Doctor’s Without Borders Takes Unprecedented Action Against US Military

Announcing launch of international fact-finding inquiry, MSF president declares hospital bombing an 'attack on the Geneva Conventions.'
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    “Even war has rules,” declared Dr. Joanne Liu, international president of Doctor’s Without Borders (MSF), who announced Wednesday that the aid organization will take unprecedented action against the U.S. military by formally launching an international fact-finding inquiry into the bombing of its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

    The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, which was established by the Additional Protocols of the Geneva Conventions, is the only permanent body set up specifically to investigate violations of international humanitarian law. Though it was established in 1991, this investigation marks the first time the Commission has been requested.

    “This was not just an attack on our hospital—it was an attack on the Geneva Conventions. This cannot be tolerated,” Liu stated. “These Conventions govern the rules of war and were established to protect civilians in conflicts – including patients, medical workers and facilities. They bring some humanity into what is otherwise an inhumane situation.”

    MSF has asserted that Saturday’s airstrike amounts to nothing less than a war crime. Twenty-two people died in the attack, including 12 MSF staff members and 10 patients, and an additional 37 were wounded.

    Since that time, U.S. officials have altered their account of the bombing a total of four times, the most recent explanation given by General John Campbell being that the attack, which was called in by U.S. Special Forces, “mistakenly struck” the hospital. However, MSF has repeatedly said that the U.S. military was aware of the hospital’s GPS coordinates.

    Pending activation by signatory states, the Commission inquiry will gather facts and evidence from the U.S., NATO, and Afghanistan, as well as testimony from surviving MSF staff and patients. “The facts and circumstances of this attack must be investigated independently and impartially, particularly given the inconsistencies in the U.S. and Afghan accounts of what happened over recent days,” Liu said. “We cannot rely on only internal military investigations by the U.S., NATO and Afghan forces.”

    During a subsequent press briefing, Liu said that the inquiry was essential to “safeguard” essential medical space within war zones. Without that protection “it is impossible to work in other contexts like Syria, South Sudan, like Yemen.”

    “If we let this go, as if was a non-event, we are basically giving a blank check to any countries who are at war,” she concluded.

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    • derp

      Well played Taliban, well played…

    • MarkinMelbourne

      The US is not a party to Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention. The IHFFC was setup under Article 90.
      Article 90 of this amendment states that “The High Contracting Parties may at the time of signing, ratifying or acceding to the Protocol, or at any other subsequent time, declare that they recognize ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other High Contracting Party accepting the same obligation, the competence of the [International Fact-Finding] Commission to enquire into allegations by such other Party, as authorized by this Article.” [7] 74 states have made such a declaration. The US has not.

    • Josephine Dorion


    • Josephine Dorion



      • gmag39

        Why are you shouting? So your blather can better be heard? I won’t bother responding to your (mostly) mindless drivel… I’ve read some of your other rantings; I think you need to quit listening to whatever propagandist outfit you’re currently getting your info from. You sound quite mad.

    • Nicole Smith

      Psssst…it is “Doctors Without Borders” and not “Doctor’s” – that is possessive and incorrect grammar.
      I mean, for crying out loud – it’s spelled correctly on their logo in the photo you posted.
      Good article, though.

      • what’s-in-a-name

        Good job getting the real point of this article.

        • Blitzkrieg

          There is nothing wrong with encouraging standards, especially in journalism.

          • Tuaca1107

            I agree. It always appears to me to question the credibility of the article when grammar and spelling are lacking.

            • MarkinMelbourne

              Articles online are not checked like they are before print. I see mistakes in every single online media outlet. Saying that this puts in question the credibility, unfortunately these days, is a mistake. Actually we really should question the credibility of every article we read, good editing or not.

      • Dean Jack Reeves

        Clearly, we know who the terrorists are. The neo-conservatives in Washington, are without empathy, humanity, they have no conscience. What is the end game? I suppose it’s control, control of everything and everyone by any means necessary. US imperialism. The imperialists are pure evil.

        I also concur with regard to grammar and spelling in these articles 🙂 “blank check”? lol *cheque*

        • Logic Be Damned

          In U.S. cheque is spelled as check. 😐
          So while the author did spell it correctly, the spelling of this word has been bastardized, permanently, in U.S.

    • Nancy Carr

      I was told by a former military person that our military never misses its target.

      • Tuaca1107

        I think there is a lot more to this story.

      • Benjamin

        That person was off the mark.

    • If this were merely ineptitude on the part of the US, it might eventually be forgivable. But the MSF was in contact with the military for a full hour BEFORE the bombing began, and during the bombing itself, which lasted an hour. You can’t just shrug your shoulders, throw a little money in their direction, and walk away. This was a depraved, criminal act, and someone needs to be held accountable.

    • cyberprophet

      The US bombed the hospital intentionally to punish MSF for treating also Taliban fighters. And the order came from the top, from the guy who decried the carnage in Oregon and spoke about the horror of dead children, the guy who has the Nobel Peace Prize somewhere that would have to remind him what a lying hypocrite he is.

      • Slingerss

        You lost us when you went into your I-Hate-Obama rant.

        • cyberprophet

          I’m just pointing out that this hospital massacre would not have happened if we had a president with an ounce of morality or any principles at all.

    • Susan


    • yeah I remember a few bombings of hospitals during the gaza campaign, and dead silence about who was accountable.

      • Slingerss

        Um, No. The International crimes council, is still looking into War Crimes charges for those bombings. I am hopeful that there will be charges, even with the US manipulations to protect Israel.

    • Ralph Barlow

      There is NO APOSTROPHE in Doctors Without Borders!!!!

      • Benjamin

        Not with THAT attitude!

    • JC

      Innocent people get hurt and killed in wars. That’s why they’re called wars and not knitting picnics. Look up world war 2 and read about London, Tokyo, Dresden, Berlin, and many other cities. Those cities were filled with civilians, hospitals, schools, women and children. Now stop your damn whining and celebrate still being alive.

      • Mitchell Powell

        That was WWII, before GPS.
        Also, this is not a war, it never was declared a war by congress, it is simply an AC130 terrorizing Afganistan some more and creating new recruits for the Taliban.

      • Brandon

        Thats was by far the most stupid response I have ever heard, and I teach a special needs class.

      • cyberprophet

        This comment doesn’t make any sense. Maybe you didn’t understand the article.

    • Sheldon

      Woah… are folks suggesting the hospital was deliberately targeted? Surely this was just another military SNAFU?

      • Infernos_Reaper

        The part where the people being bombed were in contact with said bombers before, during, and after the bombing, and said bombers knew exactly where they were bombing, yes.

      • Nancy Carr

        I was told by a military person that the military never misses its target. I don’t believe in SNAFUs.

      • Josephine Dorion



    • therarirurero

      What this article fails to mention is that said investigative body has no authority to actually investigate the United States as the United States are not signatories to Protocol I of the Geneva Convention, which includes the extended Article that established the factfinding organization. They need direct approval from the USA to do any investigation.

      • Infernos_Reaper

        Almost makes me wish a 1rst world country would step up and remind the USA there are world powers who won’t put up with these war crimes.

        • therarirurero

          Which one? Cause all of them are pretty much reliant on the United States economically.

          • Josephine Dorion

            YOU’RE KIDDING….?

          • Infernos_Reaper

            France pretty much failed already. The UK might be able to do it, but they were pretty much in league with the US invasions of Iraq, so, they’re out. China is hopelessly dependent on the US economy to pick a real fight. Russia, for all it’s trash-talk, doesn’t really have the power to back it up.

            It’d have be a coalition but there really are a lack of candidates wiling to do it.

        • Josephine Dorion


    • Jaq

      Good. This is completely and utterly unacceptable; the responsible parties need to be held accountable.

    • Imago Dei

      Good. I hope they push it all the way and get convictions and a precedent. However why has this never been activated for Palestine, the victim of relentless war crime since 1948? “The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, which was
      established by the Additional Protocols of the Geneva Conventions, is
      the only permanent body set up specifically to investigate violations of
      international humanitarian law. Though it was established in 1991, this
      investigation marks the first time the Commission has been requested.”

      • Farmer Ogion

        Because zionist lobby.

        • Imago Dei

          No doubt. The US assumes it has immunity too. It just takes one courageous NGO to stand up to them apparently.

          • therarirurero

            Except not. The US is literally immune to this because they never ratified/signed/agreed to Protocol I, which includes this Fact-Finding Commission. This means said fact-finding commission needs to receive consent from the US to investigate.

    • Antonio Benjamin

      Just another Good Reason to pack up and completely get out of Afghanistan!

      The Afghans are responsible for the Own National Security, the Republicans gave them $$ Billions in Foreign Aid.

      And Doctors Without Borders were out on the Sidewalks of America this Summer soliciting for donations. They make Packs and Deals with War Criminals in Africa and Asia to treat them in return for not burning down their Clinics and Hospitals.

      • Jack Hammer

        Correction: both blood-and-opium thirsty parties gave them billions. Both parties signed off on this fiasco.

      • Billy McKenna

        They have that deal with everyone. Doctor’s Without Borders will provide medical aid to anyone on the condition that those people do not attack the staff, patients, or hospitals set up by the charity. They purposely take a neutral position in every conflict, even when one side is clearly the bad guys. So yes, they treat both the African warlord, and his victims equally… they provide medical supplies, not a diplomatic solution. That’s someone else’s responsibility (ie. the likes of NATO).

        • Antonio Benjamin

          I wasn’t talking about the Doctors, I know they make deals with the Devils, Terrorists and Warlords to work there.

          I was talking about the US Military, we have no invested Interest in Afghanistan, they don’t have any Oil Fields!

      • Josephine Dorion


    • Why would the US do this intentionally. What would they get out of such cruelty?

      • Ben

        MSF were campaigning against the TPP quite hard, and TPP is hugely important to the corrupt corporate rulers of the US (and most of the rest of the world). Not sure what it is? Basically it is corporations removing the sovereignty of nations, one secret treaty at a time, becoming sovereign themselves in the process. Mussolini would undoubtedly call it fascism evolved, next level slavery. Look it up.

        • I know what the TPP but there is no advantage for these corporations to blow up a MSF hospital. They aren’t going to change their minds. But thanks.

          • Ben

            Revenge and greed never did make much sense. These sorts of people don’t understand selfless bravery, so they think that MSF doctors are as cowardly as them and will run at the first sign of danger (or at least be more cautious about standing up). Bravo to MSF for not backing down.

            That or there is an even deeper play here…(I can think of a few, but they are all just conjecture)

          • Chris Nafy

            If you really do not know what the TPP is, then I suggest you start googling because it’s going into effect soon and going to be signed by a majority of countries without any backing by civilians.

        • John Riehle

          Right to oppose TPP, wrong to label it “fascism evolved”. Fascism is an all-powerful national state with national corporations completely subordinate to it, formed by an extreme nationalist right-wing populist movement ; WTO is a consortium of all-powerful international corporations replacing national state mechanisms and subordinating them to autonomous international corporate power, formed by the international capitalist class to prevent both right-wing or left-wing national populist movements from using the state in the interests of the subordinate classes. The TPP is part of a strategy to secure the autonomy and independence of international corporations from the state while forcing all states to subsidize them and provide military power to protect them, while the goal of fascism is to subordinate national corporations and direct them to war production in preparation for world military conquest by the Master Race of a specific state. The TPP is actually the mirror opposite of fascism.

          • CLF973

            well said

            • Ben

              did you just reply to yourself? hehe (I’m assuming not but it looks like it?)

          • Ben

            You don’t see the global state they are being arranged under? And the war they are being arranged to fight against that global states enemies? (hint: Us, the people.)

            • Ben

              Hitlers fascism was designed to use the corporate based machine to crush other nearby states sovereignty and form a europe wide super state.
              This fascism is designed to crush the entire worlds countries sovereignty and make a global super state.

      • kitup

        Why does a bully do anything? To assert control and make sure that people know that they are the dominant ones. And maybe since these doctors probably helped the ‘enemy’ by providing medical treatments the US soldiers in command got pissed off and said – ‘I’ll show you!’? Its been known to happen with some of these military types and their quick to react personalities.

      • Mitchell Powell

        It creates recruits for the Taliban…

      • Josephine Dorion

        why did the scorpion stung the frog…………….?
        “It is my nature to sting”……..says the scorpion.

    • Anonie Mungee

      one million dead in Iraq and THIS is the one that sticks it to the military? Still i hope it goes through!

      • MaryfromIL

        I knew hitting people who have money would backfire on the US.

    • Idelle Nissila-Stone

      An apostrophe in Doctors — In the HEADLINE, no less?

      • Nicholas Roberts

        If a headline or article was grammatically correct yet filled with false claims and spin, would you point it out?

        • Idelle Nissila-Stone

          Possibly. But I realized it was pointless to even start.

        • CWB1


      • CWB1

        You could e-mail them and encourage better proofreading of articles and headers. Even for those of us who aren’t the comma police, bloopers like this don’t help a source’s credibility.

    • Alfredo Louro

      Good for MSF not to let this just go.

    • Annalisse Mayer

      An inquiry would help uncover whether the attack was genuinely accidental. Still, war is itself inherently a violation of civil liberties. Ancillary casualties are the norm. What greater violation of one’s civil rights could there be than being bombed?

      • Infernos_Reaper

        Accidents happen, but intentionally causing harm to civilians is frowned upon these days. Those people didn’t get a choice about there being a war so why should they be treated the same as active combatants?

    • Gato Cat

      Punctuate much?

      • Jack Sutter


    • SoJo

      Why is the picture not of Joanne Liu, as would be relevant to the article?

    • Robert Raleigh

      I’m all in favor of spreading the news of this horrific event and the response to it, but it’s “Doctors Without Borders,” not “Doctor’s Without Borders.” Apostrophes are used for possessives, not plurals.

      • breathlss79

        Please fix this!

      • CLF973

        Obviously the “without borders” are owned exclusively by the doctors Robert.

    • 220VOLTS

      Strip away all the palaver and you still have body bags en-route, tribal revenge, an impotent government, and the opium still flows. And, with each additional murder by the US Military another family of Jahidis is created.
      Yes, a “very sorry” is necessary … an apology to the American people for staining the honor (if there ever was any) of the United States.

      • Infernos_Reaper

        There really never wasn’t any honor here. Just check the history.

    • carsijaner82

      But didn’t Obama say they were sorry?!
      Isn’t his apology enough? I mean, come on guys. What else do you want?!
      From now on, every breach of the Geneva convention should end with the president’s apology. No investigations, no prosecutions, no trials, no convictions. A simple “I’m very sorry” should do just fine.

      • MalMilligan

        He did apologize and it did seem respectfully and honorably delivered. This one is going to require full investigations by several different groups. Hopefully it will not be just another acquittal like the Marine aviators that clearly violated Standard Operating Procedures and killed 20 skiers in Italy. Those guys acted like Yahoos and they were fooling around. All they got was a slap on the wrist…

        • Infernos_Reaper

          It’s no surprise the US keeps making enemies. Eventually, they’ll make one that’s strong enough and willing to do something about it.

      • Bear1664

        Are you some sort of half wit? People have been killed. The U.S authorities were given the coordinates of this hospital on FIVE occasions but due to crass stupidity this has happened. A simple apology by your president is just not good enough. Those responsible for these murders should be tried at the International War Tribunal court in den Haag. To suggest your president’s apology with make it all go away is extreme delusion.

        • JaniceRose

          I think you misunderstood cars sarcasm.

          • CLF973

            Why do you think cars is being sarcastic and Bear isn’t?

            • Infernos_Reaper

              Because of how he words his statements.

    • xtna

      Doctors, not “Doctor’s”. Please mind the grammar 🙂
      Other than that, the people responsible for the bombing should definitely be charged with war crimes.

      • Rosemary1155

        THANK YOU! I was poised to note that myself.

      • Lesa Lal

        what is this with all the Grammer Nazi’s???? Guess the trolls have nothing relevant they can add!

        • frippo

          You mean “Grammar Nazis.”

        • Farmer Ogion

          Grammar save lives!
          “Let’s eat Lesa Lal!”
          “Let’s eat, Lesa Lal!”

        • CWB1

          Grammar Nazis?
          Not a matter of policing. More a matter of recognizing how a blooper like this undermines the credibility of an important story that people might want to share.

        • xtna

          Language is important. Comparing adherence to spelling rules to the holocaust trivializes one of the worst moments of 20th century history.
          Other than that, I agreed with the article but if a journalist can’t bother to write correctly the name of one of the most important NGOs, how can you rely on their word?

    • Sue Pachunk

      So ironic that our commander-in-chief, who received the world’s only “pre-emptive” Nobel Prize not so long ago is now a war criminal worthy of being brought before the Hague (and I hope that same chorus that was so shrill against George W. Bush will not continue to show their hypocrisy here), while Russia is taking the lead in decisive action against ISIS, a role that once would have fallen on our shoulders.

      • MalMilligan

        Kissinger was the one that really should have been put behind bars for violations of US law. The so called “Nobel Prize” is sometimes almost like a gag joke. They gave one of those party jokes to Kissinger as well as you probably remember.

        • Hamblerger

          Fair points to both of you, but I feel that it might be the time to point out that Doctors Without Borders has also won the Nobel Peace Prize.

          • MalMilligan

            Yeah they get it right more often than not. But with the Kissinger and Obama awards, they were clearly political acts and mistakes which forever cheapened the image of the award. The other intended recipient on the Vietnamese side by the way, Le Duc Tho, flat out refused it. He was the one that Kissinger said he would “bring to his knees” at the negotiating table and he intended to do so by secretly directing the bombing against civilian targets. Kissinger was adept and very experienced in destroying paper trails that could implicate him in flagrant violations of US law.

        • Sue Pachunk

          And of course it’s all too predictable that John Kerry will be next up for doing absolutely nothing except undermining any shred of accountability against nuclear Iran and dangerously allowing them access to funds to help build their arsenal. Only a matter of time before they give it to Bill Clinton for doing something equally inane to ensure that every (D) on the presidential ticket for the past quarter century has one.

          • MalMilligan

            They eventually gave it to Jimmy Carter and I believe he deserved it. Give it to Kerry for the horrifying Iran deal? I sincerely hope not. With the Iranians chanting death to America, death to Israel, to offer them hundreds of billions of dollars so they can continue to fund terrorist activity was flat out dumb. If they build a nuclear bomb to use on Israel or the US, we should flatten the facility. More cost effective and giving them the money to fund extreme religious terrorism will ultimately cost tens of thousands of lives. Bill Clinton has done a lot of peace work since leaving office. He might deserve one actually. He did a lot to bring Vietnam and Cambodia into the modern world. I’ve been to Vietnam 10 times since 1993 and I’m genuinely grateful for the peaceful initiatives that Bill Clinton did there.

      • CWB1

        Agreed that it’s a big shame.
        Re: Russia, however, Putin as Russia has his/its own shady motives.

    • JenAdkins

      I haven’t heard of Doctor’s Without Borders. I’m not sure how one could possess “without borders.”

      • Richard Griffin

        It’s past your bedtime.

      • Rosemary1155

        Snide, but appropriate.

    • Kalar Walters

      So are similar actions being taken against Russia for bombing 3 hospitals in 2 days in Syria. That can’t possibly be an “oops.”

      • MalMilligan

        The Russians lost 7 nuclear submarines. If they hit 4 out of 5 targets correctly it will be an improvement for them.

    • MalMilligan

      I think we can now expect MintPress to flat out lie about news events and to make baseless claims in print while pretending to be journalists. Here is another misrepresentation about the “4 different stories” regarding the unfortunate deaths of Doctors in the Afghanistan war zone. MintPress has tainted an otherwise good story by mixing the delivery with twisted b.s. It’s almost like the Enquirer or other popular entertaining “rags” that bored people buy while they are checking out at food stores. Will the Doctors Without Borders succeed with making an international case presenting this as a war crime? I hope arrests and convictions are ultimately made. For all the good that the US military can do – especially standing up to murderous groups that are controlled and manipulated by false religions and dictators – at the same time they must be accountable for unprofessional and negligent fire missions.

      • Namiwakiru

        Doesn’t help that those murderous groups , false religions and dictators are usually funded and aided by the US anyway.

        Perhaps it’s time that the accountability stretched a bit further so the US military isn’t fighting enemies created by it’s own leaders and forced in to these kinds of positions.

        • MalMilligan

          Yeah supporting sicko dictators is an unfortunate part of US history. Marcos, Shah of Iran, Mobuto, Noriega, Sandinistas, etc. Many dozens more. Hopefully moving forward we can minimize bad decisions like those from the past. But they don’t fund any religious groups at all. Which false religions do you think Namiwakiru are paid for by US tax dollars?

          • Paul Mcgachan

            Are you confusing the ‘Sandanista’s’ with Zionist’s perhaps?

            • MalMilligan

              Whoops. I should have written “Contras”. Another group which was trained and financed and supplied by the US. Although they were so called “anti-communists”, they landed up murdering a lot of innocent people and the “Sandinista” Daniel Ortega (the former bank robber and commie buddy of Fidel Castro) was elected anyway. Then Ortega was voted out a few years later. Do you think I should have included Zionists on the list of dictators or groups the US should not have supported Paul? I wonder what the world would be like if Nazi’s and Palestinians erased all the art and music and medical and scientific advances created by “Zionists” and replaced all governments with Sharia or Gestapo Law. That would be unfortunate.

              • joranbeasley

                I think the contras were fighting against the sandanistas … they were not the sandanistas … but yeah …

                • MalMilligan

                  Thats right. I forgot the players. Ollie North personally trained groups of “Conta’s” and they made the headlines unfortunately by pulling a wedding party from a bus and slaughtering them. Whoops, another colossal mistake funding illiterates and giving them guns. The Sandanista’s were partially funded by Cuba (Daniel Ortega had trained in Cuba) and they preached the communist platform. Castro was fighting wars for communism in 23 countries at the time by supplying weapons and advisors. Ortega ultimately did the Castro expand communism thing by supplying leftist rebels in El Salvador with weapons that originated in the US. The Sandinistas were legitimately elected by the people of Nicaragua as they were so tired of the “death squads” they associated with the previous Somoza government and the Contras. Even though he lost the next election, he ran for President a bunch of times and actually one again under a more “socialist democratic” type platform.

          • Dennis Santos

            Jonas Savimbi comes to mind as well.

            • MalMilligan

              I read about him and didn’t see him as a bad dictator type necessarily, but he did keep fighting when he could have continued to negotiate from relative strength when his peace envoys were murdered on their way to a conference. He was a European educated charismatic anti-communist and Angola became one of those unfortunate places where the Kissinger Doctrine was played out. The US fighting the “evil” Communist USSR but the battles were being fought in a 3rd world country far from either the US or USSR. 20 or 30 years later they are still impoverished but apparently finally stable and they have some oil money which will greatly help them. The country has some incredibly beautiful scenery and well intentioned citizens that suffered greatly. I wish them well and hopefully a long stretch of peaceful growth.

          • Namiwakiru

            The history of directly funded FBO’s by the US is well known and even indirectly through other NGO’s with US funding.

            On the other hand, the various dictators and groups who have been armed and trained by the US usually have a strong religious identity that becomes a motivation for their actions, good or bad.

            • MalMilligan

              I wonder then why the US does not seem to find groups to find that are against all religions. That would seem to have a better chance for success rather than dealing with religion obsessed zombies.

      • Beejaym

        Since when is reciting fact, misrepresentation? I counted 0 times an opinion was offered in this article.

        • MalMilligan

          I didn’t say anything about an opinion being offered. I was referring to factual misrepresentation. This statement is “U.S. officials have altered their account of the bombing a total of four times”. Of course that is totally false. This is not like the conflicting reports for the first couple days after Benghazi in 2012. To say the account has changed 4 times is not only deceptive, it’s a flat out lie. But you might be thinking this website is operating with the ethical standards of journalism. It is clearly not. It’s entertainment. Somewhere above Mad Magazine but far below any Newspaper or network news channel.

          • sweetforme

            seems to be a quote lifted from an article at the Guardian written on the 6th

            • MalMilligan

              I think you are exactly correct SweetForMe. Thank You !! I looked around as well to find the source of the supposed “4 different versions” and all I could find was the Guardian trying to sensationalize the incident to get more buzz. US military and State Department types appeared to do their best to release info on this one as soon as possible and I did not see any indication of a sinister plot being covered up. Regards –