Most of the headlines about the Afghan who shot and killed American plumber Jay Henigan inside the the super-secure US embassy complex in Kabul on September 25 describe the shooter as an "Afghan worker" or an "Afghan employee of the US embassy."
The September 27 AP story about the shooting -- "Afghan Worker Kills CIA Contractor in Kabul" -- is typical. Later in the story, however, we read this:
A U.S. official in Washington said the Afghan attacker was providing security to the CIA office ...
Embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall declined to comment on what the targeted annex was used for, citing security reasons. Sundwall said the Afghan employee was not authorized to carry a weapon, and it was not clear how the man was able to get a gun into the secured compound.
Well, that's funny. How could the killer have been "providing security" if he "was not authorized to carry a weapon"?
On September 28, the AP published a story about the victim and his family back in Sycamore, Illinois. Besides details about Henigan -- he leaves behind two siblngs, three sons and an 87-year-old father and was a happy-go-lucky kind of man -- we read:
Embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall said Tuesday that previous reports that the Afghan worker was not authorized to carry a weapon inside the complex were premature, and it was unclear whether that was the case.
Premature? More mystery.
But there, as far as national media are concerned, the matter will probably rest forever as they swivel their focus to the next story, and then the next.
But guess what? That Afghan "worker" who was or wasn't authorized to carry a weapon was in fact an Afghan US embassy guard and, as such, hired and required to carry a weapon.
Q: Why was this most basic fact was soft-pedaled, distorted and downright held down for three or four days by the US government?
A: Because the headlines would have been too outrageously embarassing to Uncle Sucker: "Afghan Guard at US Embassy Kills CIA Contractor."
As usual, it takes hometown newsies to ferret out the essential details. Does the US government now breath a sigh of relief that only a grieving local community has learned the truth?
From WLS-TV Chicago on September 29:
In the DeKalb County town of Sycamore, a memorial was held Thursday for a local plumber who is the latest victim in the war on terror.
No, he is the latest victim of US counterinsurgency theory that holds that "partnership" with Afghans will make them "trust" us, not the Taliban.
It It has worked so well in Pakistan. ... but I digress.
Jay Todd Henigan, 61, was working at the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan when he was killed by an Afghan security guard.
The attack occurred about 9 p.m. last Sunday, in a building on the grounds of the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, considered the most heavily fortified compound in the Afghan capital. The American-paid Afghan security guard was inside the walls where Henigan, the Sycamore plumber, happened to be.
When the gunfire ended, Henigan and the guard were dead, and a second American was wounded.
The U.S. embassy in Kabul is a constant target for Taliban militants. Two weeks ago it was under siege for 19 hours. Between the embassy and NATO headquarters, seven people ended up dead.
Even for a city where high-level visitors wear body armor on the outside, last Sunday night, things seemed to be quiet, until Illinois plumber Henigan was hit by gunshots fired by an Afghan national working embassy security.
On Thursday in Kabul, embassy spokesman Gavin Sundwall told the I-Team that the first reports about the incident were wrong.
The first reports, and the second, third and umpteenth, too.
Not only was the Afghan guard armed, he was authorized to be armed on the premises.
The motive for the attack is unknown...
There is still ferocious fighting underway by American forces in parts of Afghanistan. Sunday's deadly attack was preceded by an explosion at the U.S. embassy compound, according to one report by an Afghan news organization. The blast was said to be followed by gunfire -- all of it in an outbuilding that houses the CIA. ...
Thursday evening, in a quaint chapel near his Sycamore home, friends and relatives are gathering for what they call a remembrance celebration for a man who was just "at the wrong place at the wrong time," according to one military official.
This is not the first time such an incident has occurred. Last year, the I-Team revealed that Indiana Marine Josh Birchfield was shot and killed by an Afghan security guard paid by the Pentagon, a guard who was high on opium at the time. ...
I checked my ad hoc tally of Afghan "ally" murders and Birchfield's February 2010 death, reported as killed in action, doesn't show up.
So with Henigan and Burchfield, RIP. that's two more to add to the grim toll of COIN madness: At least
39 42 Westerners killed by Afghan "allies" in the last 22 months.