Why Did U.S. Wait 2 Weeks to Admit Extent of American Causalities in Afghan Attack?
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Pfc. Vincent J. Ellis
The Department of Defense downplayed the seriousness of a June 1 attack on an American military outpost in Afghanistan, raising questions as to why officials were not forthcoming two weeks ago.
Following the assault on Forward Operating Base Salerno in Khost province, near the Pakistan border, U.S. military officials reported no American casualties while proclaiming the attack had been successfully repelled.
Then it was learned that two Americans died and more than 100 U.S. troops were injured, including about three dozen seriously. The assault included a truck bomb that completely destroyed the base’s dining hall and post exchange.
While officials said nothing about the American dead and wounded, the Obama administration used the attack to publicly criticize Pakistan for allowing insurgents to operate across the border and go after U.S. and Afghan soldiers.
One of the Americans killed was 22-year-old Pfc. Vincent J. Ellis; the other was an unnamed contractor. Forward Operating Base Salerno is nearby Forward Operating Base Chapman, which is also used by the CIA.
To Learn More:
Attack on U.S. Outpost in Afghanistan Worse Than Originally Reported (by Joshua Partlow and Craig Whitlock, Washington Post)
Operation Ooh-Rah Collecting Items for Soldiers at Besieged Afghanistan Base (by Hillary Gavan, Beloit Daily News)
NATO Forces Ward Off Taliban Attack on FOB (by Amir Shah, Associated Press)
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