Green Beret: Mattis Betrayed His Duty In Afghanistan
Retired Green Beret and war hero Lt. Col. Jason Amerine, has accused retired Gen. James Mattis (a.k.a. “Mad Dog” Mattis), president-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be Secretary of Defense, of “betraying his duty” in Afghanistan in 2001, after his unit was hit by friendly fire. In a Facebook post, Amerine wrote Mattis
“was indecisive and betrayed his duty to us, leaving my men to die during the golden hour when he could have reached us.”
The selection of Mattis was received with enthusiasm by Trump’s transition team, and some in the military community (Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain called him “one of the finest military officers of his generation”), even as Amerine referred to him as “indecisive.”
Amerine was in charge of the U.S. special forces that were protecting Afghan president Hamid Karzai when his troops were hit by a U.S. smart bomb on Dec. 5, 2001. In the incident, three American soldiers died together with dozens of Afghanis. Help from other military units came very late because the closest forces, those of Mattis’ contingent, were not sent. Two American soldiers were instantly killed, but one who was seriously injured could probably have survived if help had been sent. Unidentified sources told NBC that “Mad Dog” was only 45 minutes away of the scene, but still refused to sent rescue helicopters. As Amerine added
“Every element in Afghanistan tried to help us except the closest friendly unit, commanded by Mattis.”
Until now, Mattis has made no public comments either on the incident nor the accusations; however, the incident was detailed in the book “The Only Thing Worth Dying For,” by Eric Blehm, in which Mattis is portrayed as stubbornly unwilling to help the Green Beret. Nonetheless, NBC News has explained that Mattis’ actions were never formally investigated. Today, Mattis is a highly decorated and famous wartime commander for leading the 1st Marine Division’s lightning fast movement into Baghdad during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Obama’s administration has been strongly criticized, as well as former presidential nominee Hilary Clinton, for failing to provide a rescue mission when the diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya was attacked; yet, this situation seems very similar to what Republicans have been using as a weapon against the Democrats. As Amerine stated on a Facebook post;
“The delay of Mattis in launching MEDEVAC on December 5th was never in question, not even by him. The only debate was whether it was justified and how many died as a result.”
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Additionally, Trump’s pick also suffers from comments that have gotten him into trouble in the past. In 2005, he said in an interview;
“You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them.”
The Senate still needs to confirm “Mad Dog,” and a waiver is needed since any defense secretary needs to be at least seven years out of military service. It is still unclear if Afghanistan’s events will be an obstacle somehow for Mattis. In any case, Trump is getting with Mattis his own Benghazi scandal: an Afghanistan scandal.