In the preface to the book “Betrayed” by Billy and Karen Vaughn, the parents of Navy SEAL Team member Aaron Vaughn, Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, U.S. Army (Ret.) discusses the new paradigm that exists in today’s military. “Winning hearts and minds is a poor substitute for victory over a determined foe. If america does not intend to win, then U.S. Forces should never engage an adversary. Nation building should be done through the diplomatic communities and not using trained warriors of the U.S. military.”
Vaughn, a Special Operations Chief (SEAL) as well as 30 other members of the U.S. military was killed during a quick response rescue operation in the Wardak Province, Afghanistan in 2011. The shootdown of the CH-47 Chinook cargo helicopter they were travelling in has come to be known as “Extortion 17.”
These ROE (Rules Of Engagement) were uncovered by the parents of the men killed in Extortion 17 during their personal, frustrating search for the truth surrounding the downing of the 60 year old cargo helicopter that sent their sons to their deaths.
Vaughn’s parents, in their appearance on FOX News this morning lashed out at the current Administration telling viewers, “ the greatest threat to American security today resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” They also referred to President Obama as a”bigger threat than ISIS.” To say that the Vaughn’s along with the other family members are angered and frustrated is an understatement. They feel that political considerations have overtaken common sense when it comes to exposing our military men and women to needless danger.
Vaughn’s parents on Fox News, click here for link.
If you take a look at the circumstances surrounding the death of their son Aaron you’ll start to understand exactly why the Vaughn’s are so strong in their convictions. Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that had been in effect for decades were overlooked on this particular mission. Parents were told by top military medical officials that their sons bodies were all burned beyond recognition which proved to be a lie. The bodies of their sons were all cremated without permission from the families. The Black Boxes from the helicopter they were in supposedly disappeared, the military claiming they were washed away in a torrential downpour. The helicopter landing zone (LZ) was not “softened up” by fire from backup support aircraft prior to their landing.
When it came to any air support at all for this mission, it was nonexistent. These are just some of the questions that have plagued the families of the man killed that day. While there were brief Congressional hearings on the circumstances surrounding “Extortion 17” the parents were forbidden from testifying before the panel. Their questions went ignored and unanswered. Though it has been three years since the shootdown no new substantial information has been released to the families. It has been alleged that they have been spied on by the NSA, claiming their cell phones have been tapped, home computers have had spyware installed on them and have launched a lawsuit against the Obama administration as a result of these claims.
So the obvious question here is why? Why are the NSA and the Justice Department so interested in what these families are doing? Perhaps if you would put yourself in the shoes of these people you could understand their outrage and the feelings of resentment and anger towards this current Administration. They were handed a heavily redacted report of the mission and it’s outcome, lied to, spied on, ignored and told to let it be.
It is obvious and quite true that the call for the resignation of President Obama will not return their son Aaron to them or Michael Strange and the other men to their parents it is also quite obvious that if the ROE aren’t changed many more young Americans will perish needlessly. It is their mission now to make sure this never happens again to another American family.
Click on this link to get the the website for the book depicted below.