Friday, January 1, 2010

Were Afghan Soldiers in on Plot That Killed 7 CIA?

First, I am very sorry for the loss suffered by the families of these officers.  That I am am uncertain about their mission does not impair my appreciation for them, their service, and their sacrifice.

CIAfamily A suicide bomber who killed seven CIA officers and contractors and wounded six others at an isolated CIA base in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday was a Taliban infiltrator dressed in an Afghan Army uniform, according to U.S. officials and a Taliban claim of responsibility.

It was the deadliest attack on the intelligence agency since the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, in April 1983. An eighth American, a civilian, was also killed.

The victims were working out Wednesday evening when the bomber stepped into the outpost's gym and triggered his explosive vest, the Taliban and U.S. military officials said Thursday.

The CIA confirmed the deaths of the seven, whom one U.S. official described as a "mix" of CIA employees and contractors. CIA director Leon Panetta said in a statement that the families of the dead had been notified, but that the victims' names and what they were doing in Afghanistan wouldn't be released "due to the sensitivity of their mission."

A U.S. intelligence official, who requested anonymity because of the matter's sensitivity, said that one of the dead was the female chief of the CIA's Forward Operating Base Chapman near the Pakistani border and key militant infiltration routes from Pakistan into Afghanistan.

"Those who fell yesterday were far from home and close to the enemy, doing the hard work that must be done to protect our country from terrorism," Panetta said. "We owe them our deepest gratitude, and we pledge to them and their families that we will never cease fighting for the cause to which they dedicated their lives — a safer America."

How the Taliban penetrated the base is under investigation. The Taliban said the bomber was a member of the Afghan Army, but U.S. officials said they didn't know if that was true. Afghan uniforms are frequently stolen, but CIA officials said that simply wearing an Afghan Army uniform wouldn't be enough to gain access to the base.

Officials were particularly surprised that Wednesday's attack took place at FOB Chapman, which a U.S. military official, who requested anonymity because of the matter's sensitivity, told McClatchy was "more secure than most." Whether the CIA workers were targeted also was unknown.

In addition to the CIA base, FOB Chapman — named for the first American soldier killed in Afghanistan in 2002 — is the headquarters for a State Department Provincial Reconstruction Team that works with local Afghan officials on development projects. It recently was visited by a woodwind quintet from the 82nd Airborne Division, which gave a holiday concert, according to the official U.S. Army Bands Web site.

The attack, and a separate bombing in southern Afghanistan Wednesday that killed five Canadians, one of them a journalist, underscored the Taliban's growing range and aggressiveness at a time of year when hostile action generally slows… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <McClatchy DC>


Considering the likelihood of this assertion, it paints a sorry picture of the state of affairs in that troubled nation.


the walking man said...

Whether I agree with the military in Afghanistan or not it is time, if we are going to be there to fight without restraint. Carpet bomb, jet strikes, boots on the ground in S&D missions.

If the government has no stomach for the same slaughter we used against North Viet Nam and the Viet Cong (58,000US dead/3 million Vietnamese dead) then they should withdraw 100% from the Arabian peninsula and let the Saudi's fight their own war.

TomCat said...

Mark, if there is to be war, then the goal should be to win as quickly as possible to cut short the suffering, even if it means more violence in the short term. There was a time when we could have won this war easily. The GOP pissed it away. Now it's time to leave.

Brother Tim said...

One of the dead is said to be the female Chief of the CIA's FOB Chapman. Looks like we're starting to use a higher grade cannon fodder.

Could we have ever won the war? I doubt it. Will we ever beat them into subjegation and win the occupation? Never.

Happy New Year, Tom! And congrats on your stats!

Lisa G. said...

This war was ignored by GWB/Cheney and allowed to fester. Once we leave, the Taliban will come right back. This has become the whack-a-mole of the US wars.

the walking man said...

I don't disagree with you Tom.

Lisa G. said...

My stepson is in Iraq. He is having a really hard time that he 'may' have killed an Iraqi. The Iraqi fired first and he fired back. He said "This man was just doing what he was trained to do, just like me. He could have a family, kids. I don't like the thought that I may have killed another person who was just doing his job." Yep, kid, that's the part of war that sucks. At least he has a conscience; most don't, they brag about how many they've killed. And what happens to them when they come back?

TomCat said...

Thanks Bro. In my opinion, if, after our initial success, we had concentrated on building their infrastructure and using the military only to protect the Afghan people from extremists and go after OBL, rather than trying to conquer the country to build a pipeline, and installing a corrupt puppet (Karzai), the Afghan people would;d have seen us as helpers, not invaders.

Thanks Mark.

Lisa, given his attitude, I think he has a better chance to come out of this with good mental health. His conflictednedness is on the surface where he can deal with it, not hidden under macho BS.