Before there was Benghazi there was Extortion 17. Extortion 17 was the fatal mission launched on August 6, 2011 killing 17 Navy SEALS, 5 SEAL support personnel, 5 Army National Guard/Army Reserve helicopter pilots/crew and three Air Force special operations command members. 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.
The second anniversary of Extortion 17 is August 6, 2013.
Floridians Billy and Karen Vaughn and Scott Bill both lost their sons on Extortion 17. The Vaughns have become the face of Extortion 17 and have sought to learn the truth about what happened to their son Aaron. For their efforts the Vaughns have been put upon by several active duty Navy officers and some in the the SEAL community.
Like Benghazi, the official retort is “nothing to see here, move on”. The Vaughns and other families are not moving on.
According to The Hill, “Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on National Security, told The Hill, “We’re going to dive into this.” Chaffetz said he met with the victims’ families about a month ago in what he described as an “emotional” gathering. He is poised to send questions to the Pentagon and may hold hearings on the matter.
Jeffrey T. Kuhner from The Washington Times asks, “Did the Obama administration put a target on the backs of members of Navy SEAL Team 6? This is the question that parents of slain SEALs are now asking — and rightly so. Forget Benghazi, the IRS, Eric H. Holder Jr. and the National Security Agency spying on U.S. citizens. Important as these scandals are, what happened to SEAL Team 6 could very well dwarf them. Our government betrayed America’s finest warriors.”
“Navy SEAL Team 6 became a household name for their role in killing Osama bin Laden. On May 1, 2011, the country rightly celebrated the death of bin Laden. The Obama administration, however, wanted to do more. It sought to claim full credit for the assassination, deciding to spike the football. On May 3, at an event in Washington, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. did the unthinkable: He publicly revealed the identity of the special-operations unit responsible for bin Laden’s killing. His reckless action put at risk the lives of every member of SEAL Team 6. The Taliban and other jihadists eager to avenge bin Laden now knew which unit to target. Stunned and shocked, SEAL members immediately realized they were going to be hunted by al Qaeda sympathizers,” notes Kuhner.
According to documents released by the Pentagon, Taliban fighters were assembling at the Extortion 17 landing site in what appeared to be a pre-planned ambush. On August 8, 2011 the Global Post reported, “The Taliban laid an elaborate trap for U.S. special forces last week when they shot down a Chinook helicopter during a night raid in Afghanistan, killing 38 troops including 30 Americans, an Afghan official said Monday.”
World Net Daily reports, “Among their many suspicions, the families question the sudden replacement of seven Afghan commandos on board the helicopter just before take-off. The seven who died in the attack are not the seven listed in the flight manifest. The families say, to this day, none of them know who those dead Afghans were. That leads the families to wonder if the original commandos may have tipped off the Taliban as to who was on board.”
Brian Bill before his death appeared in the movie “Act of Valor“. Billy Vaughn has co-authored a book “Betrayed: Exposing the High Cost of the War on Terror“, which will be release in August.