Oh Czar, Destroyer of Worlds:
I won’t miss Osama a bit, and am pleased that he’s now fellating Satan on a full-time basis. However, I can’t stop asking myself Why? Why was the order to kill him? What a frikkin’ waste of solid, actionable intelligence.
I worked in humint for 8 years. You don’t give up a source that valuable – you just don’t. Ever. Reports are coming in that he wasn’t even armed FFS! Seals are trained to do snatch and grab missions – they could very easily have picked him up with little risk.
My guess is that Obama wants to avoid the negative press about Gitmo, enhanced interrogation methods, and the like. So what? Just don’t tell anyone about it. The seals I knew were pretty good at keeping secrets, and I’m guessing Seal Team 6 is more than a bit better at it. The story wouldn’t have leaked for a good long while, and even if it did, it would have been good for Obama’s approval ratings.
Maybe he did it just because his approval ratings were so poor before the announcement? A short-term gain won’t hide $5 gas and inflated food prices come next November, so what’s the value?
These are all excellent questions, and the Czar has no easy answers. The Czar thinks that this was timed to address some sagging polls, and doubtless the President expected he would get a lot more mileage out of it. It appears that his popularity blip has blupped, and that the economy and high price of gas is again becoming issue number one.
That said, there is probably a lot of information that will come out about the Osama strike in the next couple years, and the odds are good we will get answers to your questions. Meantime, there has been a lot of understandable stuff, a lot of head-scratching stuff, and a lot of annoying stuff coming out about this mission in about equal parts. The Czar is acutely aware that many negatively critical accusations being discussed in taverns, around the kitchen table, and at the water cooler have proven to be false. But there are some very fair criticisms to ask. Here is FJR, of the Commonwealth of Virginia, with more:
Great and Mighty Czar,
The media mania over “SEAL team six” (which technically doesn’t exist) and the operation to eliminate UBL is becoming embarrassing. The amount of information being provided and the number of informational blunders is stunning. This entire operation should have been announced with a simple press conference by a Pentagon official stating that Special Forces eliminated UBL in a raid conducted in Pakistan. Everything else should have been “no comment” but the self-promoter in chief couldn’t resist the spotlight. The American public and the rest of the world doesn’t need to know how we conduct “black ops”. It’s like watching arm chair quarterbacks taking credit for their team winning the Super Bowl and discussing the team playbook on TV.
I’m pleased that UBL was eliminated and I’m grateful for the brave men that choose to take personal risk to defend this nation. I think we put these brave men at greater risk by releasing details of this raid. I don’t even think they should have released that SEALS conducted the raid. I’m completely taken aback they released details about the hardware and materials seized in the raid. There is a reason they call these operations “black ops”.
Lastly, we look like real amateurs when we act like eliminating one individual was “the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al-Qaeda” (to quote the President). The White House has been successful for taking a great operation performed by extremely professional warriors and turning into a circus. A writer on National Review called this a victory lap in a clown car. So true!
The Czar thinks this is spot on. Realistically, though, withholding the identity of the SEAL Team 6 is a secret that would have lasted about eight to nine minutes. Team 6, or more accurately, DEVGRU (since 1987, Team 6 is an informal nickname only, hence FJRs comment that Team 6 does not really exist), was created specifically for lightning-fast insertions in hostile territory.
When you want a job done that nobody must ever find out about, you send in Delta Force. When you want a job done to send a messagewhich the high-profile nature of bin-Lâdin is definitely aboutyou send in the SEALs.
There are numerous SEAL teams each with overlapping capabilities, but particular specialties (for example, Team 2 is fully trained for cold weather and arctic environments), but these teams, as good as they are, are not part of DEVGRU, and do not specialize in counter-terrorism.
So if we needed to send in a couple of choppers, pit American forces against presumably well-trained and motivated terrorists, get a high-profile target, and get out in a big hurry? Team 6. The Czar, as have other members of the Gormogons, has known quite a few SEALs personally (though none from DEVGRU) as well as other members of the Special Forces. Great guys, all around, although they are a bit lenient in their taste for beer. Anyway, they too would be happy to nod at the television and radio and say Yep. Team 6. So maybe the secret lasting eight or nine minutes is a bit generous.
But FJR and DT agree that the inexperience of the Obama administration perhaps let too much information slip out. Didja know that Osama bin-Lâdin had €500 in cash sewn into his clothing, as well as a list of cell phone numbers, and appeared to be packed and ready to move out in a few hours? Should we?
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.