Friday, August 7, 2015
Obama 'Admin' stonewalls SEAL Team 6 helicopter crash probe, watchdog says.
Obama 'Admin' stonewalls SEAL Team 6 helicopter crash probe, watchdog says.(WT).
The Obama administration is violating a judge’s order to turn over documents in the Aug. 6, 2011, shootdown of a U.S. helicopter — call sign Extortion 17 — that killed members of SEAL Team 6 in Afghanistan, a watchdog group is charging.
On the fourth anniversary of the worst one-day loss of military life in the war on terror, families of the dead say they are aghast that the government will not honor basic requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
“It has now been four years since Extortion 17 was shot down,” said Doug Hamburger, whose Army air crew son, Patrick, was one of the 30 Americans killed. “I find it quite disturbing that the government is not willing to give us the answers we deserve. I find it very irritating that we will not question the Afghans about their knowledge of what took place that night.”
U.S. Central Command’s official investigation concluded that a rocket-launched grenade from a Taliban fighter standing near the landing zone clipped a rotary wing, sending the Ch-47 Chinook into a violent downward spin. It was the worst day for fatalities in the history of naval special warfare.
The tragedy took some of the glow off SEAL Team 6’s grand achievement just three months earlier: A team penetrated Pakistan airspace, infiltrated a compound in Abbottabad and killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The families accept the fact that a single shot brought down the helicopter. But some say the official report, which contained no direct criticism of decision-makers that day, did not delve deeply enough.
They believe SEAL Team 6 had a target on its back and that persons inside the Afghan National Security Forces may have tipped off the Taliban that night in Tangi Valley. That is why, they say, a fighter just happened to be stationed in a turret within 150 yards of a landing zone that had never been used before.
Since filing a lawsuit, Mr. Klayman says, he has been “stonewalled” by the Justice Department, the Defense Department, the CIA and the National Security Agency.
U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon in February signed an order requiring the Obama administration to release documents on a continual basis through the spring and summer. The Justice Department said at least 50 documents in the Pentagon have been identified as relevant, but only one has been turned over. And Justice unilaterally set a new deadline for the release and then ignored it, Mr. Klayman said. Throughout, he said, Justice lawyers have refused to take his phone calls.
“They don’t even produce under their own self-imposed deadline,” Mr. Klayman told The Washington Times. “We’re pleading with the judge to do something, and he’s just sitting on it.”
Mr. Klayman said the NSA has agreed to provide some information. Since the agency’s main task is to eavesdrop on phone and Internet messages, it may have recorded communications related to the attack.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said there would be no comment beyond its court filings. Its lawyers have told the judge that the process of locating relevant documents and removing classified information takes time. Hmmmm.......'When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.' Read the full story here.