U.S. Soldier Who Survived Shootout in Jordan Tells His Story

Jul 25, 2017 · 33 comments
Enlightened (Mexico)
I have to say that the USA seems to have strange values, when half of its civilians seems to be carrying AR-15 assault rifles in public and using them on other citizens, meanwhile US special forces are sent into Muslim countries with hand guns?
Paul (Virginia)
These slain soldiers were in Jordan to train Syrian rebels to fight against the Syrian government. Their deaths were senseless because they were there to train fighters supposedly belonging to a faction amid many different factions in the Syrian civil war, supported by a regional power (SA) in its quest for regional dominance against another regional power (Iran). There is no coherent and winnable US strategy and yet American soldiers are sent into hostile territory so that the US somehow would remain involved in the conflict.
planetary occupant (earth)
The video makes it abundantly clear that the four United States servicemen were attacked by surprise and for no reason, but the tribesmen of the attacker insist that he did nothing wrong.
Has our "alternative facts" sickness gone abroad? Is there no cure?
My sympathies to the men and to their families. They did nothing to bring this upon themselves.
Tart47 (Miami, Florida)
I'm sure the CIA has a possible explanation. I've been deployed to all over the world in special operations along with the CIA co-chairing and been in some pretty upset ti g situations which none were ever made public. A few who read this may know what I'm inferring to. I'm not blaming the CIA btw, but based on the Green Beret's statement what I'm thinking is possible. What would cause that allied experienced soldier to behave that way? As far as he's concerned he was under attack right???
San Ta (North Country)
And these are our "allies." Who needs enemies?

American involvement in the entire region should end - now. Unfortunately, there isn't one country, other than Israel, and perhaps Iran, that should be given any attention.

China and Russia are America's rightful concerns and the decades long US involvement in the region has bled the troops and the treasury. Enough.
Peter Kelly (Palominas, Arizona)
The ambush lasted 5 minutes - quite a long time in such a situation.
Where were senior officers and NCOs while this was going on?
Why was this matter covered up and made to appear as an accident?
JEFF HALL (JACKSONVILE,FL)
Covered up because of the mistakes: JEFF HALL JACKSONVILE,FL Pending Approval

I have watched the video many times and have these comments:
1. I think the first truck had a backfire which led the Sergeant to think an attack was occurring.
2.There was some breech of formal protocol regarding the movement of the trucks through the entrance, possibly not each one stopping.
3. Don't know the weather conditions that day but extreme heat and rational frontal cortex decisions don't go together.
4.The 9mm or .40 cal pistols were ineffective. Laser sights wouldn't have helped in the bright glare and millisecond response required. A long barrel .38,.357 or .44 revolver might have worked if:
5.the berets had been able to aim for the head, pelvis or legs more accurately with the long barrel pistol since the Sergeant had body armor on.
6. All those type of personel should have Heckler & Koch MP5 K or shotguns with them at all times.
That the Sargeant was shot in the neck by the survivor is an amazing event, made possible by the sacrifice of Moriarty raising up and firing his pistol against the M16.But unfortunately he probably aimed for center mass.
The other Jordanian guards and army personel going by in trucks and on the site knew that a mistake was occuring and didn't join in. If they had all 3 GB would have been killed.
The fog of war or the reptilian brain in action.
John Mardinly (Chandler, AZ)
Didn't we learn from Vietnam that warfare in situations where we can't tell friend from foe typically ends in disaster and we should stay out?
Steven Oh (Florida)
To the Soldiers who perished and survived:we remember your sacrifice. I see Soldiers doing everything in their power to abide by the rules of engagement (which we don't have in front of us). Everyone has a right to self-defense. The fact that they waived their arms to show that they were friendlies; ultimately losing their own lives is a testament to these men in support of their mission. The work of these heroes has repercussions at home as we rest safely in our homes. God bless you.
trblmkr (NYC)
I note his tribe is willing to ignore all evidence that their "brother" went haywire. What does the other gatekeeper say?
Mr. Grievesh (Blips and Chitz!)
Given the video and the surviving soldier's testimony, the sad truth is that, at this point, after so many of these instances, a sudden turn towards militant Islamism is a likely if not the likeliest explanation. We can accept that without having to give up opposition to Trump's ban on travelers and refugees or our sympathy for Muslims. But to deny that it's even a possible motive is to delude ourselves while providing fodder for Trump supporters' accusations that we've become too PC.
Michael Kaiser (Connecticut)
In the third video at the time 12:10:14 a puff of white smoke appears from behind the blue and white barrier to the RIGHT (from the perspective of the camera) of the pick up trucks. What caused that? A gunshot?
Doug (Nj)
Yes. But that was where the bullet struck, not where it came from
David (Happy Valley)
That was from the gun fire that killed two of the Green Berets, the third was killed as you saw in the video.
go26 (world)
Did you know that jewish tourists aren't allowed to pray with yarmulkes and phylacteries and prayer shawls. They have to deposit them at checkpoint or with authorities.
Doug (Nj)
Why are American soldiers in that land with pistols only? Are they being set up to die?
gp (VA)
Too bad the authorities weren't able to give the Jordanian a drug test. Maybe he was on some hallucinogenic and thought he was under attack.
Serial Immigrant (Madrid)
One recognizes the name of the tribe, Howeitat, from TE Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom as well as from the movie Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O' Toole. They were early supporters of Faisal (of Saudi Arabia) as well as the Hashemite dynasty that currently rules Jordan.

The ruling family in both countries draws a lot of their support from this large tribe spread across the northern part of the Arabian Peninsula. And as is common across the region, this tribal loyalty supersedes the established law.

The Jordanian culprit might have been jailed for life but would likely soon be released to placate an important domestic ally/support base.
San Ta (North Country)
Remember the sneer when Anthony Quinn mentioned the Howeitat.
DBC (VA)
We continue to deny in the name of political correctness!
Jason Galbraith (Little Elm, Texas)
The fact we are now seeing green on blues in countries where there is no fighting demonstrates that the entire Arab world is thoroughly fed up with our endless war policies. It is time to reconsider them.
go26 (world)
Huh?
Robert (<br/>)
And some of us wonder why so many come back with PTSD. I could almost smell the cordite.
Les Le Gear (New Jersey)
is anyone really surprised at this?
JEFF HALL (JACKSONVILE,FL)
No becausewhen the brain is functioning from the reptilian part you shoot first and ask questions later.
Howard64 (New Jersey)
"suicide" murders and most acts of war and aggression do not make sense to a "rational person" whom I include myself as.
Bob Aceti (Oakville Ontario)
I trust the CIA had enough money to install working security cameras with audio at training bases. This isn't the first time soldiers fired on "friendly advisers".

There was an incident in Iraq when an accidental mistaken identity by a young Kurdish base sentry fired on Canadian trainers. Sgt. Doiron was killed in the ensuing night-time incident. Three Canadian special forces trainors returned to base and while approachin the gates in a car there was confusion by the 17 y.o. sentry who didn't know the Canadians or the authenticity of the approaching car as friend or foe.

These are alwasy tragic. Investigations are required afterward. Good audio-video of the incident expedites equitable settlement of the fault and inform courts and security personnel on what is needed to avoid future friendly fire events.
Mary (Atlanta)
Did you watch the video?
JEFF HALL (JACKSONVILE,FL)
These thing will always happen. friendly fire is also an unfortunate occurance. We are not computers, but a compilation of several competing brain systems all operating simultaneously. Why?
Evolution through the eons required these different systems and until part of the reptilian system is genetically modified the human race will and CAN NOT change.
Jennifer (Massachusetts)
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Just. Stop. Killing. Other. Humans.
maxsub (NH, CA)
Gee, that's brilliant advise Jennifer. So, in your plan, what, the American soldiers should have just let themselves be shot because to respond would be/is immoral? Maybe you should make your way to the ISIS strongholds in Syria and Iraq, and the Al-Quaeda redoubts in Afghanistan and tell them this to their faces.
Brad Slater (Virginia)
That would be nice but the fact is we are there helping the Jordanians defend themselves from terrorists like this guy who would love for nothing more than to overthrow the government there and install a theocracy like they have in parts of Syria and Iraq. You know, the kind where homosexuals are thrown from roofs to their deaths and women are traded as sex slaves.
Joe (Queens, New York City)
Isaac Asimov wrote, “Violence is the last resort of the incompetent." We continually resort to violence because we lack the creativity and the leadership to be better humans. After killing millions (how many died of direct and indirect violence in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001?) are we safer? We are in a downward spiral of our own creation. USA has resorted to military options for far too long (South Korea, Vietnam, Pinochet in Chile, Contra rebels in Nicaragua, Guatemalan death squads, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, drone strikes around the world ... and this list is the somewhat recent stuff.)

Max and Brad are hiding behind the comfortable smoke screen of "what would you do in this dramatic situation." Instead, we have to think about the long-term - what we do in foreign policy matters. The next defense budget will be $700B - and yet we are still not 'safe.' So, obviously spending more resources on violence is not going to help us. We have to be tough enough to NOT fight. Who among you is tough enough to stand-down?
Latest
See also