President Obamaâ€™s comments follow initial statements from other officials in his administration Friday who said the Department of Defense and the FBI had no jurisdiction over the mass killing by a US-backed warlord, General Abdul Rashid Dostum. A Pentagon spokesman told the Associated Press, â€œThere is no indication that US military forces were there, or involved, or had any knowledge of this, so there was not a full investigation conducted because there was no evidence that there was anything from a DoD perspective to investigate.â€ The infamous Dasht-e-Leili massacre is back in the news in the wake of new evidence published in a New York Times report last Friday that shows the Bush administration blocked at least three federal investigations into the alleged war crimes. The article by journalist James Risen notes that â€œAmerican officials had been reluctant to pursue an investigation because the warlord, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, was on the payroll of the CIA and his militia worked closely with United States Special Forces in 2001.â€ Dostum served as a defense official in the Karzai government. Last year he was suspended for threatening a rival at gunpoint and lived in Turkey in exile. But ahead of the August 20th elections, Karzai has invited him back to the country and reinstated him as military chief of staff. Democracy Now! first covered the massacre six years ago when we aired the award-winning documentary from Jamie Doran Afghan Massacre: Convoy of Death. [includes rush transcript]moreless
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