Fallen Angel: Update

Posted: April 22, 2014 in Military
Tags: , , , , ,

I originally wrote this post in December of 2013. Towards the end of winter, I received a phone call from an Army veteran friend of mine. He wanted to discuss this post. I don’t agree with what he had to say… and I share that in the following modified and updated version of my post on Extortion 17.


When we hear the death statistics of our military, as heartbreaking as it is for us as citizens, we tend to overlook their families and the empty hole in their lives that can never be filled.

One such family is the Vaughn family. Do you recognize their name? They had a son, Aaron Carson Vaughn – a member of Navy SEAL Team Six. Aaron Vaughn was on Extortion 17 when it was shot down in an obvious trap. A trap set by the enemy in retaliation for our capturing Osama bin Laden.

The following are excerpts from a book by Aaron Vaughn’s father, Billy Vaughn, titled “Betrayed – The Shocking True Story Of Extortion 17 As Told By A Navy SEAL’s Father”. (Click on the images to enlarge and read.)

A Fallen Angel Over Afghanistan



Just reading the last moments of the pilots’ conversation as they saw Extortion 17 go down is bone chilling… and brought me to tears. Towards the end of the book there is a Call To Action that Billy Vaughn directed at President Obama and to us all.

Call To Action



I remember being so incredibly sad and angry at the same time that day, and the days to follow. My gut screamed that this was retaliation. The administration had put targets on the backs of SEAL Team Six and their families. I had a friend in Afghanistan at the time, “Red” as I called him in “Lighting the Unexpected Flame”. Worry set in and I emailed him, hoping and praying he was alright, and worried for his family back home. It was a day that not many talk about now, almost forgotten, but it changed lives and fueled a fire in some to fight for the truth.

imageI encourage you all to read this book. Extortion 17, as well as other atrocities, is an event that I firmly believe the President should be held accountable for. He betrayed Americans and Aaron Vaughn’s father makes a solid case for that in this book. I hope and pray that justice is swiftly served. (Portions of all proceeds for the book are donated to Operation 300, a non-profit foundation designed to create adventure camps for children of the fallen. See www.operation300.com for more information.)

“On August 6, 2011, the men of Extortion 17 valiantly laid down their lives on our behalf. Great men and women in uniform all over this world continue to do the same on a daily basis. It’s imperative that we, the people who reap the benefit of their sacrifice, stand up and defend our defenders. Go outside tonight and look up at the sky. Show the men of Extortion 17 that their story has lit a fire in you.” -Billy Vaughn


There is no question that Biden’s outrageous bragging outed the operators of SEAL Team Six. By throwing the spotlight on the Team, he put lives in jeopardy. The SEALs on Extortion One-Seven paid the price. –Former team leader at SEAL Team Six

My veteran friend called me to basically tell me to let this go. He said Extortion 17 was “just a bad day”.

There are so many unanswered questions…

From navyseals.com:

Did leaks from the Osama bin Laden raid factor into the largest loss of life since the inception of the Naval Special Warfare?

Why were all the bodies cremated?

In spite of the flash flooding that occurred at the crash site, could the helicopter’s black box have been recovered?

Why weren’t the last minute personnel changes concerning the Afghani nationals that accompanied the SEALs reflected on the flight manifest?

Where was the air escort on insertion?

A few questions from The North American Law Center:

Why were special operations Afghan forces (Trained by that SEAL team) removed from the aircraft prior to the flight of Extortion 17?

Knowing the situation on the ground prior to and during mission planning…why was mission protocol not followed to protect US lives? (This operation was outside normal protocol and the known risk assessment was overlooked to the detriment of the forces.)

Prior to mission planning—knowing from eyes on the ground reported back to command by Rangers, that “packs” (Known enemy Targets) were moving out to the North West—why were the AH-64′s or C-130 not directed to engage the targets, as has been done hundreds of times in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who made the decision to withhold engagement?

Why, if intelligence had already been established that insurgents were in a tower and on station in the hot landing zone, (reported by both AH-64s and C-130 and other sources on the ground), was the mission given a go? Who gave the GO order to fly directly into harm’s way unprotected?

If assets of the C-130 and two (2) AH-64 aircraft were sent South of the intended LZ (Landing Zone) knowing that “packs” were moving North West, why would Extortion 17 be directed to enter from the North and not the South, where the cover of all assets was available to protect the number of Special Operations Forces placed on one (1) aircraft? Who is responsible for that decision and planning?

Knowing that Qari Tahir was the primary target and was known to have been on the move and gone; also with the knowledge that the enemy was planning and trying to take down helicopters operating in the Tangi River Valley for some period prior to mission; why would mission planners put so many assets on a single aircraft, an aircraft not built or mission qualified for this type of operation?

Knowing full well that the integrity of the OCG had been compromised and infiltration was a known fact, why put the mission up on the TAC OP’s computer for all to see prior to the lift off of Extortion 17?

Why is the mission planner’s deposition not signed by anyone with the legal authority to administer an oath and take that deposition? No JAG, No Paralegal… No one?

I’ve been made aware that in the military, especially on missions such as this one, there are many things that can go wrong. There are many bad days, unfortunately. However, I may be “just an Air Force brat”, and “just a regular concerned citizen”, but there appears to be more to this terrible tragedy than it being “just a bad day”.

If anyone is in the position of my veteran friend and knows anything, please reach out to the families who lost their loved ones on Extortion 17, especially the Vaughn family who are actively pursuing answers to the questions surrounding this. Please do not allow this to be forgotten. We need answers and we need to hold those in leadership positions accountable.

People are accountable when they ask the ultimate sacrifice of us and our loved ones, without doing all they can to assure the safe success of their missions. – Billy and Karen Vaughn

Soldier on…


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