Secrecy Surrounds ‘Extortion 17′

Here and at I’ve published more than a dozen pieces I’ve written about “Extortion 17,” an incident that took place Aug. 6, 2011, and represents the single-largest loss of life in U.S. Naval Special Warfare history. While the name of the incident refers to the call sign of the CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter involved, nearly everything else about the nighttime incident is shrouded in secrecy.

Extortion 17 Lives lostTragically, the Extortion 17 mission resulted in the deaths of 30 Americans, including five Army aircrew members and three Air Force personnel and 22 Navy personnel.

Seventeen of the Navy casualties were members of SEAL Team Six, the same elite warriors who, only months earlier, had their cover blown when Vice President Joe Biden identified their unit as being responsible for the raid on Osama bin Laden at his hideout in Pakistan.

The first evidence of a lack of transparency surrounding this incident can be found in the U.S. Central Command news article/news release issued Oct. 13, 2011.

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 7.13.26 PMApart from the fact that it delivered news about the investigation team finding no evidence of wrongdoing by U.S. or Afghan forces and concluding that the mission was planned and executed appropriately, the article/release featured the following transparency-killing messages at its end:

Article is closed to new comments.

The opinions in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

There are no comments.

A congressional hearing is set to take place in January. Between now and then, I’ll share more news about what one might realistically expect during that hearing. My reports will be based upon what I know from having read 1,300 heavily-redacted pages of the crash investigation report put together by officials at CENTCOM and upon what others have told me…stay tuned!

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

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About BobMcCarty

A native of Enid, Oklahoma, Bob McCarty graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in journalism in 1984. During the next two decades, he served stints as an Air Force public affairs officer, a political campaign manager, a technology sales consultant and a public relations professional. Today, Bob spends most of his time researching topics, writing about them and publishing those writings. When he’s not writing online, he’s working as an author. Bob’s first published book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice (October 2011), chronicles the life story and wrongful conviction of Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran. In his second book, THE CLAPPER MEMO (May 2013), Bob connects the dots between a memo signed by James R. Clapper Jr. — the man now serving as our nation’s top intelligence official — and the deaths of dozens of Americans in Afghanistan at the hands of our so-called Afghan “allies” wearing the uniforms of their nation’s military, police and security forces. Bob is married, has three sons and lives in the St. Louis area. Bob is available for media and blogger interviews. Simply drop a comment here, leaving your name, organization, phone number, e-mail address and area of interest. He’ll try to respond as soon as possible.

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