It has been almost a week since the tragic crash of a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, carrying 38 people, 17 of whom were Navy SEALs. While that is now established fact, and while families have revealed the loss of their loved ones because of the tragedy, the Pentagon has yet to release an official list of casualties to the public.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has decided to release the identities of those who perished, including their names, ranks, hometowns and units, as revealed by Pentagon spokesman Col. Dave Lapan. The release may happen within the next 24 hours.
The delay was attributed to a request made by military commanders in the Special Operations community who would like to review the policy regarding releasing the names of the fatalities, due to concerns over the “possible (security) implications for the families” of the fallen.
Panetta chose to release the names of the deceased pursuant to a law passed by Congress in 2004, which stipulates that the names of those who are killed in the Iraqi and Afghan wars should be released to the public.