Rachel Maddow Does It Again!
Blows The Lid Off Niger Green Beret Deaths
Rachel Maddow reveals "baffling" Trump decision that may have led to deadly ambush
By Ray Cunneff
October 20, 2017
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow had a particularly extraordinary program last night (Thursday 10/19). The bombshell Wisconsin voter suppression story (see below) was rivaled by Rachel's stunning revelations concerning America's interests in Central Africa.
Maddow's uncanny ability to "connect-the-dots" and develop a cohesive narrative may help explain the deaths of the four Green Berets in Niger (and why Donald Trump seems so reluctant to discuss it).
Hint: Trump administration's "bewildering", "inexplicable" decision to put Chad on the travel ban list.
The Trump team never seems to consider cause-and-effect consequences of their often arbitrary, ill-considered decisions. To this date, no one has been able to properly explain why Chad went on the travel ban (apart from speculation related to Tillerson's Exxon/Mobil regional interests).
Trump's 12-day's-belated phone call to the widow of one of the fallen soldiers, Sgt. La David Johnson, has dominated the headlines since the news was first revealed. The president reportedly told Johnson's wife that her husband "knew what he signed up for" and appeared not to know the soldier's name.
This comes after Trump made false claims about how his predecessors handled the death of U.S. service members, and hid behind the death of Chief of Staff John Kelly's son in Afghanistan, in what appeared to many another Trump distraction, a magician's misdirection.
“Something about what happened in Niger has caused this president,
apparently instinctively, to divert the conversation from
what happened to those soldiers”.
But Maddow was able to stitch the story together:
A month after being inexplicably put on the Trump travel ban, Chad, our primary military ally in the region, pulled its troops out of Mali and Niger and may well have inadvertently set the stage for the ambush of our servicemen.
By virtually all accounts, this massacre by at least fifty ISIS-related troops represents a major failure of both U.S. support and Intel. And when help finally arrived, it was the French and a private contractor that came, too late, to the rescue.
And now, more than two weeks after the fact, there is still no detailed account of how this happened. When asked if the Pentagon had been forthcoming about the circumstances of the ISIS ambush, Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said "Of course not".
When asked what steps he would be willing to take to receive the information he's demanding on the attack, McCain said "It may require a subpoena".
On CNN earlier today, retired Major General James “Spider” Marks vented his frustration:
"What was the purpose, what was the objective of this engagement? At the end of
all of these, every time there is a death, you know, there is an investigation.”
"What were the intelligence assets available for the Africa command to approve this engagement?
And I would never second-guess those decisions. When you do your forensics on all of this,
there are higher priority targets someplace else that were taking intelligence collection
assets away, that the folks on the ground had been given a good snapshot
that this was a permissive environment."
"So the team worked desperately. You can only imagine they were fighting for each other
– there is incredible confusion, they haven’t seen anything like this in the previous
29 patrols they have conducted in the area. They are outgunned, out-manned by
ISIS fighters. They don’t know what’s going on. At the moment of the engagement,
they don’t know what is taking place other than they are being shot at.”
Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright died in the October 4th attack, after consulting with local leaders in Niger as part of the effort to combat terrorists, in what was believed to be a routine mission.
Sketchy initial reports suggested the 12-member US team was leaving a meeting in unarmored pick-up trucks when they began taking fire from small arms, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, according to a US defense official. After-action report: four dead, two wounded. (At least one member of Niger armed forces may have been killed as well.)
It remains unclear why Sgt. Johnson's body was not recovered, nearly a mile away from the battlefield, for 48 hours.
Or who recovered it.