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Air Force Witness Of Extortion 17 Attack On SEALs Said We Were Lied To – Obama Has Hell To Pay

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The families of some of the 17 SEAL Team 6 commandos who were killed in an ambush in Afghanistan during a helicopter flight to help Army Rangers pinned down by Taliban gunmen accused the Obama administration of deliberately endangering their loved ones for political ends.

Now a highly decorated, retired Air Force officer is coming forward, breaking her silence to speak out on what she witnessed in one of the deadliest attacks on Navy SEALs in U.S. history. Her testimony details how the government covered up evidence in the 2011 downing of a Chinook helicopter gunship that killed a total of 38 military personnel in Afghanistan and how the attack that took so many lives could have been prevented if it were not for the restrictions to the military’s rules of engagement instituted under the Obama administration.

On August 6, 2011, Air Force Capt. Joni Marquez was working along with her crew in the early morning hours before sunrise while aboard an AC-130 gunship when they were summoned to a mission in what she describes as “almost like a 9-1-1 type of a situation.”

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The gunship received orders to fly close-in air support above Afghanistan’s dangerous Tangi Valley, in Wardak Province. They were to assist troops with the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment who were under heavy fire by eight heavily armed Taliban insurgents. The Rangers had put in a call for assault helicopters to engage the enemy to draw them out of their hiding place in the rocky valley. They believed the insurgents were all killed after the air weapons team fired on the Taliban fighters. They were wrong.

Marquez states of the events that unfolded afterward – “I had the sensor operators immediately shift to the eight insurgents the helicopters had taken out. Two were still alive. We had seen two of them (insurgents) moving, crawling away from the area, as to not really make a whole lot of scene.”

She was the fire control officer aboard the AC-130 gunship and her job was to make sure the sensors and weapons aligned allowing the crew to hone in on targets for accuracy in firing. However, that night it did not matter because the gunship had not received permission to fire.

As she monitored the scene from above she detailed the scene to the ground force commander – “You have two enemy forces that are still alive. Permission to engage,” she asked. They were denied.

Marquez details in excruciating and painful detail how the ground commander’s refusal to grant her crew permission to engage the two enemy fighters sealed their fate. As a result, 38 people died in Extortion 17. She and her team could do little more than track the two enemy insurgents with the surveillance equipment. She and her team watched on helplessly as the two moved through an open field and made their way to a village for reinforcements.

Meanwhile, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, with the call sign Extortion 17, was called into lengthy firefight.  Marquez explained – “If we would’ve been allowed to engage that night, we would’ve taken out those two men immediately. They continued to essentially gain more and more force behind them because they just kept knocking on doors and the two personnel that initially fled ended up becoming a group of 12 people.”

Instead, a Taliban fighter shot a grenade from a rocket launcher hitting the Chinook. It sent the helicopter in a downward spin where it eventually crashed and killed everyone on board. 38 people died including thirty Americans and eight Afghans. Of those 38 dead, 17 were Navy SEALs. The tragedy took some of the glow off SEAL Team 6’s grand achievement just three months earlier: A team penetrated Pakistan airspace, infiltrated a compound in Abbottabad and killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden – long considered to be the mastermind behind the September 11, 2011 attack on the Twin Towers in New York City.

Marquez believes that had her team been allowed to engage and return fire, those 38 deaths could have been prevented. Pleas and warnings from her crew to turn the Chinook back or cancel their mission went unheeded. She explained that by the time Extortion 17 came in confusion ruled the day, stating – “Whenever we reached out to the Joint Operations Center, they would essentially just push back with, ‘Find a, a good infill location. Find a good helicopter landing zone.’”

She explained that one of the hardest things she had to do in her entire military career was to be forced to simply watch from her infrared monitor as one of the SEALs was ejected from the burning Chinook helicopter and his heat signature faded from red to blue. She stated – “We had to sit and watch that, and I think that was one of the hardest things that I had to do. That man was, you know, dying on the ground.”

Marquez describes the pain of the aftermath of living with what happened and the toll it has taken. She is in active therapy as a result and has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. She tearfully explains – “If we would’ve been allowed to engage that night, we would’ve taken out those two men immediately. I mean, it’s just one of those things where you know that it could’ve all been prevented.”

Her retelling of the events as they unfolded that night is corroborated by a previously top-secret report compiled by the Defense Department inspector general.  The report includes interviews with many of Marquez’s colleagues on the gunship, including the commander.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who served as deputy undersecretary of defense for Intelligence and was a commander in the Army’s super-secret “Delta Force,” denounced politicized rules of engagement as a “deliberate plot” within the American armed forces that he says puts political correctness above the safety of the troops. He stated – “We’ve allowed politics to become more important than the lives and safety of those men and women.”

The rules of engagement on the battlefield were tightened by Gen. Stanley McCrystal under former President Obama’s leadership in 2009. The official reason cited was an “overreliance on firepower and force protection” with the idea that this would reduce civilian casualties and win the cooperation of locals. Except according to Marquez it didn’t. The rules regarding when to engage the enemy were continuously changing depending on who was in charge and those rules prevented her crew from effectively doing what was necessary.

Marquez stated – “Ridiculous rules of engagement that basically state that you can’t shoot until being shot upon.  A weapon has to be pointed, and essentially fired at you, in order for you to shoot and you have the proper clearance so that you don’t, you know, go to jail, that you’re charged with a war crime.”

Senior legal advocate for U.S. Special Forces Jeffery Addicott is considered an expert in rules of engagement with 20 years of experience describes Marquez’s story as one of the most tragic regarding U.S. troops under enemy fire. He explains that all these unrealistic rules do is tie the hands of military personnel and endanger lives.

Addicott states – “In Afghanistan, we had rules of engagement that became more restrictive the longer we stayed. Right now, the rules of engagement are absolutely bizarre. Law of war, if you do or you suspected that someone was an enemy combatant, they had a weapon, they were carrying it openly, you could kill them before they shot at you.”

He is now pushing for congressional oversight of the Department of Defense’s rules of engagement so as to prevent a repeat of this level of tragedy. He believes placating foreign governments at the expense of American lives became a death sentence some military personnel. Overly restrictive rules of engagement do nothing to help those fighting the war win. They are simply the work of bureaucrats enforced against military personnel under political pressure from host nations.

Examples of some of the unclassified rules of engagement for Afghanistan are as follows –

  • No night or surprise searches
  • Villagers warned prior to searches
  • U.S. units on searches
  • U.S. soldiers may not fire at the enemy unless the enemy is preparing to fire first
  • Afghan National Army or Afghan National Police must accompany
  • U.S. forces cannot engage the enemy if civilians are present
  • Troops can fire at an insurgent if they catch them placing an IED, but not if they’re walking away from placing an IED.
  • Only engage an enemy fighter if you see a weapon, and they’ve fired first

Addicott states – “Under our current rules of engagement, you cannot shoot them until they shoot at you first. Now many people — of course people on the ground, the military soldiers — they know that this is a recipe for disaster and so, we basically have these rules that are made by the president.”

Marquez agrees with Addicott’s assessment and hopes her revelations of what actually occurred on the night Extortion 17 crashed will bring change that saves lives. She states – “I won’t rest until some kind of justice is served, in a manner of either, you know, the people that were responsible for that night, for making those calls, come forward and are honest about it. I know that’s kind of a lofty goal but, if that’s something that doesn’t happen, then obviously the ROE’s to change, for them to be realistic.”

Many family members of the fallen believe SEAL Team 6 had a target on its back and that persons inside the Afghan National Security Forces may have tipped off the Taliban about that fateful night in Tangi Valley. They wonder why a fighter just happened to be stationed in a turret within 150 yards of a landing zone that had never been used before. Yet the Defense Department special operations official continues to maintain there is no indication the mission was compromised by the Afghans.

Family members enlisted legal watchdog group, Freedom Watch led by attorney Larry Klayman in an effort to force new disclosures using the power of the FOIA process. Klayman speaks of how he has repeatedly been “stonewalled” by the Justice Department, the Defense Department, the CIA and the National Security Agency.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon signed an order requiring documents be released on a continual basis through the spring and summer. The Justice Department said at least 50 documents in the Pentagon have been identified as relevant, but only one has been turned over. The DOJ unilaterally set a new deadline for the release and then ignored their own deadline. Klayman also stated DOJ attorneys will not take his phone calls. He states – “They don’t even produce under their own self-imposed deadline. We’re pleading with the judge to do something, and he’s just sitting on it.”

As has become abundantly clear during the last several years the U.S. government is spending a significant amount of time and resources covering up the truth on many things from the American people. Things like the current FISA abuses, spying, Benghazi, the NSA, and a vast number of other incidents. It seems that a FOIA request no longer accomplishes what it was set up to accomplish – there is no “freedom of information” any longer. The government purposely delays or conceals documents in an effort to give time to redact and to delete things they do not want the American public to become aware of.

One wonders if the end result will be the same with current fictional witchhunt into so-called Russian collusion. As Rep. Trey Gowdy said recently when questioning FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – “Whatever you got, finish it the hell up because this country is being torn apart”

 

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BREAKING: Migrant Caravan Swells Massively Overnight – Invasion Imminent At Border

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Yesterday we had reports that as many as 2000 Central American migrants had turned back.

According to reports, thousands joined the caravan out of the blue overnight, though. Numbers now range at over 7000 in the group. Apparently Mexican forces are standing down or being overwhelmed.

We need the military on the border ASAP!

The L.A. Times is reporting:

“A caravan of Central American immigrants started walking north into Mexico early Sunday, blowing past police and immigration officials as they continued their journey toward the U.S. border.

A group of several thousand immigrants set out before dawn on the only road out of the small Mexican border town of Ciudad Hidalgo. They were headed for the city of Tapachula, about 18 miles away.

It was unclear whether the police planned to stop the group. At one point, a large contingent of federal police officers blocked the road before retreating. At another point, a small group of police watched as members of the caravan passed, some of them running and skipping.

When a small group of immigration officials tried to stop the caravan to convince its members to apply for political asylum, the caravan swept past them too.

On Friday and Saturday, officials watched as thousands of migrants illegally crossed the Suchiate River that forms the border between Guatemala and Mexico.

Gerardo Hernandez, head of the civil protection agency in the municipality of Suchiate, Chiapas, said 7,233 immigrants were registered over the last three days at a shelter in Ciudad Hidalgo. He said his agency has been asked to help provide the immigrants with food and shelter.

The caravan left the impoverished and crime-ridden Central American nation of Honduras more than a week ago, and its participants began arriving late last week at the Guatemalan border town of Tecun Uman, just across the river from Ciudad Hidalgo.

The migrants say their intent is to cross into the United States. The Trump administration has vowed to stop their advance and has threatened Mexico and Central American countries with economic reprisals if they fail to stop the migrant group.

President Trump has made the caravan a campaign issue at his rallies in the closing weeks of the U.S. midterm election campaign, labeling the assemblage of bedraggled migrants a threat to U.S. security and saying he would call out the military should the migrants make it to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, under pressure from Trump, has said that no migrants will be allowed to enter the country in an “irregular” manner.

On Friday, Mexican authorities put on a show of force when several thousand caravan participants tried to storm the official Mexican border crossing into Ciudad Hidalgo. With tear gas and police in riot gear, Mexico thwarted the attempt to breach the border, an operation that drew praise from Trump.

The caravan is made up mostly of men but also includes hundreds of women and children, some of whom said they were fleeing violence.”

The Gateway Pundit also reported:

“The illegal migrant caravan is sweeping through Chiapas in southern Mexico on Sunday, their numbers having jumped to over 7,000 overnight from just a few thousand as it became apparent the caravan would not be stopped by Mexico. After blocking the migrants on a bridge Friday, Mexican officials allowed the migrants to swim and raft across a river from Guatemala into Mexico Saturday and then regroup in a riverside park. Mexico also allowed over 600 women and children to legally enter for processing on Saturday.

Reports from the caravan state that on two occasions Mexican federal police stood in formation to meet the caravan as the migrants staged a massive march up a highway. As the migrants approached both times the Mexican police stood down and let them pass. A Mexican official was reported to have said they can’t stop 7,200 people.

Kate Linthicum with the Los Angeles Times reported on the two failed attempts to stop the caravan Sunday: “I’m only just realizing the massive scale of this caravan as they march north into Mexico. It’s several thousand people. Just look…A group of immigration agents stopped the caravan to ask them to apply for asylum in Mexico. The caravan blew past them…The caravan just swept past a large contingent of Mexican federal police, who didn’t do anything to stop them…”

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State Assembly Just Impeached Their Entire Supreme Court – They’ve Had It!

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In what has to be the feel-good story of the day, The Hill is now reporting that the West Virginia House of Delegates actually voted on Monday night to impeach all of the justices on the state Supreme Court. This decision was prompted by reports of extravagant spending on office renovations.

In a series of votes that of course fell along party lines, lawmakers approved 11 articles of impeachment against the four sitting justices. Sending the process on to the State Senate.

State lawmakers had originally voted to impeach Justice Allen Loughry on eight articles after he and his office spent $363,000 in renovations. This became an issue when he was allegedly found to have lied to the House Finance Committee about having a $42,000 antique desk and computers, owned by the state, transferred to his home. And also was found to be using state vehicles for his personal use.

Here is more on this via Fox News:

“West Virginia lawmakers, seeking to remove every justice on the state’s four-member Supreme Court amid what they called an “over-the-top” spending scandal, impeached three justices on Monday, including Chief Justice Margaret Workman.

One article of impeachment said Workman and Justice Robin Davis signed documents in their roles as chief justices allowing for senior status judges to be paid higher than allowed wages. Lawmakers say the overpayments violated state law and stopped when they were challenged by the Internal Revenue Service.

Earlier Monday, the Republican-led House of Delegates voted 64-33 to send an impeachment article against Davis to the state Senate for trial. The vote came shortly after lawmakers also impeached indicted Justice Allen Loughry by a vote of 64-33. Loughry’s impeachment vote, which came after approximately two hours of debate, took only seconds, NPR reported.

Fox reported that one justice escaped impeachment, but that has now changed:

“Justice Beth Walker is the only current justice who has not been impeached as of Monday evening.

Walker was cleared late Monday of an impeachment article for spending $131,000 on renovations after taking office last year. She still faces another article that accuses her and the three other justices of abusing their authority by failing to control office expenses and not maintaining policies over critical matters. Some lawmakers said they didn’t condone Walker’s spending but said it paled in comparison to other justices.”

The Charlotte Observer is now reporting that another vote was held & Justice Walker has been impeached also:

“The West Virginia House of Delegates has impeached all four of the state’s Supreme Court justices.

The Republican-led House on Monday night impeached Justice Beth Walker and the other justices for abusing their authority. The article says they failed to control office expenses and not maintaining policies over important matters such as working lunches, the use of state vehicles and office computers at home.

Walker was the last of the four justices to be impeached. She had avoided impeachment earlier when the House voted not to pass an article against her for $131,000 in renovations she made after taking office last year.”

Fox News continues:

“The impeachments do not remove the justices from office. The articles will go to the Senate, which can formally remove the justices only by a two-thirds vote.

The charges were largely related to the justices’ use of state funds to conduct office renovations. Davis spent more than $500,000 on her office and Loughry spent more than $363,000 on his.

Loughry is under federal indictment and named in eight impeachment articles, including allegations he lied about taking home a $42,000 antique desk and a $32,000 suede leather couch.

On Monday, Loughry was impeached under six impeachment articles, including for allegedly driving state vehicles for personal use and of using state-owned computers at his home. He was also impeached for his role in assuring higher pay for senior status judges.

Republican Delegate Tom Fast of Fayette County said he had seen the work done in Davis’ office, including track lighting on the floor. He characterized the renovations as “over-the-top” and said the impeachment article “is one of the more easy ones” for him to support.

However, some legislators said they didn’t support impeaching any justice for wasteful spending, only for articles pertaining to lying, cheating or stealing.

Several lawmakers noted that the Supreme Court has a separate budget and is currently allowed to spend as it sees fit. A proposed constitutional amendment this fall would bring the state courts’ budget partly under legislative control.

But State GOP Delegate John Shott, who helped draw up the impeachment articles, said that if West Virginians do not trust their highest court, “we need to take action to try to rebuild that trust.”

Normally, West Virginia has five Supreme Court justices who are elected to serve a 12-year term. However, Menis E. Ketchum resigned from the state Supreme Court in July after he was accused of alleged federal wire fraud. He pleaded guilty to a felony charge of defrauding the state and faces up to 20 years in prison.”

Justice Robin Davis was also impeached after allegedly using $500,000 for office renovations.

Reports are now also adding that state lawmakers had initially overlooked Chief Justice Margaret Workman’s spending of $111,000 on office renovations. So she was also later impeached for her role in allegedly allowing senior-status judges to receive higher wages than allowed by state law. Davis and Loughry have also been accused of this.

Justice Beth Walker was the final justice whom lawmakers voted to impeach after she was found to be guilty of abusing her authority. This article also counted against the other justices. Lawmakers had previously decided to look past her spending $131,000 on office renovations.

The former Justice Menis Ketchum was reported to have stepped down from the bench last month and pleaded guilty to one count of federal wire fraud.

The West Virginia Governor, Republican Jim Justice will be allowed to appoint new justices to replace those who were impeached. He is not required to appoint justices from the same party as the incumbent as well so let the left wing whining begin.

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