Hardly A Fair Trade

Seriously, how could we be sure whether or not we killed the exact Taliban responsible for last Saturday’s deadly attack? If we knew who and where these barbaric cretins were, we probably wouldn’t have lost the Chinook in the first place.

U.S. kills Taliban insurgents who downed SEALs’ helicopter

The retribution wasn’t long in coming.

An American airstrike killed the Taliban insurgents whose attack caused a helicopter crash that killed 22 Navy SEALs and eight other U.S. service members, military officials in Kabul and Washington said Wednesday.

However, Marine Gen. John R. Allen, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, told reporters at the Pentagon that the main Taliban leader in the area remained at large. He did not identify that insurgent commander, the hunt for whom set in motion the events that led to the crash of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter on Saturday.

. . .

Special operations forces tracked down a group of “less than 10” insurgents and called in an airstrike from an F-16 fighter jet, Allen said. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Kabul said the strike took place early Tuesday in the Chak district of Wardak province, close to the area where the Chinook helicopter was shot down.

See also:
U.S. Says It Killed Taliban Who Hit Copter
U.S. forces kill Taliban fighters who downed helicopter
Copter attackers found, killed in strike
US-Led Forces Kill Taliban Militants Behind Helicopter Attack
Strike kills insurgents who downed helicopter in Afghanistan, top commander says
Taliban helicopter shooter killed by United States
Military killed Taliban who downed US helicopter

There’s so many questions yet to be answered regarding this incident, including which CH-47 variant was shot down, why were so many SEALs crammed onto a single helicopter, and why was SEAL Team Six being used on what’s variously, so far been described as a rescue mission, a reinforcement, or an independent, follow on raid?

/this “we got the Taliban that killed our SEALs” makes for a heartwarming tale of revenge but, given how many times this story has already changed, I remain skeptically waiting for the real truth to unfold, if it ever does come out

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Can We Please Have Our Wreckage Back?

Hey Pakistan, we’re really sorry that we violated your sovereign airspace without so much as a captain may I, but that helicopter wreckage we left behind is top secret and we’re afraid you’re going to give it to the Chinese. We realize that you’re throughly embarrassed and really pissed off at us, but can we please have our helicopter pieces back?

Top Secret Stealth Helicopter Program Revealed in Osama Bin Laden Raid: Experts

Before an elite team of U.S. Navy SEALs executed a daring raid that took down Osama bin Laden, the commandos were able to silently sneak up on their elusive target thanks to what aviation analysts said were top secret, never-before-seen stealth-modified helicopters.

In the course of the operation that cost the al Qaeda leader his life, one of the two Blackhawk helicopters that carried the SEALs into bin Laden’s Pakistani compound grazed one of the compound’s wall and was forced to make a hard landing. With the chopper inoperable, at the end of the mission the SEALs destroyed it with explosives.

But photos of what survived the explosion — the tail section of the craft with curious modifications — has sent military analysts buzzing about a stealth helicopter program that was only rumored to exist. From a modified tail boom to a noise reducing covering on the rear rotors and a special high-tech material similar to that used in stealth fighters, former Department of Defense official and vice president of the Lexington Institute Dan Goure said the bird is like nothing he’s ever seen before.

See also:
Mission helo was secret stealth Black Hawk
Secret Stealth Helped U.S. Accomplish bin Laden Raid
Did U.S. forces use secret stealth helicopters in bin Laden raid?
Aviation Geeks Scramble to ID bin Laden Raid’s Mystery Copter
New top-secret stealth choppers used on bin Laden raid
‘Stealth chopper’ helped hit Bin Laden
Speculation is rampant when it comes to the secret copters used in Bin Laden raid
Stealth Blackhawk Used In Bin Laden Raid?
Could the bin Laden Raid Have Revealed a Secret New Helicopter?
US: Helicopter Used in Bin Laden Raid Could Fall into Enemy Hands
MH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter
MH-60K/L Black Hawk
MH-60 Black Hawk

Yep, looking at the available photographs, that’s not an ordinary MH-60 Black Hawk and what’s left of the top secret variant is in, or on the way to, enemy hands, shades of the F-117 lost over Serbia in 1999. Now we’re reduced to begging the Pakistanis for our wreckage back.

/the SEAL operators must have known it wasn’t completely destroyed before they left the scene, would it have killed us to send a follow on airstrike to complete the destruction?

Clean Sweep, Three For Three

Justice is served.

Not guilty verdict in Navy SEAL case

A military jury in Virginia found a Navy SEAL not guilty Thursday on charges of punching a suspected Iraqi terrorist.

Jurors deliberated about an hour and 40 minutes before returning their verdict in the court-martial of Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe.

The 24-year-old Perrysburg, Ohio, man was tried at Naval Station Norfolk on accusations of assaulting Ahmed Hashim Abed, who is suspected of plotting the 2004 slayings of four U.S. contractors in Fallujah.

The prosecution’s key witness had testified he saw McCabe deliver a right cross to Abed’s midsection. However, several defense witnesses contradicted portions of that testimony.

A Navy prosecutor said in closing arguments that SEALs were trying to protect one of their own.

“They circled the wagons,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Grover. “They don’t want Petty Officer McCabe to be held responsible for this.”

A defense lawyer said he found that suggestion offensive.

Several defense witnesses contradicted the testimony of Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin DeMartino, who said he saw McCabe slug the detainee in the stomach. Those witnesses also testified that McCabe, a decorated SEAL, was known for strong character, integrity and truthfulness.

“Don’t be blinded by medals,” Grover told the jury. “Everyone is equally accountable to do the right thing.”

Defense attorney Haytham Faraj said the prosecution was asking the jury to take the word of a terrorist and a sailor who admitted initially lying about the incident over the testimony of numerous other witnesses.

See also:
Navy SEAL McCabe Found Not Guilty
Navy SEAL found not guilty of assaulting suspected terrorist
Va. military jury finds Navy SEAL not guilty
Navy SEAL Found Not Guilty of Assaulting a Suspected Terrorist
SEAL found not guilty of assaulting suspected Iraqi terrorist
Navy Seal Matthew McCabe Found Not Guilty!
BREAKING: Navy SEAL McCabe Found Not Guilty
Navy Seal Matthew McCabe Not Guilty on All Counts
But Did They Read The Terrorist His Miranda Rights?
Who Does He See To Get His Reputation Back?
Two Down, One To Go

So, the prosecution’s case was so weak that they lost all three times and none of the triers of fact took very long to render a not guilty on all counts result in any of the cases, the word of decorated SEALs versus the word of a terrorist trained to lie, no brainer. It kind of makes one wonder why the Navy insisted on pursuing these bogus charges in the first place?

/could it have been because of unlawful command influence?

Two Down, One To Go

2nd Navy SEAL found not guilty in Iraq

A military judge Friday found Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe, one of three Navy SEALs accused in the alleged beating an Iraqi detainee, not guilty, a military spokesman said. Keefe was accused of dereliction of duty for not preventing abuse of a prisoner.

The verdict comes a day after another of the other accused sailors, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas, was found not guilty of dereliction of duty. Huertas was also charged with impeding an investigation by attempting to influence the testimony of another sailor.

In graphic testimony delivered in Huertas’ court-martial earlier this week, the prisoner, Ahmed Hashim Abed, accused Keefe, Huertas and another Navy SEAL — Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe — of beating him.

Keefe had declined a jury and was found not guilty by a military judge, according to the military spokesman, Terry Conder, Public Affairs Officer for Joint Forces Special Operations Component Command.

Huertas was found not guilty Thursday by a military jury.

See also:
US clears 2nd Navy SEAL in Iraqi abuse case
Second Navy SEAL cleared
Navy SEAL Jonathan Keefe: NOT GUILTY! (Part 1)
Navy SEAL Jonathan Keefe: NOT GUILTY! (Part 2)
Navy SEALs 2, PCBS 0!
Rep: Navy SEALs Shouldn’t Have Been Tried
Justice for the SEALs
Support The Navy SEALs who Captured Ahmed Hashim Abed

/hey government, admit it, you [expletive deleted] up big time, drop the charges against McCabe, drop them now

Who Does He See To Get His Reputation Back?

Navy SEAL not guilty of charges in Iraq

The first of three Navy SEALs accused of mishandling a suspect in the high-profile killings of contractors in Iraq was found not guilty at a court-martial Thursday.

A military jury cleared U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas of all charges, a military spokesman said.

Huertas and two other Navy SEALs — Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe and Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe — have been facing charges in connection with the assault of Iraqi detainee Ahmed Hashim Abed.

U.S. authorities accuse Abed of being the mastermind in the slayings and mutilation of four U.S. contractors in Falluja in 2004, one of the Iraq war’s most notorious crimes against Americans.

During Huertas’ court-martial, Abed testified Wednesday that he was handcuffed, blindfolded and beaten.

Huertas and Keefe had been charged with dereliction of duty, based on the allegation that they failed to safeguard the detainee, according to the military. Huertas also was charged with impeding an investigation by attempting to influence the testimony of another sailor.

Keefe’s court-martial was supposed to have opened Monday, but it was delayed after defense attorneys were stuck in Europe because of flight delays due to ash from the Icelandic volcano. That court-martial is expected to begin Friday morning.

McCabe, who is charged with assault, will be tried May 3 in Norfolk, Virginia.

See also:
US Navy Seal cleared over attack on ‘Blackwater killer’
US Navy Seal cleared over beating of Iraqi terrorist suspect
Navy SEAL found not guilty of covering up assault
Local Navy SEAL Cleared in Court Martial
US Navy seal cleared of all prisoner abuse charges in Iraq
Court martial clears US sailor in Iraq: military
Navy SEAL cleared of beating suspect
Sailor not guilty of Iraq charges
Free All The SEALs From Travesty
Support The Navy SEALs who Captured Ahmed Hashim Abed

It’s absolutely disgusting that these three SEALs were, on the word of a scumbag terrorist, charged with these crimes in the first place. Instead of being court martialed, they should have been awarded medals for capturing, and not killing outright, the vile piece of Islamic [expletive deleted] responsible for this:

/one acquittal down, two to go, and this whole sordid episode of military command asshattery had better not ruin their careers either

Game Over

First report, grain of salt and all . . .

Captain jumps overboard, SEALs shoot pirates, official says

The American captain of a cargo ship held hostage by pirates jumped overboard from the lifeboat where he was being held, and U.S. Navy SEALs shot and killed three of his four captors, according to a senior U.S. official with knowledge of the situation.

Richard Phillips was helped out of the water off the Somali coast and is uninjured and in good condition, the official said. He was taken aboard the USS Bainbridge, a nearby naval warship.

At the time of the shootings, the fourth pirate was aboard the Bainbridge negotiating with officials, the source said. That pirate was taken into custody.

090412-N-XXXXN-001

See also:
Ship Captain Rescued From Somali Pirates
Captain of Somali-pirate-seized ship rescued
Report: Pirates were out of ammo, sought to trade captain
Obama approved force to rescue pirate hostage
WITNESS – “Hi, is that the Somali pirates?”
US sea captain freed in swift firefight
American captain Richard Phillips taken hostage freed from Somali pirates
Vermont Town Celebrates Captain Richard Phillips’ Release
Official: US sea captain faced imminent danger
UPDATE 1-Somali pirates vow revenge over comrades’ killings
Commander: Pirates’ deaths could escalate violence
Statement by President Obama on the rescue of Captain Phillips
Freed U.S. captain’s crew jump for joy at release

UPDATE: How the Navy Rescued Cpt. Phillips

NBC News is reporting that three pirates simultaneously popped their heads out of their lifeboat and were taken out by Navy sharpshooters from the U.S.S. Bainbridge.

The surviving pirate had jumped ship and surrendered a few hours earlier. The Navy had surreptitiously attached a tow line to the craft to keep it from drifting to the Somali shore, and the pirates apparently looked outside in order to investigate.

Thank God Captain Phillips is safe and had the cojones to take matters into his own hands, jump overboard again, and force the issue. And God bless the SEALs for putting a swift, professional end to the pirate terrorists’ careers.

/I sincerely hope that it turns out this was all part of a planned rescue or that we actually had plans to do something if Phillips hadn’t jumped in the water again

UPDATE:

Now they’re saying that Phillips was tied up in the lifeboat and didn’t jump overboard.

/if true, that makes the call on the triple sniper shot even more gutsy