July 20, 2002

23,000 FT, PART 3 The

23,000 FT, PART 3

The one really problematic piece of new evidence that Maj. Psycho's lawyer, Charles Gittins has come up with in his client's defence, is that there were eight previous close calls over Kandahar, where USAF pilots reported unidentified ground fire from the Kandahar weapons range, and in one case (an AC-130, which flies at altitudes where that might actually be a threat) even took evasive action. Apparently there was no attempt to clarify in the aftermath of those incidents what was going on down there, let alone having a specific no-fire zone set up.

Does that excuse Psycho? Certainly not... even if he had reason to believe that was a real firefight below him, he still had no way of knowing when he dropped his ordnance whether he was dropping on U.S. troops firing on the Taliban, or vice versa. It was still incredibly irresponsible (criminally, to my mind). On the other hand, it does show a lack of interest on the USAF command's part in knowing what the army's situation on the ground was... a breakdown in communications between the 101st Airborne and their purported air cover. Not that that will come as much of a surprise to soldiers in any army. Twas always thus.

Posted by BruceR at 09:34 AM