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Air Force Witness Of Extortion 17 Attack On SEALs Says 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.”

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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Jim Acosta Just Got a Rude Awakening About His ‘Victory’ Over The White House

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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service in the world, RWN offers the following information published by: The Federalist Papers

CNN’s correspondent and chief buffoon Jim Acosta just got a rude awakening about his “victory” over the White House in getting his “hard card” press pass back, via The Hill:

The White House is threatening to again pull CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials after a court-ordered temporary restoration expires at the end of the month, the network reported late Sunday.

“Friday’s court ruling means that a temporary restraining order is in effect for 14 days. But [White House] officials sent Acosta a letter stating that his press pass is set to be suspended again once the restraining order expires,” reported CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter.

“The White House is continuing to violate the First and 5th Amendments of the Constitution,” the network stated. “These actions threaten all journalists and news organizations. Jim Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and the President.”

Once again CNN is being hysterical in it’s over reaction.

They can still send anyone they wish to the White House press conference.

Just not Jim Acosta as he’s gone beyond the pale.

As Bob Bennett of the Independent Sentinel notes, CNN’s “win” was not really a win for them.

It’s not quite what we’ve read in other media. First, it is of course objectionable that a court would involve itself in what is so obviously the White House’s decision. It also seems notably odd that the Judge was a Trump appointee.

Surprisingly, The NY Times sheds the most light on Judge Timothy Kelly’s decision in CNN’s lawsuit to restore reporter-propagandist-provacateur Jim Acosta’s press pass. Apparently, the Times was the only media source willing to pay the court for a transcript, as there is no online transcript.

Judge Kelly’s decision is not as crazy as it first appeared, in less complete coverage of the decision. For example, the judge said:

“‘I want to emphasize the very limited nature of this ruling,’ he said, saying that it was not meant to enshrine journalists’ right to access. ‘I have not determined that the First Amendment was violated here.’” It’s also a temporary decision, with a hearing on the merits to come in 14 days. Apparently, a future decision on the merits may well be a total smackdown of CNN:

“During the hearing, Judge Kelly appeared to agree with the argument put forth by the administration’s lawyers that the First Amendment did not guarantee a right to enter the White House campus.

“’I have no quarrel with that,’ the judge said, adding that the president ‘might not call on Mr. Acosta ever again.’”

This view was also put forth by One America News Network in an amicus brief, which opposed CNN’s suit—unlike Fox News, whose brief supported CNN.

Mr. Acosta’s continual interruptions, unnecessary and excessive consumption of time with narratives of his personal beliefs and viewpoints and otherwise self-serving and obstructive conduct toward his colleagues, the White House and the press briefing process evinces a singular motive and desire to be heard and have his views broadcast.While this narcissistic approach may serve Plaintiffs’ self-interests as entertainers or media figures and the network that profits therefrom, they do not serve the interests of the forum or the other participants in the White House briefing process and are not constitutionally protected.

Simply put, Plaintiff Acosta has no constitutional right to appear on television and broadcast his viewpoints on behalf of Plaintiff CNN under the circumstances presented in this case and Plaintiff Acosta’s exclusion from participation by this non- public forum is reasonable. See Arkansas Educ. Television Com’n v. Forbes, 523 U.S. 666 (1998)

The NY Times continues: “In arguing for the return of Mr. Acosta’s credentials, CNN cited a case from the 1970s that required the White House to demonstrate a clear process, and right of appeal, before revoking a reporter’s credentials.”

Thus, the judge merely addressed the lack of due process—a common element in many court decisions.

Judge Kelly wrongly criticized the administration for the WH’s claim that Mr. Acosta had placed his hands on a White House intern during the news conference. The judge called it “likely untrue and at least partly based on evidence of questionable accuracy.”

Here, he’s responding to leftist media’s charge that Sarah Sanders had tweeted a “doctored” video from Alex Jones showing the incident. We’ve all since seen other videos that clearly show Acosta swatting away the intern’s arm as she tried to retrieve the microphone. Surely, one of the Administration’s lawyers could have shown the judge the video on a cell phone?

The NYT also reports the White House’s response to the decision:After the ruling, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said her team planned to ‘develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future.’

CNN is already suing in district court over this, so we’ll see how it all unfolds.

In the meantime Jim Acosta is once again in the White House’s crosshairs so he best behave.

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Ocasio-Cortez THREATENS Fellow Democrats; Backfires Immediately

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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service in the world, RWN offers the following information published by: The Federalist Papers

Socialist superstar and “future of the Democrat party” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just threatened fellow Democrats who don’t fall in line with her radical leftist agenda.

In the process she made herself even more of a joke than she already was, per Politico:

The incoming star congresswoman from New York again put the Democratic establishment on notice that she and activist groups on the left aren’t content with a Democratic-controlled House: They are determined to move the party to the left.

“Long story short, I need you to run for office,” Ocasio-Cortez said Saturday on a video conference call hosted by Justice Democrats, as the group launched a campaign dubbed “#OurTime.” Justice Democrats supported Ocasio-Cortez’s primary campaign against powerful Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.).

“All Americans know money in politics is a huge problem, but unfortunately the way that we fix it is by demanding that our incumbents give it up or by running fierce campaigns ourselves,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “That’s really what we need to do to save this country. That’s just what it is.”

The incoming congresswoman’s chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, a co-founder of Justice Democrats, was blunter.

“We need new leaders, period,” he said on the call. “We gotta primary folks.”

Now THAT is hilarious!

Ocasio-Cotez is getting a bit too big for her britches and this is certain to alienate many congressional Democrats.

The freshman Congresswoman should perhaps take a step back, learn how government works and read a few books on economics, before she ventures out to lead a new movement.

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