I’m Chip Flightline with the Duffel Blog Radio News. Here are your top headlines around the military this week.
In a rare setback for the international anti-piracy campaign off Somalia, US Navy officials recently admitted that the American warship USS Haditha accidentally sank a Chinese fishing vessel just east of Somalia and then inadvertently machine-gunned the survivors.
Captain Erik King, the commander of the Haditha, claims that his ship was simply following the rules of engagement. As the Haditha tracked what it thought was a pirate vessel, spotters saw armed personnel on board, prompting the Captain to demand the vessel stop to be searched, which was refused.
The Captain explained, “Under our current rules of engagement, we’re allowed to prevent any suspicious vessels from leaving the area, and that’s what we proceeded to do. He was of course referring to the Haditha’s subsequent attack on the fishing boat with its 5 inch gun, Mark 46 torpedoes, and the Captain’s 9mm sidearm, which he fired from the bridge.
After the boat sank, the survivors began swimming towards the Haditha, prompting Captain King, who believed they were trying to illegally board the vessel, to order all four of the ship’s .50 caliber machine guns to open fire on them, as well as launch the ship’s SH-60 Seahawk helicopter to drop depth charges.
The White House released a “highly charged” letter of condemnation today in regards to the actions of the Pakistani government, after it was learned that Shakil Afridi was sentenced to thirty years in prison. Afridi, considered to be the key informant that helped the U.S. snare Osama bin Laden, should be, according to the President “celebrated as a national hero”.
At a press conference, the President used fiery language, saying “I don’t know what kind of bullshit Middle Eastern haberdashery Pakistan is trying to pull, but the United States will not stand for it any longer.” He went on to login to his Facebook account with reporters looking at the projector screen, saying he would, “show those trolling idiots in Pakistan”.
He then unfriended Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, and updated his status, saying Pakistan should, quote, “take out the trash in their own backyard.” The action received over 30,000 likes at the time of this story. Pakistani diplomats have condemned the incident and have called on Facebook, Inc. to implement an unlike feature to express their outrage.
The Taliban issued a fiery statement of condemnation today after one of their suicide bombers was caught allegedly posing in photos with American soldiers. The photos, which were released to the Los Angeles Times, show American soldiers with the bomber — even extending his middle finger to the camera, and in other poses which Taliban officials have called “shameful.”
Taliban spokesman Haqmed Al-Salah, said, “We would like to take a moment to absolutely, 100% condemn what Makfar did. Allowing his body to be photographed in such a state is an absolute shame and violation of human rights. No Taliban soldier is authorized to let his dead body be photographed with Americans.”
While the US Army continues to investigate the incident and has said the soldiers will receive punishment, the Taliban has refused any apology.
Al-Salah said, “We just want the people of Afghanistan to know that what Makfar did is not in keeping with the Taliban values. And by what he did, we mean the photos.”
Other headlines at The Duffel Blog include
- Chinese Hacker Complains of Perverted American Military
- Senior Officer More Concerned With Grooming Standard than OPSEC
- Former Al Qaeda Executioner Finds New Work As Stage Magician
You can read the full stories from this update and many more only at DuffelBlog.com — that’s d-u-f-f-e-l-blog.com. Thanks for joining us and be sure to subscribe to the website and this podcast.
This has been Chip Flightline with the Duffel Blog Radio News.