March 25th, 2011
09:51 AM ET

Army accused of covering up mistakes in Afghan battle

By Drew Griffin and Jessi Joseph, CNN Special Investigative Unit

It will go down in history as one of the U.S. military's worst battles in Afghanistan. And according to the families of the soldiers who died there, the history written by the U.S. Army is biased and inaccurate.

Relatives of those killed in Wanat, at a combat outpost in the rugged mountains of northeastern Afghanistan, say the Army is covering up mistakes made by the dead mens' commanders and placing blame on a junior officer who was simply following orders.

The 9 who died at Wanat

"My personal opinion is that the Army is trying to protect their institution," said Dave Brostrom, the father of 1st Lt. Jonathan Brostrom, who was killed in the battle. "It’s a lot easier to blame a dead lieutenant than it is to blame the chain of command."

The July 13, 2008 battle at Wanat, near the Pakistani frontier, was one of the bloodiest since the Afghan war began in 2001.  A U.S. force of 49, plus 24 Afghan troops, desperately fought off an attack by some 200 Taliban fighters, calling in air strikes barely 30 feet from their own positions during the struggle.

The platoon, in close combat with Taliban fighters, repelled the enemy after nearly four hours of intense fire at a cost of nine Americans dead and 27 wounded.

A military investigation that followed, led by Marine Lt. General Richard Natonski, blamed the deaths in part on dereliction of duty by superior officers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade and called for career-ending reprimands for company, battalion and brigade commanders up the chain.

Those recommendations were approved by Gen. David Petraeus, then chief of U.S. Central Command, which oversees American forces in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Army Secretary James McHugh then tasked Gen. Charles Campbell, the chief of the Army's Forces Command at the time, with reviewing Natonski’s investigation and taking appropriate action regarding the recommended letters of reprimand.  After reviewing Natonski’s investigation and meeting with the chain of command, Gen. Campbell concluded that the officers were neither negligent nor derelict and rescinded the letters of reprimand.

Then the Army published their study of the battle – which, according to Dave Brostrom, put a large part of the blame on his son, who commanded the airborne infantry platoon at Wanat.

That report by the Army's Combat Studies Institute is now the official history of the battle, and Brostrom - a retired colonel who is about to send his second son into the service – says the report needs to be re-written.

Up until the day of the battle, Brostrom said, his son was sending warnings up his chain of command that things were not well in Wanat.

Video taken by the soldiers of 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company showed crudely dug defensive positions, a few sandbags and the enemy easily visible within shooting range. The Afghan contractors that were supposed to provide heavy equipment and engineers never showed up to help build an actual defensive position, and troops were left to basically dig into the ground in 100-degree heat while water supplies ran low.

Natonski’s investigation found the officers at the battalion and brigade levels had become preoccupied with other matters - including a visit from Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  The investigation also found the battalion and brigade commanders failed to heed warnings that the Wanat outpost lacked construction equipment and supplies, was struggling with a shortage of drinking water and was undermanned days before the battle.

Worse, the Natonski investigation found warnings being sent by the platoon of an increasing buildup of insurgents in the area were either ignored or failed to make their way up the chain of command.

General Campbell’s review of the battle excuses the commanding officers' inattention to a platoon under threat, concluding that due to the busy schedules being kept by the commanders and other troop engagements in the area, "It seems reasonable that these officers' attentions were devoted to more pressing matters."

It was a complete reversal from what Natonski and Petraeus had found in their original report.  And Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee last summer that he disagreed with Campbell’s decision not to punish commanders involved.

“I respect his view in this particular case. I support the process,” Petraeus testified. ”But I did not change the finding that I affirmed after the investigating officers provided it to me."

A source close to the Army’s investigation said the commanders were negligent in the planning, negligent on the supervision and negligent in getting the proper resources to the soldiers who were in harm's way.

"If everyone did business this way," the source told CNN, "we'd be losing a lot more lives in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Sen. Jim Webb, D-Virginia, asked Army Secretary James McHugh to include the higher commands shortcomings in the Army’s official version of events at Wanat, a report that is intended to be used as a learning tool to train soldiers.

"The study's failure to assess decisions made by more senior leaders makes this accounting a flawed and biased 'implement of learning,' " wrote Webb, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a highly decorated Vietnam veteran.

In a meeting between Army officials and several family members of the nine dead soldiers, Campbell explained his decision not to reprimand the commanding officers was to protect future combat missions.

"I informed the Secretary of the Army of the action that I took,” General Campbell told the families. “And my determination is that the officers listed in the report had exercised due care in the performance of their duties."

Brostrom has asked the Army to pull the Combat Studies Institute report, which blames his son for poor placement of defensive positions at the combat outpost in Wanat. He maintains his son was simply following orders, and died carrying out a poorly planned mission by the command staff.

In a statement to CNN, the Army maintains that they have, “thoroughly investigated and shared all findings with family members, Congress, the media and the Army at large.”

The Army wrote that they understand there are still differing views among those who have reviewed their investigation and published study but say they have tried to be transparent, “Any suggestion that the Army has been less than forthright in this matter is simply not true.”

But Dave Brostrom believes the Army is less concerned about his son and more concerned about protecting their institution.

"It's more important than lessons learned and protecting our soldiers," he said.

Brostrom has asked the Department of Defense’s Inspector General to review whether the higher command, originally found derelict of duty, had an undue influence on the re-writing of history.

soundoff (416 Responses)
  1. kayjulia

    I have heard all the name calling, and so called reasoning on both sides of this argument over and over and it sounds like echos from the past to me !
    The BS that is spread around by all sides is mind blowing. No one knows the truth of the whole situation and most likely never will. We have wasted, yes wasted, time, treasure, and lives for what? Oil ! Money! The reason we are still in this war is because there is a proposed oil pipeline that would have to go through that country to get to buyers (That's us folks!). If that were not the case we would have packed up and left a long time ago. Now we are starting to make more mistakes and drag this war on longer and longer.
    Time to call it a day and get out of there!!!!

    April 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Roger

    Over extended empire, endless debt, more wars, printing money. This ain't going to last.

    March 31, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. DevilDog83

    Yes, the military is not perfect and yes, cover-ups have happened before. That does not excuse the behavior of the senior officers in this situation. Accountability is inherent to command. You will find that in ANY military doctrine in any branch of the service. If the senior officers were so busy with their damn meetings, then they should have used a little freakin' commonsense and delegated their duties to someone else who was not as busy. As an officer of Marines, I was tasked with looking after the sons and daughters of America when I took the oath. Somewhere along the line, these officers in this unit forgot about that oath. Their mission of self-preservation in the face of a preventable tragedy is absolutely ridiculous and they should be held accountable - force retirement or even reduction in rank.
    KAL
    USMC

    March 29, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Devil – HaHaHa ! The military is not perfect ! Thank you for sharing, but this is a little euphemistic !
      They are a bunch of criminals without any moral value.

      March 30, 2011 at 2:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. The Corps

    Hey, what can I say but," Army Strong and Be all you can be" oooooorrraahhhhhh Go Army, they make it right!!!!

    March 28, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      So be dead, as this is the best you can be !

      March 28, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
      • The Corps

        Salerno, you crack me up, all you talk is continuous SMACK and always trying to turn the truth around to meet your agendas. I personally think you a LOSER and what are you, working for the stinkin Paki ISI???? I just love weasels like you who hide behind a computer like some RODENT!!! You are a piece of work you DOG!!!!!!

        March 28, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        The Corps – I am glad to make you crack up ! I had a good point against your stupid rhetoric, isn't it ?

        March 28, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. salerno

    Shame – How can this site be for honorable men, when most of the poster are linked with US military ?

    March 28, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
    • The Corps

      You know what, Afganistan is getting what it deserves, this is what happens when you support TERRORISM. You get your teeth kicked in and as far as I am concerned, these soldiers did nothing wrong, LETS GIVE THEM MEDALS, WE ARE AT WAR MORONS AND PEOPLE GET OFFED!!!!!!! SALERNO, HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR JIHAD NOW FOOL?????? ARMY KEEP GOING STRONG AND DO EM HARD!!!

      March 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lindsey`

      I agree these men are heros!! And they have something you lack Salerno...BALLS!!

      March 28, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Lindsay – I have a brain over my balls, but you lack both, balls and brain.

      March 29, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • jaws

      Yawn...u bore us now salerno...

      March 29, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      You are boring as you tell always the same thing, like the soldiers are defending freedom, I am a coward as I don't fight......
      yes, it is boring and stupid.

      March 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • 173D ABCT NCO

      Salerno,
      My guess is you were never in Afghanistan. You were never in the 173D Brigade or any other military unit. I however was and in this unit in particular. Walk a mile in our shoes. Fathom even for a second the ROE we are under and try to imagine what defending freedom and your pointless right to spew garbage costs true Americans who serve their country. You are a serious disgrace and dishonor the sacrifice these young men made for our country.

      You have read 'online' about reports and weigh in with an opinion that smells of BS. Have you been on a combat patrol? I know you haven't. The thing misled Americans like yourself don't understand is the definition of Honor is not just found in a dictionary. Military Veterans of Combat live and breathe Honor on a daily basis. The Military is not perfect and never will be. There is no such thing as a friendly game of 'Touch War'. People fight and die in War. These men were upholding your rights as well as an entire nation when they died defending each other from a brutal and evil enemy. I hope that one day you gain real perspective on this so you will see that your opinion is that of a free nation, you are absolutely wrong in missing the fact that they died so you could sit at home, never serve, never know what freedom means and costs. Enjoy what we provide. Pray that you never meet any of us that wear the 173D Patch. Honor those who serve when you will not. Lastly, atleast have the decency to respect the fallen and the grieving families that raised such fine young men who gave everything to our nation.

      SGT W
      173D ABCT

      April 5, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      173D – STOP claiming you are protecting my freedom. You endanger my life with your stupid military operations. I have friends working in Afghanistan with Gino Strada since before the war, so I KNOW US military are liars. I had told this even to my best frind having his brother served in Afghanistan as a medic official. No respect for them .

      April 5, 2011 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. Chris Wynn

    The top brass who failed these young, promising soldiers have no conscious and no soul. I pray they will be haunted by the good soldiers who lost their lives, for the rest of their lives. The top brass consider the infantry as an expendable commodity and they are only interested in protecting their own careers! I hope they catch hell!

    March 27, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Chris – The young soldiers are as guilty as the officiers, as they voluntarily signed up for criminal wars.

      March 28, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Azrael

        Salerno I don't useually do this but your an idiot. Don't blame those men just because they were there. now as for illegal wars, Iraq I can see an argument being made that it was an illegal war. I know I never supported the idea of going in to Iraq. Afghan however was reasonable, however I'm not thrilled with how it was handled. No one ever signs up for an "illegal" war, it's not like they have much of a choice as to where they go. You go where the military tells you or you get court martialed, which could lead to jail and/or dishonorable discharge.

        March 28, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Azrael – You are the idiot. Why I am not in Iraq or Afghanistan ? because I did not sign up. I am not so idiot to be told where to go by stupid individuals. Dishonorable are the soldiers who accept those wars. Afghanistan war is even more illegal tyhan Iraq, as Clinton was the first to bomb Afghanistan. The Embassy bombing was not a valid motivation as it was a reactioon for the arrest of 4 AlQaeda members in Albany. At that time AlQaeda was not against US, but against Mubaraq. AlQaeda goals was fully legitimate as they wanted to fight dictatorships.

        March 29, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. trl

    ......command and control was a TOTAL FAILURE in this case and this situation exemplifies the very reason i chose NOT to enter the military....its because of humps like this in command positions that our guys on the front lines are vulnerable and get wounded and killed because of their incompetence, neglect and arrogance....EVERY one of those superior officers should be terminated and taken out of that capacity. ....and being that the general Patreaus has covered for them he too should be reduced to private and given a desk job or a job in the kitchen....what a total disgrace and failure they are....we should just get the hell out of there and let the chips fall where they may.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Azrael

      I can't stand Petreaus but in this case you got it wrong. The article and his testimony before SAC show that he agreed with the Marine generals findings of failure at the high command levels. It was Gen. Campbell who the secretary of the army asked to review the findings, that is responcible for covering this up.

      March 28, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Azrael

    Gen Campbell needs to be asked to resign or just plain old fired. The senior officers clearly screwed up big and he's clearly protecting them. His asertion that "It seems reasonable that these officers' attentions were devoted to more pressing matters." shows just how much he doesn't belong in the military. A visit be an admiral a member of the JCs or not should never be more pressing then a platoon that is in iminent danger, especially when the danger is caused by poor planing and lack of resources they were supposed to have.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 22 year military officer

    Sadly, what the family is saying is certainly within the realm of truth. It seems that more and more, senior leadership in the military has turned into a bunch of career protectionists who do not hesitate to point the finger at the junior NCOs and officers who accomplish the mission, which is cowardly, and lacks of integrity. That same group of senior officers is also highly likely to transition into a lucrative defense contractor position after retirement which also brings many ethical questions that don't ever seem to be asked by anyone. When defense cuts cost military jobs, they are also the same group who is never touched, even though most would agree that the level of senior officers in the military is excessive. Who is minding the hen-house? The foxes?

    March 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Corps

      Its the American Way, and you will get your offers too!!!

      March 28, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Russell Acosta

    After spending 24 years in the service, it is so easy to believe the family side over the Army. After Action reports are always manipulated especially the higher up the chain they go. I have never seen the brass do anything other than poin the finger when things go wrong.

    Russ Acosta
    USMC retired

    March 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Corps

      Russ, not to be rude or nothing but, you were in the Corps and not the Army, how do you know the protocols of Army Upper Brass????

      March 28, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The Watcher

    Read the book "Matterhorn" by Karl Marlantes. These miserable wars, the epidome of arrogance of political leadership, are a continuation of the absurdities of the Viet Nam debacle. Same game, same problems. The Army is the worst of the bunch, the Air Force the next, Marines and Navy folks are a little better but still led by the ignorance and arrogance embodied by the Pentagon elite. Bring these folks home. Stop the "patriotism" pandering and recognize that these wars serve no purpose but to feed the military industrial complex. With our capacities of intelligence and weapons, we could have ended this so long ago. Bring our troops home now !

    March 27, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Shame

    Dude, you are entirely immature and do not need to post on this site about honorable men. You, youself are dishonorable and do not need to bring shame to a serious matter.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Larry

    Anyone heard of The Gulf of Tonkin Incident??? Declassified in 2005? This is why we need WikiLeaks. A false incident with manufactured evidence that incited the VietNam war.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_incident

    March 27, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terr W

      Iraq war falls in this category.

      March 27, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JeffS

    S.S.D.D.
    Military
    S.O.P.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Greg Scott

    This is the same Army that lied and covered up the facts about Pat Tillman's death. Why should I believe the Army in this case?

    March 27, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Dwight

    Shame on the Army. Shame on the USA.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  17. front-lines

    Well this is a good article, one thing that is tru is that the blame will be put on the enlisted and lower ranking commanders. Also, I see the front line and the people are being mislead by the news. They need to put out the truth REALLY WHY ARE WE STILL IN IRAQ? Why are we even envolved in Lybia, whats next Syria. We take on the world. We keep going everywhere those of you sleeping good everynight will have to defend yourselfs because the military want be in the US.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  18. patrick

    Does anyone rememnber the cover -up of the USS Liberty and the dead and wounded of that ship, during the 6 Day War. Israeli Air Force Jes fired on a USS Naval SHip with full colors flying and to this day, no explanations nor no Israeli apologies for those killed nor to the US families/survivors?? To thii day, speculation was that "Israel had succedeed in stealing an atomic weapon!

    March 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Scott

    does a bear sh.....oh never mind

    March 27, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  20. The King

    The wheels fell off this asinine war years ago. The vast majority of the US citizenry couldn't care less about any of georges SW Asian wars. Defund these pointless wars and bring our people home today!!

    March 27, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  21. RamessesII

    Doesn't surprise me. When I was in Vietnam, our Commanding Officer & Top Sergeant altered the facts concerning an NCO's death and changed his life insurance beneficiary.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • will you

      Same as East L.A

      March 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  22. dcfromct

    Regardless of which side of the story is correct – there no excuse that command can give to not give/support the soldiers on the front lines. War is hell and soldiers are always at risk but these brave men and women go into battle to protect us – we should not be adding to the risk of injury or death due to bureaucracy, lack of supplies or poorly planned strategies. I would hope every commander, general would consider each soldier with the same importance and urgency as if their own child was out there fighting.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      The good Colonel leveraged his friendship with the Brigade Commander to get his son assigned to this elite Airborne Brigade. I don't know if he would have made the grade of his own accord, but heard he was a good officer. I personally know two of the three officers involved and they are competent, caring officers who I feel confident did what was right and would trust my son or daughter to their leadership.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Harry

    Lost a bit of faith in the reporting when they kept referring to the LT's dad as a retired LTC, despite showing a picture of him in uniform clearly wearing eagles (that means COL, not LTC). makes me wonder "did they really confirm this fact or that? How many other mistakes were made on this piece?". Oh by the way I know his dad, and he's a retired COL for sure. Also just shake my head at the many army "experts" that leave comments about the army, yet they've never actually been in the army – ever. You spew venom against our nation;s Army yet you know NOTHING. The US Army is not, nor will it ever be, perfect. It is a large organization. Like any large organization, it's got some less than stellar performers. Generally speaking, I think the proof is overwhelming in terms of supporting the claim that our Army is, in fact, a great, professional organization that has earned the rep of "greatest Army in the history of man". It does look like key leaders in this unit's chain was negligent. And if the Army is covering those men, then I am ashamed. I will continue to do whatever I can in my power to ensure soldiers do the right thing under all conditions.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      My son is being deployed to Afghanistan and rumor says they're going to have to build the new patrol bases they are supposed ot be operating out of.

      If this happened once, and the officers who let it happen weren't punished for gross negligence like the officer who conducted the investigation recommended. He was overruled by a desk chair general, after the fact, who didn't want to ruin the careers of some of his friends. Where's the incentive to not let it happen again the next time a platton leader is claling for support but his superiors are too busy preparing for a visit from the SecDef?

      If it happens to my son, I know I'll be upset. I hope if it happens to yours, you'lls till be making excuses for them.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Sarah Caldwell

    The cover-up and blame the folks on the ground worked well with Abu Gharaib, didn't it? Everyone runs around going, "How could those people possibly behave that way?" Didn't anyone read Lord of the Flies?

    March 27, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Keith

    Military cover-ups are not new, and this story is old as dirt. You want mistakes and cover-ups? Go read the American Civil War archives. Go read about the Battle of Antietam and the thousands of unnecessary deaths because of one moron's mishandling of the Army of the Potomac. If you want old news, CNN, try there!

    March 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Still on Patrol

    I am 24 year Navy vet, I retired last year. Yes the military leaders make mistakes, call the wrong call, and put people lives in dangerous situations. That happen to all us and all walks of life. The problem is when it's done out of ignorance and a failure to own up to their mistake. Too many times I have seen this happen. It's normally the junior officers or enlisted man who is forced to burden the load of his commander's decision.

    March 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  27. G Dubya

    But history is written by the winners, isn't it?

    Mission Accomplished, right?

    March 27, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  28. BillyBob117

    This is an old story and just being rehashed by CNN. Take either side you want and let the debate begin.

    March 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Darlene Buckingham

    War is Hell. It always has been and always will be. Peace to ALL.

    March 27, 2011 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • aaron lesley

      Peace out, light a bong my brother....let your dreams take you home...

      March 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  30. derek

    i love how the ad is a army commercial... how sad awake americans awake

    March 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  31. GozieBoy

    What about Obama Ghraib?? This is STILL being ignored by CNN and the state-controlled MSM. Where are the stories about the atrocities occurring on Obama's watch? Where are the calls for his impeachment and for war trials?? This is ORDERS of magnitude worse than the pranks of the Abu Ghraib incident, but only deafening SILENCE from complicit CNN and the MSM.

    March 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Koitsuha Kinmotsu

      The MSM is not state controlled.

      "What about Obama Ghraib?? " – Turns out it is a pejorative name used by Alex Jones for an incident where American soldiers posed with dead Afghans

      March 27, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • GozieBoy

        KK: are you responding on behalf of CNN? Of course the MSM is a shill for Obama, apparently EVERYONE knows this but YOU (oh yeah, you're a shill for CNN). The soldiers allegedly (but with literally thousands of photos) killed innocent Afghans, and then posed with the bodies in humiliating poses – and YOU think this is trivial compared to the Abu Ghraib frat pranks?? Seek psychiatric care immediately!

        March 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick Lewis

      Specifics. You are throwing accusations with no specifics. Maybe the "Main Stream Media" otherwise known as the NEWS don't think your source is credible or that there is a story here at all. No one seems to have a problem second guessing the president.

      You make extraordinary claims and they require equally extraordinary evidence.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin

      You can not possibly be that stupid. The abuses at Abu Ghraib were reported in 2004, when BUSH was president. You remember Bush, right? He started one war, then started another without finishing the first. I don't care HOW hard you spin this crap, there is no possible way President Obama had anything to do with Abu Ghraib. Grow a brain.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • UH60L

      MSM, meritorious serice medal.....

      I really hate slang, wish we'd just use what's already in the dictionary and not make up more stuff to add to it.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Jason S.

    When the president of Afghanistan decries civilian deaths, our generals blame it on Taliban or the villagers themselves and we buy it like idiots in the name of patriotism and democracy...Is a life of another greater than ours, our generals would say so and that is reflected by many Americans who seen themselves as superior to others. I remember when the President cried on tv for the children of Afghanistan as he told Taliban and US to stop killing Afghan children...than we saw a blitz from the Media as they made fun of Karzai crying, but we cried with Bush after 911 as he was teary...we fail to see that for Afghanistan, Afghans relive 911 everyday, everyday brings the destruction of 911 to them..YET not one Afghan was involved in 911....We need to re-establish the moral values we lost.

    March 27, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Jason – agreed. (even if you are not insulting anyone like I would like to see)

      March 28, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  33. Michael Angelo Caruso

    Not surprised or particularly alarmed. Just read in "His Excellency" that George Washington fudged casualty numbers during the Revolutionary War to keep morale high. This kind of thing has been going on for centuries. The earth still spins.

    March 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Not Salerno

    It is funny to me how Salerno likes to talk the talk but is afraid to walk the walk

    March 27, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      NotSalerno – Don't worry, I walk as well as I talk.

      March 28, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  35. JS

    The US Govt. hides the truth about EVERYTHING– why should this be any different. It's very important that the army defend SCAMerica

    March 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  36. plm13

    Take out the "Stupid" factor and look direct at the question. Army accused of covering up mistakes in Afghan battle
    Well, Yes! Journalist making a name for themselves will lie. Military and Government will let's say 'Change" a word or two in a report. Aren't we still trying to accept that not ALL founding Fathers were Christians. That Thomas Edison misused the media, Columbus was not here before the native Americans, the Founding Fathers smoked pot, Don't even mention Bill Gates stole Microsoft as a concept and used it as a licensing tool, JFK or Pat Tillman?

    The problem still is happening. Look at the NFL. People are throwing he said, she said, they are "grand-standinging" and all while trying to grab the money and fame. We took away the "News" as a way for networks and news papers to make money, you will get actual facts finally. Our taxes should be flat %15, no Tax exceptions for any company or people but it is "favors and chips in the big game. Did any of you NOT see Citizen Kane?

    March 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  37. NamCbtVet

    July 13, 2008? Isn't that about the time Cheney/Bush regime was trying to make a big show to convince voters to elect another control freak to the White House. The good news is that did not happen. The bad news is in this article and in some of the moronic comments being posted (e.g., Salerno et al.)

    March 27, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Live Free or

    Train your children, as I do mine, not to admire or support this trillion dollar genocidal war machine called the US Military. Sadly, it has become a tool of evil.

    March 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jaws

      And if this story teaches u anything it is that they will throw u under the bus after u give the ultimate sacrifice ...shame on the military

      March 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • mac87

      Strange that if it was not for the US military you would not be able to use that screen name.

      March 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Live Free or

        Liberty comes from God, not the US Military. I was born with the right to be free by my Creator. It was not issued to me by any military.

        March 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lone Wolf

        (Live free or) You may have certain rights from your Creator, but people will take them from you if they get the chance. You haven't maintained that right on your own so don't act like it.

        March 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryan

      You really wouldn't be saying that if you did not feel so comfortable in your little middle-class suburban white neighborhood.

      If there was a credible threat against your life and the lives of your families I would be willing to bet you would change your tune and cry for protection.

      Its pretty easy for you to sit there and judge others from your little insulated bubble isnt it?

      March 27, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Live Free or

        Vigorously support the 2nd Ammendment right to own firearms. Train our children to properly use firearms. We will have little need to support a trillion dollar genocidal war machine that is the US Military. More money to support productive business enterprises. The proper purpose of our military is to protect our life, liberty and property, not to use the military steal what is not ours and kill and destroy innocent people in the process.

        March 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • S1N

      I guess you're lucky, Live Free. When you die and absolutely nothing happens, you won't know the difference. Your CREATOR is called evolution. Your ancestors were monkeys. Your God is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to justify your quite useless existence and control your fear of death. There is no God. If there were, idiots like you wouldn't exist.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  39. salerno

    A man must be very stupid to joint the US military and die like those reported in this article.

    March 27, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Salerno Hater

      Anyone who responds to this moron, he is looking to get a rise out of people...for the most part I don't believe it is working...he's probably just a fat sack of lard with no family or people to love...poor guy...must suck to be you...

      March 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        You are wrong, I am really fine, no fat, no problems.

        March 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • tom

        Agree he is an idiot
        ...

        March 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • jaws

        I agree that the army is a bad way to go...but why come on here and insult people? Be rude to those who's lives were taken? Hurt the families? For someone who's all about "peace" u are awful hypocritical

        March 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • S1N

        Yes, he is definitely a troll. Trust me. I know my people.

        March 27, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Jaws – Hypocrital ? I have the courage to tell the truth, as I see.

        March 28, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      To each their own... I enjoyed my 4 years of greasing muzzies with belt-fed MGs quite nicely, thank you very much

      March 27, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Dindy

    THERE ARE MANY CRIMES OF TALIBAN WE DONT KNOW YET.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  41. Chosen Co. Dad

    The Generals can make up all the BS they want. Those that were there know the truth. The officers that were at fault will live with the knowledge of their mistakes. And for honorable men, that will be enough to haunt them.

    March 27, 2011 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Chosen- the problem is they are not honorable ! HAHAHA !!!

      March 27, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • S1N

      Please do not use speak of field-grade officers and honorable in the same sentence. This combination is, unfortunately, few and far between. The general idea is to take credit for everything your junior officers and enlisted (any rank) do right, and blame them for everything that goes wrong to further the brass's own careers.
      Add a few motivational speeches to the subordinates, and you're on the fast track to that first star.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Scott

      They are anything but "honorable" men.

      March 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  42. pamiri

    This some figures in government (like Karzai, his some ministries such as Faroq wardak the father of Taliban and Izbe Islami, Rahim wardak, Ahadai and etc) plus ISI want and do effort to approved in one or the other ways by cheating and fraud that to show Taliban Aqaeda are very strong, but in fact they are coward, just they can kill innocent people

    March 27, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
    • pamiri

      We want to declare to all international forces that do not make the mistake that you did in 1991, when the Mujaheedin took the power you left them alone and then the ways paved to ISI Aqeadan that through their slaves like Izbe Ismai and Taliban they killed and tortured many civilians, but this time it is up to all humanity to fight against these figures who are the slave of strangers and to release people from their brutality and barbarism,,

      From Kabul

      March 27, 2011 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Donald H.

        Yes, the biggest mistake we made was to put the warlords northern alliance in power and ignored their inhumane and horrible human rights violations..By arming, funding and empowering those criminals into Afghanistan's politics we have destroyed Afghanistan future. America must support those in Afghanistan without blood on their hands people like the Masood family, Fahim, Rabbani and Sayaf need to be handed over to Afghans and it will be up to them if Afghans want to hang them or jail them. Anyways, from my 40 year experience in Afghanistan we must stand with Afghans from every corner to support them against Young boys Rapping Northern Alliance Warlords and the ISI Taliban...Pamiri, you must also not forget the ISI seven Gulbadeen, Masood, Sayyaf, Rabanni(<brought BinLden into Afghanistan from Sudan before Taliban),etc- Afghanistan must be saved from such criminals.

        March 27, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  43. rodesabre

    Whole thing reminds me of the Catholic church!

    March 26, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • namssA

      Not that you'd know anything about the catholic church or anything else for that matter... Your mommy is calling so it's time for you to leave the basement and go upstairs and eat your baby formula...

      March 27, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
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