One year and many conversations ago, Billy and Karen Vaughn appeared on my radar screen as the parents of Aaron Carson Vaughn, a fallen U.S. Navy SEAL and their only son. Today, I received a copy of Billy’s book, BETRAYED: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father, into which was poured a lot of blood, sweat and tears.
The Vaughns appeared on my radar screen for the first time in late October 2012 as parents slamming President Barack Obama and others connected to the deaths of 30 Americans, including Aaron, in Afghanistan Aug. 6, 2011. They were understandably angry because of what they were being told about the circumstances surrounding the incident recorded as the single-largest loss of life in Naval Special Warfare history. At the same time, they were understandably angry about what they were not being told about events that ended in the downing of the CH-47 “Chinook” helicopter, call sign “Extortion 17,” and the death of Aaron and so many of his fellow members of the elite Navy SEAL Team Six.
After watching video of the Vaughn’s appearance at a news conference in Washington, D.C., nine months later, I reached out to them by phone and sent them a copy of my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, hoping it would resonate with them. While waiting for them to reply, something unusual happened.
By sheer coincidence, I ran into the Vaughns at an event in Fort Lauderdale the following month. Over dinner, we discussed Billy’s efforts related to writing BETRAYED, as well as my investigation related to THE CLAPPER MEMO. By the time we finished our meals, I had offered to help in any way I could, Billy and Karen had promised to find time in their busy schedules to finish reading the copy of the book I had sent them.
One month later, the Vaughns came through on their promise, offering high praise for my book:
THE CLAPPER MEMO by Bob McCarty gives the reader an in-depth look into the dirty little secrets of politics and greed triumphing over safety and security for our fighting men and women as well as the average American citizen. In this gripping account of one man’s quest for truth, McCarty exposes filthy backroom deals bent on squelching the best technology available for securing quick, reliable, lifesaving information in the theater of battle.
The most shocking revelation for us, as parents of a fallen Navy SEAL, was learning that Army leadership was more willing to rely on laboratory studies commissioned by officials and agencies with vested interests in the outdated polygraph than in what they were being told by real-life heroes on the field of battle. The almighty dollar wins again…while the Soldier dies and Americans live at greater risk than necessary. – Billy & Karen Vaughn
During the months that followed, I fulfilled my promise as well, contributing to Billy’s book-writing effort by offering insights about “Green-on-Blue” attacks in Afghanistan and how those attacks are connected to serious shortcomings in the vetting process via which Afghan recruits are screened before being allowed to serve in the stone-age country’s military, police and security agencies. The crux of my input appears on pages 165-166 of the book:
It wasn’t until July 30, 2013, when the Department of Defense released its Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan, that we finally learned the truth about a startling and mostly-unreported spike in green-on-blue attacks.
Buried almost one-thousand words into that report, we found news of a 120 percent increase in these attacks from 2011 to 2012, rising from 22 to 48 incidents. Additionally, 29 percent (14) of the attacks in 2012 were executed by more than one person. Prior to 2012, only two attacks had been executed by more than one individual.
In short, more and more of our people are being ambushed by the very Afghani counterparts they’ve been told to trust after letting down their guard in supposed “safe zones” like dining facilities, living quarters and other “inside the wire” areas.
As soon as I finish reading BETRAYED, I will offer a complete review. I assure you now, however, that the book is a must-read for anyone wanting to know the truth.