Sunday, March 29, 2015

Feds hide details of Navy SEALs shootdown
Bob Unruh / WND
An attorney suing the CIA, Department of Defense and National Security Agency over the shootdown of the Extortion 17 helicopter mission hauling a quick-reaction force of Navy SEALs in Afghanistan in 2011 is asking a court to issue a contempt citation to the federal agencies.

In a new motion, attorney Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch argues the defendants have missed an agreed-upon deadline for producing requested documents.

The lawsuit itself, Klayman says, arose from the defendants’ failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the crash that killed 25 American special ops fighters, five Army National Guard and Reserve crew members, seven Afghan commandos and one interpreter.

Klayman and parents of some of the victims believe Afghan turncoats might have led the aircraft into a Taliban ambush, contending there are anomalies in the official explanation. The Pentagon blames the disaster on a lucky shot by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Some of the victims were members of Navy SEAL Team 6. The attack happened only a short time after Vice President Joe Biden revealed to the world that it was that team that had killed Osama bin Laden.

Klayman’s motion notes the parties agreed to a status report Feb. 9 in which the DoD and the CIA were to produce the first set of requested documents no later than March 20.

But Klayman said March 20 came and went, and no documents were handed over.

“Given the failure of a substantive response on the part of defendants’ counsel, plaintiff respectfully moves this court for an order to show cause why defendants DoD, CIA, and their counsel should not be held in contempt for failing to comply with this court’s order,” Klayman writes.

The case is before U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington.

It’s another case in Klayman’s series against the NSA. In a separate filing, he won a judgment in district court that the federal agency’s spy-on-Americans program was unconstitutional. The ruling has been appealed.

WND reported Klayman wants the federal courts in the Extortion 17 case to order the government agencies to review their records regarding the Aug. 6, 2011, disaster and respond with information about documents he’s seeking.

It was a Boeing CH47 Chinook military helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, that was shot down near Kabul, Afghanistan. Enemy fighters reportedly used a rocket-propelled grenade to hit the aircraft, which plummeted to the ground.

The Extortion 17 attack is considered the worst single loss of U.S. military life in the Afghanistan campaign.

The lawsuit alleges the defendants “have failed to make bona fide, good faith determinations about whether they will comply with plaintiff’s requests. Nor have defendants produced any records responsive to the requests, indicated when any responsive records will be produced, or demonstrated that specific responsive records are exempt from production.”

The suit seeks a long list of documents regarding suspicious circumstances, including the decision “to invite a Muslim cleric to pray at the ramp ceremony” in Afghanistan for the U.S. servicemen.

Also, there are questions about the “missing” black box, the seven Afghani military members who were scheduled to be on the flight, but weren’t, and the seven Afghanis who replaced them.

Also, there were reports it was known that 100 Taliban members had traveled to the location of the attack. Also cited is Biden’s “public disclosures” of classified military information, revealing the identities of members of a high-profile mission.

The underlying original wrongful death lawsuit, filed some months earlier, seeks more than $600 million in damages from the Taliban, al-Qaida, Iran, Afghanistan and others for the deaths of members of the U.S. military’s SEAL Team 6.

The case alleges racketeering, terrorism and murder. It charges the terror groups are liable under America’s Anti-Terrorism Act for harboring or concealing terrorists, providing material support to a terror organization, wrongful death and more.

The case traces back to Feb. 23, 1998, when the “terrorist organization Defendant Taliban, in concert with the terrorist organization Defendant al-Qaida, led by master terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, issued a Fatwah (Religious Decree), dictating to all Muslim people to kill Americans and their allies – civilians and military – declaring that the slaying of Americans is an individual duty for every Muslim.”

Bin Laden declared: “We – with God’s help – call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it.”

The case ties the bin Laden declaration to the deaths of Michael Strange, a National Security Agency cryptologist for SEAL Team 6; Patrick Hamburger, an Army National Guard member; and John Douangdara, a Petty Officer 1st Class, in support of SEAL Team 6. Family members and survivors Charles and Mary Strange, Douglas and Shaune Hamburger and Phouthasith Douangdara are suing.

The defendants are accused of “violating plaintiffs’ and decedents’ rights, for engaging in racketeering and other prohibited activities, for engaging in international terrorism, for harboring and concealing terrorists, for providing material support to terrorists and terrorist groups, for directly and proximately causing the deaths of plaintiffs’ decedents, and for directly and proximately causing mental anguish, severe emotional distress, emotional pain and suffering, and the loss of society, earnings, companionship, comfort, protecting, care, attention, advice, counsel or guidance.”

The full list of defendants is the Islamic Republic of Iran, former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hoseyni Khamenei, the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai, the Afghan Operational Coordination Group, the Khasa Amalyati Qeta, Afghan National Security Forces, the Taliban and al-Qaida.

“In carrying out its terrorist attacks, including its attack on members of Navy SEAL Team VI and special operations servicemen as described herein, [the defendants], conspiring and acting in concert, purposefully directed their unlawful, barbaric, and murderous actions and conduct towards the United States and the U.S. military,” the complaint states.

The case claims the “murders of plaintiffs’ decedents were a direct and proximate result of Defendant Iran, Defendant Ahmadinejad, Defendant Kahmenei, Defendant IRGC, Defendant Karzai, Defendant OCG, Defendant ASOU, Defendant ANSF, Defendant Afghanistan, Defendant Taliban, and Defendant al-Qaida conspiring with and providing aid to terrorist organizations and through their individual and government acts, as hereinabove alleged, jointly and severally.”

And it blames the vice president’s loose lips for the disaster.

“This helicopter shoot down, Extortion 17, is the largest loss of life among the Navy SEALs since World War II. The family members, wives, the widows and mothers and fathers of those SEALs think that it’s political. In the course of our interviews, we discovered a number of SEALs think so, too.

They think that the shoot down of this helicopter was a revenge plot by al-Qaida, inspired by Vice President Biden’s comment,” author Richard Miniter said.

“The SEALs feel increasingly politicized under the Obama administration. One of the things that we demonstrate is SEALs who have been prosecuted for crimes they didn’t commit, found innocent, but sort of forced into retirement. We’ve seen a record number of retirements from the Navy SEALs. This is something the media is ignoring, but it’s an important story because the SEALs, like our other special forces, are the tip of the spear. They’re the people who are actually out there killing and capturing terrorists,” he said.

“Without them, we lose the war on terror. Without them, al-Qaida carries out attacks at America’s public schools, its offices and its shopping malls. Politicizing the SEALs is a dangerous game and, unfortunately, it’s one of the games President Obama is playing.”

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