On May 2, 2011 Osama bin Laden was killed. Americans celebrated. It could have/should have all ended there, but U.S. President Barack Obama sought to spike the football and claim full credit for the assassination. In doing so the Obama administration revealed the identity of the military unit responsible for the kill which is a breach of military law. Although Obama’s speech did not mention SEAL Team 6 by name, Vice President Joe Biden‘s speech on May 3, 2011 to the Atlantic Council Annual Awards Dinner, did specifically congratulate the SEALS for what they did “last Sunday.”
Former intelligence officers have also came forward and suggested that the Obama White House deliberately leaked details about the raid on bin Laden’s compound.
Just 3 short months later on Aug. 6, 2011, a Chinook helicopter packed tightly with 25 American special operations personnel including 15 members of SEAL team 6, five United States Army National Guard and Army Reserve crewmen, seven Afghan commandos, and one Afghan interpreter—as well as a U.S. military working dog – was shot down in Afghanistan by Taliban fighters who managed to attack from 3 different sides in a coördinated ambush.
Everyone involved in CH-47D 89-00175 call sign Extortion 17 – all life on that helicopter – on that day – perished.
The U.S. military claimed that the Chinook was destroyed by a shoulder-fired missile – burning everyone on board beyond recognition so senior military officials ordered the American bodies cremated without the prior approval of their family members.
It was America’s greatest loss of life on a single day in Afghanistan and the largest number of SEALs ever killed in one attack in history. The devastating incident was a direct result of the unlawful disclosure of the unit’s identity by the Obama administration which provided a target for jihadists eager to avenge bin Laden.
Except for the efforts of family members of the slain SEALs – the story never manifested into the mainstream. A story bigger than any other in history – one of blatant treason resulting in the loss of American lives – never got the traction it deserved.
Retired USMC Lt. Col. Bill Cowan: “When we divulge national security information such as the identity of the organization that killed Osama bin Laden, we have now put all of those men, all of their families, everybody around them at some sort of risk.
Now, the man who claims to be the “bin laden shooter,” is being probed for possibly leaking official secrets about the mission! The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is currently exploring allegations that Robert O’Neill “may have revealed classified information to persons not authorized to receive such information. In response, NCIS has initiated an investigation to determine the merit of the allegations.”
Some claim O’Neill’s version of what happened is bunk, with 2 other men also in contention for the headshot that ended bin Laden’s life. Fellow SEAL Matt Bissonnette also claims to have been the shooter, and others say a still-unidentified man whom multiple sources referred to as the “point man,” because he was standing at the front of the team of SEALs as they approached bin Laden on the upper floor of his safe house, likely fired the mortal round.
Bissonnette, who pseudonymously co-wrote the best-selling book No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden about his role in the raid, has already come under fire for speaking publicly about the mission and revealing inside details of SEAL culture.
While it’s up for debate which of these men actually killed bin Laden, it’s not debatable who was responsible for the initial leaking of sensitive information making this entire fiasco a possibility in the first place; that recognition goes to the President of the United States and his Vice – the two people who should actually be held accountable for making the information available to the public to begin with. Had they not given up the unit none of this would be taking place, there would be no probing of SEAL Team 6 members – and that Chinook full of SEALs would never have been shot down. To now attempt to hold the surviving members to some sort of degree of secrecy after the commander-in-chief, Barack Obama, spoon fed their identities to enemies of the U.S. resulting in catastrophic losses of life – is truly mind-boggling.
A poem tattooed on the arm of CW4 (promoted posthumously to CW5) David R. Carter – the co-Pilot of Extortion 17:
When I get to Heaven
To St. Peter I will tell
“Here I am reporting, sir!
I’ve spent my time in hell.”