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A Weekly Online Publication of the Anonymous Anything Society ó Oct 25, 2017
THE GRIEVOUS AFTERMATH OF A PATROL IN NIGER
October 4th, 12 members of an American patrol were preparing to return to their base in Niger, a nation in the interior of northwestern Africa, after seeking a leading operative for the Islamic State, reported to be in the area. They were ambushed by an estimated force of 50 heavily armed militants associated with the Islamic State and al Qaeda.
Four of the Green Beret soldiers, all Americans, were killed, as well as a yet undetermined number of soldiers from Niger, before the militants, many of whom were killed, were driven off by stiff resistance by the patrol and the long awaited assistance of French aircraft.
Three of the four bodiesóthose of Byron Black, Jeremiah Johnson, and Dustin Wrightówere quickly recovered. The remains of the fourth soldier, La David Johnson, was found the following day.
General John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, was in the oval office when President Trump asked that a call be placed to the bereaved wife of La David Johnson. At the time she was in a vehicle, accompanied by Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, a longtime mentor to La David and close friend of the family.
Subsequent to the call, Representative Wilson related to the press that the speaker-phone was on in the vehicle and that President Trump was not properly respectful when he spoke to the wife of the slain soldier.
I want to give the president the benefit of a doubt. There could not be a more difficult task than expressing sympathy and gratitude to the survivors of service members ultimately under your command. It has become the Presidents' duty to perform, set by precedent by a long line of chief executives.
No matter who said what to whom, this matter quickly became politicized in a totally inappropriate manner. As late as yesterday, our Tweeter-In-Chief chose to extend a needless quarrel with the ladies, which he began over the weekend by mocking Congresswoman Wilson and arguing with Sgt. Johnson's widow about the nature of his call to her.
This all began last week, when General Kelly appeared at an unprecedented White House news conference. He said that he was shocked by Wilson's claim. He began by recounting the death of his own son who was slain while in combat in Afghanistan. A grieving father deserves to be forgiven for an emotional moment, as does the soldier's bereaved wife, but I was embarrassed and saddened when this four star general used the moment to further berate Rep. Wilson, whom he said had also used another occasion: the dedication of an new FBI Field Office in Florida, to enhance her reputation with effusive self-praise.
I found a recording on the internet of the entire dedication referenced above. Rep. Frederica Wilson spoke only of the devotion of the slain FBI officers for whom their comrades asked be honored by the naming of the edifice. They and she received a standing ovation by the large number of officials and members of the public alike, when she closed her remarks. Not once did she mention herself or any part she may have played in the construction of the building. Someone gave General Kelly Fake News.
What actually transpired in Niger and the United States will, in time, be revealed, but the image of Myeshia Johnson bent over her husband's flag-draped coffin says more than 10-million words.
Phil Richardson, Observer of the Human
Condition and Storyteller
"He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself."óJoseph Menchen
Our unending thanks to Jim Bromley, who programs our Archive of Prior Commentaries
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