‘Your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole’: Parents of SEAL Team Six soldier killed in action call for President Obama’s resignation in searing open letter about his handling of ISIS
• Billy and Karen Vaughn lost their only-son Aaron Carson Vaughn in 2011
• The SEAL Team Six member was one of 33 killed when a Chinook helicopter was gunned down in Afghanistan
• On Monday, the Vaughns wrote a letter condemning President Barack Obama’s actions following the release of the video depicting the execution of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State radicals
• Mr and Mrs Vaughn criticized the president’s decision to go golfing after he held a press conference on the Foley beheading
By Ashley Collman for MailOnline
Published: 18:14 EST, 1 September 2014 | Updated: 10:31 EST, 2 September 2014
One couple knows all too well the pain suffered by the parents of James Foley, the American photojournalist executed on camera last month by the Islamic State.
Billy and Karen Vaughn also lost their son Aaron Carson Vaughn in 2011, when the SEAL Team Six soldier’s Chinook helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan.
Now the couple are calling on President Barack Obama to step down, citing his reaction to the Foley video and ‘lack of leadership’ in confronting ISIS.
Time to resign: Karen and Billy Vaughn (pictured above) wrote a letter this week, condemning President Obama’s actions following the release of the video depicting the execution of American journalist James Foley by ISIS. The couple lost their own son, soldier Aaron Carson Vaughn, in a 2011 helicopter crash in Afghanistan
Killed in action: SEAL Team Six soldier Aaron Carson Vaughn was one of seven commandos killed in the 2011 chopper crash, in addition to an Afghan translator and military dog. They were shot down by enemy combatants
On Monday, the Vaughns wrote a letter, calling out Mr Obama’s decision to go golfing after holding an important press conference on the Foley video.
Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it.
‘As Commander-in-Chief, your actions – or lack thereof – Mr President, cost lives.
‘As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole — not only in America’s security — but the security of the entire globe.
‘Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it,’ the Vaughns wrote in the letter published on World Tribune.
The couple go on to directly ask Mr Obama to resign so that a man or woman ‘of courage and substance’ can take over and address the ‘out-of-control thug fest’ happening in Syria and Iraq, where ISIS is attempting to establish a caliphate.
Obama says US will be relentless against Islamic State
‘As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole,’ the Vaughns said of President Obama’s decision to play a round after holding a press conference on the Foley tragedy
Vacation mode: President Obama was vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard when the video was released by ISIS. He was photographed on the golf course at least two times after the video’s release
‘It’s time for you to step down and allow a true leader to restore our honor and protect our sons and daughters…
‘America has always been exceptional. And she will be again. You, Mr President, are a bump in the road,’ they wrote.
Billy Vaughn told MailOnline that he has been displeased with the way President Obama has been acting at press conferences.
‘I’d like to see him have some passion about anything going on in the world instead of just speaking in a monotone voice like he has a script that has been made up,’ Mr Vaughn told MailOnline.
Their only-son Aaron Carson Vaughn was killed in August 2011 when a Chinook helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan. All 33 on board died in the crash, including Vaughn and several SEAL Team Six members.
Vaughn and his fellow commandos were attempting to reinforce a group of Army Rangers after they ran into trouble during a raid to capture a senior Taliban leader.
SEAL Team Six is best known as the group which carried out the execution of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011.
FULL LETTER FROM BILLY AND KAREN VAUGHN
After finally choosing to view the barbaric, on-camera beheading by ISIS of freelance war correspondent James Foley, I have been left with a level of rage known only to those of us who have sacrificed unspeakable offerings on the altar of world peace.
My offering was my only son — Aaron Carson Vaughn. Aaron was a member of SEAL Team VI. He was killed in action when a CH47D Chinook, carrying thirty Americans and eight Afghans was shot down in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011.
Many times over the past three years, I have been asked what drove my son to choose his particular career. What made him want to be a Navy SEAL? My answer is simple.
Aaron Vaughn was a man who possessed the courage to acknowledge evil. And evil, once truly acknowledged, demands response. Perhaps this is why so few are willing to look it in the eye. It is much simpler — much safer — to look the other way.
That is, unless you are the leader of the Free World.
As Commander-in-Chief, your actions — or lack thereof — Mr. President, cost lives. As you bumble about in your golf cart, slapping on a happy face and fist-pounding your buddies, your cowardly lack of leadership has left a gaping hole — not only in America’s security — but the security of the entire globe. Your message has come across loud and clear, sir: You are not up to this job. You know it. We know it. The world knows it.
Please vacate the people’s house and allow a man or woman of courage and substance to seize the reigns of this out-of-control thug-fest and regain the balance we, America, have provided throughout our great history.
Thanks to your “leadership” from whatever multi-million dollar vacation you happen to be on at any given moment, the world is in chaos. What’s been gained, you’ve lost. What’s been lost, you’ve decimated. You’ve demolished our ability to hold the trust of allies. You’ve made a mockery of the title “President.” And you’ve betrayed the nation for which my son and over 1.3 million others have sacrificed their very lives.
But this should come as no surprise, since your wife uttered a vile statement on Feb. 18, 2008, during the primary campaign — one that speaks volumes of your true convictions. “For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country,” she said.
I am sure my deceased son thanks you for that, Mrs. Obama. Oh, and you’re welcome.
Never in my lifetime have I witnessed such despair and such growing fear that the world’s last best hope, America, has finally been dismantled. Perhaps the better word is transformed — fundamentally transformed. Come to think of it, it’s become difficult — if not impossible — to believe things haven’t gone exactly as you planned, Mr. President.
Amazingly, in five short years, your administration has lurched from one disaster to another. You spearheaded the ambitious rush to end the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan — with no plan on how to do so effectively. Also, the release of “the Taliban five” in exchange for one American — without consulting Congress — is also on your shoulders.
You have been at the helm during unprecedented national security leaks — including, but not limited to the outing of SEAL Team VI on the Bin laden raid, the outing of the Pakistani doctor who provided the intelligence for that raid, the outing of Afghanistan’s CIA station chief, and the outing of your personal “kill list” to make you look tough. In addition, 75 percent of American deaths in Afghanistan and 83 percent of Americans-wounded-in-action have occurred on your watch, according to icasualties.org.
And now, we have this recent, heinous event: the beheading of an American citizen by a barbaric organization you foolishly referred to as “the JV team” in your statements to the New Yorker magazine in January.
You, sir, are the JV team. It’s time for you to step down and allow a true leader to restore our honor and protect our sons and daughters.
America has always been exceptional. And she will be again. You, Mr. President, are a bump in our road.
Reprinted with family’s permission