Tom ID: d02a79 Paki Aid, UBL, Extortion 17, Awan Bros & "legal means" of importing TERROR Nov. 7, 2023, 11:31 p.m. No.174902   🗄️.is 🔗kun

Just throwing this together, saw USMC decode had drop #1250 in it, and then looked up Extortion 17's date.. fucked up and I believe I have a good idea about the entire series of events:





Red Cross Iran.

Red Cross Pakistan.

Red Cross NK.

Red Cross ……..

Define smuggle.

What is smuggled?

What funds are used to pay for the goods?

These people are sick.

Relevant to events about to unfold.

Follow the EOs.



When was UBL killed in Pakistan?

May 2 2011

Where was UBL located?

Close proximity to?

Think logically.

When did AWANs mission op go green?


Follow the timeline.

What happened during this time w/ Huma / VJ / AWAN / +3?

Follow the timeline.


Who is protected?

Aid cut off in 2010?


What happened in 2011?

Define ‘Exchange’.

Sick yet?


Tom ID: d02a79 Nov. 7, 2023, 11:58 p.m. No.174903   🗄️.is 🔗kun

UBL (Osama Bin Ladin) Killed in Pakistan on the border of Pak/Afghanistan May 2nd, 2011


The Operation That Took Out Osama Bin Laden


“The American team engaged in a firefight. Osama bin Laden did resist.”


These words, uttered by a senior Pentagon official, summed up the now-historic raid on May 2, 2011, during which SEAL Team Six secretly descended upon a compound in Pakistan, blew down doors and engaged enemy combatants. The goal: kill or capture terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.


Gunfire was exchanged as SEALs made their way through the compound, up to the second and third floors, where bin Laden and his family were hiding. Four combatants and one woman used as a human shield were killed in the raid, according to Pentagon statements.


“The sole focus of the operation was to kill or capture Osama bin Laden,” a Defense Department official told reporters after the raid, during a background briefing.


As we recognize the anniversary of the raid, it would likely be an understatement to call it a “defining moment” in U.S. military history. With its successful completion, the operation ended the life of the man regarded as the mastermind behind the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which claimed thousands of lives.


Tracking Down Bin Laden


For years, military and intelligence forces had scoured the globe to find bin Laden’s hideout, and in September 2010, the CIA got the lead it needed when it used surveillance photos and intelligence reports to determine that a known al-Qaida courier was visiting a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.


Over the next few months, the CIA used informants, surveillance and other intelligence gathering measures to arrive at the conclusion that bin Laden and his family were hiding out in the compound – but up until the attack, there was no hard proof that bin Laden was present, only the best guess available.


President Barack Obama discussed the decision to attack with "60 Minutes" after the raid. “This was a very difficult decision, in part because the evidence we had was not absolutely conclusive,” he said.


Obama said he and his team were not surprised to find bin Laden hiding in plain sight, but were surprised to learn that the compound had been there for so long without information leaking out about it. “I think the image that bin Laden had tried to promote was that he was an ascetic, living in a cave,” Obama told "60 Minutes." “This guy was living in a million-dollar compound in a residential neighborhood.”


“It was the best intelligence work I’ve ever seen that enabled those in the military who executed this mission to do so successfully,” former Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen told a DoD reporter. “There was only a 55% chance that the 9/11 attack mastermind was in the compound.”


SEAL Recounts Killing bin Laden

This video is based on a series of interviews with the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden. They were not allowed to use his real voice to help hide his identity.

Neptune Spear


The actual raid on bin Laden’s compound was called Operation Neptune Spear, after the trident that appears on the U.S. Navy's Special Warfare insignia. On the night of the infiltration, two dozen SEALs flew in using two helicopters, beneath the radar and varying routes to avoid detection.


News reports described bin Laden’s compound as surrounded with barbed wire and 18-foot walls. There were also seven-foot walls surrounding the balconies. Additionally, the compound was designed to obscure lines of sight from multiple directions. As the raid commenced, the tail of one of the helicopters grazed the compound wall, forcing it into a “soft crash” landing that fortunately did not result in major injuries, although the helicopter itself had to be destroyed so none of its tech would fall into the wrong hands.


Using night-vision goggles (power on the street had been cut off), the SEALs infiltrated the compound, killing anyone who put up resistance, securing the women and children, clearing weapons stashes and barricades, and taking anything that could contain secret information, including hard drives and cell phones. The SEALs quickly made their way up to the third floor, where they found the terrorist leader in his bedroom and killed him. Accounts of how this happened differ, depending on the source. SEAL Robert O’Neill has claimed to be the “SEAL who shot bin Laden”. SEAL Matt Bissonnette, who entered the room at the same time and wrote about the operation in the book "No Easy Day," also claims to have fired shots into bin Laden's fallen body.


Meet Robert O'Neill, Killer of Bin Laden

WASHINGTON — The retired Navy SEAL who says he shot al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in the forehead publicly identified himself Thursday amid a debate among special operations brethren about whether they should break silence about their secret missio

In any case, there was no doubt about the outcome of the mission when the SEAL team leader radioed in, "For God and country – Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo," thus declaring the raid a success.


At the conclusion of the raid, the SEALs evacuated the area with bin Laden’s body, with an extra Chinook helicopter flown in to provide transportation. From beginning to end, the operation had taken less than 40 minutes.


Using known photos and facial recognition software, as well as measuring the corpse, CIA specialists determined with 95% certainty that the body was that of Osama bin Laden. Other specialists in the intelligence community performed initial DNA analysis, which resulted in a virtual 100% DNA match of the body against DNA of several bin Laden family members. Bin Laden was buried at sea.


“For us to be able to definitively say, ‘We got the man who caused thousands of deaths here in the United States and who had been the rallying point for a violent extremist jihad around the world’ was something that I think all of us were profoundly grateful to be a part of,” Obama said at the time.


Want to Know More About the Military?


Be sure to get the latest news about the U.S. military, as well as critical info about how to join and all the benefits of service. Subscribe to and receive customized updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Tom ID: d02a79 Nov. 8, 2023, 1:55 a.m. No.174905   🗄️.is 🔗kun




“Justice has been done,” President Barack Obama said in announcing the death of Osama bin Laden in a U.S. military operation in Pakistan, May 1, 2011. The attack ends a manhunt of almost 10 years. Bin Laden and his henchmen planned and executed the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 innocent Americans in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

Tom ID: d02a79 Nov. 8, 2023, 2:10 a.m. No.174906   🗄️.is 🔗kun

Downing of Extortion 17: The Single Deadliest Incident of the US War in Afghanistan(


August 12, 2022

by Samantha Franco


On August 6, 2011, the final flight of Extortion 17 resulted in the single deadliest incident for the US military during the War in Afghanistan. When the Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopter was hit, all 38 onboard were instantly killed. Prior to the mission, the deadliest incident was June 2005’s Operation Red Wings, which resulted in the deaths of eight US Navy SEALs and eight US Army Special Operations aviators.


The beginning of the ill-fated mission


Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter taking off

Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter from the 101st Airborne Division taking off after dropping supplies at Forward Operating Base Baylough. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. William Tremblay / ISAF Headquarters Public Affairs Office from Kabul, Afghanistan / Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0)

The objective for the mission was to capture or kill Qari Tahir, a senior Taliban chief in Tangi Valley. It was believed his position as a senior chief connected him to upper-echelon Taliban leadership in Pakistan. The US forces involved used two CH-47D Chinooks – callsigns “Extortion 16” and “17” – to transport 47 ground troops with the 75th Ranger Regiment to a landing site near Tahir’s compound. The position was a mere 20 miles from where the helicopters took off.


Three hours after leaving the choppers, the ground forces had secured the compound and detained many of Tahir’s fighters, with the help of support helicopters. However, they’d been unable to locate him. As more enemy fighters gathered, reinforcements were called in. An Immediate Response Force (IRF) commander decided to up the reinforcement count from the predetermined 17 to 32, bulking up the core Navy SEAL team.


The commander also decided that, in order to get all of the reinforcements on the ground as quickly as possible, they would fly on the same helicopter: Extortion 17. The hope was they would arrive and act so swiftly that the Taliban would have no time to react. Extortion 16 would fly empty, hovering nearby in case help was needed.


Thirty-eight boarded Extortion 17


Two pilots sitting in the cockpit of a Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter

Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter pilots from the 159th General Support Aviation Battalion. (Photo Credit: Senior Airman Anthony Nin Leclerec / U.S. Air Force / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

There were a total of 38 individuals onboard Extortion 17. Seventeen were Navy SEALs, 15 from the Gold Squadron of the Special Warfare Development Group – better known as SEAL Team 6. Months earlier, the group had been involved in the raid that took out al-Qaeda founder, Osama Bin Laden.


Other passengers onboard Extortion 17 were Navy Special Warfare support personnel; US Air Force, Army Reserve and Army National Guard members; Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) commandos and an Afghan interpreter. This equaled 30 US military personnel and eight Afghan nationals.


One of the Extortion 17’s pilots, David Carter of the Colorado Army National Guard, was one of the most experienced helicopter pilots in the US military at the time, having banked over 4,000 hours of flight time.


Hidden fighters with rocket-propelled grenade launchers


James Lindermen firing a rocket-propelled grenade

US Army Spc. James Lindermen of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, fires a rocket-propelled grenade during a mission rehearsal exercise at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Randy Florendo / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

At approximately 2:30 AM, Extortion 17 began to make its descent toward the landing zone. When it was between 100-150 feet off of the ground, traveling at only 58 MPH, unseen enemy fighters emerged from the tower of a two-storey building carrying rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers on their shoulders.Two rounds were fired at roughly the same time.


“The insurgents had no way of knowing the helicopter would be coming in, at the speed it was coming and at the altitude,” Ed Darack, author of The Final Mission of Extortion 17: Special Ops, Helicopter Support, SEAL Team Six, and the Deadliest Day of the U.S. War in Afghanistan, told Task & Purpose.


The helicopter crashed into a dry creek bed and exploded into a mass of fire upon contact. Everyone onboard was killed instantly.


Investigations were held into the incident


Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter taking off at dusk

Boeing CH-47 Chinook taking off from Forward Operating Base Warhorse. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Brandon Bolick / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

The attack was completely unexpected and many believed something shifty must have happened.Conspiracy theories and misinformation spread, including the belief that the Taliban had been tipped off. There were also rumors that the mission was a trap or retribution for SEAL Team 6’s part in taking out Bin Laden. No evidence was ever produced to validate any of these claims.



Too bad its true you fuckin dicks

Tom ID: d02a79 Nov. 8, 2023, 2:51 a.m. No.174907   🗄️.is 🔗kun


Extortion 17, Seal Team Six and What Really Happened on the Deadliest Day in the History of Naval Special Warfare and the U.S. War in Afghanistan(



A CH-47D Chinook helicopter (the same model as Extortion 17) speeds through the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, near Bridgeport, California, during mountain warfare training exercises. Ed Darack

At 2:38 a.m. on August 6, 2011, a U.S. Army Chinook helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, entered the western opening of Afghanistan's restive Tangi Valley, flying alone. "One minute—one minute," transmitted Bryan Nichols, the pilot in command of the helicopter. Flying 250 feet above the valley floor at just under 70 miles per hour, Dave Carter, the pilot to the right of Nichols, guided the helicopter toward a carefully chosen landing zone just over a mile away. In the rear of the aircraft, the Chinook's passengers stood and prepared to storm out into moonless night once the wheels touched the ground. Extortion 17, however, would never reach that landing zone.


Hours earlier, pilots Carter and Nichols and crewmembers Specialist Spencer Duncan, Sergeant Pat Hamburger, and Sergeant Alex Bennett, along with pilots and crew of a sister Chinook, Extortion 16, inserted a strike force in the central Tangi Valley. Composed primarily of members of the 75th Ranger Regiment, which falls under the authority of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, the team sought to capture or kill a powerful insurgent leader, Qari Tahir, known to coalition forces by his designation "Lefty Grove." Some of the most highly trained and skilled war fighters in history, the Rangers moved overland to a location where intelligence indicated Lefty Grove and his small cadre of fighters would be holding a meeting.


When they arrived at the compound, however, the strike force couldn't locate Tahir, and some of his fighters dispersed. JSOC and aviation commanders, prepared for virtually any outcome, quickly formulated a plan: they would send a team on one helicopter to bolster the Ranger-led force. Members of Navy SEAL Team Six formed the core of the IRF, with other American special operations personnel and highly-vetted Afghans playing integral roles. They loaded onto Extortion 17, and then Carter and Nichols lifted the Chinook into the night sky.



A CH-47D Chinook helicopter lands at a small landing zone at Firebase Blessing, in eastern Afghanistan’s restive Kunar Province at the start of a combat operation. Ed Darack

Just after entering the Tangi, as Extortion 17 continued to descend and decelerate toward its landing zone, the helicopter passed through the narrowest portion of the valley. What the men on the Chinook didn't know was that cloaked by darkness, two fighters had emerged from the small village of Hasan Khel, on the south side of the valley. Each shouldered a rocket propelled grenade launcher, aimed at the dim silhouette of the approaching helicopter then fired. A volley of three rockets total sped toward the general direction of the approaching Chinook, all launched within a few seconds of each other.


Related: Marcus Luttrell's savior claim's 'Lone Survivor' got it wrong


Your daily briefing of everything you need to know


The first of the unguided projectiles missed, as the vast majority of rocket propelled grenades shot at helicopters did over the course of the war in Afghanistan. By the time the third sped away from its launcher, however, no target remained. The second RPG round had connected with one of Extortion 17's aft rotor blades, severing more than 10 feet of it when it exploded. Everyone on board died within a fraction of a second—30 Americans, eight Afghans and one American military working dog. Extortion 17 then plummeted to the ground and erupted in a massive fireball. It marked the greatest single incident loss of American life in the war in Afghanistan, the deadliest moment in the history of SEAL Team Six and the entirety of the Navy SEALs, and the deadliest single incident in the history of U.S. Special Operations Command.


Due to the sheer magnitude of loss of life, combined with recent news of SEAL Team Six's successful raid on Osama bin Laden's compound, global media outlets lionized the tragedy. They then repeated and emphasized a few related questions: How could this happen? What went so terribly wrong? Misinformation regarding the skills of the pilots and crew, and nonsensical conspiracy theories—often politically motivated—followed, much of which unfortunately continues to this day. This misinformation persists in part because those unfamiliar with the battlefield aren't taking into account a fundamental part of war: chance.



A Marine speaks into a radio and troops unload a CH-47D Chinook in Afghanistan's Kunar Province. Ed Darack

Extortion 17's pilots and crew ranked among the very best military helicopter pilots in the world (Carter had amassed more than 4,000 hours of cockpit time), and the helicopter, a CH-47D, the fastest and one of the most powerful and nimble in the U.S. military, had been maintained to the highest standards. The pilots, crew and Chinook helicopters of "Extortion Company," the conventional Army aviation unit to which Extortion 17 belonged, had supported over 90 percent of raids conducted by Rangers and SEALs of JSOC in that region; the flight in question was nothing out of the ordinary. JSOC ground forces and those who flew them knew and trusted each other. The route had been carefully planned, and gunships maintained continuous watch over the intended landing zone during Extortion 17's approach. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft that supported the raid, including a Predator drone, and a variety of highly specialized spy planes, had kept continuous watch over the region during the operation. Nobody involved had overlooked even the most minute detail.


In the immediate wake of the tragedy, the military initiated two investigations. The Joint Combat Assessment Team report identified, through detailed metallurgical analysis, the type of projectile that blew Extortion 17 out of the sky: an antipersonnel unguided ballistic rocket propelled grenade. The second probe, led by Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Colt, explained in excruciating detail what all those familiar with military operations and helicopter aviation in Afghanistan already knew: chance and chance alone, took down Extortion 17.


It was an auspicious day for the two enemy fighters. They happened to be in the right place at the right time. There was no conspiracy. Nobody tipped off the fighters—nor could anyone have alerted them. The helicopter was in great operational shape. It had been loaded well within its limits. The pilots ranked among the most proficient in this type of flying and the Department of Defense. Planners had created an absolutely sound mission. Chance, however, a component of war intimately understood by war fighters, can never be completely mitigated.


While the vast majority of attempts to down helicopters failed, the lucky shot that took down Extortion 17 had a precedent. During an attempted reinforcement effort during Operation Red Wings on June 28, 2005, high on the slopes of a mountain called Sawtalo Sar in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar Province, a lucky shot took down an Army Special Operations Chinook, call sign "Turbine 33." The ensuing crash killed all 16 on board, eight Army special operations aviators, and eight Navy SEALs. At that time, this marked deadliest moment in the war in Afghanistan.



A silhouette of a flight engineer manning an M240 machine gun on the ramp of a CH-47D Chinook in eastern Afghanistan. Ed Darack

"Chance will always play a role in war," stated Justin "Buddy" Lee, the commander of Extortion Company, who had flown with Dave Carter the night before Extortion 17's demise on a similar raid, and who had co-piloted a number of missions with Bryan Nichols. "No amount of training, skill, or technology will ever defeat chance on the battlefield. All of us know that going into it."


In interviewing Buddy for background research for my book, The Final Mission of Extortion 17, which chronicles the people, events, and circumstances of the downing of Extortion 17, I realized that this tragedy illustrates Buddy's words more convincingly perhaps than any other incident. "We simply didn't know those guys with those RPGs were there," he said. And the shooters had no reason to know that Extortion 17 or any other helicopter would be flying through their quiet extremity of the valley. Only the pilots, crew, and special operations ground forces commanders knew about the planned flight path and time.


This critical, but completely uncontrollable, aspect of war, is well-known among fighters like Buddy. But it's often foreign to those who observe combat from afar. "It's something that a lot of people who have never been in combat have a hard time understanding," he said."Sometimes the enemy just gets that terribly lucky shot."


Ed Darack's The Final Mission of Extortion 17, published by Smithsonian Books, will be available on September 19. Darack, a writer and photographer, is the author of four previous books, including Victory Point: Operations Red Wings and Whalers—the Marine Corps' Battle for Freedom in Afghanistan



Tom ID: d02a79 Nov. 8, 2023, 3:04 a.m. No.174908   🗄️.is 🔗kun

Extortion 17

August 6, 2022 marks 11 years since Extortion 17. On this day 11 years ago, 30 American military servicemen and a U.S. military dog were killed when a CH-47 Chinook helicopter–call sign Extortion 17–was shot down in Afghanistan.

This remains the greatest single loss of life to Naval Special Warfare since the Afghan War started in 2001. The Museum Executive Team worked with these men. We continue our work at the Museum so that their service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Please take a moment and pause to honor and remember these heroes.

The following sailors assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

Lieutenant Commander (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, Louisiana

Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, California

Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Arkansas

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Connecticut

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Massachusetts

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Missouri

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer(Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, West Virginia

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, Louisiana

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Michigan

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, California

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, North Carolina

Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah

Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Nebraska

Cryptologist Technician(Collection)Petty Officer 1st Class(Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL)Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Florida

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL)Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah

The following sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL)Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, California

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL)Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of Saint Paul, Minnesota

The soldiers killed were:

Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colorado

Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment(General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas

Staff Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Nebraska

  • Sergeant Hamburger was posthumously promoted to Staff Sergeant

Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas

Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas

The airmen killed were:

Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Florida

Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, California

Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pennsylvania

All three airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, North Carolina.

Seven Afghan National Army commandos and one Afghan civilian interpreter were also killed in the crash.

Tom ID: d02a79 Nov. 8, 2023, 3:05 a.m. No.174909   🗄️.is 🔗kun


Obama 'Put a Target on Their Backs', SEAL Team 6 Family Members Say (


Family members question SEAL Team 6's most deadly incident.


The families of some of the 17 SEAL Team 6 commandos who were killed in an ambush in Afghanistan during a helicopter flight to help Army Rangers pinned down by Taliban gunmen accused the Obama administration of deliberately endangering their loved ones for political ends.


[PHOTOS: America's Elite Navy SEALs]


Recommended Videos

Powered by AnyClip


Trump says he could win Afghan war 'in a week'



Play Video


Ad: (21)

Skip Ad

Trump says he could win Afghan war 'in a week'NOW PLAYING

Bonds Poised to Establish a Range, JPM's Michele Says

Michael Pittman: A Steady PPR Target Guy for Week Nine DFS

Kay Adams' Top NFL DFS Players to Target for Week 9 - Up & Adams

Target this RB in NFL DFS for Week 9 - The Heat Check Fantasy Podcast

During a press conference on Washington Thursday, family and advocates for the fallen troops called into question the rules of engagement that they say prohibited their sons from being able to return fire, and the White House's decision to announce shortly after the killing of Osama bin Laden that SEAL Team 6 was responsible for the raid.


"In releasing their identity, they put a target on their backs," said Doug Hamburger, whose son, Army Staff Sgt. Patrick Hamburger, served among the helicopter's crew.


The event was organized by Freedom Watch, a conservative advocacy group, at the National Press Club. One by one, fathers and mothers of the victims of the crash spoke about what they see as gaping holes or inconsistencies in the review of what U.S. Special Operations considers its most deadly incident.


In all, 17 members of the SEAL Team 6 counterterrorist force were on board the CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter, along with its Army National Guard aircrew, several support personnel and seven Afghan commandos. In all 38 troops died after the helicopter was shot down by what a review determined to be a Taliban RPG over Wardak Province, Afghanistan, on Aug. 6, 2011.



The team was responding to an Army Ranger unit that was engaged in a protracted firefight with Taliban fighters and needed reinforcements.


The families hope to raise awareness of the incident, which they say the government has largely forgotten since the official report was released in October 2011.


Some congressional lawmakers demonstrated their support for the group, including former Florida Republican Rep. Allan West an Iraq war vet and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.


[PHOTOS: Killing Osama bin Laden]


While the press conference was long on speculation and short on concrete evidence, the family members and their supporters didn't pull any punches.


Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who served as deputy undersecretary of defense for Intelligence and was a commander in the Army's super-secret "Delta Force," denounced politicized rules of engagement as a "deliberate plot" within the American armed forces that he says puts political correctness above the safety of the troops.


"We've allowed politics to become more important than the lives and safety of those men and women," he says.


Petty Officer 1st Class Aaron Vaughn was one of the SEAL Team 6 operators who died in the crash. His father Billy Vaughn recounted Thursday a phone call from his son following the White House decision to credit the highly secretive military unit for the bin Laden raid.


"He said, 'Mom, there's chatter. My life is in danger. Your life is in danger. Get everything off your social media. Our families are in danger,' " Vaughn recalled.


[PHOTOS: Fighting in Afghanistan Continues]


Aaron Vaughn's mother, Karen, also demanded an explanation for why her son and his team were not using a special operations aircraft, such as the Chinooks flown by special operations pilots, which have specialized defenses designed to fly commandos deep behind enemy lines. The CH-47D that embarked on the mission that day had been built in the 1960s, she said, and last retrofitted in the 1985.


It is not uncommon for commandos to fly some of their missions aboard such aircraft in the war zone, however.


She also said the team was hindered by rules of engagement that prohibited their firing on potential targets unless they could see a weapon. Military officials told her operating outside of these rules "damages our efforts to win the hearts and minds of our enemies."


"The hearts and minds of our enemy are more valuable to our government than my son's blood," she said. "We have an ideology problem with this war, and we need to address it."