by Steve on August 2, 2011

Mere months after Osama gets taken out, reporter-at-large Nicholas Schmidle has a piece in The New Yorker that reads like a Tom Clancy novel detailing the mission. How did he get access? Why did he get access? I seriously doubt we would be treated to such details if this mission had gone the way of Carter’s 1980 attempt to rescue the Americans held in Tehran.

The reason we get to read this story is someone at a very high level decided we should. There’s political gain to be had here but at what cost? Granted the actual detail is minimal but there is enough information about the op that would be useful to our enemies to make me question the motive behind printing such a story.

Part of what makes Special Operations such an effective weapon is the unknown. When one of the bad guys wakes in the morning to find a couple of his buds have vanished without a trace it puts fear in his heart. He’s left to wonder (1) how in the hell did they do that? (2) who did it? and (3) when will they come after me? Fear can be a wonderful tool. The story spreads of mysterious warriors with green goggles that appear from nowhere, kill silently, and then disappear in a flash.

We don’t need to know how many aircraft, how many SEALs, and at what interval were involved in taking down “Crankshaft.” Surely the government didn’t give Schmidle the actual code name for the target which would allow anyone listening to our traffic to sift back through intercepts looking for references to “Crankshaft.” All we need to know is the SEALs bagged Osama.

Unless the CinC is running for re-election.


ManlyDad August 2, 2011 at 23:23

Yah, the article did allow BHO to look very decisive, concerned and protective of his troops, and wise in the ways of military strategery. Like insisting on additional helos so the SEALs could “fight their way out.” All of which I doubt.

SoCal Pir8 August 3, 2011 at 12:49

Haven’t read it yet (tonight while watching the Padres) but Manly is on to something as to who ‘leaked’ and why.

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