Lotifi Hassan Misto was going about his business herding sheep in Syria’s Idlib province May 18 when a US drone strike blew him to smithereens.
Pentagon officials immediately announced we killed an al-Qaeda leader bent on terrorizing the homeland. That could well have been a recorded response that has been played hundreds, maybe thousands of times since the War of Terror began 22 years ago this September.
But the Pentagon fable quickly fell apart when family members came forward to defend Misto and grieve for his 10 kids now without a dad. They were backed up by terrorism experts who told the Washington Post Misto was likely not affiliated with al-Qaeda.
A Pentagon official offered an “oops” stating “We are no longer confident we killed a senior AQ official.” But another official claimed the person they killed was al-Qaeda without offering an iota of evidence. “Though we believe the strike did not kill the original target, we believe the person to be al-Qaeda” With that the Pentagon has gone silent, refusing to release any details of the sheepherder killing attack.
That’s what we get folks for our trillion dollar annual military and intelligence budget. Murder and mayhem around the world. And less sheepherders to threaten the Homeland.
Walt Zlotow became involved in antiwar activities upon entering University of Chicago in 1963. He is current president of the West Suburban Peace Coalition based in the Chicago western suburbs. He blogs daily on antiwar and other issues at www.heartlandprogressive.blogspot.com.