They threw OPSEC to the wind in favor of politics and I’m calling them on it, just like I would anyone else (e.g. New York Times, WIRED, CNN..take your pick). They could have broken this story and not have had the same amount of disclosure and OPSEC issues in my opinion.
Some things should be better left unsaid when it comes to certain types of operations. There’s a reason for a tiered classification system, it protects people and sensitive information. Others will certainly not forget this either. Especially the active men, and women who’s lives remain at risk, and who continue to serve in austere environments in Defense of America.
Security & Gunships
Gunship support, if it was available, is not as easy as people think. There has been plenty of blue on blue (friendly fire) in Iraq and Afghanistan due to friendly forces mistakenly identified as enemy.
I remember a SOF team in Afghanistan who were traveling in a vehicle convoy with indigenous forces and came under gun ship fire, it killed a lot of people. The guy I spoke too still had glass shards for windshield sticking out of his face. “Spooky” is no fucking joke and if guys aren’t clearly identified on the ground with IR markings then it would have been extremely difficult for the gun ship to engage. That and having experienced communicators calling in Close Air Support would have been critical.
Double or triple the Department of State Security detail with Ambassador Stevens, and they would have still been facing overwhelming odds. Considered the denied requests honored and they outcome likely remains the same. Bad things happen in the world, and heroes sometimes die.
Everyone on the rescue team knew the risks going into Libya. In remote and dangerous parts of the World bad things sometimes happen. Sometimes the chain of command waits too long, it happens, this is not the first time and it sucks.
Pay Attention To What You Hear This November
Be careful what you read and watch, the political spin machine is in full effect. Ask yourself these two simple questions:
- What’s the media outlet’s motive in all of this?
- What is the journalist’s background and subject matter expertise?
Use this to guide you as you piece together the puzzle. I for one agree with Panetta on this one. There’s too much arm chair quarterbacking going on. I’m going to wait to pass judgement until the November dust settles.
Glen, Ty, and their team answered the call for help when nobody else would. They are heroes for this, and this should not be forgotten.