(RepublicanPress.org) – On October 4, 2017, a group of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters ambushed a US Army Special Forces team accompanied by Nigerian soldiers. The Tongo Tongo, or Niger, ambush claimed the lives of 4 US soldiers, 5 Nigerians, and at least 21 ISIS militants. In addition, two special forces members and eight Nigerian troops, including the unit commander, sustained injuries.
In August 2019, the US Army officials posthumously awarded Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, one of the Special Forces Squad 3212 members, the Silver Star for his acts of heroism during the ensuing firefight with ISIS soldiers. The deadly ambush sparked several investigations, leading to a series of reprimands and accusations.
On Thursday, November 11, ABC News premiered a documentary on the incident on Hulu. Called “3212 Un-Redacted,” the film offers an in-depth investigation.
The Big Lie?
According to the documentary, the head of the United States Africa command at the time, Marine General Thomas D. Waldhauser, and top Pentagon officials claimed that the Special Forces squad had gone rogue. The military brass said the team had been conducting an unsanctioned capture or kill mission aimed at taking out a leading ISIS subcommander. The troops told their superiors that they were working a routine reconnaissance mission.
General Waldhauser went as far as holding a press conference in May 2018 discussing the outcome of the US Army Africa Command’s formal inquiry into the ambush. He expressed his sympathy to the fallen soldiers’ family members and spoke of honoring their sacrifices and saluting their valor.
The general said he took “ownership for all the events connected to the [October 2017] ambush.” Yet, he claimed that Squad 3212 lied to commanders about its mission.
Army Major General Roger Cloutier Jr., the US Africa Command chief of staff, backed up those claims at the press conference along with Assistant Defense Secretary for International Affairs Robert Karem and Pentagon spokesperson Dana White.
Previous Claims Disputed in New Documentary Detailing Tongo Tongo Ambush
However, documentary evidence supported by recent interviews of individuals with knowledge surrounding the ambush tells a different story. According to them, the Special Forces squad acted under the full authority and with the knowledge of their commanders.
The movie claims military brass concocted their earlier version of events as part of an effort to cover up their role in the tragic incident. ABC News featured the father of one of the squad members killed in the ambush, stating that “the Army let me down. They let my son down, and then they lied about it.”
Those claims documented by ABC News raise serious questions regarding the reliability of information distributed to the public by top-ranking military authorities.
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