Saturday, May 14, 2011

Navy SEALs Don't Squeal

Now how did that get out? And should I take it as having happened with some policy purpose in mind, or just juicy pseudo-gossip from people who should've known better?

This whole thing about they found porn at Bin Laden's house I mean...

What to type about first David? America's romance with elite military units, or the importance of keeping secrets, or the seeming stupidity of announcing to the world that porn was found at Bin Laden's house? Hmmm... hang on, I'm sensing the embryonic swirling mists of a semi-coherent narrative...

OK, I'm fairly sure that America first became enamored with uber-warriors during WW2.
There were the Marines slugging it out with the Japs on islands with funny names, and it sort of entered our collective consciousness about then, that ALL our fighting men were brave, handsome and above average, but those Marines were just badass badasses.

I'm not sure why as the decades rolled, smaller groups of warriors seemed to capture the pop culture imagination. There were the Green Berets in Vietnam. And there was Delta Force some in the 1980's. Not sure if we spent much time with the Army Rangers, but am pretty sure they got some attention along the way. Now it's Navy SEALs, the American ninjas!

Maybe our fascination with smaller units of uber-warriors stems from our fighting smaller wars after WW2... not really sure.

But I am pretty darned sure? It wasn't some Navy SEAL twittering to his girlfriend that announced to the world Bin Laden had porn. Those kinds of soldiers don't do stuff like that. They take themselves VERY seriously, and loose talk would be unprofessional in their world.

To them keeping secrets safe is part of the mystique of an organization to which they've devoted a big chunk of their lives. In government though, keeping secrets is an important part of doing biz. You never let anything out without a purpose.

What purpose is served by telling the world that Bin Laden had porn? The whole funeral at sea gag, I get that. Splendid idea really. Arabic culture loves shrines.

But I can only conclude allowing gossip on his DVD collection is amatuerish. For part of the Arab world, Bin Laden is their Pancho Villa or Robin Hood. They're not going to believe Bin Laden had "Confessions of a Naughty Cable guy" and it must look to them like an attempt to besmirch the memory of a slain General.

So much for 'winning hearts & minds' I suppose...

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