In what may well be the single most tactless comments he’s made yet, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, in open testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he believed the parents of slain US hostages James Foley and Steven Sotloff should feel more grateful to the Pentagon for its botched rescue attempt.
Dempsey declared the failed mission “the most complex, highest risk mission we’ve ever undertaken,” and that the attempt “should give the family some solace.”
Though Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had referred to the mission as a “flawless operation” in previous comments, the reality is that it was an unmitigated disaster from the word go, with US officials wandering around Antakya, Turkey, just across the border from the ISIS capital, asking random people if they knew where the hostages were being held.
By the time the military was ready to go in, ISIS knew they were coming and had plenty of time to relocate the hostages. When the ground troops got to the jail and found no one inside, they attacked some ISIS forces elsewhere in town, then set the jail on fire and left.