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After 13 years, CIA finally honors Green Beret killed on secret Afghanistan mission

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When Nathan Ross Chapman became the first military casualty to die by enemy fire during the war in Afghanistan, the only American flag available for his casket was a patch torn off the uniform of an airman loading his coffin for the long trip home. He was buried on Jan. 11, 2002, a week after his death, with full military honors in Tahoma National Cemetery, Wash.

It took another 13 years for the CIA to recognize on its Memorial Wall that Chapman, an Army Green Beret, was also one of its own — the sergeant first class had been officially detailed to the agency in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks and died acting as a CIA paramilitary team’s communications specialist.

Chapman’s death was a watershed event for a country that didn’t know it was headed into a seemingly endless war, where the news of those lost would turn into a kind of white noise for many Americans. The first of its kind in Afghanistan, his death drew national attention, including a televised funeral.

Much of Chapman’s story and that of the secret agency team he was assigned to has never been told, and the agency continues to say nothing about him.

At a ceremony at CIA headquarters on May 18, 2015, the agency unveiled an engraved marble star to mark his death in the line of service, but like many others in the wall’s accompanying Book of Honor, his name was left absent. The addition of that star for service in 2002 prompted The Post to examine the background to the honor, and why it had taken so long to be conferred.

In the years after Chapman died, the agency honored at least one other service member, a Marine officer killed in Iraq in 2007 while detailed to an agency paramilitary unit. The Marine was later memorialized with a star, yet it took more than a decade for Chapman to receive his place on the famed wall.

“We didn’t even know anything was going on relative to that star; we didn’t expect it and we didn’t know anything about it,” Chapman’s father, Will, said during a recent interview in his home in Texas. He said the recognition from the CIA was part of his son’s final chapter, and he was grateful for it. It also recognizes the pivotal role that Special Operations forces played with the CIA in the early days of the Afghan war.

Following the memorial ceremony in 2015, CIA Director John Brennan, along with his deputies, privately met with the Chapmans on the agency’s seventh floor. He apologized for the long wait but gave no explanation for why it took more than 13 years for Chapman to get his place on the wall, the father said.

“He just said it should have been done a long time ago.”

The CIA declined to comment.

Chapman, 31, left behind a wife, Renae, and two children, Brandon and Amanda, who, at the time, were 1 and 2 years old. Renae Chapman was unavailable to comment for this story.

A veteran who jumped into Panama as a Ranger and who served in Iraq and Haiti, Chapman was also a qualified combat scuba diver and sniper. Among his peers he was known as a consummate professional and as the life of the party with a penchant for quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.

Chapman had transferred back to Fort Lewis, Wash., from Okinawa just before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“America’s going to war over this,” he told his father in the weeks that followed. “And they’re not going without me.”

“And then he was gone,” the elder Chapman recalled.

An unconventional team of elites

Built like a linebacker with a square jaw, narrow eyes and a sly smile, Chapman went to war as a member of what the CIA called Team Hotel — a six-man unit composed of three Special Forces soldiers, two CIA paramilitary officers and a CIA contractor. Chapman and two other Green Berets were selected from more than 1,300 soldiers in 1st Special Forces Group. For their mission in Afghanistan, the CIA needed communications specialists and medics, and almost immediately following the 9/11 attacks it tapped 1st Group to help fill that requirement, said Lt. Gen. David Fridovich, who was, at the time, the group’s commander and a colonel.

Chapman’s assignment to Hotel reflected the agency’s rapidly expanding relationship with the U.S. military, according to Henry Crumpton, the leader of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center task force that led the war in Afghanistan. It was a relationship born out of necessity in order to field an effective unconventional force in a new and entirely unconventional war.

After purchasing thousands of dollars in outdoor supplies from area sporting goods stores and requesting the weapons and equipment the team would need in Afghanistan, the six men spent the remainder of October bouncing between the CIA’s Camp Peary — better known as The Farm — in Williamsburg, Va., and the agency’s headquarters.

Chapman was responsible for assembling the team’s communications equipment. At the time, the process of interfacing satellite radios and computers was a new discipline, but it was something Chapman had already mastered. He was known throughout 1st Special Forces group as the best in his field, earning the reputation during repeated deployments to places such as Thailand and Malaysia with Special Forces teams.

Aside from setting up the radios, Chapman was also instructed on a computer program called ArcView — a piece of software that allowed CIA and military units to see what was happening on the battlefield in real time.

“He never took himself too seriously, even with all the crap we were throwing at him,” said Ken Stiles, the CIA targeting officer for all of the agency’s operations in Afghanistan.

In the run-up to Hotel’s departure, other CIA and Special Forces teams had already been scattered throughout Afghanistan. Team Jawbreaker, the first element to go in, had linked up with parts of the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban, along with teams Bravo and Charlie. Team Echo had made contact with future Afghan president Hamid Karzai. In December, teams Juliet and Romeo would go into Tora Bora, hoping to corner Osama bin Laden in the craggy mountain passes near the Pakistan border.

But before Hotel would join its sister elements in Afghanistan, Chapman and the rest of the team would first fly to Jacobabad, Pakistan. The team soon began trying to work a deal with the Pakistani military to get to their side of the border south of the Afghan city of Jalalabad in an attempt to box in and find bin Laden, according to Scott Satterlee, a Special Forces medic detailed to Hotel with Chapman.

With the Pakistani military demanding more training and equipment than the small team was able to provide and offering little knowledge of the lawless border region where Hotel was trying to go, the deal fell through. As things unraveled in Pakistan, Afghan forces, their path paved by devastating U.S. airstrikes, seized Kabul. Just days after Thanksgiving, Team Hotel left Pakistan for Afghanistan’s capital.

Hotel would stay in Kabul for roughly a month, spending Christmas there. A detachment of operators from Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, would bring the team to 11 members for an upcoming mission in Khost, a rugged town on Afghanistan’s eastern border.

Christmas was the last time Chapman called home, his father recalled. He didn’t tell them where he was, just that he was safe. He passed the phone around to his mother Lynn, and to Keith Chapman, his older brother who was recently married. His grandmother and grandfather also managed to get on the line.

“I said to him at the end of the conversation, I’m sorry you’re not able to be with your family,” his father said.

“I know, Dad,” he replied. “But I’m with my second family, and they’re a great bunch of guys.”

Behind enemy lines

Roughly a week later, Hotel loaded onto one of the CIA’s Russian-built Mi-17 helicopters and flew the 90 miles to Khost. According to Satterlee, the agency had to pay its way into the town, offering large sums of money to one of the tribes in exchange for admission and some protection.

Hotel would go in and “plant the flag” for the CIA and deny al-Qaeda a base of operations, according to a CIA officer present during the team’s operations who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a covert operation. They were the first Americans there since the war began.

The team set up, along with some of their newly acquired Afghan escorts, a rudimentary base of operations in an old Russian schoolhouse in the middle of town during the final days of the year. The night before Chapman’s death, a small four-man element from Hotel slipped into the darkness to conduct reconnaissance on an abandoned Soviet airfield a few miles away, returning after taking small-arms fire.

The airfield would later be named after Chapman and was the site of a suicide bombing that killed seven CIA employees in 2009.

The next morning, cold and cloudless, Hotel’s team leader along with a senior CIA officer who had been sent to the area held a meeting with some of the tribal leaders at a nearby abandoned government building. The meeting started poorly, according to the CIA officer. The tribe’s representatives erupted into heated argument, but after tea and a pledge by the CIA to help rebuild the town, the meeting closed on somewhat good terms, said the officer.

That afternoon, Hotel loaded into four white Toyota HiLux pickup trucks along with a handful of Afghan escorts and headed to what they thought was an al-Qaeda safe house located in town. The agency had intercepted communications coming from the building.

“Us being there wasn’t accomplishing anything, besides maybe getting us into more trouble,” Satterlee said.

The team got back in their trucks and headed down one of the only paved roads in Khost. As they came into town, the road turned into a wash. The first three trucks went down and out and headed back toward the schoolhouse. As the fourth truck dipped into the culvert, now roughly a hundred yards away from the next vehicle in the convoy, three men opened up with Kalashnikovs, each dumping their entire magazines into the last truck from roughly 30 feet away.

In that truck’s bed was Chapman, a CIA paramilitary officer and the team’s lone CIA contractor. An Afghan was driving. Two rounds slammed into the paramilitary officer’s chest, tearing through his extra ammunition magazines and his soft body armor. The bullet that killed Chapman shattered his pelvis and severed his femoral artery. It was unclear who returned fire, said Satterlee, but when they inventoried Chapman’s gear later that day, the magazine in his M4 carbine was empty with its bolt locked to the rear — evidence that he had expended every round he could before collapsing from blood loss.

Chapman and the paramilitary officer slumped down, and the Afghan driver gunned it, making it back to the schoolhouse in just over a minute and a half. By the time Satterlee and the rest of the team got to the back of the truck, it was awash in Chapman’s blood, and he was unconscious.

With the agency’s lumbering Mi-17 transport helicopter flying from Kabul — a roughly 45-minute flight from Khost — the team worked furiously to keep Chapman alive. Satterlee did the best he could by stuffing the wound with gauze while another team member knelt on Chapman’s navel. But five minutes before the Russian helicopter touched down in a wheat field next to the school, Chapman stopped breathing.

The paramilitary officer, although severely injured with multiple sucking chest wounds, would survive.

Satterlee helped slide Chapman into his sleeping bag and loaded him into the back of the helicopter. It was 5 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2002.

It is unclear exactly who shot Chapman and why. According to Satterlee, the gunmen were part of one of the tribes trying to extort more money from the Americans for protection, while the CIA officer interviewed for this article said they were possibly linked to the Haqqanis — a powerful faction that had already sworn to fight the United States and would continue to fight U.S. troops for years to come.

“He always knew how to find his way into the action,” his father said. “That’s why he went in the military, to do this stuff. … But he knew the risk involved.”

The Army awarded Chapman a Bronze Star with a V for valor, and the CIA would posthumously give him an intelligence star, according to his father. The U.S. Special Forces Association in Thailand renamed itself after Chapman, and a mural of the slain Green Beret adorns the wall of its headquarters.

“The mystique went away, and reality showed up when Nate died,” said his former teammate, Sgt. 1st Class Jason Koehler. “It took the Superman T-shirt from every one of us who thought we were invincible.”

Via WaPo

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Military

Here’s A Look At Our Military’s New Weapon Systems

Some badass firepower!

Chuck Yarling

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President Trump had promised to build a strong military during his candidacy and has followed through with it as president. However, most people are unaware of what our military has done in the past few years. So here is a list of the currently available new weapons systems.

Lasers

HEL Photon Cannon 

Boeing’s High Energy Laser (HEL) is sometimes referred to as a “death ray on wheels”. The Army’s new laser has already been “successfully used to blast some UAV drones and 60mm mortars.”

ATHENA

The Army’s Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) uses a 30-kilowatt laser that has shown the ability to shoot down a drone.

AN/SEQ-3 (XN-1)

This weapons system is being used by the Navy as a defensive weapon on a ship that will “shoot down incoming missiles, drones, boats and other potential threats.” It will eventually be a 150 kilowatt weapon that will be eventually placed on a destroyer or aircraft carrier.

HELLADS

The High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) is a laser weapon designed for use by the Air Force “to defend against surface-to-air threats” such as enemy aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, and rockets.

LITSABR

The Laser Identification through Scattering and Beam Recognition (LITSABR) is defensive weapon designed to detect laser beams being projected by enemy forces.

It should be noted that lasers are viewed as so important that members of congress have asked the military to get them into the field – faster.

Missiles

CHAMP

The Counter-Electronics High Power Microwave Advanced Missile (CHAMP), is a non-lethal missile that projects a microwave pulse that effectively acts as an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP). The EMP will shut down all computers and electronics within its range.

JAGM

The Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) is designed to serve the Army, Marines, and Navy. It is “equipped to allow for laser, millimeter-wave and thermal targeting systems to be installed.”

Pike

This is a 40 mm guided missile designed to be launched from a grenade launcher that can reach up to 1.2 miles.

Pyros

This is a 12 pound, 22 inch long, laser-guided missile designed to be launched from a drone at enemy ground forces and equipment.

Bombs and Projectiles

Programmable Ammunition

This new technology makes it possible for any larger gun to fire shells that can be programmed to explode with pinpoint accuracy, either before, above or inside a target.”

Small Diameter Bomb II

This 208 pound, 70 inch long all-weather laser-guided bomb that can travel up to 40 miles.

Electromagnetic Railgun

The railgun is designed for ships to launch projectiles electromagnetically (rather than by traditional means) at speeds greater than 4,500 mph (about Mach 6 or six times the speed of sound) to targets more than 100 miles away.

Weapons and Weapon Systems

Mk 38 Mod 2 Bushmaster autocannon

Also known as the Typhoon Weapon System, this is a 25-mm machine gun installed for ship self-defense to counter High Speed Maneuvering Surface Targets (aka “fast boats”).

And finally, the

Saab M4 Carl Gustav

The Carl Gustav is an 84 mm man-portable reusable anti-tank recoilless rifle. It becomes a shoulder-fired rocket launcher if a post-firing booster is added. This weapon is designed to be used against both personnel and tanks.

Welcome the 21st Century and our U.S. Armed Forces.

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Featured

WHOA! Look What Melania Just Did To Her Entire Flight Crew After What Happened To Her Staff

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Melania Trump doesn’t have a personal staff as big as Michelle Obama’s was, which was an intentional decision she made to cut back on unnecessary spending. Operating with a team of professionals who each have an important purpose, our compassionate First Lady shows sincere gratitude for each person who helps her, recognizing that it’s a privilege. So when she saw how they were treated recently, Melania responded in a surprising way our of protection for the people who help her do her job.

Melania doesn’t speak often unless she has something meaningful or important to say. She saves her words for when they matter most, especially since the liberal media is waiting with baited breath for a chance to twist anything she says or does. Today she said something that won’t soon be forgotten, especially by her entire flight crew who her remarks were directed at.

While Melania is traveling around the globe on her first overseas trip as First Lady, she’s on Air Force One just about daily, going from one location to the next. It’s a lot of travel and flight time, which she’s become somewhat used to as she flies frequently while living in New York, but having First Lady duties in Washington, D.C. With this much time in the sky and need to rely on her flight crew she and her staff are dependent on, the team has gotten to know the personable First Lady and they aren’t just any flight crew.

Melania and her staff are transported by the US Army 1-214th Aviation Regiment who have always shown the First Lady and her staff the utmost respect in doing this important job. This is something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Melania who likes others to know how much they are appreciated, rather than just taking advantage of it the opportunities afforded her like her predecessor seemed to do.

Even though she’s overseas right now, Melania hasn’t forgotten about her awesome Army men who she publicly thanked today on Twitter going into this Memorial Day weekend. Like her husband, our First Lady has a love and respect for our military.

“Thank you to the @usarmy 1-214th Aviation Regiment for getting me & my staff to our mtgs safely! ,” Melania Tweeted from her official Twitter account today.

She didn’t have to say a word and perhaps nobody would have expected her to, but the fact that she remembered them and made a point to thank them for their service to she and her staff, speaks volumes as to the incredible First Lady we have in the White House. The gesture wasn’t just well-received by the American public who appreciated her thoughtfulness to our military, other servicemen and women saw her social media message and responded with gratitude.

“Thank You for representing the USA and making our Armed Forces PROUD!! ,” one reader replied.

Inevitably, the liberals came out in the comments too, as they always do as soon as FLOTUS posts anything, since they are waiting for it. One took the opportunity of seeing the photo of Melania with the Army flight crew to ask about her husband’s service in an accusatory way, claiming he dodged the draft. A wise citizen responded to it, effectively putting this troll in their place.

“Not serving doesn’t mean you’re a draft dodger. He registered. Lots of guys did and got deferments. Some actually left the country,” the Twitter user wrote.

What’s truly remarkable is that Melania is an immigrant and has more respect for our armed forces and genuine love for our country than ungrateful degenerates who were born here and seem to hate it. Our First Lady is proof that immigrants who come to America the right way are proud citizens who have a deep appreciation for what makes America great, and that starts with our military.

It wasn’t often or ever that the Obamas showed this kind of gratitude for anyone who flew them around safely. In fact, our former president couldn’t even bring himself to salute soldiers standing outside Air Force One or Marine One to welcome him. We’ve come a long way in the White House in a short time, with the Trumps there now who truly love this country and respect its citizens.

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Crime

Trump About To Send National Guard To Take Over Miami Beach After What Was Just Revealed About Rampage

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Over the last several years, the left has been pushing for a race war to create as much chaos in the country as possible. Hate groups such as Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and the Black Panthers have appeared to be apart of this nefarious plan by stoking the flames of division. These terrorist groups have pledged to destroy the country in an all-out war against the American people which has everyone on edge.

Every time a police officer has had to use deadly force that has involved a black person these radical liberal groups claim racism and proceed to riot in the streets. So, after this past weekend when the Miami Beach police had to use deadly force against a black woman everyone is wondering will this be the spark that starts a civil war and force President Trump to call in the National Guard.

This past weekend, a black college student went on a rampage in Miami Beach, Florida that has left the residents in the busy city stunned. Cariann Denise Hithon, 22, was driving her black BMW through South Beach when she hit several cars which prompted the police to be called in to help. Instead of Hithon pulling her vehicle over the young woman ran a red light before running over police officers in the area.

After Hithon ran over the officers, the police had no choice but to draw their weapons and fire at Hithon which subsequently killed her.

Cariann Denise Hithon, 22, was shot dead by police on Sunday. (LinkedIn)

Here is more from Fox News:

A Temple University student was shot and killed by police in Miami Beach on Sunday after she charged her car toward the officers, striking and injuring one — an incident a witness said: “played out like a movie set.”

Cariann Denise Hithon, 22, was driving her black BMW when she crashed into several cars in South Beach, a popular tourist district, police said. Hithon ran the red light and was traveling “at some rate of speed,” police said. Michael Davis, who witnessed the chaotic scene, told WSVN Hithon repeatedly rear-ended cars.

“She rear-ended it, and after she rear-ended it, she drove off,” Davis told WSVN. “She actually drove off again and ran over a police officer, and after that, shots were fired.”

Another witnessed captured Hithon hitting Officer David Cajuso.

Miguel Garcia, another witness, recalled: “So everyone is like, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ And people started running after her car. Like she wanted to escape no matter what.”

Other bystanders said they heard several shots fired before a crash. Hithon was rushed to the hospital where she later died of her gunshot wounds.

Cajuso was taken to the hospital and treated for his injuries. He was released Monday morning.

John Butchko, a retired Miami-Dade homicide detective whose car was struck by Hithon, told the Miami Herald the deadly ordeal “played out like a movie set with people running, screaming, car crashes, gunshots, an injured officer lying on his back on the ground — all within a minute.”

Butchko’s passenger, Miami Beach lawyer Sean Ellsworth, said he was alarmed by her behavior.

“I was literally shocked she would drive into four or five officers. She just floored it.” Ellsworth said. They both suffered minor injuries.

It’s unclear why Hithon attempted to flee, but investigators said she and her friend, who casually got out of the car before Hithon accelerated, were drinking heavily earlier Sunday. Investigators questioned the unidentified man, who was later released.

Hithon, who was from Bowie, Maryland, was in Miami to celebrate her birthday. She attended Temple University after transferring to the school from Hampton University. Temple University released a statement on Hithon’s death, saying their “thoughts are with the Cariann’s friends and family during this tremendously difficult time.”

Hithon, who was part of mentorship programs for community children, was enrolled in the university’s College of Liberal Arts program and expected to graduate with a degree political science in the spring. Hithon’s father, retired U.S. Navy Capt. Cary Hithon, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview on Tuesday that the police account of the shooting didn’t sound like his daughter.

“The only logical explanation in this situation is she panicked, and things just escalated out of control,” he said.

The current climate in America is one that is on edge due to lunatics on the left pushing for war. Instead of the liberal politicians working to bring the country together in order to move forward these hateful individuals have called for “resistance” and protests. Police officers in the country are now afraid to do their job in fear that they will be called a racist or even worse be killed in the line of duty.

These officers in this particular situation had no other choice but to use deadly force on a person that was trying to kill innocent people. Of course, those in Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the Black Panthers won’t see it that way which has government officials nervous. It is only a matter of time before these extremists on the left begin to use violence and President Trump will be forced to implement martial law.

And, martial law is something none of us want.  

H/T [Fox News]

 

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