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The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification


The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification

Glenn Greenwald

When news first broke of the U.S. airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the response from the U.S. military was predictable and familiar.


The "Lie Machine" does not give "real answers."


SOP Greenwald speaking from his hideout in Brazil. If it was done my the US regardless when are where it must have been a deliberate killing and criminal act. Perhaps he should update his information? Or maybe Snowden hasn't gotten around to investigating this clearly obvious and hideous event from his hideout in
Russia. Greenwald as a journalist has become a one trick pony.


Correstion please, typo. Change "my" to "by."


Doctors Without Borders, if Chelsea could, she certainly would have your back.


I don't get your point? Why are you attacking Greenwald? He isn't rationalizing this incident or trying to justify it. And what has Snowden to do with it? Greenwald is merely explaining how the gov't/military glosses over things like this. He in no way agreeing with them but the contrary. Why are you on his case?


You can barely write and you are hardly in any position to chastise brave truth tellers like Greenwald (who's hardly a one trick pony) and Snowden. If they are in hide-outs, it's due to the fact that the U.S. govt. under covert military control targets those who expose its war crimes. But a soldier boy like yourself who's only doing his job and following orders is not likely to understand what opposition to military dictatorship means, or why such a stance signifies a moral imperative.

Instead of showing compassion for the doctors who enter into inflamed regions to mend all the innocents attacked in foreign wars that lack purpose and constitute CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, you take aim at the messenger or inconvenient truth teller. That speaks volumes about YOUR morally bankrupt soul and/or what your paycheck depends upon.


The liar-in-chief: Collateral damage explanation.

We murdered some innocent folks.


Your derision against the very people who actually care about your rights as a US and World Citizen renders you a fool.


You go girl! Very well said!


Yep rose, I'm an 80 year old woman and fighter who never saw a day of combat, but have seen the results up close and personal during an earlier useless war. Shame on me because unlike you I'm not a fan of the "glorious Greenwald." There was a day when he won the Pulitzer he was an excellent journalist. No more! Now instead he takes any news report without doing his homework and very simplistically turns it into an anti-American tirade. SOP operation and I pointed it out. I read and digest more info than what is posted on CM.

Please note: the bombing was unquestionably done by the USAF in support of the Afghan army. Both had been informed of the coordinates of the hospital. It should have never happened. It is unquestionably a tragedy not just for the hideous loss of life, but because the Afghan staff may not choose to move to the new location and continue to provide their services. No doctors will killed in the terrible attack, but in every war both historically and presently, errors occur and innocents die. Suggest because you choose to go off on me you inform yourself past Greenwald of a number of other factors involved in the battle that was in progress when the bombing occurred. You might start with this that Greewald apparently also missed in his typical rush to damn anything US. BTW, in MHO "we" should have never been in Afghanistan to begin with.



Just to add Greenwald's update:

UPDATE: Responding to the above-referenced admission, MSF has issued this statement:

‚ÄúToday the US government has admitted that it was their airstrike that hit our hospital in Kunduz and killed 22 patients and MSF staff. Their description of the attack keeps changing‚ÄĒfrom collateral damage, to a tragic incident, to now attempting to pass responsibility to the Afghanistan government. The reality is the US dropped those bombs. The US hit a huge hospital full of wounded patients and MSF staff. The US military remains responsible for the targets it hits, even though it is part of a coalition. There can be no justification for this horrible attack. With such constant discrepancies in the US and Afghan accounts of what happened, the need for a full transparent independent investigation is ever more critical.‚ÄĚ

The U.S. seems to have picked the wrong group this time to attack from the air.

Glenn Greenwald

Perhaps, it's just me, but IMHO there is a considerable difference in reporting
and muckraking. Greenwald has become the latter as evidenced by his final
statement in the update above.


All I read from your post is that Greenwald was a good journalist until he started to critique the US Government.

This was not an ERROR. The attack was deliberate. It does not matter who the Doctors were treating at the Hospital. It a war crime to attack a hospital.


If you want to change something after you've posted it just click on the little pencil icon just below the post. It will open up the post in edit mode and allow you to modify and save it with your changes.


How nice it must be to be able to read the minds of all involved and with such certainty be able to make the quoted claim.


ty ctrl, You might note I've only recently joined Common Dreams though I've read here for many years.


"MSF wishes to clarify that all parties to the conflict, including in Kabul and Washington, were clearly informed of the precise location (GPS Coordinates) of the MSF facilities ‚Äď hospital, guest-house, office and an outreach stabilization unit in Chardara (to the north-west of Kunduz). As MSF does in all conflict contexts, these precise locations were communicated to all parties on multiple occasions over the past months, including most recently on 29 September.

The bombing continued for more than 30 minutes after American and Afghan military officials in Kabul and Washington were first informed. MSF urgently seeks clarity on exactly what took place and how this terrible event could have happened."


The hospital has been there since 2011 and all sides were aware it was a medical facility. It was bombed because Doctors Without Borders doesn't distinguish between combatants of one side or another. They treat the wounded as if all human beings have the right to medical care, regardless of which side of a conflict they're on.

After 5 days of heavy fighting in Kunduz the U.S. military decided they didn't want enemy injured getting medical care, so they attacked the hospital.

This simple fact will not come out in any self-justifying investigation the military does.

But, in all likelihood, that's exactly what happened.

I'm a cheap SOB. I rarely contribute to charities. I just donated to Doctors Without Borders.

Let's all show them our support.



You're welcome.

I disagree with your take on Greenwald but occasionally try to be civil to new posters.

I may even do it again in a year or two. :smile:


I suggest you read the accounts. The US knew it was a hospital and bombed it. They CHANGED their story from "it was by accident" to "The Taliban were using it as a base".

There is no need to "read minds".

The accounts of MSF make it very clear no other buildings in the area were struck and the US kept bombing the hospital even after told they were bombing a hospital.

There no need to "read minds"

the USA claims that it has the most precise weaponry in the World. They hit a hospital with PRECISION several times over meaning the Hospital was the target of the attack.

There is no need to "read minds".


I applaud you for your donation. I too am very careful where I choose to make some very small donations to causes and groups I choose to support as my funds are limited.

I also appreciate your personal opinion stated here: "After 5 days of heavy fighting in Kunduz the U.S. military decided they didn't want enemy injured getting medical care, so they attacked the hospital." I've read numerous accounts of this clearly horrendous loss of life that has caused the MSF to move their operations out of Kunduz as well as earlier accounts of bombings during warfare that caused the MSF loss of life of staff and patients to include the one in Sundan earlier this year. Research and analysis was a major factor of my education.

Now that Common Dreams staff has chosen to expand the coverage here:

I expected the language as biased as Greenwald's because it is written for a "Progressive Community." Just prefer to glean "news" from a variety of sources, not only those associated with the US MSM, and then as you have; state my opinion. My only complaint would be the use of un-identified personal opinion expressed as the "gospel truth." There seems to be some confusion about which is which expressed by some members. Way back in the 1970's and '80s when I was an adult student in college, one of the most interesting and informative courses I took was one learning to discern bias in language in the media. I believe it continues to serve me well.