Thursday February 17, 2011 | 04:54 PM

There was little in the background of an Afghan police officer to suggest he would kill six U.S. soldiers, including Private First Class Buddy McLain of Mexico, Sen. Susan Collins was told today by the nation’s top military officer.

Collins, R-Maine, questioned Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the deadly incident last November near the Pakistani border during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today.
Collins wanted to know, according to a statement released by her office, what the U.S. military is doing to “better vet” Afghan military and police personnel to make sure these types of attacks don’t happen.
Mullen’s response: the U.S. is working on that but can’t guarantee it won’t happen again.
Meanwhile, investigations by the military and the U.S. Government Accountability Office continue into the incident that resulted in the death of McLain and five other U.S. soldiers at an observation point near the Afghan border with Pakistan.
“Tragically, these things do occur on occasion,” Mullen said. “While we will do everything we can to eliminate them, I would not sit here and tell you that we will be 100 percent successful.”
Still, Mullen also told Collins that, “There wasn't a lot there with respect to his (the Afghan police 
officer) background that would have led him to specifically take that action to kill our six troops.”
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, also has called for an investigation.

About this Blog

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

About the Author

Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or

Subscribe to the
Maine on the Hill RSS

Previous entries

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013


September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.