UPDATE: I spoke with CPT Staffel's attorney and this thing smells a whole lot. I will follow up with more info soon.
FORT BRAGG, North Carolina: From his position about 100 yards away, Master Sergeant Troy Anderson had a clear shot of the Afghan man standing outside a residential compound in a small village near the Pakistan border last October. And when Captain Dave Staffel, the Special Forces officer in charge, gave the order to shoot, Anderson fired a single bullet into the man's head, killing him instantly.
In June, Staffel and Anderson were charged with premeditated murder. On Tuesday, in a rare public examination of the rules that govern the actions of special operations troops in Afghanistan, a military hearing will convene at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to weigh the evidence against the two Green Berets.
There are so many factors that would determine whether this was a proper shooting that it is near impossible to make any judgments. The one that I am comfortable making based on my experience and the professionalism of Army Special Forces is, the men in question believed they were authorized to take the shot. The bigger question is what kind of Rules of Engagement are they operating under, and if they car not authorized to kill known terrorists, then why not?
I don't know LTG Kearney, but so far he is 2 for 2 in piling on our Spec Ops troops. He is the same one who booted a the first Marine Company to deploy as part of SOCOM after they were involved in an ambush shoot-em-up. I don't have enough info to call either situation justified, but I like to think there is an assumption of innocence and I wonder about LTG Kearney.
I am contacting PAOs at CENTCOM, SOCOM and at Ft. Bragg, anyone with contacts in the Stan, or with CENTCOM please ping them with a WTF request. I'm interested in the ROE, LTG Kearney and the previous incident with the Marine company. Gracias for any assistance which as always is as confidential as necessary. USASOC seems to be the controlling authority, so once again if you know someone there, or at Bragg in any SF unit ping 'em.