A Soldier Using a SEEK II to Scan Fingerprints

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Since withdrawing chaotically from Afghanistan in August of 2021, not only has the Biden administration not been able to account for a billion dollars worth of aid that was given to the country after the US ceded control to the Taliban but now abandoned US military equipment is cropping up on eBay along with the biometric data it once collected.

Over the past year, a German security researcher Matthias Marx and a European hacker association, Chaos Computer Lab, have purchased six SEEK II (Secure Electronic Enrollment Kit) on eBay. The devices being found on eBay were used as part of the Pentagon's biometric collection effort post 9/11 and contain a thumbprint reader, an iris scanner, and a camera.

The SEEK II was primarily used to gather biometric data at detainment facilities, during the screening of local hires, on patrol, and after the detonation of an IED. There were concerns at the time that Taliban agents had infiltrated bases due to a series of shootings in which American forces were fired upon by Afghan soldiers and police.

When the German security researcher Matthias Marx stumbled upon a SEEK II on eBay listed for $149.95, he successfully bid $68 and was stunned to discover when it arrived at his home that in addition to the equipment, the device's memory card had the biometric data, names, nationalities, and photographs of 2,632 people.

While most of the people on the memory card were Afghans or Iraqis who were either known terrorists or on wanted lists, more concerning were people who had worked with the US or had been stopped at checkpoints. The device had last been used near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2012.

Upon learning that a SEEK II with biometric data had been successfully purchased on eBay, Department of Defense spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryer said, "Because we have not reviewed the information contained on the devices, the department is not able to confirm the authenticity of the alleged data or otherwise comment on it." Ryer added, "The department requests that any devices thought to contain personally identifiable information be returned for further analysis."

Marx, the researcher who purchased the device was troubled by the US government's response saying, "It was disturbing that they didn't even try to protect the data. They didn't care about the risk, or they ignored the risk."

Stewart Baker, who is a lawyer in DC and a former national security official, noted that the data collected on the devices needed to be maintained securely and added that the data breach would "make a lot of people who helped the U.S. and are still in Afghanistan really uncomfortable." Stressing the severity of the risk the left behind data could cause, Stewart added, "This should not have happened. It is a disaster for the people whose data is exposed. In the worst cases, the consequences could be fatal."

Dan O'Shea interviews Ahmad Massoud in late September

In an exclusive Armed Forces Press interview, Ahmad Massoud – Leader of the National Resistance Front – warns the West that Afghanistan has returned to being an extremist incubator less than one year after the Taliban regained control of the country. Massoud is leading the “Second Resistance” against the Taliban like his father, Afghanistan’s national hero, Ahmad Shaf Massoud, the Lion of Panshir, who led the Northern Alliance against the Taliban and the Soviets before him. Like his father, he has a warning for the rest of the world. The Afghanistan of 2022 resembles the terrorist training camp sanctuary of 2001.

“The Afghanistan government collapsed. All the achievements of the past 20 years, alongside with the sacrifices was gone - lost. And once again we return to 2001, where Afghanistan is a state, is a country which is supporting terrorism and is again a hotbed for extremism.”

Massoud reports that more than twenty international terrorist organizations (TOs), including the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban), Al Qaeda (AQ), The Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) Haqqani Network (HN), Hezb ul Mujahideen (HM), Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jamaat Ahraar (JA), Harakat ul Jihad ul Islami (HuJI), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), Lashkar Tayyiba (LT), Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), among many others are operating openly in Afghanistan.

Proof of the Taliban’s “clear and blatant disregard of the Doha agreement” which said that the Taliban would not harbor terrorists if US forces withdrew from Afghanistan, is evident by the Islamic Emirate harboring Ayman al-Zawahiri. The leader of AQ, who orchestrated 9/11 and the deaths of 2,996 people, was living in downtown Kabul until a US drone strike killed him in July 2022.

Madrassas indoctrinating the next generation of Islamic Jihadists are opening in districts across the country. Massoud’s intelligence network reports that there are terrorist military camps, training in the open, and actively recruiting with tacit approval, and even encouragement, by the Taliban. The madrassas are producing young men who will fill the ranks of local and international terrorist organizations for decades to come. These TO’s represent the same cabal of regional and global terrorist groups that were operating free from scrutiny and interference from the West prior to 9/11.

History is repeating itself as the Biden administration and the rest of the world turn a blind eye to what the return to Taliban rule and the darkness of life under a burka for all women means for Afghanistan.

“Afghanistan people are being held hostage, we have been stripped of all our rights, our women cannot go to school. This is unbelievable, this is not Islamic law, not Sharia, not any law, it is beyond extremism. They cannot go to school, cannot study, and cannot go to work. They have been completely erased from society alongside other ethnicities and groups.”

Afghanistan’s economy has fallen apart. More than 75% of the country is living below the poverty line.

“We know that many people are starving, you know, 22 million people in Afghanistan do not have enough food to survive.”

Even more devastating, especially for the American veterans of the Afghanistan conflict, Massoud confirmed what no senior US official will admit, that the Afghans who served and fought alongside American and NATO forces are being murdered by the Taliban.

The Taliban are still hunting now the Afghanis that worked with the Americans, that fought with the partner, [especially] the Afghan Special Forces/Commandos. We know they're being hunted.”

Yet, Massoud has not given up all hope on his country, it is a “blood debt” he must carry. He has lost too many family members over his lifetime in conflict with the Taliban and the Soviets before them to simply “reside in Europe or in America or somewhere with my family and care less about everything that is happening.” Massoud contends, “Probably no one more than me has to, to carry this burden, this responsibility. First and foremost, because I love my people and my country and I want a better country and I want a better government… I want a better situation.”

Massoud argues that the vast majority of Afghanis are under the age of 30. “We're the generation that grew up in the past 10 years. We grew up with freedom. We grew up with rights. We grew up living in a democratic society. How can we tolerate such a group that wants to take away all these values from us? This is why we're fighting regardless of receiving outside assistance, it isn't about the interests of others. It's for our freedoms, for our rights, creating a society where every single citizen is a member of a society that is for all ethnic groups, all citizens who want freedom and can enjoy their rights as humans.” It is why Afghans from across the ethnic and cultural spectrum are joining the ranks of the National Resistance Front that includes Tajiks, Uzbeks, Turkmens, Hazaras, Nuristanis, and even Pashtuns, the core of the Taliban ranks, are joining NRF.

Massoud concluded his comments with a warning that echoes the voice of his father.

“We truly need for the world to pay attention to our Afghanistan. Afghanistan needs a legitimate government, which is being elected by the people of Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan is truly becoming a safe haven for terrorism the past year.”

“We're gonna be back where it's all started again because these groups will export this terror. Imagine when an attack happens, it could be in Europe. It could be in America. And imagine if the weapons that were left in Afghanistan are traced back against the attacks that happened?”

We did not heed warnings from his father Ahmad Shah Massoud about radicalized groups in Afghanistan only months before 9/11. Twenty years later, are we making the same mistake again? It would appear so…

Commander Dan O’Shea (SEAL) USN (ret) graduated from BUD/S class 179 in 1992. A former Platoon and Task Unit Commander at SEAL Team THREE recalled to active duty after 9/11. A multi-tour Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom – Iraq veteran, O’Shea established and ran the Hostage Working Group at the US Embassy in Baghdad 2004 – 2006. Served his final combat tour as a counter- insurgency advisor for the Commander of International Security Forces – Afghanistan 2011 – 2012. During the chaos of the failed Afghanistan exit, O’Shea was a member of Task Force Pineapple that helped rescue thousands of Americans and Afghan partners left behind.

You can watch the livestream on Monday here!

Ahmad Massoud, son of the legendary Afghan National hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Lion of Panshir and now leader of the National Resistance Front warns the West about the Afghanistan’s return to 2001 as sanctuary for terrorists and Islamic extremism, just as his father did on the eve of 9/11.

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CDMedia Founder L Todd Wood and Armed Forces Press Editor Dan O'Shea traveled to interview in person the head of the Afghan National Resistance Front Ahmed Shah Massoud and his head of foreign affairs Ali Nazary.

The groundbreaking interview will be streamed on Monday 12pm EST across all our platforms.

Afghanistan has been forgotten in the corporate media but not in the minds of thousands of American veterans, many of whom are committing suicide.

Keep up to date on this important situation on the ground.

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Image by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley meets with Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov in Bern, Switzerland, Dec. 18, 2019

One year ago, Afghanistan veterans such as myself were treated to the horror of watching the Afghanistan government and military collapse.  The dreaded black and white Taliban flag was planted in far too many familiar regions I had been deployed to.  Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Zabul provinces.  My niece was hastily deployed to Kabul Airport to assist in the frantic and embarrassing retreat of the US and the humiliating end of America’s Longest War.

Like many, I am forever haunted by the sacrifice of veterans and their families.  NCOs sobbing while recalling pulling charred US bodies out of downed aircraft.  A soldier with a gunshot wound through his hand cutting a thumb hole so he could operate a turret .50 cal machine gun and get back in the fight with his comrades.  An NCO drowning himself in a submerged vehicle so his unconscious friend in the overturned vehicle had enough oxygen to survive until rescue.  Watching countless patrols depart daily to fight the Taliban and other terror organization in the Afghanistan countryside, without fear or hesitation.  I personally pronounced many US and coalition warriors dead and signed their death certificates.  The Talibans’ release of thousands of hardened terrorists and murders who had been incarcerated with much sacrifice in US blood and money was a terrific insult to the warriors who captured them.  Reading stories of the torture and murder of Afghan nationals abandoned by President Biden, betrayed by a lie from US military and political generals, was infuriating.  Military families saddled with deployment stress, divorces, and deaths equally bear the horrors.  My wife continues to provide counseling to Afghanistan veterans with PTSD still struggling to put their lives back together.

Meanwhile, the US military has done its best to sweep the debacle under the rug to hide the shame of its leaders.  4 months after the last US service member abandoned the country to terrorist rule, GEN Mark Milley was honored at the sidelines of the US Military Academy and US Air Force Academy Football Game in Dallas, Texas.  Generals who failed the servicemembers and America continue to serve and get promoted.

The US Military appears to have been doing no introspection on how August 2021 came to pass  West Point’s Dean of Cadets told USMA graduates that West Point’s leadership sees no need to have cadets analyze Afghanistan’s strategic failure.  The US Army Chief of Staff’s Reading List has been updated in the past year to include books on social justice and internet misinformation, but no additions to strategically analyze the failure of US generals and politicians in Afghanistan.1  Sadly, some of the best books on the US military leaders’ failure in Afghanistan were published nearly a decade before August 2021 and obviously were ignored by generals more concerned with promotion and fame than with making a stand for what was easily seen as a failed strategy for years.    In the Graveyard of Empires (2010)2Afghanistan the Perfect Failure3 (2012), Losing Small Wars4 (2011) are examples of books nowhere to be seen in US Army military professional development lists.  

The honorable thing to do would have been for US generals to resign in protest.  Honor is obviously a foreign thing to ‘leaders’ like GEN Mark Milley who was more interested in consorting with Chinese generals (the enemy) than looking after his charges.  Unlike most organizations like sports teams and corporations, the military rewards and promotes failed leaders instead of firing them and replacing them with leaders with integrity and a will to win.

 The post Afghanistan Department of Defense has been busy promoting pronoun education5 and separating veterans for covid vaccine noncompliance (70% of whom received General Discharges)6.  Morale is so low that US military is failing miserable to achieve its recruiting goals.  28 July 2022 saw Democrats take advantage of veterans by adding on $400 Billion in spending to a veteran benefit bill and politicizing the plight of veterans when the GOP blocked it and demanded a clean bill.  Looking back, President Biden’s State of the Union address that called for veteran health benefits for toxic chemical injuries appears just to have been a ruse to fool America into more reckless spending.  

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Despite the best efforts of US military flag officers and politicians, the scars of the war will never be forgotten by those that truly matter.  The sacrifice of the living and the dead was very real.  Failed leaders such GEN Milley need to be remembered alongside traitors such as Benedict Arnold for their treachery and selfishness.  While Afghanistan may have ultimately been ‘unwinnable,’ and missteps were made by both political parties, the manner in which the US ended its misadventure is unforgivable.  US Voters and historians must never let President Biden and his Democrat supporters off the hook for their transgressions.  Worse, the military’s leadership appears to have learned nothing and its senior leaders/advisors are destined to doom American to future disasters.  Ironically, it was far left CNN’s own reporter who summed up the disaster best.  “If This Isn’t Failure, What Does Failure Look Like Exactly?7

John Hughes, MD

Emergency Physician

USMA Class of 1996 (#1 graduate)

3rd Generation West Pointer

4 combat tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan

1  as of 4 AUG 2022.

Jones, Seth.  In the Graveyard of Empires.  WW Norton & Company.  2009.

Cook, John.  Afghanistan.  The Perfect Failure.  Xlibris Corporation.  2012.

Ledwidge, Frank.  Losing Small Wars.  Yale University Press.  2011.

Sicard, Sarah.  “Where each military branch stands on pronoun use in signature blocks.”  7 Jan 2022;

Myers, Meghann, et al.  “The vast majority of troops kicked out for vaccine refusal received general discharges.”  27 Apr 2022,

Joyella, Mark.  “CNN’s Clarise Ward in Afghanistan:  ‘If This Isn’t Failure, What Does Failure Look Like Exactly?’”  19 AUG 2021.

Image by Jared Jolt

Ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Sunday that America is more likely to face another 9/11-type attack thanks to President Biden’s disastrous exit from Afghanistan last year.

Pompeo, who served under former President Donald Trump, blasted Biden over how the US withdrew from the war-torn country, arguing the “debacle” has put the Taliban in “full control” there and made Americans less safe as a result.

“We are more likely to be attacked like New York City was 20 some years ago, we’re more likely to be attacked from [Afghanistan] today than we were just one year ago,” Pompeo told host John Catsimatidis on the “Cats Roundtable” radio show Sunday morning...

Read More Here.

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