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US admits “mistaken” forced entry into hospital it previously bombed

In this Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 photo, Christopher Stokes, the general director of the medical charity, Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French abbreviation MSF, stands amid the charred remains of the organization's hospital, after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Stokes says the “extensive, quite precise destruction” of the bombing raid casts doubt on American military assertions that it was a mistake. (Najim Rahim via AP)

In this Friday, Oct. 16, 2015 photo, Christopher Stokes, the general director of the medical charity, Doctors Without Borders, which is also known by its French abbreviation MSF, stands amid the charred remains of the organization’s hospital, after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Stokes says the “extensive, quite precise destruction” of the bombing raid casts doubt on American military assertions that it was a mistake. (Najim Rahim via AP)

What is going on with the US in Afghanistan right now? If nothing else its PR department should be fired. First, just one day after condemning Russia for allegedly “inaccurate” bombing in Syria, they bomb Médecins Sans Frontières inside a hospital in Kunduz. Then they lie repeatedly in an attempt to deflect or minimise their responsibility. And as if that sorry saga wasn’t enough, they have now admitted that ten days later their armoured vehicles “deliberately” and illegally “crashed through the closed gate” of the compound housing the hospital.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Afghan armored vehicle with U.S. personnel inside drove through the gate last Thursday to gain access to the compound, believing incorrectly that no Doctors Without Borders personnel were present.

And what reason did they give for doing this? Assessing the building’s “structural integrity” no less. The move was “part of a process to determine whether to pay a damage claim.”

Yes, that’s right they are saying they drove an armoured vehicle through the front gate in order to ascertain whether they had done enough damage to warrant an insurance pay out.

They also admit they did it at a time they thought MSF was not present. Which is not very good code for “we though it would just be a bunch of locals in there and the media wouldn’t listen to any stories they told.”

MSF says the US Army’s unusual method of damage assessment has had the unforeseen side-effect of “destroy[ing] potential evidence” about the bombing.

Oops.

But it’s ok though guys. The Pentagon has got this. In Captain Davis’ own words…

“They did it. They shouldn’t have…and they’re going to make it right and make sure that that gate is repaired.

Who says the US doesn’t have a moral compass?


4 Comments

  1. zvezdicaslo says

    This wonderful forced entry is an ‘old’ story. The MSF say it happened on 16 October 2015 (Thursday) and it was reported on 16 October 2015 (see below). Pentagon only admitted that they did it on Monday, 19 October (this link ATL http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/pentagon-admits-mistaken-forced-entry-charity-clinic-34578580). Oops indeed.

    Notably, the MSF used rather strong words ‘premeditated massacre’ (see below), which the western media also somehow ‘forgot’ to report about.

    Here is a re-post of my comment on the Guardian site on 17 October 2015 which the moderators almost immediately deleted:


    New Details Suggest Afghan Hospital ‘Intentionally Targeted’ by US Forces, Says Doctors Without Borders

    16 October 2015

    These new details suggest “that the hospital was intentionally targeted, killing at least 22 patients and MSF staff,” said Meinie Nicolai, the president of the operational directorate of Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French initials, MSF.

    “This would amount to a premeditated massacre … Reports like this underscore how critical it is for the Obama administration to immediately give consent to an independent and impartial investigation by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to find out how and why U.S. forces attacked our hospital,” she added.


    MSF: Forcible US Intrusion Into Hospital May Have Destroyed War Crimes Evidence

    17 October 2015

    “Their unannounced and forced entry damaged property, destroyed potential evidence and caused stress and fear for the MSF team,” says medical charity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • zvezdicaslo says

      Correction of my above post: The forced entry happened on Thursday 15 (!) October. (And for timeline: the bombing was on 3 October).

      http://www.mintpressnews.com/msf-forcible-us-intrusion-into-hospital-may-have-destroyed-war-crimes-evidence/210424/

      “MSF confirms that a U.S. tank forced its way through the closed main gate of our hospital in Kunduz yesterday, Oct. 15, at 1:30 p.m. local time,” the organization said in a statement emailed to Common Dreams. “An MSF team had arrived earlier in the day to visit the hospital. Only after the tank forced its way into our compound was MSF informed that this intrusion was in fact a delegation from the U.S./NATO/Afghan investigation team.

      “Their unannounced and forced entry damaged property, destroyed potential evidence and caused stress and fear for the MSF team,” the organization continued. “This happened despite an agreement made between MSF and the joint investigation team that MSF would be given notice before each step of the procedure involving the organization’s personnel and assets.

      I should add that it seems that the MSF statement about the ‘premeditated massacre’ was originally reported by the Associated Press on 15 October:

      APNewsBreak: US analysts knew Afghan site was hospital

      http://bigstory.ap.org/article/5e20fcd92aee49e699149aef93595e49/apnewsbreak-us-spec-ops-knew-afghan-site-was-hospital

      What the new details suggest “is that the hospital was intentionally targeted, killing at least 22 patients and MSF staff,” said Meinie Nicolai, president of the operational directorate of Doctors without Borders, which is also known by its French initials MSF. “This would amount to a premeditated massacre. … Reports like this underscore how critical it is for the Obama administration to immediately give consent to an independent and impartial investigation by the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission to find out how and why U.S. forces attacked our hospital.”

      By one U.S. account from the scene, American and Afghan troops were under fire in the area.

      Nicolai said in an email exchange that the group’s staff “reported a calm night and that there were no armed combatants, nor active fighting in or from the compound prior to the airstrikes.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • zvezdicaslo says

        And clarification about my above statement “my comment on the Guardian site on 17 October 2015 which the moderators almost immediately deleted”:

        I posted on the Guardian site as Abiesalba (posting history https://profile.theguardian.com/user/id/10511313) from 21 July 2012 to 13 October 2015 when I was banned (almost immediately after I posted under an MH17 article a comment mentioning the fact that the US Navy shot down the civilian Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988, the US never apologised to Iran and the captain of the ship even got a medal of honour).

        I asked the Guardian moderation team via email why I was banned and how I can re-activate my profile. I got no reply, So on 15 October 2015 I created a new Guardian profile ZvezdicaSLO. I posted several dozen comments under this username in the next few days, until ZvezdicaSLO was banned (and all the posts deleted from my profile https://profile.theguardian.com/user/id/15476835) almost immediately after I mentioned ‘premeditated massacre’ and ‘forced entry’ on 17 October. Eh, maybe the mods just happened to notice at that very moment that I had a new (technically double = in addition to the disabled Abiesalba) username so the timing of the ban was a ‘coincidence’ and had nothing to do with the content of my ‘premeditated massacre’ post…

        So my Off-Guardian ZvezdicaSLO is a resurrection of the Guardian ZvezdicaSLO who was murdered in a ‘premeditated massacre’ by the Guardian mods.

        This is what the Guardian ZvezdicaSLO profile says:

        Zvezdica Zaspanka (Sleepy Twinklehead) is one of the most popular Slovene children’s stories about the youngest star in the sky who always starts shining too late in the evening. So Uncle Moon sends her down to Earth for punishment. Do not worry though – due to her goodness Zvezdica makes it back to her sisters in the sky. 🙂

        Sounds a bit prophetic now. Ha ha ha. The Guardian mods punished Zvezdica by excluding her from her sisterhood, but Zvezdica made it back to her sisters on Off-Guardian.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on wgrovedotnet and commented:

    The US bombs Kunduz and leaves it a ruin “in error” despite being given it’s coordinates several times on several occasions then a week later drive a tank through the compound gates ostensibly “to assess the damage” (for insurance payout purposes) they caused when they bombed it. They were very surprised to find that the doctors had not left so presumably smashed the gates believing that only natives would be there (and who cares what they have to say unless they are anti-Assad terrorists fleeing the Russian air strikes). Will the US rebuild the hospital with the insurance payout or just the gates? How, exactly, do they assess the worth of a human life lost in their bombing of a hospital – fill out a form to determine how badly they were injured and whether they would have made a full recovery – send in ATOS, they’re good at that sort of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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