The Chairman’s Afghan Problem,

Declan Leary ,contributing editor of The American Conservative

On Sunday, August 29, 2021, U.S. forces used an MQ-9 Reaper drone to fire a Hellfire missile at a Toyota Corolla soon after it entered the open-air garage of a small private residence in Kabul. The ensuing blaze killed three adults and seven children, the youngest only two years old. One of the juvenile victims was so badly mutilated that neighbors told Al Jazeera they “could only find his legs.”

In the following hours, days, and weeks, U.S. officials did everything they could to triage the P.R. damage of the killings. […]

In a joint press conference held with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin three days later, General Milley continued to assert with absolute certainty that “an ISIS facilitator” was eliminated by the strike. He explicitly characterized the strike as “righteous.” As to the increasingly credible allegations that numerous civilians had been killed in the U.S. strike, Milley said only, “We’ll try to sort through all of that.”Now, a redacted portion of an internal military investigative report obtained by the New York Times through a FOIA lawsuit sheds light on what actually happened that August Sunday, and how the blood of seven defenseless children wound up on American hands.

The evidence taken as sufficient to justify the lethal strike in Kabul is nothing short of astonishing.

Zemari Ahmadi, an engineer who worked for a U.S.-based aid organization called Nutrition and Education International, drove a white Toyota Corolla. Intelligence suggested that a white Toyota Corolla might be involved in an ISIS-K terrorist plot. (The Toyota Corolla has been the most popular auto model in Afghanistan for two and a half decades.)

If that wasn’t enough, U.S. intelligence personnel witnessed Ahmadi placing a parcel in the car, which he handled so carefully that it could only have been a bomb. (It was his boss’s laptop.) What’s more, multiple men were observed getting in and out of Ahmadi’s Corolla at various locations. (These were colleagues who needed rides to work, a Times investigation found.)

The coup de grâce: After the drone-launched missile strike that blew up Ahmadi’s car, U.S. officials claimed that the size and force of the resulting blasts meant he must have been carrying explosives. If they weren’t sure before they killed all those people, the fact that they killed all those people with such force was all the evidence they needed in retrospect. Läs artikel