CENTCOM commander apologizes for drone strike on wrong carload of kids


By Dick Scuttlebutt

WASHINGTON — Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commanding general of U.S. Central Command, apologized last week for a drone strike that mistakenly killed the wrong vehicle full of children.

“I offer my sincere apology,” McKenzie said. “We thought the car we were striking contained a terrorist and his large family, but in fact contained an aid worker and his also large family. I take full responsibility for this strike and this tragic outcome.”

The attack was intended to be a retaliation for the deadly Aug. 26 suicide bombing at Kabul Airport’s Abbey Gate during the evacuation from Hamid Karzai International Airport. 

Asked if his admission of personal responsibility for the mistake meant he intended to resign, McKenzie reacted with visible confusion.


“Oh, no,” McKenzie replied, “when I said full responsibility, what I meant was, I will appoint a National Guard one-star to conduct a 45-day fact-finding mission to Tampa. After he publishes his findings, we will consider them deeply. Then we will court-martial a junior Air Force officer who showed up at a trailer in Las Vegas and got ordered, without any context, to pull a trigger on an XBOX controller.”

The general vowed to implement changes in the process for confirming drone strike target “PID,” or Positive Identification. 

“Regardless of the outcome of our investigation, we will add another layer of lawyers and binders in the PID flowchart,” McKenzie explained. “This will ensure that when we are intending to murder a van full of children, that we take every possible step to ensure that it is the correct van full of children.”

“Or, you know, it might not be a van. It could be wherever the group of children is, like a wedding party, school bus, orphanage, puppy nursery, or school for the deaf and blind,” he added.

The drone itself was not available for comment.

Yossarian contributed to reporting.

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