Call Sign Extortion 17: The Shoot-Down of SEAL Team Six

Don Brown. Globe Pequot/Lyons, $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4930-0746-2
On August 6, 2011, 30 Americans, including an elite Navy SEAL team, died in a helicopter crash over Logar Province, Afghanistan—the deadliest single American loss of the Afghan war. Novelist and retired naval officer Brown (The Malacca Conspiracy) posits that the subsequent inquiry was a cover-up and finds plenty of questions left unanswered. His smoking gun was the presence of seven unidentified Afghan soldiers on the craft, a fact suppressed for over a year. Were they Taliban sympathizers? Why were Special Forces units being carried into battle in an old Chinook, a vulnerable Vietnam-era helicopter? Why were the pilots National Guardsmen instead of the usual Special Operations aviators? Why did an unidentified Coalition unit visit the crash site and leave before the rescue team arrived? To Brown this is an especially curious detail, considering the helicopter's black box was never found. Other mysteries remain, and Brown concludes that the truth would embarrass the military, so leaders made sure the investigation absolved everyone. Brown makes no claim to partiality, and his temper, nationalism, and contempt for Afghans on both sides do not help his argument, but few readers will deny the deeply suspicious nature of that disastrous mission's aftermath. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/25/2015
Release date: 06/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4930-0949-7
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