McChrystal’s appointment as new US commander in Afghanistan, a double-edged swordMay 12th, 2009 - 2:23 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, May 12 (ANI): Lt. General Stanley A. McChrystal’s appointment as the new American commander in Afghanistan represents a jarring shift for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, which are currently transitioning commands between the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions.
According to reports, it is still unclear what having a Special Operations commander in charge will do the overall country strategy, just as it is unclear what two major changes of commands in a short period of time will do to the current units who are deployed there.
Lt. Gen. McChrystal has received much praise for his command of the Joint Special Operations Command, which was credited with the capture of Saddam Hussein in December of 2003, and the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in 2006, but he also carries with him a dark side as well.
One unit under his command, the now-notorious Task Force 6-26, which was assigned to find HVTs, or High Value Targets in Iraq, is credited with the ultimate death of Zarqawi. The problem is, along the way they faced accusations of running a secret camp that tortured prisoners, and they were implicated in at least two detainee deaths during torture sessions.
Their camp, called Camp Nama, became something of a lightning rod after a “computer malfunction” destroyed upwards of 70 percent of their records and an investigation into their conduct stalled out.
More relevant to Afghanistan is Lt. Gen. McChrystal’s involvement in the shameful cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death.
While he was named among the list of high-ranking military personnel believed to have covered up the circumstances of Tillman’s death, Lt. Gen. McChrystal was “spared because he had apparently drafted a memo urging other officials to stop spreading the lie that Tillman died fighting the Taliban.
He drafted that memo, however, after signing the award for Tillman’s posthumously awarded Silver Star, the commendation for which claims, in part, that he was leading the charge against a Taliban assault.
Lt. Gen. McChrystal has never clarified why he signed an award for Tillman dying under enemy fire right before begging his colleagues and superiors to stop lying about Tillman dying under enemy fire. (ANI)
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