NYT: The “ISIS-K Planner” Killed By The Administration Was A Former U.S. Aid Worker Loading Water Containers

During the debacle in the withdraw from Afghanistan, the Biden Administration claimed to have killed an “ISIS-K Planner” but curiously refused to give his name despite repeated media requests. It was odd because clearly he knew about it as did his colleagues. Ten innocent people (rather than three claimed by the Administration) appear to have also died in the attack. However, now the New York Times reports that we may have vaporized an innocent person who was loading water rather than munitions into his car. Indeed, the newspaper suggests that he is a former U.S. Aid worker. If so, the report could trigger a compensation demand. We just discussed such compensation system in my Torts class.

The Administration announced late last month that the drone strike, carried out the day after a suicide bombing killed 13 U.S. service members, killed an alleged “ISIS-K planner” and an “associate.” However, the New York Times interviewed friends and family in Kabul as well as reviewed the tape of the attack. It believes that the target was Zemari Ahmadi, a longtime worker for a U.S. aid group” and “[t]he evidence suggests that his travels that day actually involved transporting colleagues to and from work. And an analysis of video feeds showed that what the military may have seen was Mr. Ahmadi and a colleague loading canisters of water into his trunk to bring home to his family.”

There are a number of questions that still must be answered. The Administration is still insisting that this was a legitimate killing. If not, there are also questions concerning the refusal to identify the target and the failure to reveal these serious questions over the possible mistaken attack.

Such attacks in wartime were treated as acts of “public necessity” under the common law where no compensation was required from governments. However, the United States has long compensated for damages caused in wartime.

In 1918, Congress allowed compensation for civilians harmed in France. Congress later expanded the 1918 Act with the Foreign Claims Act (FCA) during World War II to “promote and maintain friendly relations through the prompt settlement of meritorious claims.” At the time, the Acting Secretary of the Navy wrote a letter to Congress stating “Experience in connection with the presence of our armed forces in foreign countries has demonstrated that the failure to pay promptly for damages done to native residents by members of our forces is one of the principal sources of irritation which adds considerable difficulty to the maintenance of cordial relations with foreign people.”

These payments are called “solatia” and Army regulation 27-20, Paragraph 10- 10, provides “Payment of solatia in accordance with local custom as an expression of sympathy toward a victim or his or her family is common in some overseas commands.”

The United States might agree to pay compensation for the 10 other deaths while insisting that no compensation is necessary for the driver because he was a terrorist. The Pentagon claims that the secondary explosions show that there were explosives in the car but the New York Times also disputed the claim of secondary explosions.

The incident shows how little independent review occurs in such killings. The government is rarely forced to supply evidence supporting such attacks. Indeed, I opposed President Obama’s “kill list” policy due to the lack of such protections for U.S. citizens targeting for killing by a U.S. President.

The compensation under federal law is generally not something that can be demanded by foreign citizens in court. Indeed, even litigation over a wrongful death under the Federal Tort Claims Act is difficult on an extraterritorial basis. In the absence of congressional interest in the killing (which may be muted due to political considerations), the media has little ability to dig beyond witness accounts and the released videotapes.


39 thoughts on “NYT: The “ISIS-K Planner” Killed By The Administration Was A Former U.S. Aid Worker Loading Water Containers”

  1. The NYT released this late on Friday before 9/11, knowing most networks had already planned to cover the 20th anniversary ceremonies through the weekend. This sounds like they had to cover this story, which was critical of the Biden administration, but hoped it would not make much impact. Meanwhile the Taliban were beating journalists covering unfavorable stories, but allowing the Times wide-ranging free access to people and places in Kabul. Because the story gives a black eye to the US, you have to wonder whether the Taliban insisted that they release this story, perhaps as a condition to continued NYT presence in Kabul, or even a a condition of the continued safety of their staff.

  2. As soon as we lost 13 soldiers there was a call from the White House to the Pentagon. “We need targets RIGHT NOW!!” Pentagon, “Yes sir.” A Naval Academy football assistant coach was fired yesterday after a dismal performance. That is the extent of the military holding their people responsible. No consequences for killing innocent children.

  3. If this was a legitimate target, then they would have named him.

    Where did they get their intel? Most intelligence was already wheels up by that time. Since the Biden Administration allowed the Taliban to take over airport “security”, and by that I mean preventing Americans and Afghan allies from leaving, did it also receive “intelligence” from the Taliban as well?

  4. Why Is Turley Linking The NYT?

    Is Liberal Media ‘Occasionally’ Credible?

    Typically Professor Turley writes at least 5 columns per week lamenting the ‘liberal bias’ he believes is so pervasive in mainstream media. Turley hits on this topic so frequently that his written voice gets hoarse decrying the unfairness of it all. To hear Turley tell it, every conservative in America is a victim of mainstream media deserving of Reparations.

    Yet occasionly Turley finds an article in The New York Times or Washington Post that is embarrassing to Democrats. Turley seizes on these stories for columns like today’s, gleefully linking The NYT as ‘proof’ the revelation is credible. Though Turley, and his readers, fail to realize that by linking The NYT, Turley reveals that ‘he’ too is an NYT reader.

    Turley knows that The NYT and Washington Post carry more hard news than any other sources. The best writers, editors and graphic designers are employed by those two papers. So Turley’s feelings towards these mainstream titans is mixed and highly conflicted. ‘Why can’t they carry hard news friendly to conservatives?’

    It all comes back to optics. When fine writers analyze conservative policies and positions, the optics are often negative. Like vaccine mandates, for instance. 650,000 Americans have died of Covid since the Pandemic began.

    The virus remains an active threat; challenging not just our healthcare system, but the educations of everyone from Kindergarten to Grad School. Our economic recovery is possibly stalling out as a result of suspense regarding the Delta Varient. Yet Republicans are far more concerned with so-called ‘personnel freedoms’ than ending the pandemic.

    No credible news source can cover Republican responses to the pandemic without Republicans looking totally irresponsible. This is one, current example of ‘why’ mainstream media appears consistently hostile to conservatives. Optics are everything!
    Still, Johnathan Turley will link the NYT when it suits his narratives. And Turley’s conservative followers are blind to the hypocrisy!

    1. Excuse me, but your inadequacy is showing!

      You embarrass yourself, comrade.

      It’s Professor Turley, to you.

    2. ANON So full of it YOU ARE about to pop. DT wanted to close travel to and from China in Jan 2020. He was call racists, zenophobic and on. Dems just continued on with impezchment. DT then said would have vaccine with in 12 months or so. All you Dems aout yelkling 24 months to 5 years. We now know Commo lied and dived, along with some groping don’t we. Hell if it wasn’t for all the Dems moving to Fla the virus % would be going down. They leave BLUE STATE GO TO A RED STATE AND VOTE IN THE SAME CRAP THEY RUNNING FROM. wHY DON’T YOU JUST START YOUR OWN WEB AND CUT THE BS HERE?

    3. Seems your only point is to bash Turley. The NYT article can be verified by other sources. Yet again the Biden administration shows how deadly inept they are.

  5. Minor correction: solatium payments are small amounts of money paid as expressions of regret, customary on parts of the Far East. They are not compensatory. The US often compensates the innocent victims of military attacks, while still claiming that the attack was permitted under the law of war, through ex gratia payments under the Foreign Claims Act and similar statutes. Prime example: the Iranair 655 claims, shot down by the Navy in 1988.

  6. We should never be in a war overseas again. We can’t make the world safe for democracy. Y’all remember that nitwit named Woodrow Wilson?
    If Iran sends over terrorists then bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. But don’t invade.

  7. I believe Turley is confusing two drone strikes. The first against an alleged planner and an associate was not in Kabul. The second, against alleged suicide bombers in a truck, was in Kabul and happened a couple of days later. I believe this story is about the second. It appears that there were no suicide bombers and there was no truck. Just an Afghan family of a US helper and their car. Has the US government acknowledged this yet?

    1. The targeting camera footage from the drone should settle many of the factual issues, such as whether there was a secondary explosion. If it is not released to the public, then “res ipsa loquitur.” The US often gives ex gratia compensation to innocent victims of military action, while maintaining that the destructive act itself was permitted under the law of war. Prime example, Iranair flight 655 shot down by the Navy in 1988. Minor correction: solatium payments are not compensatory, but small amounts as expressions of regret for a death, customary in parts of the Far East, and are paid from military operational funds. Substantive payments are based on the Foreign Claims Act and other statutes.

  8. I suspected as much. Refreshing to see a news organization commit an act of journalism. It will be interesting to see how this plays in the media. It should and those responsible should be called out. It is one thing to have a high level of confidence and act soberly and another to have pressure to “do something.”

    A few years ago, a group of neurologists from the Walter Reed National Military Medical Hospital gave a lecture on the impact of traumatic brain injury caused from explosive blasts. This is the signature injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict. The statistics are shocking. They pointed out that in modern warfare we see a low number of KIA because emergency medicine has advanced and if a soldier is given prompt and proper treatment, patient mortality is low compared to earlier conflicts. What is not often discussed is the devastation that results from TBI caused by the advanced IED (improvised explosive device). The blast can forcefully (putting it mildly) knock soldiers over or through the air and lift heavy equipment off the ground. The number of war veterans who have been diagnosed with at least Mild TBI number in the hundreds of thousands. Approximately 10% of TBI patients suffer moderate to severe diagnosis and the results are devastating, rendering the victim partially or fully disabled.

    I point this out because the news often reports KIA but rarely discusses the wounded or the civilians.

  9. Feeling comfortable in your U.S. citizenship still? Don’t forget, this administration is laser-focused on the real threat to this country: domestic terrorism driven by white, conservative, Christian men and women who love their country. In other words, radical, white supremacist nationalists.

    1. Olly says:

      “…the real threat to this country: domestic terrorism driven by white, conservative, Christian men and women who love their country….”

      Your insinuation that *Jewish* Conservatives don’t love this county to fight for it as do Christian Conservatives is not going to sit well with Mark Levin!

  10. If the New York Times story is true, paying compensation to the innocent victims will be the least of our concerns. George Floyd became a rallying cry for widespread destructive conduct, even killing, by our own citizens and he was a low-life criminal. Our media and democrat politicians embraced the riots and looting as justified. Today especially it is easy to imagine how our slaughter of ten innocent people in Afghanistan, including children, will be used by Islamic terrorists to radicalize others to join them in their war against the Great Satan. I have never seen or read about an American administration that is more incompetent.

    1. To: HonestLawyerMostly, September 11, 2021 at 10:16
      Re: I have never seen or read about an American administration that is more incompetent.

      You have to think in terms of what they are REALLY trying to accomplish. I suggest the disemboweling of the American experiment of the founding fathers, in which case, they are succeeding brilliantly.

      1. Olde Edo……. You are giving them too much credit.
        Yes, there are sinister major players backing them $$ and pulling strings, to destroy what we have, but so many of the top stratum of sycophants in the White House and cabinet are so void of common sense, they’re ignorant of just how seriously and dangerously they’re being manipulated.
        Well, you know…if it wasn’t taught at Oxford,Yale or Harvard………..fugetaboutit

    1. To: prophet2020, September 11, 2021 at 10:14 AM
      I agree 100%. Republicans who are puffing themselves up with self-righteous indignation at the truly abhorrent actions of the neolib Democrats now need to reflect on the actions of the neocons under GW Bush and Cheney.
      It is not a simple partisan political issue. There are malignant forces behind the scenes using whatever maleable pawns are available to concentrate power and money into their own hands.
      Going back a bit further, there was the “assassination craze” of the 1960’s, the Vietnam War, etc. etc., all to whose benefit?

  11. Boy howdy, I just love the transparency of this new Administration. Reminds me of the days of when LBJ, Ron Ziegler, and the trickster himself were on the airwaves

  12. The Biden administration was so eager to be seen to do something, anything, that they apparently murdered 10 innocent people.

    More than murder, it appears that the administration lied to the country.

    By the way, kudos to the NYT for actually reporting for a change.

    Time for housecleaning. Austin and Milley have to go.

    On another note, the economy is starting to show signs of distress. And the $3.5 trillion package is still being pushed.

    Hey Lefties. Still feeling good about the election?

    1. By the way, kudos to the NYT for actually reporting for a change.

      Sen. Cotton is wondering who is getting fired. And then the follow up story blaming Trump.

    2. Monument, as usual you are spot on! Now we can await for the reply of EB that “hey, Turley works for Fox” and a 100 word diatribe by Natacha about something that uses a lot of words to say nothing of value.

      1. How about your hero’s words regarding 911 (or 711, as he has called it). From Mediaite:

        President Donald Trump is marking the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by providing commentary for a gimmick boxing match in Florida, an insult that serves as the start of our countdown of the Top 17 Times Trump Was Awful or Inappropriate or Just Plain Lying About 9/11.

        Trump has a very long history of messed up remembrances of those tragic attacks, a history that stretches all the way back to just hours after they began. Here are 16 more of those occasions, many of which may be new to you, in roughly chronological order.

        Tallest Building … or not.

        Trump got off to a quick start, bragging on 9/11/2001 that since the Twin Towers had been destroyed hours earlier, he now owned the tallest building in the area.

        “Forty Wall Street actually was the second tallest building in downtown Manhattan,” Trump said, adding “and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest, and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second tallest. And now it’s the tallest.”

        As ghastly as that boast was, it was also — shockingly — not true.

        “I’d fly into that!”

        During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show on September 11, 2002, Trump marked the first anniversary of the attacks by joking with Howard Stern about replacing the World Trade Center with a statue of then-girlfriend Melania Knauss.

        “Maybe we should build a television tower there,” Trump suggested during the interview.

        “Believe me, a statue of your girlfriend would be perfect right there,” Stern quipped.

        “Well, that would be an idea,” an amused Trump replied.

        Stern and co-host Robin Quivers joked that no one would fly into a statue of Melania.

        As the group laughed at that idea, a Stern intern added: “I’d like to fly into that!”

        “Muslim Problem”

        Trump’s hatred of Muslims was evident long before his presidential campaign, as in this March 31, 2011 interview with future disgraced Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Asked if there is “a Muslim problem in the world,” Trump made a super-racist contrast.

        “I don’t notice Swedish people knocking down the World Trade Center. There certainly is,” Trump told O’Reilly.

        “Haters and Losers”

        In 2013, Trump marked the anniversary by extending “best wishes” to all the “haters and losers.”

        “@realDonaldTrump: I would like to extend my best wishes to all, even the haters and losers, on this special date, September 11th.”

        — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 12, 2013

        Imaginary Cheering Muslim Lie

        During his presidential campaign, as part of a relentless campaign against Muslims, claimed to have seen “thousands and thousands” of people from “areas with large Arab populations” in New Jersey cheering when the Twin Towers were destroyed on 9/11, an utterly false claim.

        I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.

        “Do you know the power that gives me?”

        Trump also has a habit of using the attacks of 9/11 as a way to brag about his own television ratings, as he did in a 2016 campaign speech in Iowa.

        “‘Face the Nation’ put out a release last week that they had, their interview with Donald Trump, long interview, from Florida, that it was the highest-rated show they’ve had in 15 or 16 years, since the fall of the World Trade Center,” Trump told the crowd. “Highest-rated show!”

        The press release did not, in fact, reference the attacks of 9/11.

        Or when he told another crowd, in Myrtle Beach, the same factoid, and asked: “Do you know the power that gives me?”

        Never Forget 7-Eleven

        At a 2016 rally in Buffalo, Trump misstated the site of the attacks for a popular convenience store.

        “I wrote this out, and it’s very close to my heart — because I was down there, and I watched our police and our firemen down on 7-Eleven, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down, and I saw the greatest people I’ve ever seen in action,” Trump said.

        “I Helped a Little Bit”

        During the same rally in Buffalo, Trump also claimed, without evidence, to have helped clear the rubble at Ground Zero following the attacks.

        “Everyone who helped clear the rubble — and I was there, and I watched, and I helped a little bit — but I want to tell you: Those people were amazing,” Trump said.

        Fist Pump!

        In 2018, Trump skipped the traditional moment of silence on the White House lawn to observe the anniversary in Shanksville, PA, and greeted supporters at the airport with a poignant double-fist-pump and lip-bite.

        He also marked the anniversary that year by chirpily tweeting “17 years since September 11th!”

        17 years since September 11th!

        — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2018

        I’m Not a First Responder, But…

        In July of this year, Trump modestly declared himself not a first responder, rejecting a title no one had given him.

        “I was down there also,” Trump said during a bill-signing ceremony in the Rose Garden. “But I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you.”

        “Tiny Period of Time with a Bullhorn”

        Just a few weeks ago, in an interview with Bloomberg News, Trump bitterly complained about 9/11 as an obstacle to his own historic popularity with Republicans.

        I am actually a very popular president, which people don’t like to say, you know. In fact, I guess the Republican poll came out, there’s one at 92 and one at 93 and one at 90, and they’re the highest numbers that have ever been, with the exception of a tiny period of time with a bullhorn.

        But that period lasted for about a week.

        RSVP Taliban

        Finally, on a date that is currently unclear, Trump decided to invite the Taliban — which harbored the terrorists who carried out the attacks — to Camp David just days before the 18th anniversary of those attacks, only to cancel them at the last minute. On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed that this was Trump’s idea.

        Never Forget … The Fake Polls

        In 2019, Trump marked the day, in part, by ranting about negative polls.

        Osama bin Laden Was a One-Hit Wonder

        Just two weeks ago, Trump tried to brag that he killed much bigger terrorists than bin Laden, and told Hugh Hewitt that “Osama bin Laden had one hit, and it was a bad one, in New York City, the World Trade Center.”

        He made a similar remark to Sean Hannity to round out the 16th spot on our list.

        Leave it to Trump to beat the buzzer. On Saturday morning, after taking a lot of heat over the boxing match, he released a 104-second video that spent about 20 seconds commemorating 9/11, and the rest of it attacking Joe Biden.

        And of course, number 18 is the yet-to-occur boxing match, giving Trump a shot at increasing his score.

        1. Land o’ Goshen, Natacha! 1,192 words of pure, unvarnished Trump Derangement Syndrome. We were expecting only 100. Are you off your meds again?

          1. I looked up “Natacha” in Orwell’s Dictionary of Newspeak, and it means “skip this comment”.

        2. Natacha,

          Trumpists can’t handle the truth. I admire your persistence in trying to fight this cult. Rest assured that Trumpism will not last, and these same Trumpists one day will claim they never believed a word he said nor voted for him. As hard as they will try, they will never wash off the excrement of Trumpism.

          1. “As hard as they will try, they will never wash off the excrement of Trumpism.”

            LOL Jeff Silberman, the Baudelaire of scatology.

    3. “Time for housecleaning. Austin and Milley have to go.”

      YES! And don’t forget to fire Adm. Michael Gilday. He’s also a fan of leftwing propaganda and purging conservatives from the military. He had great fun openly taunting GOP members of Congress with his notions on critical race theory. And Biden is firing all Trump appointees to the Board of Visitors for the service academies, so the “purging” claim is not bogus. It’s happening.

      Milley’s and Gilday’s leftwing indoctrination is designed to get conservatives and Christians to quit. I would beg those same folks to stay in the military and ride it out.

      The Democrats want a military that is willing to carpet bomb Texas in case the Democrats decide to pack the Supreme Court and screw federal election law. We need the military rank-and-file to stay loyal to the Constitution. It complicates the plans of the Pentagon’s Marxists.

    4. Monument says:

      “By the way, kudos to the NYT for actually reporting for a change.”

      And kudos to you for admitting that Trump lied by calling it “fake news.”

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