by Chris Bailey
23 September 2021, Ventura County California
Two days after the attack on Abbey Gate that killed in excess of 200 persons, US Central Command announced, “We got two terrorists off the field”
With the bravado of a winning coaching staff, US Central Commander General Kenneth McKenzie, Pentagon Spokesperson John F. Kirby, and Army Major General Hank Taylor, the Group Commander responsible for the actual drone strike intelligence, each took their turn at the microphone to celebrate a victory. Secretary of Defense Austin accessed the Intelligence and approved the drone strike. Captain Bill Urban(USN) of Central Command stated, “The unmanned air strike occurred in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan… We killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.” Captain Urban further described the operation as an “over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation”. A ray of sunshine that validated President Biden’s claim OTH strikes are the new norm. Strength in a week of embarrassing reliance on Taliban forces, terrible optics, and the death of 13 American servicemembers.
The media was more than willing to gobble up the report and cast the Pentagon’s version worldwide as a successful action. A blow against ISIS-K, and a clear demonstration of Biden’s new “over the horizon” protective shield. There were three photographs of the impact site, with two clearly revealing launch tunes, which transformed the car from family transport to deadly ISIS-K terror ride. High Fives all around.
There were grumblings almost immediately, but US leaders did not blink. “Confirmed secondary explosions validated the strike”, was parroted. “A righteous kill” was the statement from Joint Chief of Staff Commander General Milley. Even Capt. Urban could not refrain here from claiming the strike was still a success, even though civilians may have been caught up in the explosion. Case closed. Next!
In the ongoing train wreck that this drone strike has become, the pictures authenticating the strike didn’t pass scrutiny, given reports from the ground identified non-combatants in the droned vehicle. None of the photos validated anything that was reported from the ground. Why was there no evidence of impact, percussion or the blurred out bodies of the terrorists?
Once the military admitted their responsibility for killing 10 non-combatants(7 children) what was that picture of launch tubes, with “AP Photo” caption underneath? Obviously not “on the scene” evidence.
It was propaganda with an AP bow on it.
Citizens Journal has requested AP Photos explain how they were manipulated to provide pictures for a false narrative.
The body of our request…
“Looking for author and authentication of three photos posted as support evidence for American drone attack on “terrorists” that was learned to actually be the killing of 10 Afghan non-combatants. One photo shows the interior of a car with launch tubes in the back seat. Another portrays the same vehicle from a distance of 10 feet for perspective, and the 3rd photo is of another vehicle which would appear to be near the first vehicle, even though this other vehicle is NOT in the full view picture of the alleged terrorist car. Inasmuch as it has now been revealed the attack was NOT on a terrorist vehicle, could you please explain how AP came to be misled by either your photographer or your agent in the field as to the authenticity of these photos? They may be of cars that were involved in some sort of interaction with military forces, but they are NOT the vehicle(s) involved in this strike, They are, however portrayed in 100s of articles that used AP Photo pictures as authentic.
How was AP deceived regarding this? Why are these photos still up everywhere as evidence of a ISIS-K successful strike when the US Central Command has admitted to killing 10 non-combatants in this very strike? Is this photographer STILL in the field, and what else has this photographer submitted since?”
When AP responds to our inquiry regarding the true identity of the pictures(actual date, time and location of each photograph) we will report on the findings. Until such time as they respond with the facts concerning these pictures, they will only be available here for your review. The previous article addressed the false narrative, but not AP Photo as either a duped or willing accomplice in the narrative of the original false report.
Chris Bailey is a reporter-at-large of citizensjournal.us, a business owner, military veteran and longtime resident of Camarillo