Navy Seal Aaron Vaughn is an American hero who died in Afghanistan. His Gold Star parents are furious with Navy Admiral William McRaven who penned a scorching op-ed in the Washington Post to President Trump after John Brennan’s security clearance was pulled.

Gold Star parents Billy and Karen Vaughn decided to respond to the op-ed because they knew that Admiral McRaven had politicized the move by the president. They knew he was a big Obama fan…but there’s so much more to the story…Their hero son was one of the men shot down in EXTORTION 17:

U.S. NAVY SEAL AARON VAUGHN  was killed on August 6, 2011, when his helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. Thirty Americans died in the attack! It was the largest single-incident loss of life in the war in Afghanistan. Seventeen of the victims were elite Navy SEALs. This tragedy occurred under McRaven’s leadership. He was promoted to U.S. JSOC just two days after the shooting. There have been numerous questions about the tragic event that have gone unanswered by the government. The Vaughns had obviously asked questions of Admiral McRaven as you’ll read in their impassioned letter below…

In a statement to, the Vaughns wrote:

Mr. McRaven has publicly exposed his true colors. While most see him as an esteemed man in uniform, our personal experience led us to view him through a much different light…
When we began to speak publicly about the facts we had collected regarding the shoot down, we experienced severe intimidation from military leadership who, at that time, served at the pleasure of Admiral McRaven. The accusation? We were being “political.” And you never mix military service and politics. Never. Imagine the irony, in our eyes, to read McRaven’s current letter to our President, using his voice as the former Commander of USJSOC.

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He could not be more political. He’s confronting a sitting President, making a blanket statement that President Trump has “embarrassed us in the eyes of our children.” Well, sir, our children aren’t embarrassed. Our son would have been proud to have served under this Commander in Chief and quite frankly, might still be alive today if he had.
You, Mr. McRaven, have no right to speak for Americans in general.

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The facts have shown that Mr. Brennan is a bad actor. To defend him as you have makes us wonder if you are possibly posturing for something significant? Maybe the nation should take a closer look at your motives, sir, as we have been forced to do as a family.

In addition, while we were being scorned for discussing the shoot-down of Extortion 17, we were told repeatedly that we could be hurting operational security for those still fighting on foreign soil. But nothing, sir, could have caused greater risk to that community than what you’ve just done. As a matter of national security, what you just did is actually unforgivable.

You’ve made the statement that you would be honored to have your security clearance revoked by our President. If you’re truly a man who stands for what you believe, do the honorable thing and turn in your security clearance on your own. We’re all tired of the grand-standing. We’ve been listening to the leftists and Marxists tell us for years that if they don’t get what they want they’ll leave our country, but yep, they’re still here. Enough already.


On January 4, 2013, McRaven met with the Vaughns to discuss Extortion 17. In his book, Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as Told by a Navy SEAL’s Father, Billy recalls his meeting with the admiral, writing about heated exchanges with him over details of the shoot down.

He also claims that McRaven–who emphasized he did not want their meeting to be “political” — continued to praise President Obama throughout a discussion with his family.


Billy Vaughn’s book about Extortion 17 may be purchased on Amazon. Here’s the intro to the book:

Before BENGHAZI, There was EXTORTION 17….

August 06, 2011, 2:20 a.m.—Operation Lefty Grove is underway, a highly dangerous mission to take out another high-level Taliban operative, three months after the death of Osama Bin Laden.

In the dark of night, twenty-five US Special Ops Forces and a five-man flight crew on board Extortion 17, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Seven unidentified Afghan Commandos are allowed to join them. Ground forces have already been engaged in a three-hour exhaustive battle. Extortion 17’s specially trained warriors drop into the Hot Landing Zone to help their fellow warriors. But there’s a problem: the standard chopper escorts have all been directed elsewhere. Mission directions are unclear. Worse, pre-assault fire to cover the Chinook transporting our brave fighting men is not ordered.

On that fateful night, Extortion 17 would never touch down. Taliban fighters fired three rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) in rapid succession. The first RPG shot below the Chinook, but the second made contact in what the military would later describe as a “one-in-a-million shot.” The shot struck a rotor blade on the aft (rear) pylon, shearing off ten and a half feet of the blade. The third shot flew above the falling chopper. Within a matter of seconds, the chopper begins to spin violently out of control and then drops vertically into a dry creek bed and is engulfed in a large fireball.

There are no survivors.

The thirty brave Americans lost that night were more than just warriors. They were husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons. Billy Vaughn’s son, Aaron Carson Vaughn, was one of them.

Over the next few months as unsettling information on the tragic incident is released to the families, Billy Vaughn becomes increasingly disturbed. Billy discovers that US military forces are not being led to win battles, but have been sent on a fool’s errand to “win the hearts and minds” of other nations. He is told that the US Rules of Engagement have prevented our brave defenders from defending themselves. Adding insult to injury, Billy learned that a Muslim Imam was invited by our own US military leaders to “pray” over his son’s dead body. As US war heroes lay in their caskets before their last flight home, the Imam damned America’s fallen warriors as “infidels” who would burn in hell. As US military leaders observed the ceremony at Bagram Air Base, the Imam boasted over the deaths of US heroes with words such as, “The companions of heaven [Muslims] are the winners.”

Betrayed is a heart rending account in America’s history, an engaging novel of faith, patriotism, honor, duty and loss. Betrayed is not just the biography of an American military family, it is a crucial, true-life narrative that every American must read and understand about their government and the danger America’s military strategy currently poses to all families. Betrayed is a book Billy Vaughn wishes he didn’t have to write. But his son is gone and there are still unanswered questions. He needs to know if finding the truth may prevent another father from standing in his shoes.

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