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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

General Kimmitt surprised accused soldier was able to just walk off base



There is a video interview with retired General Mark Kimmit here. I have wondered from the beginning about this issue. The interviewer asks about this matter right at the beginning of her interview with the general.

The general says he was surprised he was just able to walk off the base. He should have been stopped. Kimmit remarks that he certainly could not walk out without anyone seeing him. However on some accounts of the incident he was seen.

He was seen by an Afghan soldier who reported it and then a head count was done which showed one soldier missing. A patrol was then reportedly sent out. On some accounts he was apprehended by the patrol on the way back to the base. On other accounts he turned himself in at the base.

Kimmitt thought that there needed to be a thorough investigation of how the soldier was able to get out unchallenged. One might wonder too if his exit was known and a patrol was sent out how they failed completely to find him until he had walked several kilometers to carry out the shootings and then was met by them as he was returning to the base.

Kimmitt did not think that the actions could be blamed on any medical condition. But he noted he was not a doctor.

Kimmitt also explains that he will be tried in a U.S. military justice system. That is part of what soldiers are promised when they go overseas. This is why also countries where U.S. troops are stationed often are outraged by the fact that the country where the crime occurs completely lacks jurisdiction.

The U.S. will not budge on this. Iraq refused to let troops stay in the country after the SOFA expired last December precisely because the U.S. refused to let troops be subject to Iraqi law. The same issue is now front and center in the negotiations that would allow some U.S. troops stay in Afghanistan long after 2014.

The video does not discuss other issues that are not settled in my mind such as the fact that a number of eyewitnesses claim they saw more than one soldier.

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