On Aug. 28, I asked this question: If Joe Biden for the first time in his life ordered an attack that successfully neutralized a terrorist, why isn’t he all over TV boasting about his accomplishment and naming names? The question was prompted by the Biden administration’s refusal to say anything beyond the fact that the two ISIS-K planners taken out by an “over-the-horizon” drone strike in response to the suicide killing of 13 U.S. Marines were “high profile.”
Now we know the answer. As CNN reported late yesterday:
A United States military investigation into a deadly Kabul drone strike on a vehicle in August has found it killed 10 civilians and the driver and that the vehicle targeted was likely not a threat associated with ISIS-K, announced Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top general of US Central Command, at the Pentagon on Friday.
McKenzie told reporters that the strike — which he said killed seven children — was a “mistake” and offered an apology.
Trending: Cartoon of the Day: Not Reality TV
What’s new here is not the identity of those killed by the U.S. airstrike but the admission of guilt — as CNN well knows. On Aug. 31, just days after the Marine murders, the network reported:
Ten members of one family — including seven children — are dead after a US drone strike targeting a vehicle in a residential neighborhood of Kabul, a relative of the dead told CNN.
Two questions naturally arise now. One is what took the Pentagon so long to acknowledge its error. For what it’s worth (and I leave that decision up to readers), the New York Times did its own investigation into the drone strike and arrived at the conclusion on Sept. 10 that the strike missed its intended target, killing ten civilians instead. So what took the administration so long. Alert readers will notice that they waited for a Friday afternoon at the close of business to issue any statement at all. This is known in news circles as the “the place where stories go to die.”
The second question is when Biden will get around to addressing the American public about his “tragic mistake.” He said after the botched troop withdrawal (which he still refuses to say as anything but a success) that “the buck stops here.” Let’s see if he has it in him to perform the most difficult task any president ever faces.