Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Accountability and cover-ups

Families suspect SEAL Team 6 crash was inside job on worst day in Afghanistan

Questions haunt the families of Extortion 17, the 2011 helicopter mission in Afghanistan that suffered the most U.S. military deaths in a single day in the war on terrorism.

The investigative file made available to The Washington Times shows that the helicopter's landing zone was not properly vetted for threats nor protected by gunships, while commanders criticized the mission as too rushed and the conventional Chinook chopper as ill-suited for a dangerous troop infiltration.
One might think that a sloppy operation that resulted in the heaviest death toll of the Afghan War deserves a thorough investigation.

One would be wrong.

Not all families believe the fact-finding investigation, conducted by Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Colt covered all issues. Gen. Colt, who has since been promoted to major general, told commanders that his job was not to find fault and his report did not criticize any person or decision.
Then there is this:

One paragraph in the Colt report grabbed the families' attention. In it, crash investigators were interviewing the top leadership of the joint special operations task force that put together the mission. One of them was asked about a manifest.

"Yes, sir," a commander answered. "And I'm sure you know by now the manifest was accurate with the exception of the [redacted] personnel that were on. So the [redacted] personnel, they were incorrect all seven names were incorrect. And I cannot talk to the back story of why."

The "seven," family members say, refers to the Afghan soldiers. The open Colt report makes no reference about why the manifest was inaccurate. Military censors redacted any reference to the Afghans. Some families believe the task force at the last moment was forced to remove seven Afghans whose names remained on the manifest and replace them with seven others.

Senior Afghans had been aware of the mission because each operation must be approved by a joint operational coordination group made up of Americans and Afghan national security forces.

A Central Command spokesman declined to discuss the issue.
RTWT. It is a fine piece of analysis and investigative reporting.

Accountability and its impersonators

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