Green Berets are elite soldiers often tasked with grueling missions in hostile countries. Rarely, they die in the service of their country. Like Green Berets, Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, who were killed in action after helping local forces in Niger combat terrorists.
These men were not part of a diplomatic corps stationed in an embassy. These were among twelve elite American combat soldiers — sent to a hostile country on a mission to kill terrorists — who walked right into an ambush. They did not have armored personnel carriers. They did not have drone or air support. The ambush they walked into lasted 30 minutes. At least 50 ISIS combatants were firing down on the twelve Americans.
When they requested air support, French jets buzzed by but did not have the authorization to drop bombs or fire a shot. Why they planned and approved this mission without the full weight of the United States military behind it should cause a few heads to roll, at the very least.
The US military initially said it did not believe Johnson ever fell into enemy hands and had reason to believe he might be alive. Military officials launched an urgent search-and-rescue mission, but officials now say initial reports they received electronic signals that indicated Johnson might have been alive in the field were inaccurate.
The nuance of this Pentagon gobbledygook, entirely lost on CNN, is necessary to understand how horrible this situation was:
While CNN has reported that both a private contractor aircraft and French military helicopters took part in the evacuation mission it remains unclear if both parties shared all necessary information related to the operation.
In every branch of the military, it is policy that no soldier be left behind, not ever, that is drilled into the minds of every soldier. Regardless of personal cost, even up to more loss of life, they will retrieve the fallen before they leave.
For that reason, all soldiers are equipped with a homing beacon and trained to activate it when they need help. La David Johnson’s homing beacon was activated when the French private contractors came to evacuate the dead and wounded.
They left Green Beret La David Johnson behind for 48 more hours.
When four Americans were killed in Benghazi, Libya, it made for great volumes of political theatre and posturing. Trump was among the chorus decrying the incompetence of the Obama administration for letting 4 Americans die in a diplomatic mission. It’s obvious why Generals Mattis, Kelly, McMaster and Trump himself have been conspicuously silent about the deaths of these four brave men.
Today, General Kelly said he was disgusted that Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) “listened in” on a condolence call from Trump to Myeshia Johnson, LaDavid’s widow. While it appears that he is attacking the Congresswoman, it was Myeshia who invited those there to support her to listen. Wilson was on the tarmac with her constituent when the body of her valiant husband landed. Perhaps General Kelly should save his disgust for more deserving people, or for what’s left of his honor.
Donald Trump, he was golfing when Sgt LaDavid Johnson’s body finally made it home.