Friendly fire pilot sues airforce

  1. I had hoped his conviction of dereliction of duty would have ended this saga and allowed the families some closure. I don't understand why he feels the need to sue the airforce. To me, it seems like a document released to the public isn't that big of a deal considering the gravity of the incident....

    http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/07/08.../schmidt040708

    U.S. 'friendly fire' pilot suing air force
    Last Updated Thu, 08 Jul 2004 15:10:54
    NEW ORLEANS - A U.S. fighter pilot appealing a dereliction of duty verdict in an accidental bombing that killed four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan is also suing the Air Force.


    IN DEPTH: Friendly fire case: the legal saga


    Harry Schmidt (AP file photo)
    The lawyer for Maj. Harry Schmidt said the lawsuit will seek damages because the air force released documents to the public about the case.

    Charles Gittins said the unprecedented release of the documents was a violation of Schmidt's privacy.

    The lawyer's comments come a day after he said his client plans to appeal the dereliction of duty conviction. On Tuesday, Schmidt was given a letter of reprimand and ordered to forfeit $5,600 US in pay.

    Related Story: U.S. 'friendly fire' pilot appealing conviction

    In the reprimand, Lt.-Gen. Bruce Carlson slammed Schmidt's conduct, saying he "acted shamefully … exhibiting arrogance and a lack of flight discipline."

    "The victims of your callous misbehaviour were from one of our staunch allies in Operation Enduring Freedom and were your comrades-in-arms," he wrote.

    Schmidt was one of two National Guard pilots who dropped bombs during a nighttime, live-fire military exercise near Kandahar on an April 2002 mission.

    The four soldiers were the first Canadians killed in combat since the Korean War. Eight others were wounded.

    Schmidt maintains he was not briefed on the Canadian exercise before the flight. He says he was told in the briefing that Taliban fighters were active in the area
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Well it is his right to do this, but it sure does not bring back those Canadian soldiers to their families and loved ones, does it? I wonder how he feels as he goes to sleep at night, about what happened. I sure as hell hope he is thinking and reflecting on more than this lawsuit he will perpetrate to assert his "rights" here.
  4. by   fergus51
    Quote from SmilingBluEyes
    Well it is his right to do this, but it sure does not bring back those Canadian soldiers to their families and loved ones, does it? I wonder how he feels as he goes to sleep at night, about what happened. I sure as hell hope he is thinking and reflecting on more than this lawsuit he will perpetrate to assert his "rights" here.
    I think that's why this has played so negatively in Canada. Every bit of this saga has been front page news up there. It seems like the other man (Umbach) took his lumps and let things go. Schmidt has been given a very light sentence considering his actions resulted in 4 deaths, so I don't see why he can't just accept it gracefully. It makes him seem really selfish.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Not at all front-page news here, fergus. BUT we subscribe to the Air Force Times, and I have been following the story there. It breaks my heart. Not the first time this has happened and it won't be the last, sadly. My heart goes out to the families of the lost here. Such a sad and wasteful loss.
  6. by   fergus51
    I wouldn't have expected it to be front page news here at all (if not for the CBC website, I would never get Canadian news here!). Those were the first Canadian soldiers killed in action in my lifetime. Unfortunately American soldiers haven't fared so well over the years so 4 dead soldiers doesn't garner the same attention. It's sad all around.
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Major Schmidt is from a small Illinois town about 30 miles from where I live. It really is a tragic mistake but that is what it was - a mistake. Not something that can be taken back certainly. This man and his family have gone through an awful lot too with the media circus this even has generated. There are no winners in this entire scenario -only losers. So very sorry for the families of the Canadian soldiers, but also sad for what Maj Schmidt and his co-pilot (who's name escapes me) have also endured.
  8. by   fergus51
    It's Umbach. I don't think anyone believe's Schmidt did this on purpose, just that he should let it go. What he's doing will only increase the media circus.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from fergus51
    It's Umbach. I don't think anyone believe's Schmidt did this on purpose, just that he should let it go. What he's doing will only increase the media circus.
    precisely ...no one is accusing of him of doing this on purpose. I agree w/fergus. It should be let go.
  10. by   canoehead
    he has no shame...

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