Fox Company of Task Force Violent head to Congress to clear their names

 
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Fox Company of Task Force Violent head to Congress to clear their names

This is sort of a complicated and long story.  I'm going to start at the end, which is what is in the Military Times today:

It's been a decade since Fred Galvin and his Marines were in a battle for their lives following a coordinated attack not far from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. That every man on the patrol survived remains a testament to good training and, above all, good fortune. Yet the hell they've endured since stands among the war's tragedies, and now there's an effort in Congress to help them find peace.

On Thursday, Galvin will represent his old unit at the U.S. Capitol as four congressmen call on the Marines' top general, Commandant Robert Neller, to make a public overture declaring that Galvin and his elite commando team, Marine Special Operations Company Foxtrot, did nothing wrong when defending themselves during that attack. Many of the Marines involved say they still suffer psychologically from the backlash they incurred when the military sought to imprison them over bogus claims they killed more than two dozen innocent bystanders.

The effort is led by Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina, who came to the Marines' defense 10 years ago and has continued to advocate on their behalf. He has introduced a resolution, H.Res.21, that would require Neller to "issue a public document certifying that members of Fox Company ... were not at fault in the firefight ... [and] deserve to have their names cleared."  

There's a good video of the commander who seems a vert ernest sort of guy here doing the best he can for his troops:

Now, at the link to the Military Times piece they have a 5 part series with links, unfortunately though the links are all wrong. I was able to find some of them by Googling. The first one is here, and I wanted to quote one portion that gives you an idea of the background:

A prior-enlisted sergeant, Galvin made history in February 2006 when, as a major, he was selected to lead Marine Special Operations Company Foxtrot for the first-ever overseas deployment of an operational unit from MARSOC, the Marine Corps force that carries out highly sensitive missions for U.S. Special Operations Command. It was a prestigious assignment for which Galvin was hand-selected based on his record of success leading Marines in the service's specialized Force Reconnaissance community.

But the job would become a curse. On March 4, 2007, less than a month after arriving in country, 30 men with Fox Company's direct-action platoon were riding in a six-vehicle convoy that was ambushed while patrolling in the Bati Kot district of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, a nefarious transfer point for suicide bombers and other extremists entering the country from Pakistan. Media reports about the incident seemed to surface before the smoke had cleared and the shell casings were collected. And it seemed to leave little doubt that the Marines went on a wild rampage, inflicting mass civilian casualties.

Within days, Fox Company was ordered out of the war zone under a cloud of shame. Galvin was stripped of command. Yet investigations into what happened in Bati Kot had only just begun. 

If you have the time to read them all, and see how these poor Marines got seemingly railroaded, I highly recommend it.

Part II is HERE.

Part III is HERE, more also from this one below.

Part IV is HERE.

Lastly, Part V is HERE. (The last is a pdf of the entire story, so you have to scroll down to page 52.

But from Part III, I did want to give this teaser:

The attack still replays in high definition: The van approaches, then makes a hard, tire-shrieking turn into the convoy. It's loaded with enough fuel and firepower to kill everyone in at least one of the Marines' six humvees. Those closest figure they are goners.

The turret gunner, Sgt. Josh Henderson, was partially exposed when a roar of fire and smoke swallowed him and the four others inside. In that instant some thought about their families, and how the military would inform them their kids had died on a highway in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. Armed insurgents watched from both sides of the road, poised to finish the job — or die trying.

The Marines had never seen such a massive fireball. "Oh my God," the patrol commander thought. "All of my men are dead." From his vantage point directly behind the targeted humvee, the second in their procession, this was a perfectly reasonable assumption. If any Americans had died that day, March 4, 2007, it's likely no one would have questioned what happened next.

The whole thing is a tragedy, but to pin something on a unit like this and blackball them is craziness.  I wasn't there, so don't know if civilians were killed or not, but apparently none of the Marines believe that there was.  But firefights are by their very nature chaotic.  But the Rules of Engagement are fairly clear on self-defense, if you feel there is a threat to your life, you engage.  When someone attacks you with a car bomb and then small arms fire, everything after that is an attack and survival is your only concern, both your own and those of your brothers to the left and right of you.  

But you should go read it all.  I hope these Marines get their names cleared.   They served our country, and they feel like in turn the country betrayed them.  No matter what happened that day, this is a sad event, but it's not one that should haunt people until they go to their eternal rest.

A quote from one of the Marines:

But the betrayal from within, that shattered their trust in the institution. It defied the core values instilled in these men from the moment they joined the Corps: honor, courage, commitment. "This still haunts us," one of those Marines explained, "because no one has publicly acknowledged we did the right thing that day. We did our jobs — and we were crucified for it."

Also, major props to MIlitary Times and in particular the writers who worked on this story.  It may be the best piece of journalism I've read in a LONG time.

Posted in the burner | 22 comments
 
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Unfortunately during the period since about 2005 when "enemy" was hard to identify, a number of individual and small groups have been "crucified" for during what they were trained to do. There are some actions underway to clear a few and get them released from prison, but it probably cannot help all affected and serving prison terms. Apparently most instances were to appease officials of the countries the USA was trying to help.
Not only should Congress clear the Marine Special Forces group, but also the other individuals and groups that are now being wrongly punished to pacify the "friendly" members of nations who have housed terrorists, welcomed USA assistance, then sought cruel punishment for our military.

The only rule of engagement that should ever apply---Kill the enemy, come home alive.
In Urban war--if Civilians don't remove themselves then our Military must consider them the enemy.
If Congress doesn't see that--make them all fight in Afganistan or Iraq--and see how quickly the rules change..

I am with post 243 bessemer city nc with support for these marines These marines are examples of what our military should be. Our enemy has lost the fear and respect due to our overwhelming political correctness. If there's a time to be politically correct then honoring these marines should be on the top of the list. These marines are due some respect and gratitude for doing something millions of others would be scared to do. Semper Fi.

When a military needs an embeded lawyer--it's time to disband the military--and surrender.
Are we the craziest nation in the world--we throw away American lives wholesale and protect one life of people who want us dead??/ Where have American First values gone?? The only life I care about is that of my Son and his friends--how can a nation that supposedly loves it children--put so many out there to be killed-????
Starting in WW ONE we wasted that generation, then Korea, then Vietnam, then iraq, the Afghanistan, now more Iraq---whole generations are being killed and physically destroyed--
without end. The mightiest nation in the history of the world--and we play at war--not
apply our power and might.

The political REMFs are always relentless. They play to an eager audience that always wants to believe the worst, and because of that, they are terribly difficult to defend against. To those marines, I say God bless you.

I continue to be disgusted by our liberal, elitist, out-of-touch with reality press and their pompous, supporting celebrities. I'm proud of my brothers of Foxtrot Company and am ashamed by how our nation has treated them. As a Marine veteran of the Viet Nam war, I've had first hand experience with this tragic treatment of our veterans.

I salute the four congressmen and everyone else supporting and fighting for these fine warriors.

Semper Fi!

Mark Anderson, Sgt. USMC (a long time ago)

Thanks to the four congressmen,but where are the other 431 of them? When our country goes to war
we need to keep the politicians out of it and let the military do its job,defeat the enemy and come home alive. God Bless those Marines and all who served

I AM A RETIRED NAVY RECON FMF DEVIL DOC AND I FEEL THAT THESE MARINES SHOULD NOT ONLY BE CLEARED, BUT THEY AND THIER COMMANDER SHOULD BE GIVEN A LONG OVERDUE MEDAL.

Whoever initiated this slander against Fox Co should be prosecuted. As a Vietnam War vet I am full aware of false accusations of wanton killing of civilians. Now that we have a President who cares about veterans, this should be one of the first orders of business.

It is high time that any member of Congress be required, during the vetting process for candidacy, be required to serve on ACTIVE duty as an enlisted member of The US Army, Navy or Marines. It is time to weed out the docile, anti-military left wing political members of Congress. They then should be able to see first-hand what the troops face, when defending OUR COUNTRY are subjected to during performance of theif duties.

As General Patton said: "The only rule of engagement should be KILL OR CAPTURE"
This is war folks, when is the general public and the drive-by media going to get that?

I'VE DONE SOME THINGS THAT I'VE LIVED TO REGRET, AND OTHERS THAT I AM MOST PROUD. I'VE BEEN ON PATROLS WHEN OUR ORDERS WERE TO SHOOT ANYTHING THAT MOVED IN FRONT OF US. I'VE BEEN A MEMBER OF A PATROL THAT WAS AMBUSHED JUST FEET AWAY FROM THE MAIN BODY. OUR SOP AT THAT POINT WAS TO CHARGE AND KILL WHOMEVER WAS FIRING AT US-NOT HIT THE DECK-(THAT'S WHAT YOUR ENEMY WANTS YOU TO DO!) THAT'S THE WAY THE CORPS TRAINED US-CLOSE WITH THE ENEMY! YOU DON'T ALWAYS HAVE TIME TO BE AN ARM CHAIR QB! SHIT CAN AND WILL HAPPEN! WHEN WE WENT TO THE REAR AFTER BEING UP FRONT THE GUYS IN THE REAR AREA SHOWED THEIR RESPECT TO THE LOWEST PRIVATES AS WELL OF ALL OUR RANKS-NO SHIT DETAILS FOR US, ETC.!
THERE IS NOTHING LIKE BEIN' A "GRUNT"!
WHOEVER IS INVOLVED AND QUESTIONED THIS MARINE UNIT'S INTEGRITY SHOULD BE TARED AND FEATHERED AND STRIPPED OF THEIR RANK-(IF ANY RANK EXISTS)

If any civilians were killed, they were more then likely handling the ammo for the taliban.

As a old Viet Nam Marine I feel your pain and understand. welcome home. It's great to see propper respect shown to a proud fighting unit. I am honored to call you brother.

I am RVN Veteran, I saw a lot during my two tours in Vietnam. These "DEVIL DOGS" did what they were trained to do. I support them and all of our elected officials should too. We should vote the ones that do not out of office.

I am a veteran of the USMC! Ooh rah to my brothers. You all know and should remember that you are all an elite team. Don't let stupid people take away your pride. We are the few , the proud.

The Commandant of the Marine Corps Issued an order stating all Marines are still Marines regardless of when they were on active duty.. We are just in a different phase of our still being Marines. Having said that, I remember on P.I. that We don't leave any Marine behind. I am ashamed we have left Fox Co. behind. Everybody and their brother forms protest marches about one thing or another. Why doesn't the American Legion, the Marine Corps League, Veterans of Foreign Wars etc. organize Peaceful marches in their respective A.O.s to bring to light the wrong being done to Fox Co. The former Administrations are hypocrites. They are ready to trot out any foreign countries soldiers, political leaders and send them to the Hague. If Fox Co. was so 0ver the top in "killing" civilians why were they not sent to the Hague, oh yeah the U.S. is not a part of that. They just get to make any kind of claim against Real American Heroes. Once painted with that kind of brush they had no recourse. Million Military Men and Women march on D.C. Maybe on the 4th of July, if POTUS, and "Mad Dog" don't remember, "Leave no man behind". Semper Fi Till I Die

I support My Brother Marines from Fox Company. Tney should have their Record expunged and their Honor Restored! Raemona Mae Clark Navy Corpsman,Trained at Camp LejeuneN.C. January 1967

We all have our place in the very long line of Marines and Corpsmen dating from 1775 until this very day...the Marines of Fox Company have not lost their honor nor have they lost their rightful place in that line . Those who speak falsely of them are not worthy to me mentioned in the same breath as these Marines. Any member of Fox Company is welcome to come stand by me...I would be honored for the company.
Semper Fi !

I served with the USMC from 1971-78, honorably, These men should hold their heads up high with honor and should all receive medals of bravery. Do not let the meek politicians most of who have never served or understand words like brave, honor, dignity, brotherhood. Only we your brothers shall be the judge and we hold you in the highest regard. Semper Fi.

I have an honorable discharge from the Military. War is about killing people the enemy from another country. Why are we putting people in jail for defending our country. Remember the bomb on Japan
and Pearl Harbor. How about WW1 WW2. They are training their kids to destroy our country or any country that gets in their. As soon as they get enough bombs like N Korea it is only a matter of time before they start using them on countries.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.