Posted By Blackfive • [May 03, 2011]
This just in from our author emeritus, Froggy:
Squandering Our Victory
Just like everybody else, the news that Navy SEALs had infiltrated Pakistan and shot Usama bin Laden in the face really brightened my evening. I decided to celebrate with a Patel Brothers cigar and two fingers of Jack Daniels. Of course my heart was especially bursting with pride at the news that my brothers on the East Coast got the call and executed their mission flawlessly despite crashing a helointo the compound. If you have to be in a helo crash, you are far better off being in one piloted by a Nightstalker of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) because frankly nobody on the planet even comes close to how good those guys are. This is an operation that I have dreamed of being a part of for nearly 10 years, and I have fantasized about rolling up on a target to find UBL in my sights. I am fairly certain that I know somebody on that assault force, and I look forward to the East Coast UDT/SEAL Reunion this summer and sharing a cold one with some of the boys.
By now, May 3, 2011, the stories about how this successful operation is going to ensure a Barack Obama victory in 2012 are legion. I even got an email to that effect on the night of the 1st when we were all basking in the afterglow of UBL’s demise. I’ll admit the thought had crossed my mind, but I dismissed it immediately secure in the knowledge that if any POTUS could fuck this up, he was sure to be The One. Right on schedule, the Administration has already put out several conflicting versions of actions on the objective, and I have yet to see somebody from the military nay the SEAL community on a podium at the Pentagon laying out the operation and answering (or not answering) questions. The Bush Administration was very good at this, and when some major military operation took place, the White House would direct the media to the Pentagon where some General or Admiral held a press conference often with video clips and some Powerpoint slides showing some the mission highlights. The Bush White House was happy to let the experts handle things and show a unified front.
Meanwhile, between NSC staffers, the WH Press Secretary, Homeland Security, CIA and a multitude of “Senior Administration Officials” on background, the story has morphed into various versions of events. While the political side of me sees this correctly as another manifestation of the incompetence of this Administration, this vacillation is causing real harm to the significance of our victory here and to the reputation of the SEAL Teams. Let me assure you right now that there is no such thing as a “Kill only “ mission. If that SEAL operator came through the door to find UBL with his hands up, compliant, and unarmed (including no evidence of a suicide vest) he would have taken a muzzle strike to the face, but not any rounds. He would have swallowed some teeth, been flex cuffed, and dragged roughly out to a marshalling area and then onto the helo. To start out with the story that UBL had used his wife as a shield while shooting at the assaulters and to devolve that into to a woman was wounded and UBL was unarmed and shot in the face is quite a large spectrum of “truth”. Add to that the false notion of the “Kill only” mission, and now you have the entire SEAL community being thrown under the bus as wonton killers of women and unarmed civilians.
Are Navy SEALs eager to kill terrorists and UBL most of all? Hells Yeah! But we would not be tasked with a mission profile that excludes the capture of the single greatest intelligence bonanza in the history of the conflict. Certainly we will exploit the intel collected on the target and soon, but if you simply want to kill somebody no matter what you do not send Navy SEALs across a sovereign border to do it. That is what Hellfire missilesand JDAMs are designed to do.
This is also curious from the standpoint of Islamic sensitivity, which is clearly foremost in the mind of this White House. Only Obama could go out of his way to emphasize the respect for the Islamic burial process only to tee up perfectly the conditions under which conspiracy theories are born. The primitive peoples of the middle eastare perhaps the most gullible ethnic group on the planet. When I was in Iraq, there was a widely held belief thatVBIEDs were manufactured on our US military base inRamadi, and that the guys with beards (like me) were actually Israeli agents driving in HMMVs with the Star of David on the door. I shit you not. The point is that coming out with a well laid out media plan that is executed from the Pentagon by experts is critical if your goal is to provide a clear and undivided narrative of the event. Of course, this White House has never been very good at sharing credit and it is that infantile demand for attention that is causing this victory to become muddled in conflicting accounts and naked political point scoring.
Frankly, I am content to watch Obama shoot himself in the foot while still having presided over a tremendous effort by our intelligence community and the SEAL Teams, but I’ll be damned if he is going to be allowed to implicate my brothers out of his own incompetence or political expediency. More importantly, the killing of UBL is undoubtedly a very significant event in the War on Terror and the momentum that we have gained should not be lost by grandstanding, partisan jackassery, and rank incompetence. Get your shit together Mr. President!
Former Paratrooper and Army Officer, "Blackfive" started this blog upon learning of the valorous sacrifice of a friend that was not reported by the journalist whose life he saved. Email: blackfive AT gmail DOT com
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In Iraq, he received the moniker of Mr. Wolf after the Harvey Kietel character in Pulp Fiction, when "challenges" arose, they called on Mr. Wolf...
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Deebow is a Staff Sergeant and a Military Police Squad Leader in the Army National Guard. In a previous life, he served in the US Navy. He has over 19 years of experience in both the Maritime and Land Warfare; including deployments to Southwest Asia, Thailand, the South Pacific, South America and Egypt. He has served as a Military Police Team Leader and Protective Services Team Leader and he has served on assignments with the US State Department, US Air Force Security Police, US Army Criminal Investigation Division, and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. He recently spent time in Afghanistan working with, training and fighting alongside Afghan Soldiers and is now focused on putting his 4 year Political Science degree to work by writing about foreign policy, military security policy and politics.
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Uber Pig was an Infantryman from late 1991 until early 1996, serving with Second Ranger Battalion, I Corps, and then 25th Infantry Division. At the time, the Army discriminated against enlisted soldiers who wanted use the "Green to Gold" program to become officers, so he left to attend Stanford University. There, he became expert in detecting, avoiding, and surviving L-shaped ambushes, before dropping out to be as entrepreneurial as he could be. He is now the founder of a software startup serving the insurance and construction industries, and splits time between Lake Tahoe, Boonville, and San Francisco, CA.
Uber Pig writes for Blackfive a) because he's the proud brother of an enlisted Civil Affairs Reservist who currently serves in Iraq, b) because he looks unkindly on people who make it harder for the military in general, and for his brother in particular, to succeed at their missions and come home in victory, and c) because the Blackfive readers and commenters help keep him sane.
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