March 29, 2007
Bush Meets With General Accused of AtrocitiesRussian General Vladimir Shamanov is co-chairman of the U.S./Russia Commission on Missing Soldiers. Shamanov is also accused of brutalities against civilians in the second Chechnyan war:
Russian troops under Shamanov rampaged through the village of Alkhan-Yurt in December 1999, killing 17 civilians, according to human rights investigations. The soldiers looted homes and shot those who got in the way, including a woman over 100 years old. Shamanov threatened to shoot villagers who pleaded with him to halt the "cleansing operation," investigators found. Rather than prosecute, the Kremlin gave Shamanov a medal -- a medal he appeared to wear to the Oval Office.The White House's excuse? They had no idea, which of course is preposterous in its face. Just exactly what kind of security background procedures do they run over there? And in the very remote chance they didn't care to know, that's even worse; it's their business to know. The man is meeting with the President of the United States.
A more plausible explanation of course, is that they knew and didn't care, hoping the visit wouldn't make the news. After all, with our shameless human rights record in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and the current occupation of Iraq, it would be highly hypocritical to make it an issue.
(h/t: Think Progress)
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