If you’ve read the lengthy hit-piece in Glenn Greenwald’s “The Intercept” that targets SEAL Team Six, I feel for you. If you haven’t, well, I read it, and I can save you a lot of time and aggravation. What is alleged in that piece is probably no worse than what you saw watching HBO’s “The Pacific.” As an aside, it should be noted that both the Pacific Theater and the Global War on Terror opened with mass-casualty attacks on American soil.
But this is part of a disturbing pattern that we’re seeing. All too often, America’s defenders in the military and intelligence community will be given difficult, thankless tasks. How it gets done may be akin to the making of sausage. That said, the infuriating pattern we are seeing with the American heroes who were involved with the CIA interrogation program, including Jose Rodriguez and James Mitchell, not to mention the National Security Agency, is starting again.
Greenwald’s been open about his desire to see a weaker United States. This certainly puts into context his efforts over the War on Terror. First it’s the media and the politicians pushing a half-baked report full of… male bovine excrement. Then, he and others got politicians to gut our ability to get the actionable intelligence we need to stop attacks. As of now, our interrogation methods are available to anyone with either an Amazon account or just an Internet connection.
Now, the folks who take out the terrorists (and grab even more intelligence in the process) are in his sights. Again, the pattern begins. First, smear them as war criminals while conveniently ignoring the real atrocities of ISIS and al-Qaeda. Then, you find some way to tie their hands, perhaps with very strict rules of engagement.
The fact of the matter is that if terrorists didn’t carry out their attacks (and thereby generating the professional interest of SEAL Team Six), then SEAL Team Six would have no reason to carry out a raid that leaves a bunch of `em dead while the SEALs look through their stuff. If Chris Rock ever did a “How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked by SEAL Team Six” video, it would start with “Don’t be a terrorist.”
Osama bin Laden brought that raid on himself by ordering the 9/11 attacks. The Taliban could have avoided having SEALs hunting them if they had handed bin Laden over after 9/11. If those Somali pirates hadn’t hijacked the Maersk Alabama and taken Captain Phillips hostage, they wouldn’t have been sniped. This is common sense. Furthermore, when al-Qaeda and ISIS are beheading prisoners or burning them alive, when they engage in wholesale sex trafficking, when they’re tossing gay men off of buildings, going out super-quick with a head shot is getting off pretty easy.
Yet in Glenn Greenwald’s twisted world, the SEALs are the bad guys. The SEALs need to be the ones looked into. Is invoking the term “war crimes” to mean that they are next on the list for what CIA personnel went through at the hands of the ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights – a form of next-generation “Gitmo bar” that will give America’s enemies further access to our legal system than they already have received? Andrew McCarthy described what Gitmo Bar 1.0 did in a 2010 article for National Review. CIA personnel were stalked, and far-left lawyers sought to have them charged and tried by foreign tribunals. If Hanoi Jane is seen as a traitor by many for those infamous photos on an ack-ack gun and a few radio broadcasts, then what word describes what the Gitmo bar did? How far will Gitmo Bar 2.0 go?
Halting this cycle of smear and restrict has to become one of the top priorities for President-elect Donald Trump and his nominee for Secretary of Defense, James Mattis. The alternative could very be a gutted Special Operations Command and a weakened America, which is precisely what the founder of the Intercept wants.