Loose Lips

About 2 weeks ago I read a scathing article in the WSJ, penned by a recently retired former ST6 Navy Seal, who was more then critical of the Obama administration and his megaphone style handling of ST6 and their recent exploits. As background he admitted that he was retired before the OBL cacking, he had been on a number of similar high profile missions. The gist of the article was that Obama, his staff, and the Joint Chiefs should STFU about missions like this, because their peacocking not only makes future ST6 missions harder, it gets people killed.

It should not surprise anyone the level and commitment these guys put in to training and tactics, and it also is no secret that the bad guys around the world pay attention to shit like this. If they can glean any info at all on ST tactics, they are all ears. Well, that is just what all these back slapping articles do, give away secrets that should not be publicly disseminated. The point that I was not aware of was that every civilian Afghani that helped us get OBL, that gave us intel of facilitated the mission, all of them to a man has been arrested for treason and will be tried as such in an Afghan court. What a good way to make friends, help us and you can bet that we will blab away, give you up, and you will either get a bullet in the brain, or a prison cell for life, but help us anyway.

This morning I read about even more criticisms from those that are qualified to give it:

A retired general today assailed the commander of the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden for drawing too much media attention to operations that he argued should be kept under wraps.
Special Operations Commander Adm. Bill McRaven was confronted by retired Lt. Gen. James Vaught, who said he didn’t understand why the recent raids by the Navy SEALs, such as the one to kill Osama bin Laden or to rescue U.S. hostage Jessica Buchanan, were all over the media.
“Since the time when your wonderful team went and drug bin Laden out and got rid of him, and more recently when you went down and rescued the group in Somalia, or wherever the hell they were, they’ve been splashing all of this all over the media,” Vaught, 85, said. “I flat don’t understand that.
“Now back when my special operators extracted Saddam [Hussein] from the hole, we didn’t say one damn word about it,” he continued. “We turned him over to the local commander and told him to claim that his forces drug him out of the hole, and he did so. And we just faded away and kept our mouth shut.

Here’s a question, I would have to think that the higher echelon military muckity mucks know better, this is not their first rodeo, they understand the concept of loose lips and all that, but is it possible (probable) that Obama and his crew are putting undue pressure on the military to over publicize these endeavors?

I don’t think there is any doubt that your basic Democrat is no friend to the military. Defense is the first on their chopping block, their attitudes are usually anti conflict/more diplomacy (even when diplomacy hasn’t or can’t work), they don’t get the “peace through strength” corollary that Reagan spoke of, and think American power projection as always caused more problems then it has solved. Obama himself has been no real friend of the military either. Sure, he has stepped up drone attacks, but don’t you think this has more to do with his “comfy chair” style approach to interrogation? Any captured terrorists opens up that whole EIT/Gitmo argument that he wants no part of. But I’m thinking that all those smart suits in the WH know that Obama will get his head caved in running on his domestic record, the main feather in his cap is the OBL hit, so maybe the military (totally against their better judgment) has been ordered to play this up big time, keep it fresh in the minds of the voters.

I think it is nuts for any military man to talk to the press, look what happened to Stanley McChrystal.

Comments are closed.

  1. Seattle Outcast

    For me it’s enough to know that groups like SEALS exist and do their job.

    I’d much rather get the fictionalized version in the form of movies and novels than actually hand out actual operations intel to those that need a few new holes in their collective heads. Unfortunately, the libtards of the world think the fictional versions are “real” in their depiction of people, technology, etc.

    Thumb up 1

  2. JimK

    You need not look with any depth to find the reason that the Obama administration crows about this shit. It’s very simple. Now he gets to say “I’m the guy that got bin Laden.” Even though the groundwork was laid under Bush, and quite frankly the White House under either man had fuck-all to do with the gathering of intel and ultimately, the execution of the mission. Keeping opsec is for peons and lessers. This is Saint Obama, and he gets to do whatever the fuck he wants, whenever the fuck he wants, and damned be those that point out how many people die because of his ego. Questioning his judgement is raaaaacist. Or evil. Or both.

    The other problem with Obama taking credit is that some people are willing to give it to him, however misguided that may be. Obama had as much to do with “getting bin Laden” as I did with the Giants winning the Superbowl. That is to say they’re both things we watched other people do on TV.

    Thumb up 5

  3. davidst

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Thumb up 0

  4. Seattle Outcast

    I’m going to assume that you meant to post this in another thread, because otherwise it’s the worst example of threadjacking I’ve ever seen.

    Thumb up 1

  5. TxAg94

    I wonder how much of it also has to do with the administration finding one (or more) SEALs who are willing to engage the press because they enjoy it. These guys are all intense personalities who would otherwise be the loudest guy at the party making sure everyone knows what they did. My opinion is that it usually goes with the territory. Anyone who is the cream of their respective crop usually crows pretty loudly about it. As an example, how many peak sports figures are humble and quiet about it to the extreme that special operations folks have been? The fact that we don’t usually hear much about it is another testimonial of why these guys are usually a breed apart even among elites of any description.

    I think the administration has found the guy(s) who want to be the mouthpiece, want to talk because maybe they feel it gets them some measure of personal attention, too. It doesn’t hurt that he’s not going to be the guy going into harm’s way in the future. I’m not suggesting that is this SEAL’s mindset, just speculating a bit.

    Thumb up 0

  6. davidst

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Thumb up 0

  7. richtaylor365 *

    I realize it’s all speculation on our part but I’m going to take the exact opposite side of your argument.
    These guys are professionals and did not get into the business for publicity or medals, they understood that being a SEAL was not only an honor, but it was a means by which an honest fight can be brought straight to the enemy. The pride is in a job well done, not the adulation afterwards. They don’t mouth off in bars after a successful op, if one did the others would probably beat the crap out of him. They understand that it is their lives on the front lines, and a successful op guarantees them all coming home alive afterwards. When you train that hard, you take pride in your tactics, and don’t want them compromised for the next mission. If any military man is willing to blab about the SEALS (sans any outside civilian pressure to do so) it is properly some higher functionary not intimately involved with SEAL training or SEALS in general, but reads about them in his sit reps.

    I don’t pretend to even have a handle on what these guys go through, but in my career I was involved in about a half dozen high profile arrest/shoot outs where both the arrest and the subsequent trials made headlines. During these events cameras and microphones were routinely shoved in our faces, I never said “Boo” to the press, always referred them to the public affairs dept. We could talk about it amongst ourselves in the aftermath, but making our feelings or our training a part of the public arena? never.

    Thumb up 0

  8. Seattle Outcast

    I will do my best. Eventually you will not be able to ignore it. Considering oil prices, I’m surprised anyone can ignore it now.

    Yeah, why don’t you do all that on a thread that actually involves natural resources, fairy tales, economics, or energy. Until then, we’ll consider your peak oil concerns to have been previously examined and found wanting for actual data to validate.

    Or I could start jacking all threads to talk about my favorite topic; Sofia Vergara’s boobs.

    Thumb up 1

  9. Seattle Outcast

    Two things:

    1) Christian Science Monitor isn’t a reliable source for anything

    2) Oil prices are not an indication of oil reserves

    Now, explain the following:

    1) How is it that there are more proven reserves than ever when we were supposed to be completely out of oil by 1985. Be sure to mention how middle east was due to be completely out of oil 25 years ago, but is still a major supplier.

    2) Exactly how much oil is there to extract, and what percentage of it has already been extracted. Explain why this number keeps changing if we already know how much oil there is. Remember to provide hard numbers.

    3) How is it a series of unproven assumptions about the quantity, extractability, quality and consumption of oil is anything other than hype?

    Thumb up 2

  10. davidst

    Yeah… CS Monitor is a red herring. They quoted Daniel Yergin, so you know they’re ignorant.

    I agree that oil prices are an indication of current supply and demand, not future reserves. Rising prices (inflation adjusted) indicate daily production rates not keeping up with demand. Before the recession, demand increased every year and production kept up (more or less). In 2005, conventional oil peaked (3 years before the great recession) and unconventionals have picked up some of the slack since then, with help from reduced demand induced by the recession. There are fundamental physical limits to production of uncoventionals though. The median prediction is for global liquids to peak 2018 give or take.

    1) How is it that there are more proven reserves than ever when we were supposed to be completely out of oil by 1985. Be sure to mention how middle east was due to be completely out of oil 25 years ago, but is still a major supplier.

    There are a lot of junk predictions out there and junk data on reserves. Hubbard based his predictions on a bell curve shaped production profile for oil in any given geographical area (large or small). He extrapolated the peak of production from the peak of discoveries and the rate at which observed local wells were produced (a bell curve with the top shaved off generally). He correctly placed the US peak in a ten year window which later proved to be centered on the 1971 peak of lower-48 oil production… exactly 40 years after the peak in lower-48 oil field discoveries. He predicted the world peak before world discoveries had peaked, hence hurting the quality of the prediction (he predicted 2001… not too shabby if conventional oil peaked in 2005). By the way, world discoveries peaked way back in 1965.

    2) Exactly how much oil is there to extract, and what percentage of it has already been extracted. Explain why this number keeps changing if we already know how much oil there is. Remember to provide hard numbers.

    The total reserves are not important. A lot of people think the peak is when we have half the oil out the ground. That’s not correct. The peak is when our daily rate of net production is at it’s highest. The production peak might occur with only 35% of oil out of the ground (or it might occur at 55%). Scientists observe the rate of decline in existing fields and the rate of increase in new fields and future fields (net oil not raw production) and see a peak and decline.

    3) How is it a series of unproven assumptions about the quantity, extractability, quality and consumption of oil is anything other than hype?

    Peak and decline of individual fields is a well known phenomenon. Peak and decline of discoveries is also well known and far behind us. World discoveries peaked 40 years ago. There is no magic bullet to make tar sands or deep sea oil a high return process, and there is no magic bullet for making up for a 40 year steady decline in new discoveries. Our tools are replacement energy sources, new infrastructure and oil/energy efficiency. The market will see to it whether we take any early actions or not. It would be better to be ahead of the game.

    Thumb up 0

  11. HARLEY

    . These guys are all intense personalities who would otherwise be the loudest guy at the party making sure everyone knows what they did

    No. i know a couple of BUDS guys, they are quiet, professional and very intimidating once you know who they are, er or when they tell you.
    BUDS is NOT SEALS, but was pretty much the progenitor of the SEALS.

    Thumb up 0

  12. blameme

    Davidst – if you want to start topics, either start your own blog or petition Jim to let you be one here.

    It is extremely rude for you to do this and does not help you win arguments to your point – it actually harms what you are trying to do.

    Since you joined this thread – the topic has mainly died and I for one just skipped to the bottom to put my two cents about you.

    Now, I will skip reading the rest of this post and comments as now you have hijacked this and turned it into something other than the author’s discussion.

    Congrats.

    Thumb up 3

  13. davidst

    If I don’t slip something in here and there, the issue will never come up! I’m not trying to win arguments, I’m trying to inform people, or else become informed myself (if my understanding turns out to be flawed).

    Thumb up 0