Bruce C. Robinson:
Regarding the death of Sgt. La David T. Johnson… From Dan Rather:
“I hope we can let a family grieve in peace. It saddens me that this has gone so far. It saddens me that the memory of a brave young man is being overshadowed by politics, and I daresay racial overtones that have plagued this country since its founding. We see once again words spoken behind the Great Seal of the United States fail in the face of facts. And we are worse for it, all of us.
This was so avoidable. If President Donald Trump and his Chief of Staff John Kelly are to be believed that the tone of the call to Sgt. La David T. Johnson’s widow was misconstrued, why not just say that? Why not just apologize for a misunderstanding around words uttered in a moment when any words are insufficient? But “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” are sentiments that seem far beyond our current Commander in Chief, the political movement he leads and the media echo chamber he incites. The instinct is to always attack, attack, attack. Bring a gun to a knife fight. Impugn character even if the truth is otherwise.
So we have more pain. We have more division. We have more recriminations. And we have more rending of our social fabric.
Ecclesiastes tells us there is “a time to tear and a time to mend.” This was a time to mend. And that is part of the responsibilities of the President of the United States, with all the awesome power that rests in that office.
They are making a distraction. While everyone is so busy talking about the president’s handling of his call to the widow of the soldier killed in Niger, you’re all missing the important part of that story — the part about what happened that night in Niger.
The story that is emerging is so much worse than anything that happened in Benghazi, but the same GOP Congress that investigated Benghazi with a fury seems to have little or no interest in this story.
Here’s what we know so far:
These soldiers went to a meeting in an area near the border with Mali. This is a well known hot spot for ISIS activity. Our soldiers were not backed up by US Military air support. No, they were backed up by the French, who were not authorized to intervene or even fire a shot.
Our soldiers did not have armored vehicles. They traveled in pickup trucks.
Our soldiers were given faulty intel that said “it was unlikely that they would meet any hostile forces.”
Of course, they walked into an ISIS ambush. It was chaotic and they took three casualties. It took the French 30 minutes to arrive. When they did, they were not authorized to help. So, a dozen of our Green Berets fought a battle with more than 50 ISIS fighters, without help, for 30 minutes.
Finally, a rescue helicopter arrived, but it was not a US military helicopter. No, we apparently outsourced that job to “private contractors.” So, these contractors landed and loaded the remaining troops, the injured and the dead.
Here’s where this gets really bad, because they were not military, they never did a head count. That is how Sgt. La David Johnson was left behind.
That’s right. They left him behind.
According to the Pentagon, his locator beacon was activated on the battlefield, which indicates that he was alive when they left him there.
They recovered his body 48 hours later, but are refusing to say where. According to his widow, she was told that she could not have an open casket funeral. This indicates that he was mutilated after being left behind on the battlefield.
This is what led to the nonsense we’re obsessing over. This is the real story. As usual, you’re allowing it to be about Trump’s distraction, but this is Benghazi on steroids.
The Trump Pentagon gave these men bad intel, no support, outsourced rescue people and then tried for more than a week to pretend it never happened.
In that time, Trump spoke on many occasions and never mentioned it.
He tweeted attacks on many but never mentioned these men. Only after pressure from the media has he bothered to even acknowledge these men and their service