To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, John W. Nicholson, Jr.

Army Brig. Gen. John W. Nicholson, Jr. has been silent for some time. We find this curious.
Nicholson burst on scene amid the controversy of the Marine Special Operations company’s disgraced exit from Afghanistan, It was then-Col. Nicholson, commander of Task Force Spartan, who called for their ouster and made solatia payments to the families, stating:

So I stand before you today, deeply, deeply ashamed and terribly sorry that Americans have killed and wounded innocent Afghan people. We are filled with grief and sadness at the death of any Afghan, but the death and wounding of innocent Afghans at the hand of Americans is a stain on our honor and on the memory of the many Americans who have died defending Afghanistan and the Afghan people. This was a terrible, terrible mistake, and my nation grieves with you for your loss and suffering. We humbly and respectfully ask for your forgiveness.

The Army promoted this man, and later sent him back to Afghanistan as deputy commander – Stability, Regional Command South, International Security Assistance Force. (The Corps’ alleged crimes took place in regional Command East.)

But the baby brigadier (West Point ’82), a media darling since his return to Afghanistan, has been pulled back to Washington several months short of his one-year anniversary. In June it was announced he would return to Pentagon’s Joint Staff as director, Pakistan/Afghanistan coordination cell.

Could he be fast-tracking? He has the knowledge and experience for the gig. But, ya know, the move seems timed with recent questions about his role in the banishment of the Marine company.

According to testimony during the Marine Corps court of inquiry looking into the matter and the conduct of the special operations Marines involved, it was revealed the Marines had asked permission to run the operations for which they were tossed. (It was believed they were cowboyin’ it at the time.) It seems the request had been staffed properly and approved by Nicholson’s people. It appears Nicholson may have missed that bit of (crucial!) information when he called for the company’s reassignment outside Afghanistan.

Who cares? Maybe no one. Is this revelation enough to call him back from Afghanistan? Probably not. Our guess is the lives of the Marines will remain tainted and Nicholson’s alleged involvement will lead to greater rewards.

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