Thursday November 26, 2015
Early last month, Green Berets battling to beat back a Taliban advance in Kunduz, Afghanistan, apparently decided that in order to rid an MSF hospital of some “insurgents” who were apparently hanging out inside, they needed to call in an AC-130 gunship. The aircraft made five passes on the way to engaging the building for an hour, eventually killing dozens as tends to happen when advanced air assault technology squares off against unarmed people lying on gurneys.
Subsequent reports would reveal that the US fired on fleeing doctors and others who were running away from the building.
There were competing accounts as to what led to the incident, but at least initially, the military claimed US SpecOps were taking fire from the hospital.
On Wednesday, the US walked back that story. Speaking at a news conference, U.S. Army Gen. John Campbell said the crew of the AC-130 mistook the hospital for a government compound that the Taliban was allegedly using as a prison. "This tragedy was the direct result of avoidable human error," Campbell said.
But it wasn't just "human error," Washington is also blaming - get this - "malfunctioning sensors."