White House: Doctors Without Borders Incident Is “Profound Tragedy”

There will be three investigations into the incident, the White House press secretary said Monday.

Alex Wong AFP/Getty
Oct. 5, 2015, 2:52 p.m.

The White House said Monday that there will be three in­vest­ig­a­tions in­to an air­strike that dam­aged a hos­pit­al op­er­ated by Doc­tors Without Bor­ders in Afgh­anistan. The aid group said 22 people, three of whom were chil­dren, were killed in the strike, which oc­curred early Sat­urday morn­ing.

At a press brief­ing, White House press sec­ret­ary Josh Earn­est called the event a “pro­found tragedy,” one that was “sig­ni­fic­ant enough” to war­rant a full in­vest­ig­a­tion by the United States.

There will be a De­fense De­part­ment in­vest­ig­a­tion, a NATO in­vest­ig­a­tion, and a col­lab­or­at­ive in­vest­ig­a­tion between U.S. mil­it­ary forces and Afghan se­cur­ity of­fi­cials. The De­fense in­vest­ig­a­tion, Earn­est noted, has already be­gun and is be­ing led by Bri­gadier Gen­er­al Richard Kim.

“We’re talk­ing about doc­tors, who have left the safety and com­fort of their homes, to travel to a re­mote re­gion of the world that every­body knows is dan­ger­ous, and they are risk­ing their lives to use the skills that they have de­veloped to try to provide for the ba­sic med­ic­al needs of people who live in this com­munity,” Earn­est said. “And the fact that some of those in­di­vidu­als lost their lives over the week­end is a pro­found tragedy, and noth­ing less.”

Doc­tors Without Bor­ders has called it a “war crime” and, in the wake of the vi­ol­ence, ceased op­er­a­tions in the city.  

However, Earn­est de­clined to call the in­cid­ent a war crime. “I wouldn’t use a la­bel like that be­cause this is something that con­tin­ues to be un­der in­vest­ig­a­tion,” he said.

Earn­est re­as­sured re­port­ers “that there is no coun­try in the world and no mil­it­ary in the world that goes to great­er lengths and places a high­er premi­um on avoid­ing ci­vil­ian cas­u­al­ties than the United States De­part­ment of De­fense.”

The White House spokes­man also took a small swipe at the Taliban. That em­phas­is on avoid­ing ci­vil­ian deaths, Earn­est said, “cer­tainly stands in stark con­trast to the kinds of tac­tics that we see from oth­er fight­ing forces around the world—in­clud­ing even the Taliban—that in some cases doesn’t just dis­reg­ard the ex­ist­ence of ci­vil­ians but ac­tu­ally con­siders the pres­ence of ci­vil­ians an ap­peal­ing tar­get.” 

However, Earn­est then noted, “that does not in any way di­min­ish the ex­pect­a­tion of the com­mand­er in chief that the De­part­ment of De­fense will con­tin­ue to pri­or­it­ize pre­vent­ing ci­vil­ian cas­u­al­ties.”  

What We're Following See More »
LOWER COURT HAD INVALIDATED LIFE SENTENCE
SCOTUS Will Hear DC Sniper Case
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider Virginia’s plea to reinstate the life-without-parole sentence of a man who as a teenager participated in sniper shootings that terrorized the Washington, D.C., region in 2002. The justices said they will take up the state’s appeal in the case of Lee Boyd Malvo, who was 17 when he and John Allen Muhammad fatally shot 10 people in Maryland, Virginia and Washington. Malvo was sentenced to life-without-parole terms in Virginia and in Maryland, and Muhammad was sentenced to death and was executed in 2009. Malvo was sentenced to four life terms for crimes he committed in Virginia. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled last year that while Malvo’s life-without-parole sentences were legal when they were imposed."

Source:
PROSECUTORS, DOT ARE INVOLVED
U.S. Grand Jury Seeks info on How 737 MAX Is Made
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Federal prosecutors and Department of Transportation officials are scrutinizing the development of Boeing Co.’s 737 MAX jetliners, according to people familiar with the matter, unusual inquiries that come amid probes of regulators’ safety approvals of the new plane. A grand jury in Washington, D.C., issued a broad subpoena dated March 11 to at least one person involved in the 737 MAX’s development, seeking related documents, including correspondence, emails and other messages."

Source:
HAS NOT ATTENDED HIGH-LEVEL MEETINGS OF LATE
MBS Stripped of Some Powers
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The heir to the Saudi throne has not attended a series of high-profile ministerial and diplomatic meetings in Saudi Arabia over the last fortnight and is alleged to have been stripped of some of his financial and economic authority, the Guardian has been told. The move to restrict, if only temporarily, the responsibilities of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is understood to have been revealed to a group of senior ministers earlier last week by his father, King Salman."

Source:
TURKISH MAN BEING SOUGHT
Mass Shooting in Dutch City of Utrecht
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS
AUTHORIZED TO UNLOCK PHONES
Feds Raided Broidy's Offices Last Year
5 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Federal authorities raided the office of Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy last summer, seeking records related to his dealings with foreign officials and Trump administration associates, according to a sealed search warrant obtained by ProPublica. Agents were authorized to use the megadonor’s hands and face to unlock any phones that required fingerprint or facial scans."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login