Vive Le Canada

'Friendly fire' pilot repeats coverup allegation
Date: Monday, October 31 2005

'Friendly fire' pilot repeats coverup allegation

Last Updated Fri, 28 Oct 2005 18:09:11 EDT
CBC News

U.S. Maj. Harry Schmidt, who dropped a bomb that accidentally killed four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan in 2002, has again claimed that he was the victim of a coverup by U.S. military authorities.

In a new book on the incident, Friendly Fire: The Untold Story, he tells author Michael Friscolanti that any inquiry into the incident could raise questions about the control system the air force used on April 18, 2002, when Pte. Richard Green, Pte. Nathan Smith, Cpl. Ainsworth Dyer and Sgt. Marc Léger died after Schmidt mistook them for Afghan insurgents and dropped a bomb.

"They didn't want to fix the problem. They wanted to fix the blame," Schmidt said, almost exactly the same phrase he used in his first talk on TV about the incident, in June.

However, Col. John Odom, who led the prosecution against Schmidt and his wingman, has said the pilots broke the rules. Schmidt was told not to drop the bomb, but did so.

Friscolanti reported that the U.S. air force did not know the Canadians were in the area, even though Canadian officials informed the U.S. headquarters.

In the book, Schmidt said the attack only became an issue because it involved non-Americans.

"I think I'm a victim of the fact that it was an international accident," Schmidt told Friscolanti. If the bomb had killed Americans, the Pentagon would have hushed it up.

But because it involved Canadians, the Pentagon had to recognize the command system was flawed, or find someone to blame.

"You're going to put America's command-and-control structure on trial?" Schmidt told Friscolanti. "It's not going to happen."

This article comes from Vive Le Canada

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