“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Ludlow — 1824
On August 6, 2011 a U.S. Boeing CH-47 Chinook military helicopter, with the call sign Extortion 17, was shot down while transporting a quick reaction force attempting to reinforce an engaged unit of Army Rangers in Wardak province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan. The resulting crash killed all 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.
Of the Navy SEALs that were killed 15 were members of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), also known as SEAL Team Six. This unit is also known for having carried out the Operation Neptune Spear, which resulted in the killing of Osama Bin Laden; however, none of the SEALs killed participated in the operation. The other two Navy SEALs killed in the helicopter shootdown were from a West Coast-based SEAL unit. The five other Navy personnel were NSW support personnel. In addition to the NSW losses, three AFSOC operators died in the crash, one Combat Controller and two Pararescuemen, all members of the 24th Special Tactics Squadron. Their deaths are the greatest single loss of life ever suffered by the U.S. Special Operations community in the 24-year history of the U.S. Special Operations Command.
A source from the Navy's special operations community described the reaction as, "Shock and disbelief. There's no precedent for this. It's the worst day in our history by a mile." The previous highest U.S. death toll from a single incident in the war also came from a rocket attack on a Chinook helicopter carrying Navy SEALs during Operation Red Wings on June 28, 2005. In that incident sixteen Navy SEALs and Army special operations troops were killed and three more SEALs were killed in fighting on the ground.
According to a September 22, 2011 report by The London Mail:
“The first images of the Chinook wreckage were revealed today, at the same time five more American troops were killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb that exploded in the southern part of the country.
The news was confirmed as the Pentagon released the names of the 30 soldiers who died when the Chinook they were flying in was shot down by Taliban militants.
The U.S. military and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) did not give details regarding the five troops who were killed in the roadside bomb other than it happened in the south of the country.
A Pentagon spokesman in Washington said all the victims were Americans.
It means that at least 50 foreign troops have been killed so far in August.
Coalition forces finished recovering the victims' remains and big sections of the Chinook wreckage yesterday. Yet small, twisted pieces of the CH-47 remain scattered on both sides of a slow-flowing river in Wardak province where it crashed before dawn on Saturday.
Eye witnesses to the crash describe seeing the chopper burst into flames and break apart before falling from the sky.
Farhad, a local resident, said that the helicopter was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade fired from a nearby knoll as it was preparing to land
As soon as it was hit, it started burning,' he said, standing in a field still littered with small pieces of the chopper, including a part of a scorched rifle stamped 'Made in Germany' and a piece of charred paper with typewritten first aid instructions.
'After it started burning, it crashed. It came down in three pieces,' he added. 'We could see it burning from our homes.'
Gul Agha, another resident of Tangi Valley, also said that after the helicopter crashed, parts were burning on either side of the Tangi River. Some of the debris also ended up on a nearby hillside, he said.
'When the helicopter came at night, the Taliban were hiding in the bushes around the area,' he said.
He said coalition forces worked several days to remove victims' remains. Then they blew up sections of the helicopter into smaller pieces, loaded them on trucks and took them from the site, he said.”
Please click on the above link to the Mail Online so see the photos of the men killed in this attack.
On August 8, 2011 a memorial service was held for the victims of Extortion 17 who lost their lives in the Tangi Valley on August 6, 2011. The ceremony took place at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. It had the usual cadre of dignitaries with ranking military giving flower speeches to the assembled audience of soldiers. Of course there were also chaplains of the Judeo-Christian community. But there was also a Muslin Imam chaplain invited to say a few spiritual words.. He delivered his words in Arabic. When, later, the assembled soldiers and family members were told what he said from a translation they were not only astonished — they were disgusted. Here was what this Muslim cleric said over the flag draped coffins on the ramp. The following is the certified translation of what the Muslim cleric chants:
“Amen, I shelter in Allah from the devil who has been cast with stones. In the name of Allah the merciful forgiver. The companions of the “fire” (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 present to the people; 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 both universes (mankind and Jinn).”
The fact that a Muslim ceremony was included is not the point, what is, are the words spoken over members of our lost warrior team by a Muslim in uniform, flown in especially for the event. The Imam’s words were not only insulting, it was undoubtedly an attempt to curry favor with our enemies at the expense of American heroes and their families. It not only denigrates the faith of the fallen, it damns them to hell.
The Commander-in-Chief and his Administration is once again revealed for their true loyalties, and their concerted efforts to denigrate and dismantle our military. Military morale is at an all-time low, we wonder why!
How do you think the families felt hearing a translation of what was said? Their loved ones in flag draped coffins being damned to hell by a Muslim in uniform. Ft. Hood quickly jumps to mind, as does the way Obama and his crew prioritizes its message to the world — damned be the American families and their grief and beliefs.
Then ask yourself why this administration insisted upon this type of funerary “ramp” service. Who thought this up? Who made this happen? Why did the content of the Muslim sermon not get vetted before it was spoken over the souls of our fallen warriors? Did they think we would not eventually know what was said over the souls of our heroes, those who lived up to the ultimate extent of their oaths?
With the hearings on Benghazi restarted last Wednesday in the House of Representatives, one must seriously question the motives and loyalties of our federal leadership concerning the interaction America has with the Muslim community worldwide and the failed foreign policy of Hillary Clinton and Barrack H. Obama. It is time for all Americans to stand up and take notice.
Here is what Lt. Col. and former Congressman (R-FL) Allen West had to say about Extortion 17 on May 10, 2012:
“Back in 2003 as a combat battalion commander in Iraq, I made a decision that changed the course of my life. I took an action to protect the men under my command by firing my service 9 mm Beretta pistol over the head of an Iraqi policeman who we heard had been supporting insurgent forces with information leading to ambushes against our unit.
Left-wing progressives have stupidly called me a “war criminal,” and they unfortunately misinterpreted my departure from the military. Just so those chuckleheads know, I did not resign. I retired with full honors, benefits, rank and title. The problem for some critics of the war on terror is that they fail to understand we are not playing hopscotch but are engaged in battle with a non-state, non-uniformed enemy.
I understood that and will always stand by my action in 2003. Here was my response when asked if I would take the same action: “If it is about the lives and safety of my men, I would go through hell with a gasoline can.”
My Dad and older brother both served in combat, the former in World War II and the latter in Vietnam. They were enlisted servicemen, and I was the first commissioned officer in the family. (Now my nephew is the second.) Right before I headed off to Fort Sill, Okla., my Dad and brother taught me that as an officer and a commander, my first responsibility would be the well-being of my men.
The lesson they conveyed to me is that if my troops knew I would train them hard but never use them for my personal advancement, I would be a successful leader. We would always accomplish our mission.
Tough questions about Extortion 17
This week America has been confronted with tough questions about leadership.
The first queries came on Thursday at the National Press Club. I attended a press conference moderated by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch. The subject was the horrific special operations mission of Aug. 6, 2011, call sign Extortion 17.
America suffered its single greatest loss of special operators – 22 Navy SEALS of the famous SEAL Team VI, five crewmembers of a U.S. Army CH-47 and three U.S. Air Force tactical controllers. Parents of four of the fallen warriors were at the press conference, which was live-streamed on www.trentovision.tv.
The event called attention to the importance of leadership because appalling, systemic failures in leadership resulted in this tragedy:
- Why was the quick reaction force called into action that day?
- Why were they transported in a CH-47D instead of the typical Special Operations MH-47 aircraft? Why was a CH-47D sent into the hot landing zone of a three-hour firefight?
- Why were there no pre-assault fires or accompanying attack helicopter support for Extortion 17?
- How did the Taliban know these special operators were going into that river valley hotbed in Wardak province?
- Why were seven Afghan commandos switched out at the last minute for this mission and the manifest never changed?
And most egregious, who made the decision to let a Muslim cleric give a prayer at the ramp ceremony for these fallen American warriors – a disrespectful scene made clear when one sees the video with translation?
Thanks to media bias, we do not hear much about Afghanistan, especially the fact that 79 percent of the deaths and nearly 15,000 casualties in Afghanistan have occurred during President Obama’s tenure as the commander-in-chief.”
Family members are questioning the circumstances surrounding the Extortion 17 mission, including the lead up to the deployment, the failed execution of the mission and what happened afterwards. This video of the memorial service has been characterized by some of the families who lost their sons in the failed Extortion 17 mission as “rubbing salt into an open wound”.
America’s most elite special operations team, was sent to their slaughter in the most obscenely mismanaged military failure in recent Naval history. 93 days after Seal Team 6 got Osama Bin Laden (we should not even know this) they were stupidly sent to their death in what was probably an Al Qaeda planned ambush. Vice President Joe Biden, in his self-aggrandizing manner, put the targets on their backs, Obama‘s “Rules of Engagement” let it happen. They were sent into a landing zone in the middle of 3 hour long battle, in a slow moving 28-year-old CH-47D Chinook because our military does not have enough MH-47s and with no pre-landing suppressive fire (those troublesome rules of engagement again).
In the 11 years we have been waging war in Afghanistan, 79% of those killed or wounded have been under Obama’s leadership. During the 8 years of the Bush administration, 2072 American soldiers came home wounded from Iraq/Afghanistan. In only the last 3 years under Obama, 14,977 American soldiers have come home wounded. Obama increases the number of American soldiers being wounded in action almost as fast as he increases our debt!
Who would you rather have in charge if your son or daughter was serving in our military?. American sons and daughters volunteer to fight to defend the country they love; not to be sent in to be sacrificed or slaughtered because of some radical leftist president’s ideological love-fest with radical Muslims.
Did you ever stop to wonder what Obama and Clinton were trying so hard to cover up in Benghazi? (I mean, besides their sheer incompetence) Perhaps, as reported it is the shipment heavy weapons and anti-aircraft missiles to Syria?
On May 9, 2013 family members along with military men and politicians held a press conference expressing their concern over the events leading to and following Extortion 17. Larry Klayman, of Freedom Watch, moderated the press conference and some of the parents gave moving speeches regarding the loss of their sons. Stand Up America’s Paul E. Vallely and many others spoke in support of the fallen warriors. Billy and Karen Vaughn with their daughter Tara and their granddaughter Annabelle were in attendance, along with Charlie and Mary Lou Strange, Doug and Shawne Hamburger with their son Jeremy, and Mr. Sidh Douangdara, all family members of some of the fallen heroes of “Extortion 17″.
Also speaking were Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, Navy SEAL Ben Smith, Capt. Larry Bailey, Adm. “Ace” Lyons, former Congressman Lt. Col Allen West, and Brigitte Gabriel of ACT. Two Representatives from Congress also showed their support by attending for as long as they could, they were Michelle Bachman (R-MN) and Louie Gomert (R-TX). Tom Trento of United West recorded the event and provides us with the video below. Billy and Karen Vaughn provided the “Ramp Ceremony” video that was edited and captioned by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch.
While this event received little or no coverage in the mainstream media is no surprise. Even Fox was reticent in their coverage with only a few moments on their morning show Fox and Friends. Here is a brief on what was conveyed by the family and our retired military community:
- How President Obama and Vice President Biden, having disclosed on May 4, 2011, that Navy SEAL Team VI carried out the successful raid on Bin Laden’s compound resulting in the master terrorist’s death, put a retaliatory target on the backs of the fallen heroes.
- How and why high-level military officials sent these Navy SEAL Team VI heroes into battle without special operations aviation and proper air support.
- How and why middle-level military brass carries out too many ill-prepared missions to boost their standing with top-level military brass and the Commander-in-Chief in order that they can be promoted.
- How the military restricts special operations servicemen and others from engaging in timely return fire when fired upon by the Taliban and other terrorist groups and interests, thus jeopardizing the servicemen’s lives.
- How and why the denial of requested pre-assault fire may have contributed to the shoot down of the Navy SEAL Team VI helicopter and the death of these special operations servicemen.
- How Afghani forces accompanying the Navy SEAL Team VI servicemen on the helicopter were not properly vetted and how they possibly disclosed classified information to the Taliban about the mission, resulting in the shoot down of the helicopter.
- How military brass, while prohibiting any mention of a Judeo-Christian God, invited a Muslim cleric to the funeral for the fallen Navy SEAL Team VI heroes who disparaged in Arabic the memory of these servicemen by damning them as infidels to Allah.
You can watch a video of the entire press conference by clicking here.
Not only do the families of those killed in the Tangi River Valley on August 6, 2011 deserve answers to these and other questions so do we the people.
We not only need to know the truth about Extortion 17 we need to know the truth about Benghazi. We need to know the truth about gun-running to Syria. We need to know the truth about the IRS targeting conservative and Tea Party 501-Cs. We need to know the truth about Gunwalking to Mexico and the death of Brian Terry. We need to know the truth about the Justice Department secretly tapping AP reporters to find out who their sources are.
As long as Obama is served by a sycophantic press we must rely on Congressional hearings.