Sy Hersh reveals battlefield summary executions

Seymour Hersh, the report who brought the My Lai massacre to light during the Vietnam War, told an international gathering of journalists that he’s learned of summary battlefield executions of captives carried out by American and allied troops in Afghanistan.

If true, it’s murder and a war crime, and given Hersh’s track record, we should be demanding an investigation.

Recorded at the 6th Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Geneva two weeks ago. A quote:

What they’ve done in the field now is, they tell the troops, you have to make a determination within a day or two or so whether or not the prisoners you have, the detainees, are Taliban. You must extract whatever tactical intelligence you can get, as opposed to strategic, long-range intelligence, immediately. And if you cannot conclude they’re Taliban, you must turn them free. What it means is, and I’ve been told this anecdotally by five or six different people, battlefield executions are taking place. Well, if they can’t prove they’re Taliban, bam. If we don’t do it ourselves, we turn them over to the nearby Afghan troops and by the time we walk three feet the bullets are flying. And that’s going on now.

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