President Barack Obama may be able to take credit for the 2011 death of Osama bin Laden, but some say he should also take the blame for the deaths of Navy SEALs who were instrumental in that operation.
Navy SEAL Team 6 Deaths
Twenty-two of the 38 people killed when a helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan three months after the raid of bin Laden’s compound were Navy SEALs.
The Taliban was quick to claim responsibility for the incident, and the military appeared to respond with an air strike two days later.
However, the parents of some victims allege the government set up their sons by sharing sensitive information and then failing to fully investigate the events and policies leading up to the crash.
Now, a Congressional investigation is underway, and critics are pointing to the event as one more example of what they say is Obama’s incompetence in military matters.
Questions Remain After Helicopter Crash
The crash in question occurred on August 6, 2011. Officially, the Chinook transport helicopter was on its way to a nighttime raid when it was taken down by what was characterized in a Department of Defense transcript as a ‘lucky shot of a low-level fighter.’
The incident was notable not only because it was one of the deadliest days in the Afghan campaign but also because 22 members of Navy SEAL Team 6 were among the dead. Skeptics of the administration’s version of the story say it was no lucky shot that took down the helicopter, calling it a planned ambush instead.
Billy and Karen Vaughn, parents of Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn, went on FOX News in May 2013 to air their concerns with the circumstances surrounding the event. The issues they raised included the lack of an escort, lack of pre-assault fire, and the use of an older-model helicopter. In addition, the two allege Vice President Joe Biden put their son’s life in danger when he revealed that Team 6 was responsible for bin Laden’s death.
Other issues that have raised red flags include a last minute change to the Afghan passengers on the helicopter that night, the loss of the craft’s black box, and apparent discrepancies in the reported condition of the soldiers’ bodies.
Will Investigation Reveal Incompetence or Conspiracy?
Nearly two years after the accident, parents of the crash victims finally succeeded in convincing a member of Congress to take up their cause.
Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has opened an investigation into the crash and the Pentagon’s response. Chaffetz is chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on National Security, and two of the soldiers killed in the crash hailed from his district.
Appearing on FOX News last month, Karen Vaughn stopped short of calling the crash a government set-up. However, others have implied that the August 6th crash was more than simply the result of military incompetence.
Larry Klayman, head of advocacy group Freedom Watch, was quoted in The Hill as saying the helicopter crash was an even greater scandal than the events at Benghazi, where U.S. diplomats were killed by heavily armed Libyans.
“The big question is were these brave Americans sold out by the Afghani government as payment to the Taliban for the death of bin Laden?” Klayman reportedly said.
Click to Read Page Two: Benghazi Scandal and Obama’s Decisions Questioned
Decoding Science. One article at a time.