Although the Marines from Fox Company have been cleared of killing Afghan civilians in 2007 by an internal investigative board, unwarranted stigma continues to this day, which is why Rep. Walter Jones Jr. introduced a resolution in Congress to finally exonerate the.
In an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation, Jones said he wants either the Marine Corps or Department of Defense to issue an official statement that Marines deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 and caught in a deadly insurgent ambush are not at fault for the ensuing firefight.
To that effect, Jones, who has been active on this case ever since it started in 2007, introduced the resolution into the House in early January and plans to hold a press conference Feb. 16 to gain support.
While a 2008 internal Court of Inquiry exonerated Fox Company following the firefight, the press and military leadership savaged the Marines repeatedly in public. Then-Army Lt. Gen. Frank Kearney expelled them from Afghanistan before an investigation was even completed. Top regional U.S. commander at the time Army Col. John Nicholson said the killings were “a stain on our honor.” Fox Company was accused of war crimes and of instigating the shoot-out, but neither allegation turned out to be true.
Still, those initial, hasty allegations have carried the day in the public’s mind.
Retired Marine Maj. Fred Galvin, who headed Fox Company, told TheDCNF that these falsehoods have severely damaged the lives of his Marines and haunt them even up to the present — some 10 years later.
“The Marine Corps’ refusal to fully exonerate us has led to these Marines lives continuing to suffer from US Army and US Marine Corps generals false statements and complete disregard for the morale and health of 7 MARSOC Marines involved in this case who have suffered from cancer, diabetes, divorce, PTSD, financial hardship, and unemployment,” Galvin said. “The Marines who were falsely accused have continually ran into issues of unemployment caused by the false allegations in the media of ‘killing Afghan civilians.’”
In Galvin’s case, he applied to more than 400 positions, only to be granted one interview and not receive a single offer of employment. To survive, he started his own business.
For Jones, this unmerited stain on the public record of these Marines is unconscionable. He introduced this same exact resolution in September 2015, but knew it wouldn’t pick up traction because of the upcoming presidential election. He told TheDCNF that he’s hopeful the resolution will quickly gain support under a new Trump administration, and noted that Vice President-elect Mike Pence is a personal friend, with whom he served for 12 years.
“We are hopeful that we can get the Marine Corps of the Department of Defense to issue an official notification that the court of inquiry said these Marines were not at fault,” Jones said. “That’s our plan.”
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