The State Department seems to be unconcerned with two eye-witness accounts of the summary execution of Iraqi detainees by Iyad Allawi in late June. Here’s a portion of a press briefing given by State Department spokesman Richard Boucher last week:
Question: “Has the US Government or the State Department made any attempt to ascertain the truth or otherwise of reports that [Allawi], on about the third weekend in June, while the was still in charge in Iraq, executed six prisoners in front of witnesses reported to include US security personnel? If not, will you do so, given the serious nature of the charge [as claimed] by two independent witnesses to an Australian journalist?”
Boucher: “I think this is something that has been dealt with and discussed in Baghdad and here. Prime Minister Allawi himself has said there is nothing to these reports. I think he’s responded very directly when asked about them.
“We have said before we had no information to indicate such an event had taken place. And that’s where I stand at this point.”
Question: “But my question is whether you had done any investigation, since there were Americans allegedly present.”
Boucher: “I don’t know who those Americans might have been. I don’t know if any of the armed forces or other units in Baghdad might have done some sort of investigation. But I’m told the US Government has checked and that we don’t have any information that would indicate those reports are true.”
Question: “So, you are satisfied there is absolutely no truth to those reports?”
Boucher: “We have nothing to indicate those reports are true.”
The next question was not properly recorded, but you get the gist of it from the answer.
Boucher: “I’m not going to rephrase it. I can tell you the extent of our knowledge. But that’s the extent of our knowledge.”
Question: “But you’re not making any effort to extend the extent of your knowledge?”
Boucher: “I’d say we have checked on what information we do have. We don’t have any information that would indicate those reports are true.”
Question: “And you’re not looking to make any further investigations…”
Boucher: “We’re always open to any further information or investigations that might be done.”