One of the Wikileaks war logs released yesterday contained a friendly fire report filed by the 205th RCAG U.S. military unit which states four Canadian soldiers were killed and seven other Canadians and an interpreter were wounded on Sept. 3, 2006, when a fighter jet dropped a guided bomb on a building they occupied during the second day of Operation MEDUSA [bracketed explanations mine]:
At 030414Z Sept 06 received SAF[small arms fire] & RPGS from sawtooth building. returned fire 1x GBU [Guided Bomb Unit] dropped on it.
Sawtooth building is heavily damaged. only 4x sections remain standing. no activity observed. Casualties 4x CDN KIA [Killed in action] 4X CDN WIA [Wounded in action].
This was later updated to 4 dead and 7 wounded Canadians:
At 030419Z Sep received SAF and RPG fire on op, a total of WIA in these hour 7x CDN, and 4x CDN KIA and 1x WIA interpreter
Attack on: FRIEND
Type : Friendly Fire …. Category : Blue-Blue …. Affiliation : FRIEND
At the time the Canadian military reported that the four Canadian soldiers died in battles with Taliban forces. CBC got official clarification of that last night from Jay Paxton, spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay:
“The loss of four Canadian soldiers on September 3rd, 2006, was the result of insurgent activity in the Panjwaii district of Afghanistan,” Jay Paxton said in an email Monday evening. “The only friendly fire incident from the time period in question occurred on September 4th, 2006.”
Anyone think the Americans just casually inflate their friendly fire reports? And what about the “guided bomb unit” in the US report? Do the Taliban have fighter jets now?
Meanwhile, at a “media availability” on Monday morning, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon was blindsided with questions on the publication of the Wikileaks war logs. Echoing U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones, Taliban Larry said:
“Our government is concerned obviously that operational leaks could endanger the lives of our men and women in Afghanistan.”
Cannon then went on to repeat several times that the “leaked American documents” have “nothing to do with Canada.”
Asked by the G&M if the leaks indicate the government has “misled the Canadian public,” Lawrence replied that they have been very “transparent” and besides, ministers regularly go before the parliamentary Afghanistan committee.
Ahem. Didn’t your government just shut down parliament entirely earlier this year in part to stop that very committee from doing its job, Larry? Is this Afghan committee not the very place from which the word “redacted” assumed its prominent position in the news ?
Meanwhile, over at the Pentagon . . .
“An ongoing Pentagon review of the massive flood of secret documents made public by the WikiLeaks website has so far found no evidence that the disclosure harmed U.S. national security or endangered American troops in the field, a Pentagon official told NBC News on Monday.”
PS: Gotta love Laura Lynch on CBC’s “As it Happens.” She asked Julian Assange whether his release of the war logs was “criminal” and weren’t things “better now under Obama.”
Obama — that would be the guy who just ordered up a 30,000 troop surge for a war that is already costing $7-billion a month to retake Kandahar. Assange called her questions “naive.” I thought that was unnecessarily charitable.