New ad hammers Obama administration for bin Laden raid leaks
This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," October 10, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST OF "HANNITY": In a brand-new political ad, the mother of a fallen Navy SEAL Team 6 member says, the White House, quote, "put a target" on her son's back, following the bin Laden raid. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAREN VAUGHN, MOTHER OF FALLEN NAVY SEAL: Aaron called me, his tone was extremely serious and he said, mom, you need to wipe your social media clean. Get rid of everything. Any reference of me or my buddies because there is chatter and all of our lives are possibly in danger, including yours.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Defense Secretary Robert Gates is very concerned too much classified information has gotten out.
ROBERT GATES, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: We all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden that all fell apart the next day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ...Navy SEALs in what they did last -- last Sunday.
KAREN VAUGHN: How dare they -- they put a target on my son's back and even on my back! But a little over 90 days later, my son was dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: National security leaks threaten American lives. We need leader who understand that. Veterans for a Strong America is responsible for the content of this advertising.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANNITY: Joining me now are the parents of fallen Navy SEAL Team 6 member, Aaron Vaughn, Karen and Billy Vaughn, thank you both for being here. I am very, very sorry about the loss of your son, a true American hero. Thank you for being here.
KAREN VAUGHN: Thank you, Sean.
BILLY VAUGHN, FATHER OF FALLEN NAVY SEAL: Thank you, Sean.
HANNITY: When you say that they put a "target on my son's back," explain?
KAREN VAUGHN: Well, you know, here's the way I look at it. It is very simple. When we go across the country and we take out the main figurehead for al Qaeda, for everything that has been waged against our country, it is very simple to me that if we announce who was responsible for that.
That all hell -- for lack of a better phrase, is going to break loose on the people that are responsible for taking that man out. At least all attempts possible. So that's what I mean by putting a target on his back.
HANNITY: You know, they didn't have to mention this was SEAL Team 6. They could have announced the -- bin Laden was killed. They didn't have to say who did it, what branch of the military did it. Is that in part what you are saying?
KAREN VAUGH: Absolutely. Yes, absolutely. I can tell you that the community was stunned by the announcement. It was unprecedented and extremely dangerous.
HANNITY: What do you think -- the president's been out there spiking the football, as part of a campaign issue that he got bin Laden and bin Laden's dead. But yet when -- when your son and SEAL Team 6 members, when they got him, we were told we couldn't show the body because it would enflame tensions of radical Islamists. Do you find that hypocritical?
BILLY VAUGHN: It's very hypocritical, Sean. How do you enflame these people? We can't make them any angrier at us anyway. Our warriors need to be allowed to carry out the missions they are assigned and they don't -- they don't -- they need to carry -- they need their identities kept secret.
But they need to be allowed to go and fight and do what they are trained to do. These elite warriors can do anything they want to the Taliban, to al Qaeda if this administration -- if President Obama would just recognize the enemy, give them rules of engagement that favor them instead of leveling the playing field for the enemy and give them the equipment that is required to carry out their missions.
And I mention those three things because those are other issues that we have found in searching and looking at what happened to Aaron and those warriors on that night, all three of those things were -- were reasons why this chopper was shot down.
Why this largest loss in a single day in the 10-year war on terror was caused and also the largest loss in the history of naval special warfare.
HANNITY: Let me ask you this because the rules of engagement -- a lot of people don't know this, there's a father of another fallen hero who was angry at a form letter that was sent to him and he has spoken out.
It was just aghast that it was a form letter and that the rules of engagement that these guys are working under, this is a war, you don't put handcuffs on heroes and send them out there to fight, otherwise bring them home.
There is no point. As you watch that, as you watch the Benghazi cover-up and your son, knowing that you are all at risk, I can't imagine how you feel. I mean, there is nothing worse for a parent than losing their child.
BILLY VAUGHN: Sean, it's all the same. The Benghazi cover-up, what is going on in the Middle East, what is going on in Afghanistan is all because of this president's ideology and the strategy being used by our military and our president is directly responsible for the rules of engagement.
Let me just say this. On the night that Extortion 17 was shot down, this is all from the military -- we learned that the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police, the Afghan Security Ministry, are all involved in every single special ops mission, in the pre-planning, the post-op.
They know the flight routes of the choppers. That chopper flew in there that night in a place that had already been cleared seven times, according to our military, by our warriors and turned back over to the Afghans.
A 3 1/2-hour firefight under way and our chopper flew in with an AC-130 gunship in the air, two H-64s and they were not allowed to give any pre-assault fire. They landed the chopper like it was landing at Wal-Mart even though a firefight was underway.
When the chopper was shot down, neither were the AC-130 or the two AH-64s allowed to take out the savages who is fired the RPGs because they were standing on a tower. And under the rules of engagement, they didn't know if there might be friendlies in the building. These rules of engagement are criminal for our warriors.
HANNITY: I agree with all of that.
KAREN VAUGHN: And Sean, if I can just add something to that as well, we also found out in the testimony of one of the commanders in the field that he actually said something like this was bound to eventually happen.
BILLY VAUGHN: Exactly.
KAREN VAUGHN: The way we are operating.
HANNITY: I saw that. Last question, I am running out of time, but do you want President Obama to stop spiking the football on bin Laden on the campaign trail?
BILLY VAUGHN: We -- well, he doesn't have the character to quit because everything is about President Obama. Always about -- but, yes, we want him to quit spiking the football. And we want him to leave as commander in chief.
We want the rules of engagement changed, and we want some high-up military officer to have the courage and risk all and scream out, "what is happening to our warriors?" Somebody, please have the courage to protect our warriors instead of protecting this commander in chief and his cronies.
HANNITY: Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn, nothing worse than losing a hero, a son. Thank you for telling your story and being with us. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
KAREN VAUGHN: Thank you.
BILLY VAUGHN: Thank you, Sean.
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