Linda Norgrove’s Father Embodies Dignity Under Fire
LINDA Norgrove died in the Kunar region of Afghanistan because a US Navy Seal on a mission to rescue her feared for his safety (panicked?) and tossed a grenade.
The aide worker had been kidnapped by “brigands”. She was being kept prisoner in a remote mountain valley.
Two helicopter crews of elite US forces set out to rescue her. One crew landed too far away from the target to help in the fire fight, during which the soldier who tossed the grenade had his gun jam.
After Linda Norgrove was killed, it took 42 hours for the truth to come out – the initial explanation was that the insurgents had murdered her.
Brigadier Robert Nitsch, told the inquest:
“The team leader, in a previous tour of Afghanistan, has witnessed an insurgent blowing himself up in front of him. In his mind, that is what has happened here. (This was) one of the contributing factors why it wasn’t confirmed until later that Linda was killed by this grenade rather than by a suicide vest..”
“I think it’s very creditable of the American authorities to accept that mistakes were made and to instigate an investigation which we found to be very full and thorough. On the actual night in question a series of chance events all went the wrong way, one after another after another. There appears to have been an error of judgment by one soldier in an action which lasted under one minute.”
It’s a dignified response to a tragedy. The vested interest groups will look to apportion blame. But in the heat of battle, mistakes are made…