On Wednesday, it was reported by Bob Cusack of The Hill that there will finally be an investigation into the actions of the federal government surrounding the horrific attack on a military Chinook helicopter that left 30 Americans dead in Afghanistan, including members of the elite Navy SEAL Team 6.
Cusack wrote that Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on National Security had an “emotional” meeting with the families of the victims, who have filed a lawsuit against the federal government. Chaffetz is reportedly “poised to send questions to the Pentagon and may hold hearings on the matter.”
The families of the victims have been calling for an investigation into the single worst day for loss of life since the war in Afghanistan started in 2001, and only three months after the raid on Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. It is understandable that the families would call for an investigation, as there are some startling aspects of the crash that have not been fully discussed in the mainstream media.
Click on the list for just six of the lingering unanswered questions.
Follow Renee Nal on Twitter @ReneeNal and check out her news and political commentary on Gather and TavernKeepers.com for news you won’t find in the mainstream media. Renee is also a guest blogger for the Shire Blog.
Why did the Obama Administration “put a target on the backs” of Seal Team 6?
On May 3, 2011, Vice President Joe Biden divulged at an event that Navy SEAL Team 6 was responsible for the raid on Osama bin Laden. The move “put a target on the backs” of the men, who were killed a mere three months later. It is astounding that such a basic mistake could have been made by the Obama Administration.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner of the Washington Times wrote that after Biden revealed those who killed Osama bin Laden, the SEALS were “Stunned and shocked,” and “immediately realized they were going to be hunted by al Qaeda sympathizers.”
A heartbreaking excerpt from Kuhner’s piece:
Karen Vaughn, the mother of slain SEAL Aaron Vaughn, says that within hours after Mr. Biden’s comments, her son called to tell her to wipe away every piece of information regarding the family on social media, Facebook and Twitter. “I never heard Aaron that afraid in his life,” Mrs. Vaughn said in an interview. “He told me: ‘Mom, we’re picking up chatter. We’re not safe. You’re not safe. Delete everything.’”
Aaron Vaughn is pictured here.
Was it an ambush? Or a “lucky shot?”
According to Jeffrey T. Kuhner of the Washington Times,
“The Chinook was shot down by a Taliban rocket-propelled grenade in Wardak province. Taliban fighters were waiting on three sides for the aircraft as it approached. The Chinook was a sitting duck as it hovered in the sky. The evidence is overwhelming and disturbing: SEAL Team 6 members were ambushed.”
This account, however, is disputed. As reported by Bob Cusack of the Hill,
“In a transcript, a Department of Defense official disputed claims that there was an ‘established ambush.’ The official states, ‘it was a lucky shot of a low-level fighter that happened to be living [in the area]. He heard all the activity and he happened to be in the right spot.’”
Why did the flight manifest change at the last minute?
According to Cusack of The Hill, “22 Navy SEALS, seven Afghan soldiers and one Afghan translator” were killed in the attack. What is not understood, however, is why “seven Afghan commandos who were on the passenger list were replaced by other Afghan military officials” shortly before the helicopter took off.
This point raises “red flags” for the families, and was confirmed by a “Defense official” who said that “all seven names of the Afghan soldiers were incorrect.”
Why was the helicopter told not to return fire?
Due to “Rules of Engagement,” the military helicopter was “ordered not to return fire against the tower from where insurgents were firing.”
Charles Strange, whose 25-year-old son Michael (pictured) died in the attack, confirmed this troubling fact during a National Press Club conference in May (at 10:38):
“So General Colt is giving us this briefing, and he’s telling us, ‘the helicopter is coming in…it’s pitch black…but they see a couple of guys on top of a building. They call up the Afghan administration to find out at two o’clock in the morning what these guys are doing on the building. You know what they told them? ‘They are hanging crops.’…I don’t know people who hang crops at two o’clock in the morning…this is supposedly where the shots came from…He said it was a ‘lucky shot’…is he out of his mind?”
It should be noted that a military escort plane was not provided despite it being “standard military procedure when a special-operations unit conducts a raid,” as noted by Kuhner.
Where is the black box?
Despite Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jim Gregory’s assertion that the terror attack “was thoroughly investigated,” Pentagon officials claim that the helicopter’s black box “could not be recovered, citing a flash flood that happened soon after the assault.”
Yet the bodies of the victims were recovered at the scene.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz responded to the lost black box incredulously by asking, “Really, seriously?”
Why were the bodies cremated?
Against the wishes of the families, the bodies were cremated. Cusack writes that “The Pentagon has defended the cremation to the soldiers’ families, saying the bodies were badly burned.”
Rep. Chaffetz, however, saw a photo of one of the deceased SEALs and said, “The body I saw didn’t need to be cremated.”
Additionally, at a press conference, Charles Strange noted (at 10:50) that he was told that his son Michael “had to be cremated.” He said,
“My son didn’t need to be cremated. I’ve got pictures of my son. He was fighting, he had a gun in his hand.”
Mr. Strange continued to say that he “called the command” and asked why his son was cremated. He was told that “everyone was burned beyond recognition.” Strange disputes this, saying he had photos from the autopsy report that were included with a “disc” he received.
“Another lie,” he said.