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2003-05-26

"Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death," Part 2: Award-Winning Director/Producer Jamie Doran Alleges a Media Cover-Up of US Complicity in the Massacre of up to 3,000 Taliban Prisoners

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This recording is not available for purchase through Democracy Now!. Buy the recording at ACFTV’s web site . Jamie Doran says of State Department official Larry Schwartz, "Larry said and I quote directly, 'You have to understand, we're involved, we’re in touch with the national [newspapers] on a daily basis — this story won’t run, even if it’s true.’" And television industry insiders told Doran, "not now Jamie."

Today, part two of our series on a controversial documentary film that has already been broadcast on national television in Britain, Germany, Italy and Australia and been screened by the European Parliament — but it wasn’t until Democracy Now! broadcast the film on Friday that the film was shown nationally in the United States.

The film is "Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death," and it provides eyewitness testimony that U.S. troops were complicit in the massacre of thousands of Taliban prisoners during the Afghan War.

The film tells the story of thousands of prisoners who surrendered to the US military’s Afghan allies after the siege of Kunduz. According to eyewitnesses, some three thousand of the prisoners were forced into sealed containers and loaded onto trucks for transport to Sheberghan prison. Eyewitnesses say when the prisoners began shouting for air, U.S.-allied Afghan soldiers fired directly into the truck, killing many of them. The rest suffered through an appalling road trip lasting up to four days, so thirsty they clawed at the skin of their fellow prisoners as they licked perspiration and even drank blood from open wounds.

Witnesses say that when the trucks arrived and soldiers opened the containers, most of the people inside were dead. They also say US Special Forces re-directed the containers carrying the living and dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried. Now, up to three thousand bodies lie buried in a mass grave.

The film also provides footage of CIA officer Mike Spann interrogating American Taliban prisoner John Walker Lindh, just hours before Spann was killed in the famous prison uprising at Mazar-i-Sharif.

The film has outraged human rights groups and international human rights lawyers. They are calling for investigation into whether U.S. Special Forces are guilty of war crimes.

On Friday, Democracy Now! broadcast "Afghan Massacre" for the first time in the U.S. Today, we’ll broadcast excerpts of the film and talk to the film’s director and producer, Jamie Doran.

  • "Afghan Massacre: The Convoy of Death" (excerpts, including eyewitness testimony that US Special Forces were complicit in the massacre of up to 3,000 Taliban prisoners, and footage of CIA officer Mike Spann interrogating American Taliban prisoner John Walker Lindh)
  • Jamie Doran, award-winning Irish filmmaker. Doran has worked at the highest levels of television film production for more than two decades. His films have been broadcast on virtually every major channel throughout the world. On average, each of his films are seen in around 35 countries. Before establishing his independent television company, Jamie Doran spent over seven years at BBC Television.

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