Army to take new look at friendly fire death
By Joe Gould, Army Times, March 20, 2011
The Army is reinvestigating the 2008 friendly fire death of a 101st Airborne soldier whose team leader shot him and left him to die on the battlefield in Iraq, according to prior inquiries.But of particular interest to this blog is this:
The Army has notified David H. Sharrett, the father of Pfc. David Sharrett, 27, that it has launched a new and broader investigation.
An earlier probe found that the team leader, then-1st Lt. Timothy Hanson, left the battlefield on a helicopter while two of his soldiers were unaccounted for. Hanson subsequently received a temporary reprimand, was promoted to captain, and is now in the Reserve.
Sharrett, a former English teacher, has aggressively pressed the Army for information on his son’s death. He said he wants this inquiry, the Army’s third, to provide truth and accountability.
For years, Sharrett has met with his son’s colleagues and superiors, investigators and other general officers in an effort to wrangle information about how his son died.A lot of information was collected by the military in Iraq. Somewhere, there's footage and audio that's of direct relevance to the disappearance of Kirk von Ackermann and the murder of his colleague, Ryan Manelick. I guess the big question remains - why didn't investigators pursue those materials?
“I’m convinced that decisions were made early on that this is not going above any kind of level,” Sharrett said. “They were not counting on anyone being aggressive in pursuing what the truth was.”
Sharrett said he was eventually able to view gun-sight video from an Apache helicopter that provided a chilling infrared view of the battlefield.
“You can see Hanson getting on the helicopter, you can see [my son] up on the wide screen, he’s struggling, and in the same frame, [the team leader is] leaving,” Sharrett said. “That’s where it really, really got to me.”