Politics
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Obama, GOP leaders express sorrow over Afghan war’s deadliest incident

Photo of Steven Nelson
Steven Nelson
Associate Editor

America’s political leaders expressed sadness Saturday over the deaths of 31 American servicemen who were aboard a helicopter shot down in eastern Afghanistan.

Among the dead are at least 20 Navy SEALs from SEAL Team Six, the unit that carried out the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan earlier this year, sources informed the Associated Press.

President Obama said in a statement: “Their deaths are a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families.”

“At this difficult hour,” Obama declared, “all Americans are united in support of our men and women in uniform who serve so that we can live in freedom and security.”.

Speaker of the House John Boehner said in a statement, “On this darkest day of a dark conflict, our nation mourns the tragic loss of these courageous Americans, who gave their lives for the cause of freedom. We grieve with the families of all of the fallen, and pray they may find peace.”

“We honor their sacrifice,” Boehner continued, “by rededicating ourselves to the task of securing the nation for which they and so many others have fought and died. God rest their souls.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, both GOP presidential hopefuls, also released statements on the deadly helicopter crash. (A Tough Year: Karzai’s half brother assassinated in southern Afghanistan)

“Our hearts are filled with sorrow for the families of the American soldiers who perished in the downing of a helicopter in Afghanistan,” Romney said. “The memory of their loss will always invoke in us a deep appreciation for the sacrifices that have been given in this war to protect the liberty and freedom of us all.”

On behalf of himself and his wife, Huntsman said: “Mary Kaye and I want to express our deepest sympathy to the families of the 31 special operation troops who lost their lives in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We are forever indebted to these troops who fought for their country so admirably. I am awed by their bravery and we all must strive to live up to their sacrifice.”

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for downing the Chinook transport helicopter.

  • mom

    Obomber talks about their sacrifice
    something he knows nothing about
    he could not wait to brag about the bin laden killing
    everything is going to hell quick with this looser at the helm

  • Rackball

    none of this would have happened if it werent for bush’s administration

    • tryinghard

      None of it would have happened it radical Islamist wouldn’t have attacked us!

  • RobR

    Where was Barack ( I killed bin Laden ) Obama when the Seals really needed him this time? 

    He is only there for the good…..not the bad or the obamaly

  • terryatrae

    Way to go JOE…Shot off your big mouth trying to show how friggen ‘kool’ you were becuase you knew something someone else didn’t. Well Mr. Big Shot O’Biden, pat yourself on tne back for the death of 38 men. YOU couldn’t wait to tell theworld that YOU knew who took out Osama Bin Hidden.
    I don’t know whether your just a simple minded IDIOT (“Say, this is a big ‘****ing’ Deal isn’t it?”) or a military hating SOcialist.
    LEAVE THE OFFICE NOW…

  • Rajaat99

    “At this difficult hour,” Obama declared, “all Americans are united in
    support of our men and women in uniform who serve so that we can live in
    freedom and security.”How does this help our freedom and security? Afghanistan is no threat to the U.S. Our troops need to come home.
     

  • politicsisdirty

    Is this an operation gone awry? What really happened? Americans deserve some answers.

    God help the seal’s family in their period of grief.

  • Iowa48

    Why are they still flying combat assault missions in the CH47 Chinooks? They are slow and cumbersome and HUGE targets. They should be used for resupply only. They were flying these whales back in VietNam, which my creaking joints tell me was a long, long time ago. We used Bell ”Hueys” back in the day to do combat assaults, and there were only 8 troops per slick in the Huey, so if one went down it did not wipe out an entire unit. 
     So why are the brass in the Pentagon putting 25 of the elite of the elite into one basket that is so freakin easy to bring down?  The human tragedy of losing any of these warriors aside, putting so many of them in one bird is questionable at best, especialy when you consider the cost of training one USN SEAL and the effect the loss of that one bird will have on the outcome of any mission. Is the Pentagon using these antique whales as a cost saving tool?  So how much does it cost to replace 25 SEALs? I’ll bet you could buy a couple of Blackhawks for half the price!  As my momma would say “penny wise, pound foolish.”. 
    Congress needs to find out where the buck stops on this one, and that needs to be found at the appropriately highest level possible. That REMF needs to retire. 

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/MAZWYUQJ3MCNPGWGTVNVLS5HAQ Joseph A

      There is a special ops version of the Chinook, and has been for a while. This is the aircraft that went down. (I work at Boeing where we build them.)

    • Jland

      In regards to the Chinook being “slow and cumbersome”, you are wrong. It is actually very fast by helicopter standards, and is commonly used for missions such as this.  The version we use now is a far more modernized version from what was used in Vietnam. There are many advantages to using the Chinook due to its size, speed, and twin-rotor design. So before you play “armchair quarterback” do your research/homework because it is clear you don’t know what you’re talking about. No matter how good or bad the tactics may be, bad things WILL happen from time to time.

      • Iowa48

        Sorry, I was never all that great at math. You are probably right that it is better to put your entire team on one bird, rather than dividing them up into 3 or 4 birds, because mathematically it is better to lose all 25 or 30 at once than have 16 of them survive the downing of one bird and carry on with the mission. Heading on back to my armchair now, thank you very much.

  • Tipu_sultane

    One who live in a Glass house must not throw stone.
    If they do so the result is certain.
    Afghan peoples are the nation who never claim confession even in slavery.

  • spike1120

    Damn shame barry and hillary and the joint chiefs and several members of congress weren’t on that copter. If that had been the case we would get this headline: WAR IN THE STANS OVER!

    Touchingly sentimental outpouring doesn’t mean a damn thing. Those soldiers aren’t coming home, period. And the garbage their fighting for couldn’t care less.