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US pilot reprimanded in Canadian 'friendly fire' deaths sues Air Force for privacy violation

[JURIST] National Guard Major Harry Schmidt is suing the US Air Force for violating his privacy after it published a letter of reprimand [text] for his involvement in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan [CBC backgrounder]. On April 18, 2002 Schmidt and another pilot killed four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan [JURIST news archive] when they dropped a 500-pound bomb, mistaking the soldiers for Taliban fighters. After finding Schmidt guilty [JURIST report] of dereliction of duty following an Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder] in July 2004, the Air Force agreed not to court-martial him and permitted him to remain in the National Guard.

Schmidt alleges that the Air Force published the scathing letter against him in violation of their agreement, damaging his reputation. The suit, filed in federal court on Friday, asks for unspecified damages. Schmidt first indicated his intent to sue the Air Force [JURIST report] in 2004. AP has more.

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