Monday, January 20, 2020
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Jan 24

Written by: Diana West
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 8:09 AM 

The Kajaki Sofla "bazaar"

---

From the emailbag this a.m.:

Ms. Diana West,
 
My name is LT Joe Nawrocki.  I am a Public Affairs Officer in Regional Command Southwest, at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.
 
I just read your article titled, “Uncle Sam Hides the Truth about Kajaki” and wanted to ask whom did you try to contact at Camp Leatherneck?  We never received any word that you were trying to contact us, so I apologize for that.

If you have any further questions, please send them my way and I will do my best to answer.

R,
LT Nawrocki
 
LT Joseph M. Nawrocki (USN)
 
Regional Command Southwest Public Affairs
Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan

So thoughtful! So polite! And, more interesting, no beef with my facts as written. I replied:

Dear Lt Nawrocki,

How nice of your to "reach out."

No, I am simply trying to make sense of the news as it released by the
military authorities and reported, as all Americans must do.

But now that I have you on the line, am I correct to have deduced that
Cpl. McGeath was killed in the suicide blast at Kajaki and, if so, why
wasn't that fact included in the official report that he "died in
support of combat operations"?

Were there any other NATO forces killed
or wounded in the blast?

Also, was the Afghan official quoted by the AP correct to say that NATO
forces "were also working at the construction site"? What does that
mean?

Best wishes,
Diana West

His response:

So what you are saying then is you never tried to attempt to contact
anyone in RC(SW) and your article is all opinion, based on military
authorities and what is available in open source media?  Is that
correct?
R,
LT

My post couldn't be clearer about what sources are under discussion. But say, wait a minute: Who's interviewing whom? 

I replied:

Is that your answer to my questions, Lt.?

(If you have any further questions, please send them my way and I will
do my best to answer.
..)

He wrote:

The investigating authority would be the best resource to answer the question about Cpl McGeath, our office did not conduct the investigation. Therefore it would be inappropriate to comment as to why something was or was not placed in an official report, because I would just be guessing.  I can tell you that we take EVERY investigation we conduct very seriously, especially those that deal with the death of a service member. Our men and women in uniform are our greatest assets and we owe it to them to ascertain every detail of the events that transpired up to their sacrifice.  Our thoughts and prayers goes out to the families of Cpl McGeath as they deal with this tragedy. 

Then he restated one of my questions:

Question: Was the Afghan official quoted by the AP correct to say that NATO forces "were also working at the construction site"? What does that mean?

His answer:


I am sure the official was correct in his statement. We have many projects that are being worked at the same time, and have multiple agencies that are involved in these projects. There are USMC Engineering Battalions, USAID, and the State Department, all working very hard to provide a better future for the people of Afghanistan.  We have civilian experts that assist us, and we work on many projects with our Afghan counterparts. Only by working together can we accomplish our mission and improve the lives of Afghan civilians. 

Hopefully I have been able to provide some clarity to your questions. Thank you very much for contacting RC(SW).  I was happy to provide you with the answers to your questions.

R,

LT Nawrocki

LT Joseph M. Nawrocki (USN)

Regional Command Southwest Public Affairs
Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan

Well, that was unenlightening. I wonder why the PA office bothered?

I will note, sadly, that local media in Ithaca, New York have reported today that Marine Cpl. Christopher Bordoni, 21, was critically injured in the January 18 suicide attack on the Kajaki bazaar, which also took the life of Marine Cpl. Phillip McGeath, 25. Today's update on Kajaki posted at the RC (SW) website, however, still omits mention of any American casualties. I can't claim to know why.

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