Before Benghazi, There Was Extortion 17

Karen and Billy Vaughn are the parents of a fallen Navy Seal, Aaron Carson Vaughn. I met with the Vaughns when I spoke to a sold-out Tea Party event in Fort Lauderdale in June. The Vaughns are extraordinary heroes. Their courage to speak about Obama's crippling rules of engagement is to be applauded.

The Vaughns have exposed the delusional U.S. military "rules of engagement" policy that led to the takedown of a Chinook helicopter, Extortion 17, by the Taliban. All 38 people on board the Chinook -- 15 SEAL Team Six members (including Aaron Vaughn) and seven Afghan National Army commandos -- were killed. The attack on Extortion 17 came just three months after the Osama bin Laden kill, and both Obama and Biden had identified the team that took OBL out. Retribution was inevitable.

The Vaughns were also one of the families that released the video that revealed the incredible fact that military brass invited a Muslim cleric to their children's funeral in 2011 -- an imam who "damned to hell" our fallen soldiers, in line with Islamic doctrine for infidels. Video here.

Now Billy Vaughn and U.S. Army Major General (ret.) Paul Vallely have teamed up to write a shocking new book: Betrayed: Exposing the High Cost of the War on Terror (coming in August from Hugo House Publishers). It tells the story of how on August 6, 2011, Taliban jihadists ambushed Extortion 17 as it was transporting American forces to an area where Army Rangers were engaged in a firefight.

Betrayed is an accurate account of events, but it is not some dry recounting from a military operation logbook; instead, it's as engrossing as any novel. The first part centers on Billy Vaughn as he tries to find out -- against immense obstacles -- what really caused the tragic death of his son. Obama's bureaucrats put up heavy resistance, but Billy Vaughn was determined. Then in the second part of the book, Major General Vallely analyzes the mission of Extortion 17, using his decades of military experience to point out the many errors and mistakes of this mission -- all due to Obama's impossible Rules of Engagement for American troops in Afghanistan.

That's not all. Vaughan and Vallely show that this was more than just a matter of mission failure. As they search for the facts and demand answers from recalcitrant government time-servers, they discover that the poor planning and execution of Extortion 17's mission can be traced directly to the failed political and military strategy that the Obama Administration and senior military leaders continue to pursue in Afghanistan.

The fault lies with the Counter-Insurgency (COIN) doctrine, which both Bush and Obama have clung to despite massive evidence of its failure. The U.S. government is more concerned with appeasing Muslims both in America and in Muslim countries than in defending Americans against the global jihad. Obama even refuses to name the enemy. Meanwhile, his disastrous Rules of Engagement place our troops -- like Aaron Vaughn -- in unnecessary danger, and have cost countless American lives. When Extortion 17 was fired on, it wasn't allowed to fire back -- because of the Rules of Engagement.

Our troops in Afghanistan are so restricted in ways that they're not even allowed to fire on the enemy without permission -- which means that the Taliban and al Qaeda can shoot at our soldiers at will and then disappear while our forces are trying to get permission to return fire. And that isn't even the worst of all. The COIN doctrine forbids us to try to vet Afghans who want to work with the military.

The result has been massive infiltration and an ever-growing number of green-on-blue attacks by our supposed "allies" against the American troops who are risking their lives to train them. And the green-on-blue attacks are only one aspect of the infiltration. The Taliban always seem to know what operations our troops are going to undertake.

Obama knows all this, and yet he lets it continue, day after day, week after week, month after month. Really, which side is he on? And just as in the case of the Benghazi jihad massacre, the Obama Administration is covering up the facts of the Extortion 17 affair -- just as he continues his massive campaign of deceit about the jihad threat in general. The evidence keeps piling up of how dangerous his policy is, with the latest being the FBI's failure to investigate mosques that the Boston jihad bombers attended, despite plenty of evidence that they had Islamic supremacist ties.

Our government is deliberately standing down the U.S. military to appease Islamic jihadists. The evidence lies in the death of Aaron Vaughn and his cohorts aboard Extortion 17. And it's all laid out, in stunning and unforgettable detail, in Betrayed. Get this book and use its facts to fight against these monumental injustices. The tragic and unnecessary death of Aaron Vaughn should be a wake-up call for all our politicians, left, right and center. Use Betrayed to make it one.

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here.


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