SOURCE: House Committee to Ignore ‘Smoking Gun’ Evidence Tied to SEAL TEAM SIX Deaths

A well-connected source tells me that members of the U.S. House of Representatives plan to avoid discussion of several hot-button topics during a hearing next month to probe the deaths of 30 Americans, including 17 members of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL TEAM SIX, in what’s been recorded as the single-largest loss of life in U.S. Naval Special Warfare history.

Extortion 17 Lives lostBACKGROUND:  The deaths occurred in Afghanistan Aug. 6, 2011, after a mission to capture a high-value Taliban operative — codename “Lefty Grove” — went terribly wrong.

Along with the aforementioned SEALs, five Army aircrew members, three Air Force personnel and five other Navy personnel were killed, dwarfing the more-publicized scandal surrounding the deaths at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

All of the Americans had been manifested on “Extortion 17,” the call sign given to the CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter used for the mission, when it went down in the Tangi Valley after more than one rocket-propelled grenade were reportedly fired at the aircraft. See this article for more details about the shoot-down.

The incident raised many questions, largely because of the fact that the SEALs killed were members of the same elite unit Vice President Joe Biden identified in public as the one that raided Osama bin Laden‘s compound in Pakistan.  See the 2:11 mark of this video (below) for proof.

THE HEARING:  Though the hearing has yet to appear on the calendar of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, my source assures me he was told it will take place and that the list of hot-button topics committee members plan to avoid includes Rules of Engagement, the Counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy, the vetting process used to screen Afghan recruits and “Green-on-Blue” attacks.

THE SMOKING GUN:  Also likely to be ignored at the hearing is another topic much more personal to those who lost loved ones in the incident.  According to my source, autopsy reports reveal multiple foreign objects were found inside the bodies of more than one of the Extortion 17 casualties.  Critically important about those objects is how, according to my source, is that the medical examiner with whom he spoke, they were “unidentifiable.”

Such a description raises at least two troubling questions in need of answers:

Does that mean they were made of materials unknown to the U.S. military (i.e., materials not known to have been used in the construction of the CH-47 aircraft, its weapons systems or any of the items typically carried by U.S. and Afghan personnel)? and

Could U.S. military officials not link the unidentifiable materials to any of myriad RPGs, mortars and other munitions encountered by U.S. forces during the past dozen-plus years of war?

Seeking answers to those questions, I contacted a public affairs official at the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System in Rockville, Md., last week and asked for copies of the autopsy reports of the Extortion 17 casualties.  Not surprisingly, I was told I would have to file a Freedom of Information Act request in order to obtain those reports.  I plan to do that after the holidays and will update you as soon as possible.

FYI:  I’m also working to confirm another possible smoking gun which I found in the 1,300 heavily-redacted pages of the crash investigation report — which, by the way, I’ve read in its entirety — put together by officials at U.S. Central Command.

Stay tuned!

UPDATE 1/12/2014 at 9:42 p.m. Central: In addition to commenting on the recent release by former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Gold Star parents Billy & Karen Vaughn corroborate what I shared about in the article above about an upcoming Congressional hearing.

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.

Bob McCarty’s Top Four ‘Extortion 17′ Stories of 2013

As a former Air Force public affairs officer and author of two books that involve military subject matter, I have an affinity for reporting on military-related topics and scandals.  One of those is an incident which resulted in the single-largest loss of life in Naval Special Warfare history.  Below are my Top Four “Extortion 17″ stories of 2013:

Extortion 17 Lives lost#4. Tragedy Ensues After AC-130 Gunship Crew Not Allowed to Engage Afghan ‘Squirters’ — I asked an extremely-serious question about the decision made by U.S. military officials involved in OPERATION LEFTY GROVE, the effort that cost 30 Americans, including 17 members of the U.S. Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six, their lives.

#3. Did Afghan Officials Play Deadly Role in Navy SEALs Helo Crash? — In this piece, I shared the reasons why I’m convinced untrustworthy officials at the highest levels of the Afghan government were responsible for the loss of Extortion 17.

Green Beret on Extortion 17#2.  BETRAYED: Compelling Book by Father of Fallen Navy SEAL — I shared details about the book into which Billy Vaughn poured a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

#1. EXTORTION 17: Former Army Green Beret Offers His Take on Deadly Navy SEALs Mission — A former Army Green Beret, shared his expert observations and raised some serious questions about the extremely-controversial mission.

SEE ALSO:  My latest piece on Extortion 17, SOURCE:  House Committee to Ignore ‘Smoking Gun’ Evidence Tied to SEAL TEAM SIX Deaths, published Monday.

If you enjoyed these stories and others I shared during 2013, you’ll love reading my books. Be sure to add Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO to your libraries today! Both are available in paperback and ebook versions at Amazon.com.

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.

Secrecy Surrounds ‘Extortion 17′

Here and at TheClapperMemo.com 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.

Father of Fallen Navy SEAL Says Americans Deserve Answers

Just after 11 o’clock Sunday night, I began reading Billy Vaughn’s recently-released book, BETRAYED: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father.  I had delayed looking inside the book Billy sent me for almost 36 hours, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down once I had begun.

BETRAYEDBarely two and a half hours later, I had finished reading BETRAYED.  Trying to summarize what I learned along the way is more difficult than I expected, so let me begin with the basics.

BETRAYED was released barely 27 months after 30 brave Americans — including the Vaughn’s son Aaron and too many other members of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six — died in Afghanistan in an incident that would be recorded as the single-largest loss of life in Naval Special Warfare history.  It delivers exactly what the subtitle of the book suggests (i.e., the shocking true story of “Extortion 17” as told by a Navy SEAL’s father).

Having previously read the heavily-redacted, 1,300-plus pages of the crash investigation report put together by officials at U.S. Central Command, I knew more than the average person about the official version of events related to the decision to put so many members of the Navy’s most-elite fighting force aboard a very old CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter —  call sign “Extortion 17” — and about other factors that would change forever the way the Vaughns and other Gold Star family members remember Aug. 6, 2011.  Combined with the additional facts and details Billy tells — including tough questions asked, answered and remaining in limbo — BETRAYED is a book that stirred my emotions in ways reminiscent of what I experienced while working on my first two nonfiction books, Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO.

While Billy’s writing style will never be confused with those of Vince Flynn or Tom Clancy, neither will those bestselling authors’ fictional tales compare to the gripping 248-page account of events as delivered by this Gold Star father.

If you’re looking for a book to read that will likely take you out of your comfort zone, I strongly recommend you read BETRAYED.  If you need convincing still, one paragraph the author shared in the book’s prologue sums things up well:

I don’t want to write this book.  As a father, reliving this is not a road I would ever choose to travel.  But I have to write this book because we deserve to know the truth, the American people deserve answers and our government, steeped in denial, needs a wakeup call. — Billy Vaughn

FINAL THOUGHT:  Because I’ve communicated with the Vaughns several times during the past six months and met them in person at an event in Fort Lauderdale five months ago, I feel like I know them fairly well.  Now that I have finished reading BETRAYED, I feel like I know Aaron, too.  For that and for their tremendous sacrifice, I say, “Thank you, Billy and Karen, and God bless you.”

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.

BETRAYED: Compelling Book by Father of Fallen Navy SEAL

One year and many conversations ago, Billy and Karen Vaughn appeared on my radar screen as the parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn, a fallen U.S. Navy SEAL and their only son.  Today, I received a copy of Billy’s book, BETRAYED: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father, into which was poured a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

TDIA_BET_TCM 11-9-13

Available at Amazon.com, all three of the books shown here would make great Christmas gifts for anyone interested in current events involving military, intelligence and special operations activities. They are (left-right): Three Days In August by Bob McCarty, BETRAYED by Billy Vaughn and THE CLAPPER MEMO by Bob McCarty.

The Vaughns appeared on my radar screen for the first time in late October 2012 as parents slamming President Barack Obama and others connected to the deaths of 30 Americans, including Aaron, in Afghanistan Aug. 6, 2011.  They were understandably angry because of what they were being told about the circumstances surrounding the incident recorded as the single-largest loss of life in Naval Special Warfare history.  At the same time, they were understandably angry about what they were not being told about events that ended in the downing of the CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter, call sign “Extortion 17,” and the death of Aaron and so many of his fellow members of the elite Navy SEAL Team Six.

After watching video of the Vaughn’s appearance at a news conference in Washington, D.C., nine months later, I reached out to them by phone and sent them a copy of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, hoping it would resonate with them.  While waiting for them to reply, something unusual happened.

Yours truly flanked by Billy and Karen Vaughn.

Yours truly flanked by Billy and Karen Vaughn.

By sheer coincidence, I ran into the Vaughns at an event in Fort Lauderdale the following month.  Over dinner, we discussed Billy’s efforts related to writing BETRAYED, as well as my investigation related to THE CLAPPER MEMO.  By the time we finished our meals, I had offered to help in any way I could, Billy and Karen had promised to find time in their busy schedules to finish reading the copy of the book I had sent them.

One month later, the Vaughns came through on their promise, offering high praise for my book:

The Clapper Memo Front CoverTHE CLAPPER MEMO by Bob McCarty gives the reader an in-depth look into the dirty little secrets of politics and greed triumphing over safety and security for our fighting men and women as well as the average American citizen.  In this gripping account of one man’s quest for truth, McCarty exposes filthy backroom deals bent on squelching the best technology available for securing quick, reliable, lifesaving information in the theater of battle.

The most shocking revelation for us, as parents of a fallen Navy SEAL, was learning that Army leadership was more willing to rely on laboratory studies commissioned by officials and agencies with vested interests in the outdated polygraph than in what they were being told by real-life heroes on the field of battle.  The almighty dollar wins again…while the Soldier dies and Americans live at greater risk than necessary. Billy & Karen Vaughn

During the months that followed, I fulfilled my promise as well, contributing to Billy’s book-writing effort by offering insights about “Green-on-Blue” attacks in Afghanistan and how those attacks are connected to serious shortcomings in the vetting process via which Afghan recruits are screened before being allowed to serve in the stone-age country’s military, police and security agencies.  The crux of my input appears on pages 165-166 of the book:

BETRAYEDIt wasn’t until July 30, 2013, when the Department of Defense released its Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan, that we finally learned the truth about a startling and mostly-unreported spike in green-on-blue attacks.

Buried almost one-thousand words into that  report, we found news of a 120 percent increase in these attacks from 2011 to 2012, rising from 22 to 48 incidents. Additionally, 29 percent (14) of the attacks in 2012 were executed by more than one person. Prior to 2012, only two attacks had been executed by more than one individual.

In short, more and more of our people are being ambushed by the very Afghani counterparts they’ve been told to trust after letting down their guard in supposed “safe zones” like dining facilities, living quarters and other “inside the wire” areas.

As soon as I finish reading BETRAYED, I will offer a complete review.  I assure you now, however, that the book is a must-read for anyone wanting to know the truth.

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.

Prediction: Navy SEALs Will Ignore Latest ‘Patch’ Directive

UPDATE 11/6/13 at 7:12 p.m. Central:  Someone got it wrong, according to this Navy Times.  Or, perhaps, someone in the Obama Administration decided to let this one go.

In a Daily Caller piece published Friday, former U.S. Navy SEAL-turned author Carl Higbie shares a uniform-related message he received from a former SEAL teammate.  The message to SEALs was clear:  “the only patch authorized for wear is the American flag on the right shoulder” and the First Navy Jack was banned. I have reason to suspect most Navy SEALs will ignore this misguided directive for as long as they can just like they have previous ones.

Naval_Jack_of_the_United_StatesThe new guidance came 11 years and 55 days after all U.S. Navy ships began flying the First Navy Jack in place of the Union Jack.  And it flies in the face of HQ Navy guidance that said Navy ships were to fly the flag for the duration of the Global War On Terrorism.  Only those who believe GWOT is really over and, as President Barack Obama declared in March 2009, we’re fighting an “Overseas Contingency Operation.”  The rest of us wonder if this directive was politically-motivated.  [NOTE:  The now-banned "Don't Tread On Me" message does, after all, appear on yellow flags that serve as the standard of the conservative-libertarian Tea Party Movement.]

The list of previous directives that did not go over well with SEALs includes three issued between 2004 and 2009.  All took the form of memos — including one issued by James R. Clapper Jr. before he became the nation’s top intelligence official — informing Department of Defense personnel that the polygraph is the only authorized credibility assessment tool for use by DoD personnel.

Why did it take three memos over a span of six years to get the SEALs to quit using non-polygraph credibility assessment technology?  The answers, based on my interactions with elite warfighters and others during a four-year investigation, can be found in my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.  It’s backed by a number of high-level endorsers.  I hope you will ORDER A COPY TODAY!

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.

Barack Obama’s Issues Are America’s Issues

Because Americans need to know more about the many scandals to which President Barack Obama and members of his administration are connected, I decided to share this slightly-modified version of a believable conversation that’s been floating around the web.  Please read and share!

Barack Obama Caricature by Political GraffitiBob: “Hey Jim, did you hear about the Obama administration scandal?”
Jim: “You Mean the Mexican gun running?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean SEAL Team 6?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama saying ObamaCare would save the average family $2,500 on their premiums?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Forcing business owners to violate their religious beliefs by making them pay for drugs that abort the unborn?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Violating the rights and sanctity of our churches?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Spending $634 million on the ObamaCare website that doesn’t work?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama calling for an increase in the debt ceiling after he lambasted President Bush for the very same thing?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Obama having NSA spy on 124 billion phone calls in one month?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Saddling our kids with $17 trillion in debt which they can never get out of?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Bailing out Detroit after decades of corrupt Democratic management?”

Justice for ChristopherBob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the State Department lying about Benghazi?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean voter fraud?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Intentionally trying to hurt Americans during the sequester?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Blocking veterans who secured our freedoms from their monuments but giving the ‘green light’ for illegals to use National Mall?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Denying school kids the ability to tour the White House but still spending lavishly on his parties?”

"Healthscare" by Political GraffitiBob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean Obama saying we can keep our doctors and insurance if we want to?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the military not getting their votes counted?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The NSA monitoring foreign diplomats?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the use of drones in our own country without the benefit of the law?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Giving A123 Systems $300 million right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold to the Chinese?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean the president arming the Muslim Brotherhood?”

Bob: “No the other one.”
Jim: “The IRS targeting conservatives?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The DOJ spying on the press?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Sebelius shaking down health insurance executives?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “You mean Obama spending $3.7 trillion on welfare during the past five years?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Giving Solyndra $500 million dollars three months before they declared bankruptcy and then the Chinese bought the company?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The NSA monitoring our phone calls, emails and everything else?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Millions of Americans losing their health care coverage?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Forcing Americans to include coverage in their insurance policies of items they do not want?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Ordering the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants from jails and prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Denying Arizona the right to protect its borders?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Providing weapons to Syrian rebels, many of whom apparently are al-Queda”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s repeated violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later than the first Monday in February?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The 2012 vote where 115% of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The president’s unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent the Senate’s advise-and-consent role?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The State Department interfering with an Inspector General investigation on departmental sexual misconduct?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “Clinton, the IRS, Clapper and Holder all lying to Congress?”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “The President using nearly $1 trillion dollars of stimulus money to fund his cronies?”

Judge Fast and Furious Holder 9-30-13Bob: “No, the other one”
Jim: “You mean ‘Fast & Furious?’”

Bob: “No, the other one.”
Jim: “I give up! … Oh wait, I think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters who don’t pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in American history?”

Bob: “THAT’S THE ONE!”

Hat tip:  2 Million Bikers to DC on Facebook

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.