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Before Benghazi, there was Extortion 17, the largest loss of life in the Afghan War Theater, and the greatest single loss in the history of the Navy SEALs. The Taliban shot down a U.S. Boeing CH-47 Chinook military helicopter, code named Extortion 17, carrying special operations officers sent to reinforce Army Rangers under fire, was shot down in the Wardak Province, Afghanistan, killing 30 American heroes – 15 of whom were a part of Navy SEAL Team VI; the team who took down Osama Bin Laden. Back in August, Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on National Security, said “We’re going to dive into this.” Well that day has come and a congressional hearing has now been scheduled for Februrary 27, 2013.

Benghazi took place a year following Extortion 17. Since that time, there have been numerous hearings and a prolonged investigation which has led to absolutely no accountability, while Extortion 17 has received little media attention and not one congressional hearing. The travesty is that so many of our elite special forces were killed aboard Extortion 17. On top of that, Billy Vaughn, father of fallen Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn, recounts in his book Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father that not only were the families lied to about what happened, but apparently the enemies that shot down Extortion 17 were in a building that may have included “friendlies” and so due to the Obama administration’s rules of engagement, they were not able to fire back at the very people who had just killed their fellow soldiers.

Only months before, Vice-President Joe Biden compromised Navy SEAL Team VI after publically crediting them to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. This put all of SEAL Team VI, and their families, in grave danger, as Vaughn stated in his book and in an exclusive interview with Freedom Outpost. Fallen Navy SEAL Michael Strange’s father, Charles, expressed the same sentiment.

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Karen and Billy Vaughn have been demanding answers from military leaders and the Obama administration after reading the 1,200-page heavily redacted document provided to them after their son’s death, much of which can be read in Vaughn’s book. Many of the families, including the Vaughns, believe the crash was an inside job due to the revelations made by Biden and former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta along with the manner in which our special forces are being compromised by the escalation in missions per month, the rules of engagement, the demoralization of the special forces and the fact that they are basically under some control from the Afghan military and government.

The information revealed was shocking, devastating, and spurned more questions about the integrity of our military leaders than they ever imagined.

Some of the bizarre things that took place following the downing of Extortion 17 included cremation of soldier’s bodies that did not require it. Strange was told by the military that the bodies were so badly burned that they had to be cremated, and they were cremated without the families’ consent.

However, Strange said in an interview “I saw Mike’s dead body. It was clearly recognizable. He was clutching his gun. He wasn’t burned to a crisp. Why did they cremate my boy? They didn’t need to do that. Something’s not right.”

Rep. Chaffetz confirmed that saying that he saw a photo of a deceased SEAL. “The body I saw didn’t need to be cremated,” he said.

Questions the Vaughns are demanding to be answered during the Congressional Hearing will include:

  • Why our special operations forces were sent into an active battle zone in outdated Chinook transport helicopter, as opposed to the MH47’s with which they trained.
  • Why standard military protocol of pre-assault fire in a battle zone didn’t happen.
  • Why the U.S. military has permitted the Afghan military and police to be part of every planned military operation executed in this war on terror.
  • Why our military’s rules of engagement under Obama’s administration has caused the casualty rate of our American heroes to skyrocket.

Family members of Ambassador Stevens, and the others killed in the attacks in Benghazi, are demanding answers as to who gave the orders to stand down. They have yet to receive answers, though most of us are able to read between the lines to know the stand down order came directly from the White House.

I have continually pushed the reading of Extortion 17 is a Bigger Scandal and Betrayal than Benghazi and a call to hold those accountable such as Joe Biden and Leon Panetta, as well as Barack Obama for the deaths of these brave men. Now, at least Extortion 17 will hopefully come to the forefront of the American news media, and believe me, this scandal is huge.

To bring you up to speed on Extortion 17, I highly recommend Betrayed.

Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost.