Video Counters Pentagon Claims That Deaths from Afghan Withdrawal Bombing Solely from Explosion

Photo by 1st Lt. Mark Andries, via Wikimedia Commons

One of the first black eyes for the Biden administration happened just months after he took office. The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan left the U.S. discredited and scarred a generation of veterans.

Perhaps the most notable event from three years ago was the explosion at Kabul airport. The attack took the lives of 13 U.S. service members and about 170 Afghans.

Since the attack, there have been congressional hearings and two investigations into what happened. While the Biden administration undoubtedly wishes to close this chapter, a video has questioned assertions made by the U.S. government.

Caught on camera

CNN released a report on a video taken by a Marine’s GoPro the day of the bombing at Kabul airport. The video shows copious amounts of gunfire during and after the explosion.

This video corroborates what military members have been claiming since the attack. Some say that they had come under fire and returned fire. However, the Pentagon has remained steadfast in its claim that no such gunfight occurred.

The DOD claims that the service members who believe they experienced multiple gunfire events were likely “confused”. In the statements released by the Pentagon, there were only three gunfire engagements.

The claim is that these three instances of gunfire happened almost at the same time in small bursts from U.S. and U.K. troops as “warning shots.” However, the video obtained and analyzed by CNN paints a very different picture.

According to the video and the interviews of a dozen anonymous troops, the gunfire was extensive and sustained. One anonymous service member told CNN:

“It was a mass volume of gunfire.”

The video shows 11 episodes of gunfire spanning four minutes in total. That’s quite the disparity from three simultaneous small bursts of gunfire.

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Holes in the story

Besides the problematic inconsistency of gunfire activity between what the Pentagon claims versus what the video shows, there is an argument to be made that perhaps not everyone who died that day was killed by the explosion. The DOD claims that the three alleged warning shots hit no one.

Essentially, they argue that everyone who died that day, including the 13 military members and 170 or so Afghans, died due to the explosion. However, a witness to the event claims otherwise.

The former director of the Wazir Akhbar Khan Hospital in Kabul, Dr. Sayeed Ahmadi, has come forward with information that counters the DOD narrative. Now living in Finland, he feels safe enough to share his recollection of what happened that day.

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He claims that he removed bullets from wounded Afghans and that about a dozen died from gunshot wounds, not as a result of the explosion. He told CNN:

“Explosion injuries come with severe injuries and lots of holes in the bodies. But people who were shot had just one or two holes in the chest or head.”

Dr. Ahmadi goes on to explain the difference between a bullet extraction and a ball bearing extraction, often packed into a suicide bomb:

“Of course, when you see the bullets, it’s totally different from the ball bearing. Everyone knows if they are a soldier or a doctor.”

What does the Pentagon have to say to this information?

Nothing to see here

As of right now, the DOD is sticking to its story. Dr. Ahmadi’s testimony was never requested, nor were any eyewitness accounts from Afghans that day considered in the investigations.

When asked why no Afghan witnesses were included public affairs adviser Lt. Col. Rob Lodewick explained “because it’s scope and focus on U.S. operations did not demand it.” Lt. Col Lodewick went on to say that the investigations:

“…presented no overwhelming need for the pursuit of external Afghan-centric information.”

Perhaps the real reason that testimony like that from Dr. Ahmadi wasn’t considered is fear of what might be revealed. As if the possibility that the DOD is covering up the fact that American troops may have inadvertently killed Afghan civilians, there is some suspicion that Dr. Ahmadi was intimidated into lying.

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The doctor told CNN that he he received two phone calls after the explosion insisting he stop recording who died from the blast and who died from gunshot wounds. In one of the phone calls, he said:

“He spoke fluently Dari. He told me, ‘What are you doing, Doctor? You love your life. You love your family. This is not good when you are collecting that data. It would make a big dangerous situation for you. You should stop that as soon as possible.”

If his allegation is true, the question is, who made that call?

History repeats itself

Will the American people, Afghans left behind, veterans of the Forever War, and the families of the 13 fallen ever get the truth about what happened that day? Those who are students of history would likely argue no.

Memories of the lies surrounding the death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman have some wondering if it’s possible the same scenario happened three years ago at Kabul airport. On the CNN report, Congressman Matt Waltz said:

“I was astounded by the CNN report that just came out showing footage that had never been seen before from a Marine that was there.”

The congressman went on to ask:

“…why wasn’t that included in either of the previous two Pentagon investigations?”

If I were to venture a guess, it would probably be because it would make the DOD and Pentagon “leaders” look bad. With rising tensions in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia, the American people should demand truth and accountability from the DOD.

Otherwise, American families run the risk of sending their sons and daughters off to more forever wars with the possibility of never knowing the truth behind what happens to them in foreign lands.

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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