Michael's Dispatches

Totally Wrong?

  Now the French military and NATO claim that the Globe and Mail article is wrong.  The headline over The Associated Press story reprinted in the International Herald Tribune reads: “France denies troops ill-equipped in Afghanistan.”

The AP article contained these quotes:

The newspaper is "totally wrong," Capt. Christophe Prazuck, spokesman for the French military, said Sunday.

"There is no formal report from NATO or ISAF of which we are aware on the events that took place at Surobi," NATO spokesman James Appathurai said.

Two previously unpublished photos of Afghan vehicle damaged during the attack that killed 10 French soldiers.

There is more where these photos came from.

The French military would be well advised to use circumspection before making such comments.   And NATO’s statement that there is no formal ISAF or NATO report of which they are aware, sounds like a classic non-denial denial, leaving them plenty of room to re-explain themselves when presented with additional evidence.  If NATO and the French persist in making these claims, the secret report, written by American Special Forces who were present, could find itself on the internet.  Certain embargoed details in the report are even more troubling than the facts that were published in the Globe and Mail article.

The loss of ten French soldiers is bad enough.  Let’s not make it worse with cover-up.  Truth leaks faster than helium.  It happened with the mythologized death of Pat Tillman.  And it will happen in this case.

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