The top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John F. Campbell, said Wednesday that several service members had been suspended from duty after an internal military investigation of the American airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz last month.
Calling the airstrike a “tragic mistake,” General Campbell read a statement announcing the findings of the investigation, which he said concluded that “avoidable human error” was to blame, compounded by technical, mechanical and procedural failures. He said another contributing factor was that the Special Forces members in Kunduz had been fighting continuously for days and were fatigued.
The special forces were “Fatigued”.
Sounds like, “The dog ate my homework.”
General Campbell and his staff did not say how many people were being disciplined, or how. But a senior United States military official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that one of those punished was the Army Special Forces commander on the ground in Kunduz during the fighting. The official would not identify the commander by name, but said the officer, a captain, was relieved of his command in Afghanistan on Wednesday morning.
Translation: he is the the chosen patsie, because he is only a captain.
This what happens in these cases: They lay everything at as low a level as is possible, and/or blame reservists or national guardsman.
Kunduz, a provincial capital in northern Afghanistan, had been seized by the Taliban in the days before the airstrike. General Campbell said the gunship’s crew believed it was firing on a different building identified as a Taliban base in the city. He said that the aircraft’s targeting systems failed to deliver accurate information and that email and other electronic systems aboard the aircraft, including a video feed that would normally have sent pictures to higher-level commanders in real time, also failed during the operation.
The general confirmed that Médecins Sans Frontières, the French name of Doctors Without Borders, had succeeded in reaching the Special Forces commander to inform him of the attack about 12 minutes into the airstrike, at 2:20 a.m. But he said the strike was not called off until 2:37 a.m. — after the aircrew had already stopped firing. But that timeline does not agree with accounts by the aid group and other witnesses, who said the strike went on for more than an hour.
The aid group, which has called for an independent, nonmilitary international inquiry into the airstrike, was sharply critical of General Campbell’s remarks. “The U.S. version of events presented today leaves M.S.F. with more questions than answers,” said Christopher Stokes, the organization’s general director. “The frightening catalog of errors outlined today illustrates gross negligence on the part of U.S. forces and violations of the rules of war.”
Gee, you think?
This stinks to the high heavens.
And the fact that they dumped this the day before thanksgiving is also highly suspect.