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Mar-10-2014 02:07printcomments

Congressman Brady Asks Hagel Why SEAL Team Questions Remain Unanswered

What really happened to US Navy SEAL Team 6? Families of the Navy SEAL Team credited with the capture and killing of bin Laden: questions about their son's deaths and the treatment of their remains... still unanswered.

Charlie and Michael Strange
Charlie and Michael Strange

(SALEM) - One of the most bizarre and unprecedented events in modern U.S. military history, one that is extremely personal to the families of Navy SEAL Team 6, is unfolding mostly outside the view of the American public.

Navy SEAL Michael Strange is one of 31 American fighting men and seven Afghans, who lost their lives in Afghanistan on 6th August 2011 after their aircraft was reportedly brought down by a "lucky shot" from a Taliban militant with a rocket propelled grenade, or RPG.

The deaths included:

  • 15 U.S. Navy SEALs from the Naval Special Warfare Development Group's Gold Squadron "Team 6"
  • 7 Afghan National Army Commandos, part of Afghan National Army
  • 5 U.S. Naval Special Warfare support personnel.
  • 3 U.S. Army Reserve personnel from the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment
  • 2 U.S. Navy SEALs from a west coast based SEAL team.
  • 2 U.S. Army personnel from the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment, part of Colorado Army National Guard
  • 2 U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen from the 24th Special Tactics Squadron
  • 1 U.S. Air Force Combat Controller from the 24th Special Tactics Squadron
  • 1 Afghan civilian interpreter
  • 1 U.S. Military Working Dog

The families were shocked that the men of SEAL Team 6, who died in the single largest aircraft incident in the Afghan war, were cremated before being returned. This completely unique action was taken, the military told the families, because their son's bodies were badly burned in the crash and ensuing fire. There is absolutely no protocol in the Dept. of Defense calling for bodies to be cremated, instead the allegedly stellar handling of dead service members always involves remains being shipped home intact.

SEAL's Were Aboard Old Helicopter

Aircraft, reportedly Extortion 17 -

The SEAL team credited with the capture of Osama bin Laden, was trained to operate from a modern Blackhawk helicopter. However in this flight, they boarded an ancient National Guard CH-47 helicopter, built in 1961 according to family of SEAL Team 6, which reportedly flew them into the most dangerous part of Afghanistan without an aircraft escort, only to be shot down.

While the families begrudgingly and without power to contend, accepted their son's remains, one father took his investigation a step further. Charlie Strange, father of SEAL Michael Strange, requested his son's autopsy report. When he received this report, he unexpectedly found a DVD in the package. When Mr. Strange placed the DVD in his computer, he found photos of his son's body on the ground in Afghanistan. He was dead but unburned, suggesting there was no lucky strike by the Taliban, but something much much worse; as there is zero chance the government is not covering up the incident.

The following letter from Congressman Robert A. Brady, was dispatched to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last week. Brady is also a ranking member of House Administration, and a member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel:

    As you know, on August 6, 2011, the U.S. military suffered its largest loss of life from a single battle in the history of the war in Afghanistan, and the most disastrous incident in the history of the U.S. Special Operations Command. Thirty U.S. service members were killed when the helicopter with call sign "Extortion 17" was shot down in Wardak Province, Afghanistan. I am sad to say that one of the brave men who lost his life defending his country that day, Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Michael Strange, was a constituent of mine.

    Since that tragic day, many of the families of those who lost their lives on Extortion 17 have raised questions about the mission and about how the remains of their sons were treated after the attack. I have met with the Strange family a number of times, and while I understand that they have been provided a copy of the official crash report, they have told me that many of their questions remain unanswered.

    As you know, Chairman Chaffetz of the Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security held a hearing on February 27, 2014 entitled "Afghanistan: Honoring the Heroes of Extortion 17." Although I understand tha the hearing was intended to address the concerns of the families of the fallen, none of the families were permitted to testify or ask any questions, and I understand that many of their concerns were not addressed.

    In the hopes that the Strange family can finally get the answers and the closure that they need and so rightly deserve, I would like to request a meeting with someone from your staff who can address their concerns. Please let me know how I can best facilitate a meeting with the Strange family, I look forward to hearing from you.
    (See the full original letter below)

In an interview with another aircraft commander present that night in the Tangi Valley in Wardak, the question was asked, "Did you ever visually pick up EXT-17 before the RPG'S were launched?"

The aircraft commander answered, "No they were completely lights out and Zero illumination."

Whatever happened to Extortion 17 remains unknown. There are reports that Afghan soldiers were picked up just before the CH-47 went out of contact, and the manifests that would list the names of those individuals is "missing." It seems the only thing Charlie Strange can be sure of is that the government is lying to him about his son's death. Brady's letter seems almost apologetic in nature, it was executed carefully, but not in a demanding way. Perhaps something critical will be learned. Knowing that the families were honored but not allowed to speak or ask questions only drives the truth farther into the dark.

In the article, Military killed Taliban who downed US helicopter, reports, "On 10 August 2011, the U.S. military claimed that the insurgent who fired the rocket-propelled grenade had been killed only two days afterward in a F-16 airstrike, saying only that intelligence gained on the ground provided 'a high degree of confidence' that the person was among those killed in the airstrike from two days earlier, but providing no other details."

One scenario after another that the U.S. government puts forth, results in extreme convenience for the official position. Many contend that the killing of bin Laden at Abbotobad, Pakistan was a ruse, and a staged event designed to ensure the reelection of Barack Hussein Obama. It is further suggested by analysts that the SEAL team was sent to their death to prevent them from exposing the real story behind what happened in Pakistan the night bin Laden was reportedly killed and his body thrown into the sea, (even though it was a land operation).

Fortunately for the administration, the media is playing low key on this story, but that may change with the proper exposure. Something unstated and very wrong happened to the people about Extortion 17.

Tim King

10 March 2014

Also see:

Washington Times - Families suspect SEAL Team 6 crash was inside job on worst day in Afghanistan

Articles by Tim King about bin Laden:

Dec-24-2013: PRESS TV: SEAL Team 6 - The Ultimate Burn

May-01-2013: Rumsfeld Announced $2.3 TRILLION Was Missing from Pentagon One Day Before 9/11

Feb-21-2013: Waging War Over Natural Gas

Feb-03-2013: Another Navy SEAL, Another Violent Death

Dec-17-2012: 'Tere Bin Laden' is Paralyzingly Funny! (Unlike the True Story)

Sep-11-2012: SEALed & Delivered: Account of Abbottabad Ensnares Obama in Impossible bin Laden Scenario

Sep-11-2012: 9/11 Hijackers Passports were Issued by CIA - US Consulate Whistleblower

Jul-19-2012: Former CIA Agent Publicly States: Osama bin Laden Died Five Years Ago

Jun-19-2012: Bombshell: Newly Released CIA Documents Prove Bush Could have Killed Bin Laden; Prevented 911

May-07-2012: Abandoning Afghanistan, Great Job America

Sep-08-2011: Ahmad Massoud: the Lion in the Path of Understanding 9/11

Sep-03-2011: Gearing Up for 911

Jul-16-2010: The Tragic Red Sacrifice in Afghanistan

May-06-2011: 'Lion Sheik' bin Laden and the Confused American Public

May-01-2011: Osama Bin Laden's Death Claimed, But How Does One Kill a Corpse?

Jan-21-2011: Terrorism by the Numbers

Aug-01-2010: Great American Heroes: Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden

Jun-18-2010: A Colorado Ex-Con's Quest to Kill bin Laden

Sep-11-2007: Afghanistan: Is Osama bin Laden Alive and Well? (VIDEO)



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Heidi Tufto March 11, 2015 2:31 pm (Pacific time)

I had never come back to monitor this post, as it seemed pretty ridiculous and still does. Mr. Strange, I have been crewing on both the CH-47D and F model Chinooks for nearly 13 years and am a flight engineer instructor. Yes, SEALs did routinely fly on CH-47D and now F model Chinooks. I know, because we have trained with them intensively and I have been on too many missions to count in which we took them where they needed to go. As far as me needing to "smoke another one", I will leave that up to you. Perhaps it will calm you down. Some operators do fly with the 160th, if and when that asset is available. Are you somehow under the impression that the 160th operates out of every base and in every area in every war zone? No. They do not. Also, I went to the same schools as many of the flight engineers serving in the 160th and am wonderful friends with many of them. I do understand operations intimately, having served in two war zones as both a platoon sergeant of a flight company, a battalion master gunner, and a flight instructor. I also happen to be a casualty assistance officer and am quite aware of forms and regulations regarding how the deceased are handled. The PADD selects the method of desired disposition of remains on a DA Form 7302. Mr. King - thank you for your tirade in which you claim that you wanted to throw a gunner from an aircraft and as someone who suffered personal loss that night, I have no urge to support the government at random in attempts to cover up an incident. What I do have is many years of personal experience in this field and a great deal of knowledge regarding this situation in particular. If, as you state, SEALs do not train in Army aircraft, then the entire argument about the 160th is also null and void, as that is an Army unit. As for who claimed the flight crew was Navy SEAL, Doug Hamburger spoke on several radio shows in which he called and allowed his son to be called a SEAL. Patrick Hamburger was flight crew. Mr. Strange has also allowed his son to be called a SEAL, which he was not. Both were incredible young men and warriors - that should be enough and stand on its own. Although you did nothing to refute my claims, you did manage to criticize the difference between Afghan/Afghani and to also launch personal attacks. I stuck to fact, a great deal of which is verifiable from more than just my experience or opinion - your response was pedantic. Additionally, you could not possible have known people who were working on CH-47s forty or more years before I was born. CH-47s did not exist, nor were they in development in the 30's. As far as the "cremated" bodies go, the entire aircraft was on fire. The personnel at FOB Shank have stated that the air reeked of burnt flesh for days after the bodies were brought back to the FOB. Remains are not processed without a DA Form 7302, which is signed by the PADD. Whoever anonymous was below somehow feels that your military experience was more valid than mine, though I am not certain how they garnered that opinion. Also, the assertion that you were gaining military experience while I was playing in my poop is very telling. I am not certain where in here I gave my age or why you assume that I have any less experience than Mr. King. It seems laughable to me. Silly people make silly attacks without any factual basis, throw stones, and make statements which amount to nothing more than vague generalities. This entire string of rebuttals has amounted to nothing more than a child saying, "nuh uh." I provided references and had return comments about "my war", poop, my age, and "facts" that are really just opinion. At least I had fun reading all of this.

Mr Strange March 31, 2014 7:35 pm (Pacific time)

Heidi Tufto your not even close CH-47 D from 1960 refurbished in 1985 is fast and agile.You should smoke another one.Michael was a Team leader .They never fly in Ch 47 ds .Blackhawks .No Michael did not have to be cremated .Also a few other men did not have to be cremated.They usally fly with 160th .Fact.

George Michael March 11, 2014 11:54 am (Pacific time)

I hate government apologists, I hate people who fly around greasing innocent people in a f*cked up war without any justification. The Americans make the Nazi's look tame.

Anonymous March 11, 2014 11:19 am (Pacific time)

Tim King your critics are totally in the dark in both education and experience in what Special Op personnel are involved in. You worked with aircraft in the Marines, on the flightline, you  were accumulating knowledge in military aviation when this army loser was playing in her poop.  They are fighting a series of unjust wars and will probably have a lot of explaining to do when they die, it won't be pretty, God hates war.  As for me, I never served in the military, but I respect your service very much.

Heidi Tufto March 11, 2014 8:31 am (Pacific time)

The comments I just submitted should have read
"including a long stint in IRAQ performing Air Assault missions", not Afghanistan as I typed in the previous submission. I served with Mr. David Carter for 18 months in Iraq and was deployed to Afghanistan with this unit at the time of the loss of Extortion 17. I have multiple combat tours and 18 years of military experience. I am qualified on both the CH-47D and the CH-47F. I train crewchiefs, door gunners, and mechanics on both helicopters. I doubt you will find a more knowledgeable or credible witness in regards to the capabilities of this helicopter. Additionally, I was engaged to the flight engineer on this helicopter, who was not a Navy SEAL, nor a member of the Navy SEALS, as his father, Douglas Hamburger has stated on several right wing radio shows. Some people seek glory and fame, even at the expense of those who can no longer defend themselves.
- Heidi

Who ever claimed the flight crew was Navy SEAL?  I know people working with CH-47's probably forty or more years before you were even born.  I almost tossed one of your door gunners right out of a helicopter in Iraq one night as he was overseeing the brutalizing of bound prisoners, (A Disturbing Night in Iraq: Witnessing the Abuse of 'Insurgent' Detainees - Tim King yeah a real bunch of heroes you guys are, let me stand up and clap.  What I recall being important to people like yourself is whether or not your passengers wear long sleeved shirts, great sense of priorities the army has.    

Heidi Tufto March 11, 2014 8:24 am (Pacific time)

As a Chinook Helicopter Flight Engineer Instructor with more than 1000 combat hours on the CH-47D, and also a member of B Co 2-135th, I am disgusted by the constant misreporting in regards to both this aircraft and the crew aboard. The Chinook is the Army's fastest helicopter and is far from outdated or ancient. Despite it's large frame and bulky appearance, the CH-47D is an incredibly agile and powerful airframe that is most often used for exactly this type of mission. The SEALS were not trained only in the UH-60 Blackhawk, as we have performed countless missions with special operators in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The crew was the best of the best and the Pilot in Command had several thousand hours of flight, including a long stint in Afghanistan performing Air Assault missions of this type with the Special Forces. The crew and aircraft should not be suspect in any way, nor was this mission out of the ordinary. In addition to the misstatements about the aircraft and crew made my Mr. Strange, he has also repeatedly questioned the disappearance of the aircraft's "black box". The Chinook DOES NOT contain a black box of the type on commercial jets. The only recording devices on the aircraft track engine performance, or aircraft vibrations if you push the "test" button on that particular device. He has repeatedly referenced the AR 95-1 and stated that it references 3 types of cockpit recording devices in that manual. The AR 95-1 is a procedural manual which delineates job responsibilities for crewmembers such as the Flight Surgeon or a Crewmember. It discusses how long they have to progress from one level of expertise to another, etc. It does NOT cover operator-level issues with the aircraft. Each aircraft has its own manual, which we refer to as a -10. I have copies of both on my desk and neither references a cockpit recording device, as none exists. Additionally, Mr. Strange has made reference to seeing photographs of his son untouched by fire and stated that he could see a gun in his hand. Those photographs have never emerged. Having read the autopsy reports of my dead friends, and having discussed in depth the condition of the bodies with the recovery team, all were badly burnt at the crash scene - to the point that they were unrecognizable and had to be identified via DNA. None of the personnel on-board were cremated without consent of the family and no evidence has been produced to support this stance. I believe the accounts of my friends and brothers-in-arms who witnessed the crash and also of those who recovered the remains. Lastly, Mr. Strange has misrepresented his son's role on the team, even to the point of calling him a team leader on several radio shows. His son was not a Navy SEAL, he was Naval Warfare support personnel. While I do not doubt that he is grieving deeply, and I am deeply saddened by the loss of his son, Mr. Strange has a long and storied past of misrepresenting truth when possible. I am incredibly sorry for the loss of so many wonderful young men, both American and Afghani. These were our best and brightest and they deserved far better than a fiery crash. Still, let us respect their sacrifice and honor them as heroes, instead of creating conspiracy theories and chasing shadows.
SFC Heidi J. Tufto
Flight Engineer Instructor

It sounds to me like you have not read all of the data; people in Afghanistan that night were NOT clear as to what was taking place, and please don't tell me SEAL's train in the CH-47, it isn't even a helicopter used by the Navy; this is an Army bird.  BTW, an Afghani is a piece of currency, Afghan is the term you are looking for.  I am not sure what to make of your comment completely, if Mr. Strange had just released those photos the government hacks would discredit them immediately, people like you.  I do appreciate that you use a name, I assume that is your actual identity, nothing like being a representative of the government, representing the government's interests... And what of all of the other family members who are asking similar questions?  Do you guys plan to attempt to debunk everything and everyone?  The Afghan war, the entire thing... is based on a set of lies generated and released by the Bush administration.   I mean don't let facts get in the way or anything, but this whole debacle is a big ugly scam to rip off the American taxpayer, the American family, I hate your war Heidi Tufto. Lastly, you are lying about the families giving permission for the cremations, just a bold faced lie that is..    

George Reynold March 10, 2014 2:14 am (Pacific time)

I thought I knew about this case, indeed I did not. Thank you Mr. King for bringing this forward, I think we needn't ask why this story is missing the presses, exposing this is an act of journalism, no stories that illustrate the truth about the US govt's dirty side seem to make the NY Times or evening news. Again thank you.

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