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Questions raised by the SEAL Team 6 deaths in Afghanistan 2011-08-07 0:00
In the deadliest day of the almost decade-long war in Afghanistan roughly 30 members of the American Special Forces, most of which belonged to the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, were killed in a Taliban rocket attack.
A total of 38 people were killed in the crash, including 7 Afghans and an interpreter. However, it is being reported that none of the SEALs killed were part of the SEAL Team 6 operation that resulted in the execution of Osama bin Laden.
Due to this fact, I think that much of the jumping to conclusions on this issue is unwarranted at this stage.
It took minutes before the Internet was ablaze with chatter about the deaths of these American commandos. Much of the speculation surrounding this was because of the assumption that some of the SEALs were involved in the Osama bin Laden capture/kill charade.
Of course the conjecture was that these SEALs were killed to keep them quiet about their involvement in killing (or not killing) Osama bin Laden.
Without a single confirmation that even one of the team members was involved in the raid itself, I am not comfortable making this statement.
That being said, there are some points in this story that raise some red flags for me. None of these are conclusive and with so little information about the actual individuals killed in the crash, I do not believe that we should come to any concrete conclusions just yet.
This is very much like my analysis in the wake of the Breivik terrorist attacks in Norway: I caution the reader to take note that I am mulling over what we know now to give you the analysis I can present at the moment.
This is very likely to change in the coming days and weeks, but I think it is one of the primary duties of the alternative media to start drawing connections and analyzing events right away in order to spur independent research and investigations. Without pointing out inconsistencies and questioning what we know, we would make no progress towards the truth.
With that disclaimer out of the way, I will raise some questions that I think need to be answered. If you have a military background and can answer any of these questions please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would sincerely appreciate your expertise and I will use your comments to publish future articles.
The first odd thing that I noticed about this is that the previous most deadly day in terms of American casualties was also due to a Chinook being shot down near Kabul in 2005. Also on board the previous downed Chinook was a 16-person Special Operations team.
This is the second confirmed enemy attack on an allied helicopter this year. Back in late July, another Chinoook was downed in the Kunar Province, leaving two people injured.
Maybe it is just dumb luck that Taliban insurgents happen to have targeted helicopters loaded to near-full capacity with Special Operations personnel. It seems a bit coincidental that this is the case, especially given the equipment available to U.S. Special Operations teams like the SEAL Team 6.
This raises another question: why were they transporting themselves in a Chinook? Sure, the dual-rotor helicopter has a large carrying capacity, but why would they risk moving an extremely slow, loud transport through the dangerous mountainous areas near Kabul at night in order to engage insurgents?
I find it strange that they would choose to risk all of those valuable Special Operations soldiers’ lives in order to save some gas.
Why would they not utilize the stealth helicopter technology we know for a fact SEAL Team 6 has access to?
Why not use the stealth technology utilized in the original raid on the bin Laden “compound” in Abbottabad, Pakistan?
I fail to see why they would not utilize equipment they are in possession of, especially when it is designed for stealth night raids like the one being conducted that resulted in so many American deaths.
Maybe I am naďve but I would hope that our military is competent enough to know that taking a slow moving heavy transport through one of the most dangerous regions of Afghanistan at night in order to battle insurgents is not a good idea.
Furthermore, I would hope they realize that loading over 20 Special Operations troops into a single helicopter is not a good idea, evidenced by the massive blow dealt in the 2005 attack that resulted in fewer casualties than the most recent crash.
One problem I have with the idea that this was a deliberate attack in order to cover-up the bin Laden hoax is that it is unlikely that SEAL Team 6 members would suddenly become loose-lipped.
Most of the operations carried out by these covert operations teams, and all Special Forces for that matter, are completely classified. It can be assumed that they have taken out plenty of high-value targets and that they would likely not begin talking about it now.
US helicopter shot down in Afghanistan was on rescue mission
The US Navy Seals’ Chinook was shot down in Wardak, Afghanistan, killing 38. Photograph: Romeo Gacad/Getty
The US Navy Seals and other troops whose helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan had rushed to the mountainous area to help a US army ranger unit that was under fire from insurgents, two US officials said Sunday.
The rescue team had completed the mission, subduing the attackers who had the rangers pinned down, and were departing in their Chinook helicopter when the aircraft was apparently hit, an official said.
Thirty Americans and eight Afghans were killed in the crash, making it the deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan. The rangers, special operations forces who work regularly with the Seals, afterwards secured the crash site in the Tangi Joy Zarin area of Wardak province, about 60 miles (97km) southwest of Kabul, an official said.
On Sunday, Nato began an operation to recover the remains of the large transport helicopter, while Afghan and American forces battled insurgents in the region of the crash. The clashes Sunday did not appear to involve the troops around the crash site.
"There have been a small number of limited engagements in the same district as yesterday’s helicopter crash, however those clashes have not been in the direct vicinity of the crash site," NATO said in a statement. "As of now, we have no reporting to indicate any coalition casualties resulting from these engagements."
Shahidullah Shahid, the Wardak provincial spokesman, confirmed the helicopter recovery mission was under way and said there were reports of Taliban casualties overnight.
"There is a joint operation going on by Afghan and Nato forces. A clearing operation is ongoing in the district and there are reports of casualties among insurgents," Shahid said. "The area is still surrounded by American forces."
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, Nato said insurgents killed four alliance service members in two separate attacks in the east and the south. It did not provide their nationalities or any other details.
The deaths bring to 369 the number of coalition troops killed this year in Afghanistan and 46 this month.
The downing of the helicopter Saturday was heavy setback for the US-led coalition as it begins to draw down thousands of combat troops fighting what has become an increasingly costly and unpopular war.
Of the 30 Americans killed, there were 22 Navy Seals, three Air Force combat controllers and a dog handler, his dog and four crew members, a current US official and a former official said on condition of anonymity because military officials were still notifying the families of the dead.
Most of the Seals belonged to the same elite unit that killed Osama bin Laden, although they were not the same people who participated in the May raid into Pakistan that killed the al-Qaida leader. The downing was a stinging blow to the lauded, tight-knit Seal Team 6, months after its crowning achievement.
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