Like the events surrounding Benghazi, Vallely said he believes the crash of the helicopter, which was carrying many men who only 93 days before had aided in the killing of Osama Bin Laden, has “a constant plethora of lies and deceit.”
Military experts and the families of the soldiers killed in the August 6, 2011, helicopter crash in Afghanistan — the single largest loss of soldiers’ lives in the Afghanistan campaign — think it is fitting that they are sharing details regarding the unusual events and unanswered questions surrounding their son’s deaths now at a time when similar themes are being discussed at the Benghazi hearings.
Retired Major General Paul Vallely called the attack on the helicopter with the callsign Extortion 17, leading to the death of 25 American special operations personnel, including many from SEAL Team Six, five from the National Guard and Army Reserve crewmen, and eight Afghanis, a “lost story.”
U.S. Navy sailors in the honor guard fold a flag before the presentation ceremony for U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Joseph Strange, a cryptology technician, in Logan Circle Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011, in Philadelphia. Strange was assigned to the Navy SEAL team whose Chinook helicopter was shot down Aug. 6 by a rocket-propelled grenade in what has become the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan. Families have recently been calling for a congressional investigation into the attack. (Photo: AP/Alex Brandon)
“I think it is timely that we are here at a time when Benghazi is going on,” Vallely said at a press conference where the family divulged details regarding their sons’ deaths. Like the events surrounding Benghazi, Vallely said he believes the crash of the helicopter, which was carrying many men who only 93 days before had aided in the killing of Osama Bin Laden, has “a constant plethora of lies and deceit.”
As the numbness over the news of their sons’ deaths began to lift, questions took its place. Charles Strange, the father of Navy SEAL Michael Strange, said he was embraced by President Barack Obama when he was receiving the body of his 25-year-old son back in the U.S. He asked the president if there would be an investigation, to which Obama said yes. In Strange’s assessment, and that of other parents present at the presser hosted by attorney Larry Klayman who is representing some of the families through Freedom Watch, such an investigation has not delved into the questions that need to be answered.
The accusations and questions
Their first point of contention is a comment made by Vice President Joe Biden that they believe “put a target” on their sons’ backs. After the death of bin Laden, instead of remaining general and using terms like “special forces team” to describe the soldiers who took him out, Biden identified the team as part of the Navy SEALS.