The Irony of The Times

by Steve on October 22, 2007


LT Michael Murphy of Patchogue, NY was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor today at a Whitehouse ceremony. President Bush presented the medal to Michael’s parents, awarded for their son’s heroism under fire in the mountains of Afghanistan, June 2005. LT Murphy ultimately died from wounds he sustained when he deliberately sought open ground in the face of enemy fire in order to gain a signal and call for help. They were outnumbered and vastly out-gunned. His men were dying and LT Michael Murphy did the only thing he could do if any of them were to survive.

Murphy and his team were never supposed to find themselves in direct contact with the enemy. They were sent into the mountains to confirm intelligence on the location of one Ahmad Shah and then call in the main force.

The SEAL mission was compromised when the team was spotted by local nationals, who presumably reported its presence and location to the Taliban.

That’s the PC official statement. What really happened was three goatherds, two men and a boy, literally walked up on the SEALs up in the mountains above the village they were watching. Faced with the ultimate moral dilemma deep within enemy territory, they let the Afghans go on their way even though it was almost certain that Shah would get word and the mission, not to mention their lives, would be compromised.

Marcus Luttrell, the only member of the SEAL team to survive, gives us LT Murphy’s analysis:

If we kill them, someone will find their bodies real quick. For a start, these goats are just going to hang around. And when these guys don’t get home for their dinner, their friends and relatives are going to head straight out to look for them, especially for this fourteen-year-old. The main problem is the goats. Because they can’t be hidden, and that’s where people will look. When they find the bodies, the Taliban leaders will sing to the Afghan media. The media in the USA will latch on to it and write stuff about the brutish US Armed Forces. Very shortly after that, we’ll be charged with murder. The murder of innocent unarmed Afghan farmers.

Fear of their own politicians and media ended up costing three of them their lives and those of sixteen other Special Forces operators. To top it all off Shah lived to fight another day even though the four SEALS took out over 50 of his men.

Ahmad Shah, and others of his species, were responsible for the attacks of September 11th. Michael Murphy, a native of the same state in which the terrorists carried out their attack on thousands of civilians, died trying remove a cancer from humanity. He died because of a tactical decision driven at least in part by how his home state media would perceive his actions on a hostile battlefield. And yet when it was announced that this native son of New York would be receiving his nation’s highest military honor, The New York Times did not even cover the story.

LT Michael Murphy USN


Times Watch

Marcus Luttrell

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