O’Reilly report (link updated)
Here is the link to Bill O’Reilly’s Talking Points Memo tonight:
This Talking Points Memo is now posted on the Fox News web site here:
…Now I have to tell you about a very disturbing situation. At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, two Green Berets, Captain Dave Staffel and Master Sergeant Troy Anderson have been accused of murder. On October 13, 2006, the soldiers were in Afghanistan near the border with Pakistan. Sergeant Anderson is a sniper. And his gun was trained on a terrorist named Nawab Buntangyar, a bomb maker who was on a terrorist top 10 most wanted list.
At Captain Staffel’s order, Sergeant Anderson shot and killed Buntangyar. An investigation by the Army’s criminal investigation command concluded the shooting was justifiable because the terrorist was a killer.
However, Lieutenant General Francis Kearney ordered murder charges against the two Green Berets, saying the man, the terrorist should have been captured, not killed.
I also found this article on the subject:
FORT BRAGG, N.C., Sept. 17 — From his position about 100 yards away, Master Sgt. Troy Anderson had a clear shot at the Afghan man standing outside a residential compound in a village near the Pakistan border last October. When Capt. Dave Staffel, the Special Forces officer in charge, gave the order to shoot, Sergeant Anderson fired a bullet into the man’s head, killing him.
In June, Captain Staffel and Sergeant Anderson were charged with premeditated murder. On Tuesday, in a rare public examination of the rules that govern the actions of Special Operations troops in Afghanistan, a military hearing will convene at Fort Bragg to weigh the evidence against the two men, both Green Berets.
The case revolves around differing interpretations of the kind of force that the Special Forces team that hunted and killed the man, Nawab Buntangyar, were allowed to use once they found him, apparently unarmed.
To the Special Forces soldiers and their 12-man detachment, the shooting, near the village of Ster Kalay, was a textbook example of a classified mission completed in accordance with the American rules of engagement. They said those rules allowed the killing of Mr. Buntangyar, whom the American Special Operations Command here has called an “enemy combatant.”
Mr. Buntangyar had organized suicide and roadside bomb attacks, Captain Staffel’s lawyer said. (emphasis mine – Eric-Odessit)
But to the two-star general in charge of the Special Operations forces in Afghanistan at the time, Frank H. Kearney, who has since become a three-star general, the episode appeared to be an unauthorized, illegal killing. In June, after two military investigations, General Kearney moved to have murder charges brought against Captain Staffel and Sergeant Anderson — respectively, the junior commissioned and senior noncommissioned officers of Operational Detachment Alpha 374, Third Battalion, Third Special Forces Group.
On Oct. 13, 2006, when Captain Staffel learned that Mr. Buntangyar could be found in a home near the village where his detachment was guarding a medical convoy, he ordered a seven-man team to investigate the tip.
Driving toward Ster Kalay in two government vans, the Americans called the Afghan national police and border patrol officers to assist them, Mr. Waple said. Mr. Buntangyar had already been “vetted as a target” by American commanders, as an enemy combatant who could be legally killed once he was positively identified, Mr. Waple said.
After the Afghan police called Mr. Buntangyar outside and twice asked him to identify himself, they signaled, using a prearranged hand gesture, to Sergeant Anderson, concealed with a rifle about 100 yards away, Mr. Waple said.
From a vehicle a few hundred yards farther away, Captain Staffel radioed Sergeant Anderson, Mr. Waple said. “If you have a clear shot,” he told the sergeant, “take it.”
Confirming the order, Sergeant Anderson fired once, killing Mr. Buntangyar. The American team drove to the village center to explain to the local residents, “This is who we are, this is what we just did and this is why we did it,” Mr. Waple said.
So, a sniper kills an enemy and gets prosecuted for that? What the hell is happening? Are we really bent on losing the war?
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