This May, Delta Force launched a raid into ISIS-controlled territory within Syria to capture/kill Abu Sayyaf, said to be a key leader within the terrorist organization. While no one can, or should, try to take anything away from the accomplishments of the Delta operators and JSOC personnel involved in the raid, there are a number of peculiarities surrounding it that are worth mentioning.

Within minutes of the raid taking place, almost as soon as Delta boots were safely back on Kurdish soil, CNN was touting what was sold as the inside story of the raid. At the risk of sounding like someone suffering from professional jealousy, I could not help but think that the story we were being sold sounded like talking points intentionally leaked to the press.

CNN spun a narrative about a daring raid to capture a critical leadership node within ISIS. The Delta operators moved in to capture Sayyaf, but he hid behind a woman! Delta was forced to kill him, but they did capture his wife, and not only that, they also found a treasure trove of intelligence information. Considering that Seymour Hersh‘s story refuting the Obama administration’s assertions about the Bin Laden raid, I was pretty shocked that the same talking points were simply recycled. Bin Laden hid behind a woman. Sayyaf hid behind a woman. SEAL Team Six got a massive amount of intel off of the OBL hit, as did Delta on the Sayyaf operation.

I’m starting to think that JSOC needs to hire some new screenwriters. We were even told that the American soldiers liberated a Yazidi sex slave from the objective. If true, this was certainly a righteous action, as was the killing of Sayyaf. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that we were being told about a sex slave to sell that idea that Sayyaf is a really, really bad guy.