Tags: Cole | Guards | Told | Not | Fire | First

Cole Guards Told Not to Fire First

Tuesday, 14 November 2000 12:00 AM

The Washington Post is reporting in its Tuesday issue that recent interviews with 20 crew members have also revealed:

• The destroyer's rules of engagement, approved in advance by the Pentagon, kept its guards from firing upon the small boat loaded with explosives as it neared them without first obtaining permission from the Cole's captain or another officer.

• Petty Officer John Washak said that right after the small boat blew a 40-by-40-foot hole in the destroyer's side, killing 17 of its crew, a senior chief petty officer ordered him to turn an M-60 machine gun on the Cole's fantail away from a second small boat approaching.

"With blood still on my face," he said, he was told: "That's the rules of engagement – no shooting unless we're shot at.

"In the military, it's like we're trained to hesitate now. If somebody had seen something wrong and shot, he probably would have been court-martialed."

• Petty Officer Jennifer Kudrick said that if the sentries had fired on the suicide craft "we would have gotten in more trouble for shooting two foreigners than losing 17 American sailors."

• The boat that exploded may have attempted first to tie up to the Cole's stern, then after being ordered away moved to the port side of the hull.

• Some crew members took it to be a harmless local craft hired by the Cole to assist it in mooring.

• FBI investigators said Islamic militants, even one of the suicide bombers, may have boarded and surreptitiously surveyed the Cole as it transited the Suez Canal a few days before the attack Oct. 12 in the harbor of Aden in Yemen, where it was to refuel.

• The FBI questioned crew members about the "agitated" behavior of the Yemeni pilot who guided the Cole into port.

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The Washington Post is reporting in its Tuesday issue that recent interviews with 20 crew members have also revealed: • The destroyer's rules of engagement, approved in advance by the Pentagon, kept its guards from firing upon the small boat loaded with explosives as it...
Cole,Guards,Told,Not,Fire,First
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2000-00-14
Tuesday, 14 November 2000 12:00 AM
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