On October 4, 2017, a group of U.S. and Nigerian forces was cornered by an enemy force in Tongo Tongo, Niger. They had zero backup and no way of getting a medical evacuation. In the fray, four Americans were killed.
However, the truth was not what was released to the masses. But, a recent ABC News documentary released on Hulu, “3212: UN-REDACTED” follows along with what happened on October 4the and the attempts to cover it up by top military officials.
Islamic State militants in Niger led the attack killing Army special operators Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson, Sgt. LaDavid Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright. Initially, Gen. Thomas Waldhauser took responsibility for the mission. However, as the investigation progressed, Waldhauser’s claim of responsibility began to diminish.
Waldhauser said the Operational Detachment Alpha 3212 did not complete “basic social-level routine tasks,” He blamed the company commander, Maj. Alan Van Saun, for not training them properly, though he did not have the authority to sign off on their training, according to ABC News.
The documentary is the work of ABC News’ James Gordon Meek. His investigative news piece crafted a story that was different than what the Pentagon sold in 2018.
The men were sent in alone to capture Doundoun Cheffou, ISIS subcommander. However, plans kept changing as new intelligence came in, including the men moving at night.
ODA 3212 commander, Cpt. Mike Perozeni had concerns about the men’s safety and pushed back on the orders from his commander.
Finding The Truth
Despite concerns, the men were sent in. The team ended up being outnumbered 10 to one. Perozenzi, LaDavid Johnson, and others got to safety, but Jerimiah Johnson, Black, and Wright had not.
ABC News reported that LaDavid Johnson and two Nigerien soldiers ran south, but all three were killed by ISIS fire. Jeremiah Johnson’s helmet camera footage recovered by French Special Forces told the rest.
When Black was killed, Wright and Johnson moved out into enemy fire to pull him to the truck. Johnson was then shot, and finally Wright. Capt. Perozeni received a reprimand, despite raising objections, and so did the company commander Maj. Alan Van Saun, who was with his wife who had just given birth, ending both of their careers. But Lt. Col. Painter and Col. Moses, who brushed off Perozeni’s objections, were never punished.