…As reported by the Washington Times, “The Obama administration is violating a judge’s order to turn over documents in the Aug. 6, 2011, shootdown of a U.S. helicopter — call sign Extortion 17 — that killed members of SEAL Team 6 in Afghanistan, a watchdog group is charging.
On the fourth anniversary of the worst one-day loss of military life in the war on terror, families of the dead say they are aghast that the government will not honor basic requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
“It has now been four years since Extortion 17 was shot down,” said Doug Hamburger, whose Army air crew son, Patrick, was one of the 30 Americans killed. “I find it quite disturbing that the government is not willing to give us the answers we deserve. I find it very irritating that we will not question the Afghans about their knowledge of what took place that night.”
U.S. Central Command’s official investigation concluded that a rocket-launched grenade from a Taliban fighter standing near the landing zone clipped a rotary wing, sending the Ch-47 Chinook into a violent downward spin. It was the worst day for fatalities in the history of naval special warfare. The tragedy took some of the glow off Seal Team 6’s grand achievement just three months earlier: A team penetrated Pakistan airspace, infiltrated a compound in Abbottabad and killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The families accept the fact that a single shot brought down the helicopter. But some say the official report, which contained no direct criticism of decision-makers that day, did not delve deeply enough. They believe SEAL Team 6 had a target on its back and that persons inside the Afghan National Security Forces may have tipped off the Taliban that night in Tangi Valley. That is why, they say, a fighter just happened to be stationed in a turret within 150 yards of a landing zone that had never been used before.”
Here are the questions that need to be answered by the Obama administration regarding the shooting down of Extortion 17:
1. Why was a relief column loaded onto a non-Special Operations equipped Chinook aircraft to go into what was a hot landing zone? The Army Rangers had been engaged in the AO (area of operations) so therefore the enemy was alerted.
2. Why did no escort attack helicopters go in with the Special Operators in this QRF (Quick Reaction Force)? And why were there no preparatory fires laid down in the vicinity of the HLZ (helicopter landing zone)?
3. Why were the accompanying Afghan troops changed out at the last minute, but the names not changed on the manifest? Remember that the Afghan Army leadership was briefed on the mission. Did we isolate/sequester those Afghan military officials privy to information on this operation and preclude their use of cell phones?
4. Why did we, just three months after Vice President Biden identified SEAL Team 6 in the bin Laden raid, did we load up such a high number of this elite force onto one aircraft and not take the proper pre-assault actions?
5. Why haven’t the families been provided with the truth, and who were the main decision-makers on this operation?
Read more: allenbwest.com
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