Wednesday, September 05, 2007

LA Times: Matt Maupin's convoy was sent out despite threat

Keith Matthew Maupin: MIA since April 9, 2004. Thank you for your service; missing but not forgotten.

Via the LA Times (emphasis added):
Senior managers for defense contractor KBR overruled calls to halt supply operations in Iraq in the spring of 2004, ordering unarmored trucks into an active combat zone where six civilian drivers died in an ambush, according to newly available documents.
Company e-mails and other internal communications reveal that before KBR dispatched the convoy, a chorus of security advisors predicted an increase in roadside bombings and attacks on Iraq's highways. They recommended suspension of convoys...

...In an incident report, one of the escort soldiers wrote: "I started hearing bullets hit all over our trucks, around my head and door. They were zipping by. We pushed through the flames and kept rolling. It was just hell."

Eddie Sanchez, a driver from New Mexico, was rescued by U.S. soldiers. He recalled one who seemed angry, demanding: "Who are you guys? What are you guys doing out there? We have been fighting those guys for over 48 hours."

The final tally was grim. Six KBR drivers were dead. Most other drivers were wounded. Besides the kidnapped Hamill, another was missing. Tim Bell now is presumed dead. Two soldiers were killed. A third, Matt Maupin, was captured by insurgents and is still listed as missing. Hamill escaped after nearly three weeks and is back in the U.S...
Related: Captured Soldier Matt Maupin's Father Reacts To New Report



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