(THE UNITED WEST) Retired U.S. Navy Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, a retired 4-star admiral and commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, is calling on all active duty and retired military personnel to publicly speak out against politically correct rules of engagement that are getting American servicemen killed, both at home, and at abroad.
In an interview with author and former US Navy JAG Officer Don Brown,author of “Call Sign Extortion 17: the Shoot-down of SEAL Team Six,” which exposes the shoot-down of a military helicopter in Afghanistan in 2011 killing 30 Americans, including 17 Navy SEALs, Lyons deplored decision-making within the American chain-of-command which led to the deaths of the 30 servicemen. In the case of Extortion 17,in the early morning hours of August 6, 2011, a U.S. AC-130 gunship spotted Taliban moving to the helicopter’s landing zone, requested permission to attack the Taliban, but was repeatedly denied permission to fire. As a result, Taliban operatives then fired on the U.S. helicopter at point-blank range, killing all 30 Americans.
Lyons’ comments, made at the South Carolina Tea Party Convention on January 17 in Myrtle Beach, came amidst the release of the popular movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which like the Extortion 17 tragedy, involved another high-profile “stand-down” order to the U.S. military, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
In the case of Extortion 17, more Americans were lost in one shot than at Benghazi, Fort Hood, and Chattanooga combined. All four events, according to Lyons, involved failures in the U.S. rules of engagement, yet the incident, which proved to be the deadliest of the four, still remains relatively unknown to most Americans.
In addition to calling for service members to publicly speak out, Lyons called for a meaningful congressional investigation into the Extortion 17 case by the Armed Service Committees of the U.S. House and Senate. “Somebody knows who denied permission for that AC 130 to clear that landing zone, and we need to get to the bottom of it. Somebody needs to speak out.”
Lyons deplored not only budget cuts, particularly to the Army, Navy and Air Force, but also spoke against what he termed as”social engineering” within the U.S. military, in which political correctness, particularly pro-islamic political correctness, is undermining not only America’s ability to fight, but America’s ability to keep her troops alive under trying circumstances.
Lyons, in an address the South Carolina Tea Party Convention, spoke strongly on the topic of demanding answers about the men of Extortion 17. He has endorsed Brown’s book, and is supporting production efforts about a movie on the subject, entitled “Fallen Angel: The Shoot-Down of SEAL Team Six“.
The admiral’s call to speak out is unusual and ground-breaking, in that active duty military personnel ordinarily are prohibited from speaking out against decisions with the U.S. chain-of-command, including decisions regarding the rules of engagement. But Lyons, who in his interview with Brown reminded officers that their sworn duty, first and foremost is to defend the Constitution, is now of the opinion that the deteriorating situation within the military is so critical that even active duty officers and personnel have no choice but to speak out.
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