Chimpy Loves His War Criminals

Birds of a feather, I suppose. Via Froomkin:

Peter Baker writes in The Washington Post: “President Bush met at the White House this week with a Russian general who has been accused of overseeing some of the most notorious atrocities against civilians during the brutal second war in Chechnya.

“Bush welcomed Gen. Vladimir Shamanov to the Oval Office Monday in Shamanov’s capacity as co-chairman of a U.S.-Russian commission on missing soldiers. . . .

“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 International Herald-Tribune has Dana Peroxide’s feeble excuse.

A White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said it was “unlikely” that Bush would have met the general and posed for pictures with him if he had known about the charges.

“The president was not aware of the allegations made against him, and was seeking to sharpen the focus on the commission’s good work, and due to the information about the current Russian commission leadership, we are going to review how best to move forward with that important work, without future photo ops,” she said.

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