Retired Air Force Captain Joni Marquez is claiming the Pentagon hid the truth and lied about the circumstances that led to a Chinook helicopter crash that killed 38 which included 17 Navy SEALs. The Chinook that was shot down had the call sign of Extortion 17.

Captain Marquez was the fire control officer aboard an AC-130 gunship that Army Rangers had called in for close air support in Afghanistan’s Tangi Valley.

The Heroes that were lost on Extortion 17

The Rangers had called in for assault helicopters to engage the enemy hiding among the rocky valley. The air weapons team fired on the Taliban fighters, but not all of the insurgents were killed as originally believed.

“I had the sensor operators immediately shift to the eight insurgents the helicopters had taken out,” Marquez told Circa, in her first interview about the incident. “Two were still alive.”

“We had seen two of them (insurgents) moving, crawling away from the area, as to not really make a whole lot of scene,” she recalled.

Monitoring the scene from above, she relayed the scene to the ground force commander. “You have two enemy forces that are still alive,” she said. “Permission to engage.” They were denied. – Read More at Circa

Captain Marquez watched as the two remaining insurgents made their way back to a village and then gathered additional fighters whom ultimately participated in the downing of Extortion 17. This was considered the largest single day loss of American lives in Afghanistan.

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What are your thoughts and comments on this? Is Captain Marquez right and this tragedy could have been avoided?

Featured image by of Captain Joni Marquez by Circa

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