According to a December 4, 2014 report in The Hill, a newspaper that covers the goings-on in the U.S. Congress (please, withhold your jokes about it being a one-page newsletter, or a bi-monthly, one-page pamphlet), Republican Senator Charles Grassley “blasted” the CIA inspector general for “bungling” a report on how classified information made its way to the producers of the Usama Bin Laden raid film “Zero Dark Thirty.” Thus continues the sad, tragic/comic saga of the aftermath of Operation Neptune Spear, the CIA and SEAL Team 6 operation to kill the Al Qaeda terrorist leader.
This whole post-operation fallout story would be funny if it were not so pathetic and sordid. A historically significant, successful, and supremely well-executed military-intelligence operation that should have been celebrated for its success and studied decades later by military and American historians, it is instead like watching an episode of a “Real Housewives” spinoff—”The Real Glory Hogs of Washington, D.C.”
The American public should feel nothing but pride and satisfaction regarding the operation, but instead we are being forced to deal with a nasty taste growing in our mouths. It’s like a perfectly groomed and trained show-dog is failing to win ‘Best in Show’ because it has a giant dingleberry clinging stubbornly to its perfectly coiffed ass.
Senator Grassley’s critique of the CIA inspector general’s report (a report that was requested in the first place by Senator Grassley and Congress in its oversight role) essentially centers on the fact that the CIA IG produced a “gutted and useless” report on how classified information made it to the Hollywood producers.
Grassley also accused the IG’s office of letting former CIA Director Leon Panetta off the hook regarding the disclosure of classified material. The revelations apparently came during a ceremony at CIA Headquarters, following and celebrating the successful raid, attended by the Hollywood producers.
This sorry bureaucratic back and forth over the Bin Laden raid, the unseemly claims made by former SEALs involved in the raid, the coziness of the CIA with Hollywood producers, and the White House’s initial leak of information almost immediately after the raid, all add up to a pathetic performance by our nation’s government, military, and security officials.
We, as American citizens, deserve better.
It makes one want to stand up and ask, “Where are all the grown-ups?” and, “Who is in charge of the clown show in D.C., northern, and coastal Virginia?”
To be clear, and in order to avoid painting with the same turd-covered brush, the other 99 percent of the CIA, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, and other government agencies who quietly and professionally executed their duties in the operation weren’t at fault. We should note that this embarrassment is really the fault of only a few players. These are players who have used Neptune Spear for political, personal, or bureaucratic gain in a shameless display of glory-seeking and discretion-lacking blabber.
The ongoing drama over this American triumph needs to stop, so that we as citizens can go on reveling in the fact that we meted out justice to those who wounded us on 9/11/2001. Stop fucking with our catharsis.