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U.S. Politics

Navy SEALs Blood on Obama’s Hands

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Barry Nussbaum: Hello, and welcome to ATP Report. I'm Barry Nussbaum. So we've got Clare Lopez back formerly of the CIA and for the last decade or so, the vice president of research at the Center for Security Policy. Clare, thanks for coming back.

Clare Lopez: Thank you, Barry, and glad to be back with you.

Barry Nussbaum: So today, really important question, I remember watching from THE SITUATION ROOM, a staged event with the Obama's senior staff watching the SEALs attacking the compound where they had discovered Bin Laden. They took him out. One of the helicopters was destroyed, and all the SEALs escaped. Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there. Not too long later. Seal Team 6 was exposed along with its members, in violation of very strict American security policy, When it comes to special operations forces, where we never say who does what or who did what for the reason that we want to protect our men and their families. Tell me who violated the policy? What happened? And why do you think it happened?

Clare Lopez: Well, I don't know exactly how it happened. As I understand it, there may have been some discussions between the White House and Hollywood about potentially making a movie out of the episode. In any case, it was careless; it was unprofessional. And in the end, it was lethal to the members of SEAL Team Six, whose helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan in August 2011 as they went to the rescue of some of their fellow soldiers under attack by the Taliban.

Barry Nussbaum: How would you connect the two in terms of factual nexus between the killing of Osama Bin Laden in his compound in Pakistan, the announcement that it was SEAL Team 6, and then the shootdown of the helicopter killing everybody on board?

Clare Lopez: Well, when the news became public and unfortunately it did become public that it was or it had been SEAL Team 6 that took out Bin Laden in that house and about Pakistan two months prior, Right? Or three months, May of 2011. This was now August 2011 when that news became public. Obviously, the Taliban learned about it. It may be that the attack against Americans, that in a way, lured in this relief force on a transport helicopter whose code name was extortion 17, it could be that that was a setup literally to lure them in. Now, this helicopter was not an armed helicopter was a transport helicopter I believe was a Chinook. And it was transporting 30 some members of SEAL Team Six. As we've said, you know, going to the rescue of others under attack by the Taliban. And here's the thing, when they got close. Standard procedure is that when a helicopter-like this is coming in for a landing into a conflict zone, into a hot zone, that landing zone is first cleared. And that means that an aircraft like an AC 130 gunship up above would make sure that that landing area, that landing zone was cleared of hostiles, was safe for an unarmed transport helicopter to land in. Well, given the rules of engagement that were in effect under the Obama administration, any kind of use like that of our firepower really was not the decision was not made by the commanders on the ground who were in the middle of what was going on. Those decisions were made back in the United States, someplace where lawyers and who knows who else got in on the decision making. And in this particular case, permission was requested to clear the landing zone. But somebody from a drone or some such thing saw a bunch of goats down there, and maybe there was a goatherd there too. And they said, oh, well, rules of engagement, we can't kill a bunch of goats. We have to win hearts and minds, so they didn't clear the landing zone. They didn't Clear of hostiles. This transport comes in with all of the seals on board, and an RPG fired by the Taliban forces clips one of its rotors. The helicopter goes down. Everybody on board is killed.

Barry Nussbaum: What a tragedy

Clare Lopez: And here's the confirmation of this warped mentality that put a bunch of goats and a goat herd above the safety and the survival of our highly trained SEAL Team 6 members. I got to know Billy and Karen Vaughn, who are the gold star parents of Aaron Vaughn, one of those lost in the helicopter that day. And, you know, when they were looking for answers afterward, and they were attending various briefings and such. One of those senior officers of the U.S. military giving a briefing actually told them that it was important that the U.S. military win hearts and minds and that that was a priority and that you know, sometimes sacrifices have to be made. Really? That is what they told the parents of those fallen heroes.

Barry Nussbaum: Boy, is that discouraging to hear. One last quick question in your mind as an expert, does Obama deserve the credit that he claimed because he is the guy that got Osama Bin Laden?

Clare Lopez: No. SEAL Team 6 got Osama Bin Laden. The credit goes to them. And the fearless warriors who went in there into hostile territory and took out Osama Bin Laden and those with him. That's who gets the credit. President Obama, like President George W. Bush before him, knew that for nine or so years before May 2011, Osama Bin Laden and his fighters and families were in Iran. They knew that, and they did nothing about it. And even once the location of that house in Abbottabad was fixed, and they knew where he was, President Obama reportedly did not want to go after Bin Laden. And his staff, Department of Defense and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and secretary of state and others actually had to get, as I understand it from reporting, had to get the operation underway before they even advised the president that they were actually doing it. And that's why you when you mentioned that photograph, and we were looking at them all watching the monitors and in whatever room that was, the SITUATION ROOM or whatever. And you see President Obama sitting there in kind of a golf jacket. Well, yeah, that's because he was out on the golf course. They had to bring him in. They thought it was, you know, maybe he ought to see what was happening, but they had it underway before he even came into the room.

Barry Nussbaum:

Interesting and shocking, and very sad. Clare, thanks for joining us today. I want to remind our viewers, text TRUTH, the 88202, so you can see this and other episodes for free on your cell phone or type in FindBarry.com, that takes you to our website. You can subscribe. It's always free, and you'll never miss an exciting episode. Thanks for joining us. I'm Barry Nussbaum.

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