We moved two updates to the end of the article
Original Story: The House Oversight and Government Committee will hold a hearing today at 10 a.m. to review the case no one would talk about – the downing of Extortion 17. It was the greatest single loss of life in the history of the Navy SEALs.
Photo of Aaron Vaughn, killed when the Extortion 17 crashed
We have heard a lot about Benghazi but we have heard little about Extortion 17, the helicopter crash in 2011 that killed 22 members of SEAL team 6 after the execution of Osama bin Laden.
The politicalization of national security and defense that we have seen during this administration might tie into the deaths of these 38 people on board—25 American special operations personnel, five United States Army National Guard and Army Reserve crewmen, seven Afghan commandos, and one Afghan interpreter—as well as a U.S. military working dog, three months after Osama bin Laden was killed, on 6 August 2011.
The investigation into the Chinook helicopter crash that killed them is incomplete and family members have said they cannot get answers.
The Obama administration exposed Navy SEAL Team Six as the team that captured and killed Osama bin Laden. The name of the team was supposed to be classified but the Obama administration decided to reveal the information, seemingly for political gain. At the time, they were using the bin Laden raid to propel Obama back into the White House.
The revelation of the Teams’ name put a target on the backs of the SEALs.
The parents of deceased team member, Aaron Vaughn:
The men who died were, according to the families of the deceased, in an inadequate helicopter with an inadequate pilot.
The military honored these men by having an Afghan military colonel [originally misstated as an Imam] along with a U.S. Chaplain and a U.S. military officer at their memorial. The colonel said a prayer which, for some, resulted in desecrating the memory of the fallen soldiers. Jesus Christ could not be mentioned allegedly.
Unbelievably, the Afghan colonel’s [corrected] so-called prayer goes like this:
The sinners and infidels who are fodder for hell fire ARE NOT equal with the companions of heaven. The companions of heaven (muslims), are the winners. Had we sent this Koran to a mountain, you would have seen the mountain prostrated in fear of Allah (MOCKING THE GOD OF MOSES)
Such examples are what we send to the people; so that they would think (Repent and convert to Islam)
Blessings are to your God (Allah), the God of glory, of what they describe.
And peace be upon the messengers (prophets) and thanks be to Allah, the lord of universes (mankind and Jinn)
Hear the prayer on this link.
Additional questions that parents want answered:
The men in the helicopter were allegedly told not to lay down assault fire because of the Rules of Engagement. Parents can’t get answers as to the accuracy of this report.
We know the team was being exploited by the administration. The number of expected objectives was increased 600% in two years under the Obama administration.
The Afghans on the plane were not the Afghans originally scheduled to be on the helicopter. That has been widely reported in the media.
The parents of SEAL team member, Michael Strange, believe Obama set up their son to be executed. Mary Strange told Disclose TV that the government bugged their home, their computers, and telephones. It was the basis of a lawsuit that the Stranges, through their attorney Larry Klayman, recently won against the NSA.
Update: 02/27/14: Noon: There appears to be no scandal connected to Extortion 17 though three questions were not answered completely. One question concerned the black box and the other concerns the prayer by an Afghan colonel during the ramp ceremony. Lastly, the families want to know why Afghanis weren’t interviewed.
The one scandalous aspect to this is that our Administration revealed the fact that SEAL Team Six was responsible for the killing of Osama bin Laden to say nothing of the fact that they spiked the football.
The two-hour hearing today addressed each concern leveled by some of the families of the SEAL Team Six members killed on August 6, 2011 in the downed Chinook Extortion 17.
The hearing was very respectful. It was delayed in part because many of the families of those killed were opposed to holding the hearing.
The only real question that seems to remain concerns the prayer at the initial ceremony for the deceased which included 7 Afghans.
A trusted Afghan military colonel said a prayer [see translation of the prayer below] during the ramp ceremony that the military determined was intended respectfully for all the deceased and was meant to be criticism of the attackers. The prayer is, however, opened to interpretation according to one of the witnesses.
Rep. Chaffetz said that in the future it would be better if Americans honored the American dead. The reason it was done this way , according to a witness, was because one of the problems the military confronted was that the crash was so catastrophic, they could not determine who were the Americans and who were the Afghans.
The poor reatment of the bodies was questioned and some procedures will be handled differently in the future.
There was no switching out of Afghan forces, as parents suspected, and the Afghans were experienced, well-trained and well-known to the U.S. military.
The pilots were accomplished and the helicopter used was appropriate for the mission. They were operating under cover which is why fire did not precede their landing.
The helicopter did not have a black box on board because it used the analog system, new planes are digitized.
Counseling is available for all family members.
Afghans were not interviewed but that was not required.
Hopefully, the traumatized families have all or most of their questions answered and can now find closure. This hearing was in not politicized and the members of the committee treated the families with concern and respect unlike the IRS hearings. One disappointment was that so few committee members attended; that was disrespectful.
Update: 02/27/14: 21:00: Unfortunately, some of the families feel they did not get real answers today. Jason Chaffetz answered those questions again on The Kelly File this evening.
Some of the families still don’t believe that the choice of helicopter that day was legitimate. There is no helicopter, however, that could have withstood an RPG.
They believe that the Afghanis were tipped off. That could be the case but Chaffetz said the evidence wasn’t there and the mission was pulled together so quickly there doesn’t seem to have been enough time to have tipped off the Taliban. Afghans were not interviewed and more information on that issue will be forwarded to the committee.
The combining of the Afghan and U.S. soldiers ceremony at the ramp service was unacceptable. There were mistakes made during burials. There were no U.S. flags on the coffins when they arrived at Dover because they said they could not at that point determine which body parts were Afghan and which were U.S.
The two-hour hearing with only a handful of committee members present was only to provide a general summary of information gathered and already reviewed.
Mistakes were made in the handling of the bodies, however there does not appear to be evidence of a scandal. Chaffetz will find out why Afghanis were not interviewed as they should have been.
Nota Bene: A correction was made after publication to a comment made about the DNC and the prayer being recited by an Imam. Sorry about any confusion.