WASHINGTON - The fathers of three U.S. Green Berets had harsh words for a major U.S. ally on Friday.
The fathers' sons were shot dead by a Jordanian soldier in an unprovoked attack two years ago.
The slain soldiers' families are now suing the kingdom of Jordan, claiming it played a role in the killings - and then tried to cover up the murders.
The families of U.S. Special Forces members Kevin McEnroe, Jimmy Moriarty, and Matt Lewellen called reporters to the National Press Club today, announcing their Federal lawsuit against Jordan.
The deadly ambush on Nov. 4, 2016 at the King Faisal Airbase in Jordan was captured on surveillance video.
The video shows three U.S. soldiers arriving in three white pickup trucks. The killer - a Jordanian officer - is armed with a U.S. made M-16 rifle. The killer is initially inside a guard shack, and then out on the roadway, furthering his attack against men armed only with pistols.
The families say the kingdom of Jordan tried to cover up the murders by initially claiming the Green Berets stormed the airbase, then that the Americans accidentally fired the first shot. Lastly, they said the soldier were drunk. None of those claims were true.
The Jordanian soldier was eventually put on trial for the killings and found guilty. He's been sentenced to 20 years of confinement. His defense was, he was just following orders and that he believed the base was under attack.
"The insufficient punishment will never right the wrongs," said Brian McEnroe.
The Green Beret families say that after pressuring the Jordanian government, the FBI showed them the recording of the incident.
"You know, before we give people a billion seven a year and they murder our children... every taxpayer ought to look at that video and say 'we're supporting these sorry bastards? Why are we doing that? That does not make sense," said Jim Moriarty.
The Kingdom of Jordan has released a statement regarding the lawsuit:
As to the tragic attack at al Jafr air base in Jordan on November 4, 2016, First, Jordan wishes to reiterate its expression of heartfelt condolences to the family members of James Francis Moriarty, Matthew Charles Lewellen, and Kevin Joseph McEnroe. Jordan appreciates that these were brave soldiers who died in the dedicated service of their country. Jordan successfully prosecuted the perpetrator, and he is now serving a life sentence.
Jordan deeply regrets the tragedy, and has done its best to achieve justice.