Mark Baisley
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There was a time when America’s Commander-In-Chief held a certain poise, a refinement of manner, a humble je ne sais quoi. And nothing could be more important to the families of America’s soldiers than assurance that the lives of their sons and daughters are valued above everything except the liberty they defend. Aaron Carson Vaughn, a member of the elite SEAL Team VI special forces once wrote a note of assurance to his concerned parents about his chain of command saying, “They won’t let me die.”

This week, America honors her heroes in recognizing Veterans Day, including our brave SEALs. That virtuous moniker is actually an acronym for Sea, Air, And Land, indicating that these guys cover every quarter and every dimension. Members of the United States Navy SEALs are a special kind of human, incredibly smart athletes with unthinkable endurance and unimaginable tolerance for pain. The greatest attribute of a SEAL is devotion.

But in a brand new book, a tragic truth is revealed about the Obama Administration’s unrequited devotion from our most selfless of heroes. Aaron Carson Vaughn is honored by his heartbroken dad in Betrayed, The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father. The book chronicles the events that led to the death of Aaron Carson Vaughn and was authored by Billy Vaughn, with co-authors Monica Morrill and Cari Blake.

The book details the events of August 6, 2011 in Afghanistan surrounding the shooting down of an American Chinook helicopter that held the evocative name of “Extortion 17.”A high-value Al-Qaeda leader was pinned down in a village by U.S. Army Rangers. Three hours into the intense ground engagement, Extortion 17 was tasked to carry seventeen SEALs into the battle with the onerous task of capturing the Al-Qaeda leader alive.

The Chinook was operated by a crew of five from the National Guard and carried an additional 22 Navy personnel in support of the elite SEAL team. One Afghan interpreter was also on board and, just before taking off, seven Afghan commandos were curiously assigned to the final flight of Extortion 17.

As the Chinook approached its destination, the enemy could be seen running into a building with a tower that gave them an advantageous shooting position. The two Apache escort helicopters had all the visibility and firepower to resolve the battle before Extortion 17 delivered the SEAL team. But the Apaches were denied permission to attack.

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Mark Baisley

Mark Baisley is a security and intelligence professional