A former White House intelligence official said the US needs to be held accountable for the drone strike in Afghanistan that killed ten civilians, including seven children.
Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the Bush and Obama administration stated that although he believes it was a genuine mistake, the US ‘absolutely’ needs to take responsibility for the attack.
Mullen was interviewed by ABC’s Martha Raddatz, who asked him his stance on the issue after Head of US Central Command Gen. Frank McKenzie publicly apologized and recognized the mistake made by US intelligence that killed aid worker Zemari Ahmadi and nine family members who had no connection to ISIS-K.
‘Tragic, tragic mistake and just, my heart goes out to the family members who were so deeply affected.
‘I thought what general McKenzie did was right- admit and apologize and look-and he also spoke later of reparations,’ Mullen said.
Mullen brought up reparations hinted in McKenzie’s public apology, and a review of the military’s inquiry into the attack ordered by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the Bush and Obama administration said that the Pentagon was right in apologizing and offering reparations to the family of victims of the botched drone strike in Afghanistan
When asked if he thought there should be accountability, Mullen did not hesitate.
‘Absolutely. I think there should. This was obviously an incredibly complex, fast-moving situation. We lost those 13 military members a couple of days before that,’
‘There was clear intelligence that additional strikes were on the way, so it was in that environment in which this strike actually took place.’
‘As sad as it was, and it was almost like you had an individual in a truck who was loading big water bottles. All of which sort of fitted. We just got caught up in the specifics of it,’ he concluded.
‘I offer my profound condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed,’ McKenzie said in an apology in which the Pentagon took responsibility for the drone attack
The Pentagon admitted on Friday that the August 29 drone strike on a supposed ISIS-K operative instead killed an aid worker and 9 members of his family.
A drone had observed men loading what were thought to be explosives into a vehicle, but were actually jugs of water.
Head of US Central Command Gen. Frank McKenzie admitted the strike was a ‘terrible mistake’ while addressing reporters Friday and said it was ‘unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or a direct threat to U.S. forces.’
‘It was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology,’ McKenzie said.
The deadly drone strike set off a large secondary explosion, which officials originally claimed was evidence the car was indeed carrying explosives, but an investigation determined was likely a propane tank located in the driveway.
PICTURED: The 10 victims mistakenly killed by a US drone strike which was targeting ISIS-K in Afghanistan
Head of US Central Command Gen. Frank McKenzie showed this picture to members of the press
‘I offer my profound condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed,’ McKenzie continued.
‘The strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and evacuees at the airport.
‘But it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology, as the combatant commander, responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome.’
Mullen said the Biden administration should also be held accountable for the death of the 13 US service members.
‘I also think there should be accountability there as well. I hope there is,’ he added.
However, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff contended there was nothing abnormal in the conversations between Gen Mark Milley and Chinese official after the Capital riot.
‘Having communications with counterparts around the world is routine, and even having them now with China.’
‘There was a time when we had no communications with China, or we’d have a problem with China, they’d cut off all mil-to-mil connections. And so, actually, I’m encouraged at the fact that the line of communication is there,’ Mullen said.
Ahmadi had been getting water jugs out of his car to bring home to his family. As he pulled into the driveway of the home he shared with his family and three of his brothers’ families, several of his children and his brothers’ children ran out to greet him
A damaged vehicle is at the site of the U.S. airstrike in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan