Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Military presents results of its investigation of the attack on the MSF hospital

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Kevin Drum summarizes the report here.

I have to say the military’s story of what happened strains my credulity to the breaking point. I can see why the military and President Obama were so strongly opposed to an independent investigation, given that this is the best they could come up with. It is not believable. Too many routine procedures in a row violated by trained and experienced staff. Simply not believable, though if it had been an independentinvestigation, it might be credible. But the determination to keep independent investigators away has already released a bad odor. This silly story makes it worse.

If you think the story is true, then you still are left with the question of why was an independent investigation so strongly (and successfully) resisted? Normally that would be taken to mean that they were trying to hide something.

And it’s weird when the target cannot be found that they simply decide to pick some nearby building and blow it to hell. Really? They just pick something that’s in the neighborhood—in this case a large building with the lights on and a big Red Cross flag on the roof.

The military also does not address the phone call MSF made (and logged) to military headquarters at the very beginning of the attack to call the attack off. The attack continued. This is well described in this excellent column by Amy Davidson, based on the timely report by MSF>

The MSF response in the LA Times story is right on target:

. . . The summary did not answer all the questions about what went wrong, including whether the errors identified in the report constitute war crimes or why the crew opened fire when it appears they had reason to be uncertain about the target. [It also does not address the fact that the MSF immediately contacted military headquarters directly as soon as the attack began, but the attack continued for half an hour or more. – LG] Campbell did not take questions from reporters after his statement.

Doctors Without Borders, which had previously said the attack likely was a war crime, released a statement saying the report left “more questions than answers.”

“It is shocking that an attack can be carried out when U.S. forces have neither eyes on a target nor access to a no-strike list and have malfunctioning communications systems,” said the statement from the group, also known as MSF, its French acronym.

“It appears that 30 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of people are denied life-saving care in Kunduz simply because the MSF hospital was the closest large building to an open field and ‘roughly matched’ a description of an intended target,” the statement said.

“The frightening catalogue of errors outlined today illustrates gross negligence on the part of U.S. forces and violations of the rules of war,” the group said, repeating its call for an “independent and impartial investigation.” . . .

Written by Leisureguy

25 November 2015 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Daily life

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