Pentagon Reveals New Details Of Kabul Drone Strike
In late august. The strike was ordered amid the chaotic u.s withdrawal from afghanistan at the time american intelligence targeting a vehicle that it thought contained an isis bomb. But that claim was challenged by a new york times, investigation in september, which found alarming discrepancies in the u.s militarys version of events, including whether the vehicles driver even had a connection to isis joining me now is defense, one senior pentagon reporter tara coxatara. What are you listening for right now in this briefing? What are we hearing importantly uh? The headline out of this briefing is that dod has found no violation of law in this particular drone strike, even though the strike killed 10 innocent civilians, including an aid worker and his family members, lieutenant general saeed who is briefing us right now has let us know That this report, which interviewed dozens of people and is going to be classified so, we wont, be able to see the contents of the report found that in the constraint of time in the eight hour window in which they were tracking the victim, the initial victim and His white toyota corolla, they were constrained by confirmation bias. They you know they were constrained by the limits of time. They were constrained by the fact that uh, the u.s, of course, had just taken that devastating hit on on august 26th, that killed 13 service members, and there was very much a sense with all of the people in the chain of command that this particular vehicle was Headed back to abbey gate and was intending to strike the base again, so right now were hearing that so far theres been no accountability, they still have to look thats.
The next step of this particular report to see within that decision chain did any of the the members who were involved in the strike. Do they need to be held accountable for the lives lost, so tara, lieutenant general saeed said that this strike was unique and done in self. Defense, therefore, should not be compared to previous strikes of a similar nature. What do you make of that argument? You know he was pushing that this was a matter of time and when we got the more extended briefing on all of the decisions that were made that led to this deadly strike, you know for eight hours they were tracking this white toyota corolla a very common Vehicle in afghanistan and elsewhere, um, because theyd gotten an intelligence tip that a car matching that description was going to uh, potentially carry a vivid, a vehicle borne iad to the gate. This car happened to match some of the the movement patterns that they were suspecting, i.e. Being a neighborhood where theyd seen other isis uh behavior and throughout the day, even though all it was, was an aid worker completing his work day and going home, and his home happened to be closer to the airport. What the people in the decision chain saw was a vehicle closing in on the airport, so in a in some of the other drone strikes and and those other german strikes have also killed civilians over the 20 year history of this war um they have looked for Whats called pattern of life, you know, did this person or did this person that theyre targeting or the vehicle that theyre targeting has it made repeat behaviors? Is there something that is sticking out? That makes this a particular day of concern for that target, and they had no time to do that when general mckenzie, the commander of u.
s central command, briefed us last month on the initial findings. He said you know going forward in these overthriving strikes that the u.s is trying to conduct. They will again have that luxury of time, that greater luxury of time to uh, create a pattern of life and make sure that something like this does not happen again. All right, tara, cop thanks for joining us on this breaking story.