The U.S. government has an increasing problem regarding telling those who fund it – American taxpayers – the truth.
Among the most recent examples of this surrounds the extremely unfortunate death of Army Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler, 39. He was wounded and subsequently died earlier this week in a “planned rescue mission” to free a number of people being held in Iraq by ISAS, the self-described Islamic caliphate.
The Pentagon has refused to say he died as a soldier involved in a war. He was, instead, involved in “a train, advise and assist mission, not a combat one,” as The DailyBeast.com put it, that didn’t go off quite as planned. That’s hardly surprisingly, given the U.S.-acknowledged incompetence of Iraqi troops supposedly trained, at great expense, by the U.S. But, while the U.S. is supposedly not engaged in a war in Iraq, the Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter, has said Sgt. Wheeler’s death occurred “in combat, and things are complicated.”
It is highly unlikely that his survivors, including his wife and four children, views his death that way. To them, he is (as he should be to all U.S. citizens) a hero – a man who, during more than 20 years of military service, was deployed into war zones 14 times and earned 11 Bronze Star medals – four of them for valor in combat – as well as “many” other awards, according to The Wall Street Journal.
It remains to see how the U.S. government will attempt to compensate those victims – survivors – for their loss.
The U.S. military formally withdrew from Iraq at the end of 2011 and throughout the 2012 presidential election, the Obama repeatedly hailed the withdraw as a U.S. success story. Since 2011, there have been nine U.S. non-combat deaths in support of Iraq, many in the form of accidents at the U.S. naval base in Bahrain.