

M. Shehreyar

I can understand your pain. However most of the rulers who are in power are just puppets of their Western masters, which is called as new colonialism, where exploitation is norm & injustice is the benchmark of the society. Take the example of Morocco, UAE, KSA & other Arab states. They started diplomatic channels with Israel but during WC 2022, their common folks outrightly rejected Israel for their Palestenian kin by projecting Palestine & criticizing boycotting Israeli jour.

Abdullah Ali

“Fight them until they fight back, then fight them for fighting back.”

Maaz Ahmad Khan

Ameen

Ok Muslim

100% of the targets were intentionally hit because 9/11 was a false flag. If you accept that a sweet innocent nation on the right side of history was attacked by a hostile foreign entity, why did they lie about WMDs? Imagine making two lies knowing that it will result in killing and displacing millions of people. Or imagine having the absurdity to think only one of the events is a lie.

crimes

Seeing all the crimes the US and the liberal west did in Afghanistan and Iraq, it makes me wonder if the woke LGBT feminist garbage we see today is Allah punishing them for the crimes they have done in the so called “war on terror”

Abdullah Ali

One the Ng I would like to see you. Write about are the allegations of Bosnia like war crimes by the Taliban. I hope you will clarify the matter soon