Friends, family of slain Green Berets outraged with Jordanian leaders

KANSAS CITY - Weeks after three Green Beret servicemen were killed in an attack in Jordan, friends and family members are outraged with the Jordanian government.

The attack happened on November 4 as the Green Beret group was entering a military base.

Investigators say a Jordanian patrol guard opened fire on the convoy, killing the three soldiers.

The deaths included 27-year-old James Moriarty from Houston, Texas and Staff Sergeant Matt Lewellen from Kirksville, Missouri.

American investigators have since released details of the attack, saying the Jordanian guard repeatedly shot the troops and deliberately attacked them.

As friends and family members of the Green Berets continue to grieve the losses, Jordanian leaders have made them frustrated.

Despite video surveillance and witness interviews backing up findings from American investigators, the Jordanian government said the troops may have provoked the attack by an accidental discharge or by failing to properly follow protocol when entering the base.

On Thursday, the father of one of the Green Berets spoke to 41 Action News and voiced frustration at Jordan's claims.

"Imagine how unbelievably insulting it is that they trash these young men's memories," explained Jim Moriarty. "These young men were surprised at a base they lived on."

RELATED | Friend remembers MO Green Beret killed in action

Moriarty has accused the Jordanian government of lying about the incident, and said the response from leaders has frustrated him.

"Nobody from Jordan has told the truth," he said. "Nobody from Jordan has apologized to these families for murdering our sons."

The response from Jordan has also angered Matt Lewellen's longtime friend, John Blesz.

"It was not, by any means, an accident," Blesz said. "This was an intentional attack. It seems as if justice has not been served in some way."

American investigators say the Jordanian patrol guard was critically wounded after being shot by other Green Berets.

Officials have said the patrol guard previously had a clean record and was a seasoned officer.

Since the shooting, the investigators have been unable to find any link between the guard and terrorist groups.

Weeks after the tragedy, Jim Moriarty has questioned America's purpose in the Middle East.

"(The soldiers) are the finest young people in our society," he explained. "We're killing them and we're wearing them out with these endless wars. We need to lose no more of our young men and women."

As friends and family continue to grieve, Blesz said the tragedy served as a reminder of the dangers service members put themselves in every day.

"It speaks to the level of security that our US military personnel are under on a daily basis," he explained.  "It's very important to not forget, not just Matt but anyone who serves in the military, the danger they face on a daily basis."

The shooting continues to be investigated.

The FBI declined comment on this story, citing an open investigation.

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Tom Dempsey can be reached at Tom.Dempsey@KSHB.com.

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