Military Families are Outing Obama
American military and State Department families that have lost their sons in the war against Islamic jihadis are outing President Obama for playing politics with the lives (and deaths) of their sons. Speaking out in some of the most painful interviews ever shown on television, they directly blame the president for the loss of their sons' lives. Their accusations speak directly to Obama's competence in defending our national security.
Iran is on the brink of possessing nuclear weapons. Egypt's elected President Mubarak, the keystone to stability in the Middle East for the last 30 years, was pressured by President Obama to step down in favor of the terror group the Muslim Brotherhood. The Benghazi embassy was denied Marine protection, even on 9/11, with the subsequent tragedy and White House cover-up. We haven't lost an ambassador since Jimmy Carter's incompetence. Obama's Middle East policy has been a disaster, with one exception -- the killing of Osama bin Laden by Navy SEAL Team 6.
The president ran the special ops raid on Osama bin Laden's compound with one eye on national security and the other on political opportunism. Intelligence was compromised because there was political advantage to Obama to do so. Within a day, the White House divulged details of the attack, including that it was carried out by SEAL Team Six.
Three months later, 22 men from SEAL Team 6 were dead, victims of Obama's policies and politics. This story has been buried, until this 9/11.
Aaron's mother, Karen Vaughn, has a simple message: "How dare they -- they put a target on my son's back and even on my back! A little over 90 days later, my son was dead."
Sean Hannity ran a searing interview with Karen and Billy Vaughn, parents of a fallen Navy SEAL Team Six serviceman, Aaron Vaughn. It deserves repeated viewing. Aaron signed up to serve after 9/11 and was killed in Afghanistan in 2011 after the Osama raid, along with 21 other SEALS -- the single greatest disaster in the Afghanistan war and Navy Special Forces history.
Robert Gates, the defense secretary at the time, was appalled at President Obama and Vice President Biden boasting about the raid in detail: "We all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden. That all fell apart the next day."
Aaron called me, his tone was extremely serious and he said, mom, you need to wipe your social media clean. Get rid of everything. Any reference of me or my buddies because there is chatter and all of our lives are possibly in danger, including yours.
Karen Vaughn says that her son told her the SEALs were angry that their secrecy was compromised by the White House. Aaron felt that it put not only his life, but also the lives of 300 American military families in danger. She adds, "I can tell you that the community was stunned by the [White House] announcement. It was unprecedented and extremely dangerous."
As the mother speaks, Aaron's father, Billy Vaughn's face is so full of grief and anger, I can hardly look at him. He looks like he might explode if not for intense self-control. Billy's face was more searing than his wife's words. I don't think I will ever forget it. Then it is his turn to speak.
These elite warriors can do anything they want to the Taliban, to al Qaeda if this administration -- if President Obama would just recognize the enemy, give them rules of engagement that favor them, instead of leveling the playing field for the enemy, and give them the equipment that is required to carry out their missions.
And I mention those three things because those are other issues that we have found in searching and looking at what happened to Aaron and those warriors on that night, all three of those things were -- were reasons why this chopper was shot down.
Why this largest loss in a single day in the 10-year war on terror was caused and also the largest loss in the history of naval special warfare.
...Our president is directly responsible for the rules of engagement.
Let me just say this. On the night that Extortion 17 was shot down, this is all from the military -- we learned that the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police, the Afghan Security Ministry, are all involved in every single special ops mission, in the pre-planning, the post-op.
They know the flight routes of the choppers. That chopper flew in there that night in a place that had already been cleared seven times, according to our military, by our warriors and turned back over to the Afghans.
A 3 1/2-hour firefight under way and our chopper flew in with an AC-130 gunship in the air, two H-64s and they were not allowed to give any pre-assault fire. They landed the chopper like it was landing at Wal-Mart even though a firefight was underway.
When the chopper was shot down, neither were the AC-130 or the two AH-64s allowed to take out the savages who fired the RPGs because they were standing on a tower. And under the rules of engagement, they didn't know if there might be friendlies in the building. These rules of engagement are criminal for our warriors.
In an interview the Vaughns gave this 9/11, Billy said: "We expect better out, out of the, the high-ups in our government. We, as American citizens, look to our government. We elect them; we look to them to take care of the best interests of the American citizen, and especially the warrior. And I believe what the administration did then -- I believe it was criminal."
A little-told side to President Obama's running of the war in Afghanistan is the fact that the rules of engagement there are deadly to American soldiers. Under President Obama, average yearly deaths in Afghanistan have doubled. The Obama administration is denying our troops air support and threatening them with prosecution for firing in self-defense. Returning military are protesting, but their voices are not reported in the mainstream media (read here, here, here).
There was another heart-wrenching interview the evening before the Ryan-Biden debate that did make it onto prime-time news -- on CNN, no less. Anderson Cooper interviewed Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, father of three, an Air Force veteran and computer specialist who was murdered in the terrorist attack in Benghazi this 9/11.
He was my only child. ... I look at TV and I see bloody hand prints on walls, thinking, my god, is that my son's? I don't know if he was shot. I don't know -- I don't know. They haven't told me anything. They are still studying it. And the things that they are telling me are just outright lies.
That Susan Rice, what -- she talked to me personally and she said, she said, this is the way it was. It was -- it was because of this film that came out.
COOPER: So she told you personally that she thought it was a result of that video of the protest?
SMITH: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. In fact all of them did. All of them did. Leon Panetta actually took my face in his hands like this and he said, trust me.
...at first I was so proud because they were treating me so nice when I went to that reception. They all came up to me and talked to me and everything. I cried on Obama's shoulder. And he -- then he'd kind of looked off into the distance. So that was worthless to me. I want to know, for god's sakes.
It's my son. I had him for the first -- I told Obama personally, I said, look, I had him for his first 17 years and then he went into the service, then you got him. And -- I won't say it the way I said it. But I said you screwed up, you didn't do a good job, I lost my son.
The Obama administration denied the embassy the military security they repeatedly requested. The embassy was forced to rely on hired locals instead of Marines. According to State Department Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom, at the congressional hearings held October 11 on the Benghazi cover-up, "in deference to sensitivity to Libyan practice the guards at Benghazi were unarmed."
Mr. Nordstrom said that he was forced to a lesser security profile due to reduced staffing. As a result, instead of man-to-man defense, they had to move to zone defense. In other words, they had to rely on help from other areas in the case of an attack while sheltered in a facility that did not meet minimum requirements.
Obama lied to the American public in order to promote his major political talking point -- that al-Qaeda was defeated because of bin Laden's death. The administration's false claims of success were put above the safety of our embassy personnel. That is what Pat Smith was referring to when she said to Obama to his face, "You screwed up, you didn't do a good job, I lost my son."
A third story is also receiving coverage -- in the U.K.'s Daily Mail, that is, and on Fox News and Sean Hannity's radio web page. The father of fallen Marine Joseph Logan is speaking out about the condolence form letter he received from President Obama, delivered by a UPS truck driver almost five months after his son's remains were brought home from Afghanistan.
The father, Tom Logan, experienced Obama's late, impersonal form letter as profoundly disrespectful: "It opened up a wound, a hole in our heart, that you can't fix."
Tom Logan sent the form letter back to the Oval Office with a personal, hand-written message written across the bottom:
You, Sir, are an embarrassment to the Oval Office. ... Your ridiculous rules of engagement have caused the massive amount of casualties on your watch in Afghanistan. While we watch your media pander to your administration and clearly sweep things under the rug for you. I understand Marines die. You have tied their hands and feet! I am thankful that I did not serve under a Commander in Chief such as you. I am sickened that my son had to.
The families of the 21 Navy SEALs killed three months after the Osama raid also received form condolence letters, each with a huge Barack Obama signature that looked as if it was signed by an automatic pen.
Obama did have the time to send a personal letter to rapper Heavy D's family when he passed away, to be read before a crowd of 1,500 at Heavy D's star-studded funeral.
It is not as if writing condolence letters would be a big burden on Obama's busy schedule. The Department of Defense reports 1,650 combat deaths in total in Afghanistan since the beginning of the war in 2001. That's a rough average of 150 deaths a year. Obama has played a hundred rounds of golf with White House staffers but can't write a single condolence letter every other day.
The contrast with President Bush is remarkable. Bush (who played golf 24 times and then stopped playing in deference to the troops) sent personal letters to the families of "every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that ... escaped public notice." President Bush also met privately with "more than 500 families of troops killed in action and with more than 950 wounded veterans ... outside the presence of the news media."
The first lady (Laura Bush) said those private visits, many of which she also attended, took a heavy emotional toll, not just on the president, but on her as well...."People say, 'Why would you do that?'" the president said in an Oval Office interview with The Washington Times on Friday. "And the answer is: This is my duty. The president is commander in chief, but the president is often comforter in chief, as well. It is my duty to be - to try to comfort as best as I humanly can a loved one who is in anguish.
These military and State Department families who have lost their sons since 2008 have lost respect for Obama as commander in chief. They are angry that their sons' lives are cheap to Obama, and their deaths not treated as worthy of his personal attention. As Pat Smith says so eloquently: "You screwed up, you didn't do a good job, I lost my son." Or Billy Smith: "These rules of engagement are criminal for our warriors." Tom Logan: "I understand Marines die. You have tied their hands and feet! I am thankful that I did not serve under a Commander in Chief such as you."
All Americans can say the same: in playing politics with national security, Obama is not looking out for our lives.
The author was a Peace Corps volunteer who served in Senegal, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist, and a mystery author whose novels are set in Kenya. She currently writes for American Thinker.