Wednesday, January 19, 2011

JTF2 command 'encouraged' war crimes, soldier alleges

From Cryptogon and CBC

A member of Canada’s elite special forces unit says he felt his peers were being “encouraged” by the Canadian Forces chain of command to commit war crimes in Afghanistan, according to new documents obtained by CBC News.
The documents from the military ombudsman’s office show the member of the covert unit Joint Task Force 2, or JTF2, approached the watchdog in June 2008 to report the allegations of wrongdoing he had first made to his superior officers in 2006.
The soldier told the ombudsman’s office “that although he reported what he witnessed to his chain of command, he does not believe they are investigating, and are being ‘very nice to him,’ ” according to the documents, which CBC News obtained through access to information.
As such, the soldier alleged, the chain of command helped create an atmosphere that tolerated war crimes.
The ombudsman’s documents state the soldier was subsequently directed to the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, CFNIS, which in turn launched its own investigation.
The CFNIS told the ombudsman the investigation was “now their No. 1 priority.”

...The soldier also claimed the "vision of the southern friends is being pushed" — an apparent reference to the more aggressive reputation of the American soldiers.

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