The official narrative is that an ISIS-K suicide bomber got through Taliban “security” and detonated, resulting in the deaths of 13 U.S. military personnel and a number of Afghans. Yet what the people on the ground keep saying is that there was a firefight afterward.
Why it matters.
If there was a firefight, then there was a significant terrorist presence at HKIA and the narrative that the Taliban were providing security falls apart.
The Biden admin and its brass claimed to have partnered with the Taliban, and claimed that the terrorists could be trusted. They have every incentive to cover up evidence that a sizable terrorist contingent was actually on the scene.
So what really happened that day?
For Chappell and some of the other families of those killed that day, the release this month of a U.S. military investigation examining the attack has caused them to question whether Defense Department officials distorted its findings. In interviews, they castigated the Biden administration for placing their loved ones — most, like Nikoui, barely 20 years old — into such a dangerous situation and said that the Marines who survived the explosion told them they endured a firefight afterward — claims the Pentagon has dismissed.
This is a core issue here. Why would military personnel lie about being in a firefight? What possible motive could there be? We know why Biden’s people would be motivated to lie about their decision to trust the Taliban.
On Feb. 4, U.S. military officials announced at the Pentagon that, after an extensive investigation, they had determined that a single suicide bomb with “disturbing lethality” caused the staggering loss of life.
But according to their full report, survivors of the attack described a more complex situation. In witness statements, Marines recalled coming under and returning gunfire, sprinting to the blast site to treat survivors with tourniquets and clotting agents, and struggling to find enough refrigerated storage for all of the remains.
One reconnaissance Marine with 15 years of military service said that, after the explosion, he heard “snaps and cracks of rounds all around him” and observed what appeared to be people suffering from gunshot wounds. Like all but a few witnesses, this individual’s name was redacted from the report.
Another Marine recalled shooting numerous times.
“I went in and saw a lot of Marines shooting by the Jersey barrier,” the Marine said. “There was a lot of smoke. I couldn’t see where they were firing. They grabbed me and I started firing my weapon as well. I don’t know what I was firing at.”
A Marine scout sniper who was in a nearby tower said he saw a child suffering from what he surmised were gunshot wounds, because of the size of the injuries. He recalled beginning to treat the child, only to discover a much larger fatal exit wound.
“I can say for sure that we could have been hit,” he told investigators. “Three shots hit the tower. One was in line with my head.”
Chappell, who lives about 100 miles from Camp Pendleton in Norco, Calif., said that her son’s Marine friends have visited her frequently and believe they were attacked with small-arms fire after the bombing.
“I talked to one kid personally, face-to-face at my son’s burial,” she said. “That’s how I found out about gunfire. He showed me his scar and told me had been shot.”
There were experienced personnel there with plenty of battlefield experience. They know what they’re talking about and they know the difference between gunfire and something else. The administration’s brass however insists that they were delusional.
Marine Col. C.J. Douglas, who investigated the reports of gunfire, said during the Pentagon news conference that there is “no proof that any U.S. or Afghan person was injured or killed by gunfire.” The confusion, he said, likely stemmed from “the fog of war and disorientation due to blast effects.”
“Plainly put,” Douglas said, “the blast created instant chaos and sensory overload.”
No doubt. Except that there were people there who had been in combat on multiple battlefields and had experienced the fog of war and disorientation. It doesn’t explain specific physical evidence of gunshots.
Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, said analysis by certified medical examiners and explosives experts determined that the “majority of casualties” attributed to the bomb came from ball bearings, primarily five millimeters in diameter each. The ball bearings caused entry and exit wounds “similar to rifle gunshots caused by 5.56 mm bullets,” and prompted doctors to classify some injuries as gunshot wounds that were not, he said.
Again, after Iraq and Afghanistan, there are plenty of people on the scene who were unlikely to make that mistake.
The administration is working hard to deny and dismiss the notion of a firefight even though it’s not at all implausible that Taliban and Marines could have exchanged fire in the aftermath of the suicide bombing.
It would be an entirely plausible explanation. So why deny it so vocally?
One answer would be that what they’re covering up is not just a fog of war firefight, perhaps brief, but Taliban complicity in the attack. And that complicity ties in with the complicity of the Biden administration in turning over Kabul and airport security to the Taliban.