Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Dakota Meyer got a medal. His whistle-blowing partner Swenson got the shaft.

Dakota Meyer, honored hero.
Army leadership is upset that only Meyer got the medal.  His companion, Army captain William Swenson, received no recognition because he has been vocal about why the heroism was necessary. Swenson kept pressing the army to punish the officers at the nearby headquarters who repeatedly refused to provide any fire support for the trapped troops.  The policy of withholding fire when civilians might be hurt allowed support when American troops were themselves in danger.    Career Conscious Commanders Leave Marines Naked In Battle   Also, Army Times: Afghan ambush heroics go unrecognized 

More detail of the mens' heroism is here. The officer screw-up is re-confirmed:
An investigation conducted after the battle determined that two Army officers making those decisions in the operations center that day "were clearly negligent." "The actions of key leaders" in the command center, the report said, "were inadequate and ineffective, contributing directly to the loss of life which ensued." Because of what the report calls "poor performance" and "an atmosphere of complacency," the operations center just did not realize how bad the situation was until it was too late.
Captain William Swenson, whistle-blower and hero.
"You can't sugarcoat it," said now retired Colonel Richard Hooker, who conducted the investigation.

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