As we prepare to draw down our forces in Afghanistan we continue to hear stories about the abhorrent ROE (Rules of Engagement). The following story will only serve to increase the angst and question the purpose of our current involvement in that country.
In August of 2012, according to the Marine Times, “Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, 29, Cpl. Richard Rivera, 20, and Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley, 21, died Aug. 10, 2012, after an attacker opened fire on them with an assault rifle at a base gym. A fourth Marine, Staff Sgt. Cody Rhode, sustained five gunshot wounds, including one that shattered his elbow. They were all members of a police advisory team attached to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.”
But the story gets a bit more complicated — not to mention repulsive — when you scratch the surface.
The accused shooter is a 15-year-old Afghan teen who goes by the name of
Aynoddin. It seems Aynoddin was the “tea boy” of an Afghan police chief named Sanwar Jan. As Michael Maloof of WND reported,
“Tea boys” are part of a child-molesting cultural tradition in Afghanistan WND has reported on called bacha bazi, or “boy play.” In the practice of bacha bazi, boys ages 9-17 are dressed up as women to dance for leering Afghan men who then use the boys for sex and make them their property.”
Why would an unvetted teenage boy be allowed on this Forward Operating Base (FOB) Delhi in Helmand province, or any FOB, as it is clearly a breach of security? Of course the obvious other question is why would the United States turn a blind eye to this practice and seemingly condone it by allowing it on a combat outpost?
The father of Marine LCPL Buckley Jr. believes Jan set up his “tea boy” to do the shooting. The serial number of the AK-47 Aynoddin used to shoot the Marines matched Jan’s rifle. Jan has yet to be charged. But it gets worse.
According to CNN,
Maj. Jason Brezler, a Marine Corps reservist, was going to graduate school in Oklahoma “when he received an e-mail from Marine officers in Helmand province, where Brezler had been deployed in 2009-2010.”The subject line of the e-mail he received said in all capital letters with three exclamation marks “IMPORTANT: SARWAR JAN IS BACK.” Kevin Carroll, Brezler’s attorney, said, “When Jason was serving in Afghanistan in 2010, he caused Sarwar Jan to be fired from that position because he was raping children.” Carroll told CNN “within minutes” Brezler wrote his colleagues back at Forward Operating Base Delhi, warning about Jan. He attached to the e-mail a classified document that included allegations about Jan, claiming he had ties to the Taliban. Now the Marines are prosecuting Major Brezler for open sharing of classified information, albeit if his warning had been heeded, Sarwar Jan would not have been allowed back on the forward operating base.
LCPL Buckley Jr’s aunt, Mary Liz Grosseto, described the deadly absurdity of a situation in which, “Marines were not allowed to have loaded weapons on their base. The Afghans that they were training had loaded weapons. They all had AK-47s.” “This is why the boys in that gym were killed,” she insisted. “They didn’t have a weapon on them. They weren’t permitted because the Afghans found it offensive. And, God forbid we offend the Afghans.”
The night before her nephew was buried, the family found out a general ordered that all Marines from then on would carry loaded weapons with them at all times.
Fine, but too late for LCPL Buckley Jr. and the three other Marines who had been killed.