I’ll admit, I’m no expert in anything. I’m new at this whole writing and journalism thing. I’m still learning. One thing I have learned is that you can’t view the world through the rose-tinted lens of your political views. Now when it comes to journalism, that ideology has to go out the window completely. Instead, in my rookie period as a journalist, I was completely obsessed with a few select views I held. I absolutely despised (and still do despise) Hillary Clinton. Watching Congressional hearings this past year allowed me to pick a few favorites who were enemies of Clinton. Namely, Jason Chaffetz the former chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Trey Gowdy, Jim Jordan, Bob Goodlatte, and a few others. Jason Chaffetz was one of my favorites. I blindly followed him by retweeting him, posting about every little thing his committee did, and cheering on while watching live or recorded streams of him questioning, testifying, and introducing bills. Since I only began really paying attention to world events and politics this past election season, I wasn’t too well-informed on the downing of the “Extortion 17” helicopter in Afghanistan on August 6th, 2011. And because of Jason Chaffetz, the American public may never be well-informed.
Firstly what was the “Extortion 17” helicopter downing? “Extortion 17” is the call sign of a Boeing Chinook Helicopter that was transporting twenty-five U.S. Special Operators, five U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard crewman, an Afghani interpreter, seven Afghan commandos, and a U.S. military dog. It was shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade by the Taliban, killing all thirty-eight on board, on August 6th, 2011. This tragedy is often overshadowed by Benghazi which happened a little over a year later. Just as disturbing as the Benghazi tragedy, in the aftermath the official investigations have not been thorough. Like Benghazi, there are feelings that there is a cover-up.
Aside from reading the headline that special forces were killed in Afghanistan, I barely looked into the incident. It popped up on a social media feed just recently when I saw the headline
I skipped right over it. Anything else with “Extortion 17” in the title made me associate the tragedy with the coordinated hit job the left was doing on Congressman Chaffetz. So instead of actually looking into the issue to see points and counterpoints, I simply ignored it. I’m a political commentator at best, and a twitter troll at worst. So me pounding the pavement about this issue wouldn’t have meant much. But the more voices, the better. Maybe someone important or big would have seen my articles or tweets. I could already have had FOIA Requests ready to send in and press offices to call had I done my research at an earlier time. Now, I’m playing catch-up. Something I completely regret, not for myself, but for not caring enough to do all in my power to help the deceased victims and their families.
Then, Jason Chaffetz decides to not run after his term expires this fall. He claims to have left because the “swamp” is un-drain-able. With subpoenas flying out of his ass at a rapid rate to no avail, Jason Chaffetz may have gotten frustrated and left Congress. I’m frustrated too, I want these bureaucrats we pay with our tax dollars to answer to the American people. But this is something Chaffetz has dealt with his entire career. Clearly, something else is bugging him. Maybe, that World Net Daily article I saw was on to something. So I went back and read it. Basically, Jason Chaffetz and his House Oversight Committee, did an inadequate investigation, despite numerous deficiencies in the official military report. Family members and experts were not allowed to testify. Is this new wave of demanding answers to the Extortion 17 tragedy a reason Jason Chaffetz is escaping Congress while he still can? I went from supporting Chaffetz to now demanding to know what he is hiding, why he is hiding information, and who is he hiding information for.
The lesson I learned that instead of backing a smiling fireball of a Congressman because of videos of him on YouTube, I should pay attention the details surrounding everything in government. It’s a lot more tiring, far less entertaining, and it may not include great one-liners, but the pursuit of truth and the pursuit of justice for the victims’ families is far more important than blindly following a politician or a political ideology. A quote from the Bible, Pslam 146:3, comes to mind.
Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
I do have some faith in Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina. The representative is now taking over as Chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform committee. The former prosecutor was Chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, where to this day he still continues to dig for the truth and fight for justice. Well, Mr. Gowdy, we are here to assist.
Halsey News is a partner in the September 10th #MarchForJustice, where we will demand Congress and other bodies to investigate and bring justice to these deceased victims and their families. We will be marching for the families of those involved in the Extortion 17 and Benghazi tragedies. The full press release can be found here. For more information and updates, please visit www.marchforjustice.online and follow @march4justice17 on Twitter.