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“Right here it should be recorded that to strip a U.S. Navy SEAL of his armaments is almost to strip him of his birthright,” Mr. Robinson writes. “These men have darn near killed themselves to earn the right to serve their country. To line them up and remove their ever-present combat gear was also to strip them of their dignity, pride and honor.”

Three successive courts-martial showed Abed to be following the al Qaeda textbook: Once captured, claim to have been abused. The credibility of the accusing sailor collapsed under cross-examination.

A Central Command spokesman declined to comment on the book.

Lt. Gen. Charles Cleveland, who filed the charges as Central Command’s top commando, defended his action in a letter to Congress as the courts-martial were about to begin in 2010.

“Regrettably, it appears that your perception of the incident is based on incomplete and factually inaccurate press coverage,” wrote Gen. Cleveland, who is now commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command. “Despite what has been reported, these allegations are not founded solely on the word of the detainee, but rather, were initially raised by other U.S. service members.”

Mr. McCabe said he still feels betrayed.

“The ‘betrayal’ in the book title is directed at the couple of guys in that leadership position and then everyone above that who was part of it,” he said. “We got betrayed by them. Not the military as a whole, not the country. Ninety percent of the military is awesome. There are always bad eggs everywhere. Anybody who condoned this to go on and knew about it, that’s who we got betrayed by.”

Extortion 17

A year after the courts-martial, SEALs were victimized again — this time on the battlefield in Afghanistan. Some family members say their sons were let down by a military command that sent them on a poorly planned mission.

One of the fathers, Billy Vaughn, has written a book, “Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as Told by a Navy SEAL’s Father.”

Extortion 17 was the call sign for a CH-47 Chinook helicopter in which 30 U.S. service members, including 17 SEALs and five naval special operators, rode to their deaths on Aug. 6, 2011.

Mr. Vaughn, father of Chief Petty Officer Aaron Vaughn, writes that he reached a heartbreaking conclusion as he looked into the crash.

“We quickly came face-to-face with our worst nightmare,” he and his wife, Karen, write on their website. “Our boys shouldn’t have died that night. The downing of Extortion 17 was at best unnecessary and at worst a negligent, reckless loss of life.”

The Taliban’s accuracy with a rocket-propelled grenade that night marked the most fatalities for naval special operators in any single day of the war on terrorism.

The Washington Times on Oct. 20 published a lengthy report about the tragedy based on 1,300 pages of investigative transcripts and reports.

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