On August 29, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) launched a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 10 civilians, including seven children, but no terrorists.
Immediately after the attack, CENTCOM commander Kenneth “Frank” Mackenzie described the bombing as a successful blow to ISIS-K, and General Mark Milley called it an “attack of justice.”
Not to lose, President Joe Biden mentioned his strike August 31 speech In a warning to ISIS-K: “We are not finished with you yet.”
It took weeks for the Pentagon to admit that the drone attack killed an unmanned man on September 17, and that the terrorists were not killed. By that time, authorities continued to claim that the bombing was a legitimate retaliation for the terrorist attack at Kabul Airport a few days ago, which killed 170 Afghan civilians and 13 U.S. military members.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the use of drone strikes by the Pentagon, Senator Josh Hawley (Republican Party) told the public what military officials knew and what happened around August. Asked for an answer about the contradiction between. 29.
Hurley said he knew he could make mistakes that could lead to the death of a tragic civilian. But he said he didn’t understand why the U.S. government seemed to have tried to deny the killing of civilians for several weeks in the wake of the August 29 strike.
“This is what I don’t fully understand: the CIA warns,” You made a mistake, you are targeting citizens, “and they eventually killed citizens.” Said Harley, referring to September 18 CNN Report The CIA allegedly warned Pentagon officials shortly after the attack that they may have killed civilians.
“But the next day, after a CIA warning and after a deadly attack on civilians, Gen. Mackenzie went out and said the strike had devastated ISIS-K. The chairman (Millie) calls it a legitimate strike. “
Hurley called for military leaders to appear before Congress.
“These people should testify under an oath about what happened,” he said. “I doubt it [Gen. McKenzie] You’ll be asked what he knows, and when he knows it, you’ll find that they were informed very early that they had achieved the wrong goal. “
Some of Hurley’s questions have already been answered. McKenzie, Millie, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told the House Armed Services Commission (HASC) on September 29 that they had noticed within hours that a Kabul strike had killed civilians.
“We knew that the strike struck civilians within four to five hours of the strike, and the U.S. Central Command issued a press release saying that,” Mackenzie said in a hearing. Said. question From Congressman Trent Kelly (Republican Party).
However, as the Epoch Times reported at the time, the second half of Mackenzie’s remarks is incorrect. The CENTCOM statement after the drone strike does not mention the death of a civilian.
first time August 29, CENTCOM release Regarding the incident, CENTCOM said, “There are no signs at this time, but we are assessing the possibility of civilian casualties.”
When media reports were fooled by the death of a civilian later that day, CENTCOM also issued a follow-up statement that failed to admit the death.
“Today, I know of reports of civilian casualties after a vehicle strike in Kabul.” The second release is.. “It’s unclear what happened and we’re investigating further.”
The same statement from CENTCOM also notes that a drone strike could have eliminated the “imminent ISIS-K threat” to Kabul’s airport in Afghanistan, resulting in a secondary explosion.
At a hearing on February 9, Mr. Hurley said it was difficult to understand that such a serious communication failure could occur between the Pentagon and other government agencies.
“You have the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the President of the United States claiming victory. That suggests a serious disruption to the process: you didn’t inform the President of the United States before he left, Claiming a victory that you may have actually killed a civilian-otherwise he did it anyway, “Harley said.
“In any case, we have a big problem.”