In a statement Wednesday, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said that he feels the White House is not being up front about the attack that killed four Army Green Berets on October 4 and wounded two others. In discussions on whether or not the senate would be opening an investigation into the attacks, McCain stated that the Armed Services Committee which he chairs needs more information to determine if an investigation is needed.
When pressed on whether he felt that the White House was being “forthcoming” with the appropriate information, he answered with a short, curt, “No.” He did state that his committee is interested in receiving “all the specifics” about the incident before determining whether further investigation will be necessary.
The group of 12 was ambushed near the Niger-Mali border. The attacking group of about 50 fighters is presumed to be associated with ISIS according to a U.S. official. According to a U.S. defense official, the U.S. group was besieged with “fire from small arms, machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.”
The service members were able to return some fire and did manage to kill some of the militants. At some point in time, Sgt. La David Johnson was separated from the main group. It is unclear if he was captured or stumbled away on his own, possibly injured and dazed. American forces believed him to be alive until his body was located two days later after a massive search effort. Initial reports of the incident stated that only three service members had perished because Johnson was listed as Missing in Action (MIA) at the time.
There were five Nigerian soldiers also killed in the attack. The Nigerian troops were accompanying U.S. troops on the patrol as part of the partnership between the nations. Although it has been reported that the attack was carried out by ISIS, the U.S. military isn’t committed to that information, which fuels the thought that the White House is hiding information from McCain and the Armed Services Committee.
After this disastrous news conference, is it any wonder that McCain feels like the WH is being evasive?
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