Were the Unidentified Afghans On Board Extortion 17 Part of a Green on Blue Attack?
On Wednesday, I reported about the fact that there were seven unidentified Afghans on board Extortion 17s, a Chinook helicopter that was shot down August 6, 2011, resulting in the deaths of 30 Americans, including 17 Navy SEALS who were part of the elite unit who were outed by the Obama administration as those who killed Osama bin Laden. The mission also carried eight Afghans, one of which was an interpreter and seven who remain unidentified to this day. However, the question comes, were they part of a Green on Blue attack against the Americans of Extortion 17?
First, if you are unfamiliar with Extortion 17, there is link to several articles that are informative. What I’ll be sharing with you today comes from Lt. Commander Don Brown’s newly released Callsign Extortion 17: The Shootdown of SEAL Team Six.
Second, you may be asking, “What are Green on Blue attacks”? Green on Blue Attacks are where Afghans, who are trained by NATO troops later turn on them and kill them. However, it isn’t limited to the troops that train them, as evidenced in 2012 when an Afghan policewoman shot and killed an American adviser. In many cases, they literally shoot them in the back. For more on this, check out Ben Swann’s report on Green on Blue attacks and how they are escalating in Afghanistan.
The entire flight of Extortion 17 seemed to be a suicide mission from the get go. They were to go into the Tangi Valley and target Qari Tahir and his group of fighters. Tahir, according to Intelligence, was a senior Taliban chief in the Tangi Valley region with ties to higher ups in Taliban leadership in Pakistan.
Brown points out that there is a lot of confusion which occurred within six minutes of Extortion 17’s determined landing. He makes several points about the communication and timing in his book, beginning on page 119.
- Protocol demands that the pilot call in at the six-minute mark before landing (This occurred, according to Exhibit 50 of the Colt Report, at 2:26am local time).
- This means the helicopter should have also performed a call in at the three-minute mark (This did not happen even after another three full minutes had passed).
- The slow speed of the chopper made it appear to simply be hovering in the air.
- At 2:33am local time, one minute after their scheduled landing, the three minute call came in.
- Now, they are scheduled to land at 2:36am local time.
- This is over four minutes of no communication from Extortion 17.
So, what was going on during that time? It only provided the enemy more time to gather round and the Chinook is not a quiet helicopter. No one knew what was taking place on board, but Brown writes, “on radar, at times the chopper was still hovering, making no meaningful move toward an actual landing.”
Extortion 17 was to call in one minute before landing. That did not happen. Instead, a full one minute and 39 seconds later (2:36:39am local time) a call came in from the helicopter, but according to Brown, “This call was not a ‘one-minute’ call at all, but rather, was a request for one of the Apache helicopters to provide a ‘sparkle,’ that is to illuminate the ground with light.”
The mission was so out of sorts and put mission controllers in a panicked state of mind. According to testimony from the Task Force senior enlisted advisor (TF-SEA) he communicated the following:
TF-SEA: Sir, I specifically remember going and I’m pointing with this green [Afghan military member], XO [executive officer] was there. I go, “That’s the HLZ,” [helo landing zone] he said, yes. And they were scanning the area. And I was like, it looks pretty quiet. We got the three-minute call, and then they were just – six minutes later, I was going, what’s up with the infill, did they go in already?
Why the delay? Why the radio silence? Why the mid-air hovering? Several mission controllers wondered hopefully that perhaps the SEALs were rappelling to the ground with ropes, but that was not the case. The request for the ‘sparkle’ was the final transmission from Extortion 17.
So, did the seven unidentified Afghans have anything to do with the delay? Consider that Lt. Commander Brown was privy to the autopsy reports of three members of Extortion 17. Two of those autopsy reports indicated that bullets had been found in the bodies of those men, but were identified as “cookoff rounds” and were immediately discarded by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner as having “no evidentiary value.”
Cookoff rounds simply occur when the bullets get hot and the powder inside them ignite. Unless they are in a rifle and aimed at you, they are virtually harmless to the human body. Brown poses the questions that go through my mind. He asks the following questions on page 274:
- Why would the military pathologist simply call these bullets cook-off rounds, declare them of no evidentiary value, and throw them away?
- Could there have been a struggle for control of the aircraft before it landed?
- Could the struggle for control of the aircraft have explained the thirteen to fourteen minute delay in the original landing time of the aircraft?
- Could the seven unidentified Afghans, loyal to a president who hated US Special Forces, standing with their Taliban brothers, have pulled their weapons on the SEALs, hoping to keep the aircraft airborne long enough for their terrorist comrades on the ground to take a shot at it?
- Could there have been a firefight on board the chopper before it landed?
- Is this why the chopper seemed to stall in the air?
- Is this why it was delayed and never landed?
- Is this why the SEALs have bullets in their bodies?
- Could this explain why we don’t know the true identities of these Afghans to this day?
- Could this explain the military’s inconsistent, contradictory, and unbelievable explanation about the black box?
- Is this why no Afghans were interviewed in the Colt Report?
- Is this why, when the J3 officer started to testify as to how the Afghans got aboard the aircraft, his boss essentially shut him up?
These are questions that America and the families of Extortion 17 need to have answered. Our servicemen are still surrounded by these Islamic jihadists and it is our duty to demand answers and accountability from those who are our servants, servants I might add, who don’t even know either the casualties or the costs of the war in Afghanistan and have allowed the Afghan government to have eyes on all our Special Operations.
For further reading: