During a morning news conference today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six family members said a flawed vetting process is partly to blame for the deaths of their loved ones in Afghanistan. In my just-released nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I reached the same conclusion based on four years of in-depth investigation.
Though I was unable to attend today’s news conference in person, the NPC web page for the event contained an outline of seven items family members said they would reveal while highlighting “the government’s culpability in the deaths of their sons in a fatal helicopter crash in Afghanistan following the successful raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound.” One of those items appears below and is particularly relevant:
#6. How Afghani forces accompanying the Navy SEAL Team VI servicemen on the helicopter were not properly vetted and how they possibly disclosed classified information to the Taliban about the mission, resulting in the shoot down of the helicopter.
In THE CLAPPER MEMO, I not only expose major flaws in the eight-step vetting process currently being used to vet Afghans before they are allowed to don their uniforms and work alongside Americans assigned to train and mentor them, but I trace the problem back almost ten years to the issuance of the first of three Department of Defense memos. All three memos deemed the polygraph the only credibility assessment technology approved for use by agency employees (i.e., military and intelligence personnel). One was issued by James R. Clapper Jr., now our nation’s top intelligence official.
UPDATE 5/9/2013 at 7:57 p.m. Central: Below is a video from the news conference: