Dead SEALs’ families blame Washington

A Chinook helicopter stands in the shadows of crouching US soldiers. (File photo)

The families of US commandos killed in a 2011 downing of a helicopter in eastern Afghanistan have blamed Washington for the attack and the ensuing cover-up, a report says.

The White House is responsible for the shooting down and subsequent cover-up of the Navy Chinook helicopter carrying 38 people onboard including 17 members of SEAL Team Six in August 2011, the Washington Times quoted the parents of the deceased on May 9.

The family members said the US President Barack Obamaâ„¢s administration and other White House officials Å“put a target on their backs” after they announced Osama bin Ladenâ„¢s killers as SEAL Team Six.

Taliban militants also received leaked information from the US government regarding the landing site of the helicopter, which made the chopper vulnerable to attack, the families added.

Å“[The militants] were positioned in a tower in a building at the perfect place and the exact time to launch an attack on the CH-47 when it was most vulnerable,” said Doug Hamburger, father of Sergeant Patrick Hamburger who perished onboard the aging Chinook helicopter.

The fallen soldiers were flown to the landing site with a Vietnam-era Chinook helicopter rather than with their customary Special Forces choppers.

Family members also questioned the sudden replacement of seven Afghan commandos onboard the helicopter just before the takeoff.

Moreover, the Obama administration and US Central Command have come under heavy criticism for failing to conduct a thorough investigation into the attack, with family members calling on the government to account for the cover-up.

Å“It was not a thorough investigation. Itâ„¢s a shame that we as parents have to demand a congressional investigation to find out answers,” Hamburger said.

The death toll marks the biggest single incident for foreign forces since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 under the pretext of combating terrorism. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity continues to rise across the country despite the presence of thousands of US-led soldiers.

GMA/KA/SS

This article originally appeared on : Press TV