By Michael E. Miller
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By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
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By Luther Campbell
Pressed, though, she declined to give a distance, saying only it was "more than five meters." That means officers just outside the frame might have killed him. Even perhaps the man across the street shown in the video.
News reports seemed to confirm the killing was at relatively close range. NBC News, the only media outlet besides New Times (and blogger Matthew Lee) to significantly cover Maxwell's killing, hired retired U.S. Army Colonel and Medal of Honor winner Jack Jacobs in April to study the video this past spring. He concluded, "Two Afghan security soldiers ran across the road to where Maxwell was and shot him."
The Afghan government responded to the claim with an enigmatic denial. "We have accepted that there was a bomber wearing a police uniform and he was shooting everyone in front of him," Zemarai Bashary, a spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, told NBC. "Perhaps he shot the security guard."
Indeed, Karzai fired interior minister Hanif Atmar not long after the United Nations delivered findings of the Maxwell investigation.
Two unnamed UN officials blame the Obama administration for not forcing the Afghans to probe the death. After all, the Karzai government arrested several alleged terrorists who "allow[ed] these attackers to come to Kabul and attack the house," according to Macorra. So with the right pressure, more could be done.
"The UN just doesn't want to push this, and the U.S. is doing nothing," blogger Lee says. "And the Afghans won't investigate."
Nobody from the U.S. government, which has spent $285 billion on the war so far, wants to talk about the Maxwell shooting. This is odd. Usually leaders rush to discuss American heroes. "The FBI is currently investigating the death, and I can't comment any further," State Department spokesman Noel Clay told me last week.
"I can confirm it is a Washington field office investigation," FBI spokeswoman Katherine Schweit said. "Nothing more."
Even Congressman Meek, who visited the family after the murder, speaks only in platitudes about his dead constituent. "His memory will not be forgotten," the Senate candidate responded in a written statement when he was asked whether he had pressured the Afghans to investigate.
The most logical explanation for all of this reticence, I believe, is that the Karzai administration — which the United States supports and needs — orchestrated the attack that killed Maxwell. After all, the monitors' complaints had triggered scheduling a runoff.
And the attack worked. Not only did the United Nations immediately pull half of its delegation from the country, but also Karzai's intimidated opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, quit the race after Western leaders suggested his further involvement would spur more violence.
"They sacrificed this guy," Lee says. "The thing to keep in mind is that both the United States and United Nations want so much to get along with the Afghan government that they don't see it in their interest to investigate whether the Karzai government — perhaps intentionally — killed Maxwell."
Aijalon Muhammad and her family, including Louis Maxwell's two sons, ages 8 and 1, still hope the bona fide hero's murder won't be lost in the tangle of international politics. "Every day, I get up and cry," she says. "I don't understand why no one is pushing the Afghan government to turn over his killers. I just don't understand how they are doing this."