By lex, on May 19th, 2011
The Secretary and the Chairman have combined to say that it’s time to change the subject from the bin Laden raid:
“We are close to jeopardizing this precious capability that we have, and we can’t afford to do that,” Mullen said. “From my perspective, it is time to stop talking. We have talked far too much about this… We need to move on.”
It was not the first time that Gates has worried publicly about the extensive and detailed coverage of the raid. A week earlier he told Marines at Camp Lejeune, N.C., that top administration officials watching the raid in the White House Situation Room had all agreed to stay silent on the details of the mission.
“That all fell apart on Monday, the next day,” Gates said.
At a Pentagon news conference Wednesday, Gates was asked if he felt that the White House, which conducted an extensive on-the-record briefing of the raid on May 2, had in its excitement said too much. The defense secretary refused to single anyone out for blame.
“My concern is that there were too many people in too many places talking too much about this operation,” he told reporters. “We want to retain the capability to carry out these kinds of operations in the future, and when so much detail is available it makes that both more difficult and riskier.”
Mullen added that government officials were not the only ones spilling the beans about the mission.
“We’ve had far too many retired people who’ve spoken up,” he said.
I presume that the Chairman is talking about retired SPECWAR operators rather than fanboy naval aviators, and while I’m sensitive – trust me – to the issue of trying to launch a book, exposing TTPs in current usage is a real danger to the guys still out there beyond the wire. The SEALs themselves are less worried about their personal security – if that was a driver in your life, you’d choose another profession – but they do worry about the security of their families.
It was a damned good day, and it engendered a great sigh of relief. But that sigh has turned triumphal, and the AP has labeled this phenomenon, “SEAL mania *,” even as Mickey tried to trademark “SEAL Team 6,” the rat b*stard.
These are our shadow warriors, and it’s time – past time, indeed – that we let them get back to the shadows, and back to their work.
* 10-25-2018 Link Gone; no replacements found – Ed.