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Pentagon Reverses Statement on Drone Strike, Admits to Killing Civilians

Has the Biden administration done ANYTHING right in Afghanistan?!

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In the chaotic last few days of the American occupation of Afghanistan, there were a lot moving parts and quite a bit of calamity.

The Biden administration’s abrupt choice to expedite the withdrawal of US assets caused the Afghan Security Forces to essentially vaporize, and the Taliban conquered the entire country in a meager 11 days.  In the process, hundreds died, including 13 members of the US military after a series of terror attacks amid the throngs of people trying to flee via the airport in Kabul.

On top of that, the Pentagon was carrying out drone strikes meant to suppress the capabilities of new terror group ISIS-K, but, instead, killed innocent children.

Now, after initially denying that the strike was a failure, the Pentagon has decided to come clean.

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Head of the United States Central Command Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. announced Friday that it is unlikely any ISIS-K members were killed in a Kabul drone strike on August 29, which led to multiple civilian casualties.

“We now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to US forces,” McKenzie said of the airstrike at a briefing, following an investigation by the Military.

“This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology,” Mckenzie said, adding that he is “fully responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome.”

DOD officials also prepared a statement to the family of the deceased.

“On behalf of the men and women of the Department of Defense, I offer my deepest condolences to surviving family members of those who were killed, including Mr. Ahmadi, and to the staff of Nutrition and Education International, Mr. Ahmadi’s employer,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a lengthy statement on the investigation’s findings. “We now know that there was no connection between Mr. Ahmadi and ISIS-Khorasan, that his activities on that day were completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced, and that Mr. Ahmadi was just as innocent a victim as were the others tragically killed.

“We apologize, and we will endeavor to learn from this horrible mistake,” Austin added, saying that officials “will scrutinize not only what we decided to do — and not do — on the 29th of August, but also how we investigated those outcomes.”

The incident is but one of a long list of failures by the Biden administration in recent weeks, and certainly isn’t going to throw cold water on the growing calls for impeachment.

Opinion

Military Readiness

A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021

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A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021

See more A.F. Branco cartoons on his website Comically Incorrect.

 

 

A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021 See more A.F. Branco cartoons on his website Comically Incorrect.    

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Southwest Caves to Pressure from Anti-Vaccine Employees

But there’s one heck of a catch.

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Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees.

The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue.

Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters.

By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down.

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Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees.

“The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber.

And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement.

The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported.

It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees. The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue. Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters. By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down. Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees. “The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber. And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement. The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported. It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

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