One of the best nonfiction books I have ever read was written by Marcus Luttrell, a Navy SEAL who was the sole survivor of SEAL team 10 on Operation Redwing in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan. Luttrell relates his story as his team, sent to put eyeballs on a Taliban bigwig, ends up all but being stepped on in their hiding places by three Afghani goatherds. They knew by the way these guys were looking at them that if they didn’t kill them, within minutes of turning them loose they’d be set upon by all the Taliban soldiers in the village they were watching–and they’d end up dead.
In WWII, this wouldn’t have been an issue. The bad guys would have been killed and we’d have heard nothing about it. Luttrell goes into the realities they faced on the side of that mountain: if they let them go, the Taliban would kill the American SEALs as quickly as they could. But if they killed the goatherds, the SEALs knew that the Taliban would play it up, the US media would eat it up, and to quell the anger at killing unarmed people the military courts would chew them up and spit them out. They knew that their careers would be over if they did what they would have to do to save themselves.
Most of the country knows what happened by now. They let the goatherds go, and in no time the mountainside was swarming with Taliban killers. Luttrell was the only man to survive of the four-man team. The Taliban even managed to shoot down the helicopter sent to rescue them, killing all the souls on board.
We haven’t learned the lessons of that fight. It has just been announced that three Navy SEALs are being court martialed for supposedly abusing a prisoner, one who was a most-wanted terrorist in Iraq. SO-2 Matthew McCabe, SO-2 Jonathan Keefe and SO-1 Julio Huertas refused an admiral’s mast (a non-judicial punishment) offered in the wake of accusations that they punched Ahmed Hashim Abed.
The evidence? Abed had a bloody lip.
Cry me a goddamn river.
What’s worse is that the bad guy is claiming he was punched in the gut, but his LIP was bloody! Are we serious? They offered a non-judicial punishment and the SEALs decided to stand up for themselves. My Lord, what are we coming to when the media jumps on something like this and our troops, who are heroes for capturing this flab of human debris, are targeted instead?
I find it completely astounding that the FBI and the military weren’t willing to do a damn thing to stop a known jihadist within their own ranks before he carried out jihad on 14 souls (one of those soldiers was pregnant–the victim count should be FOURTEEN) but when our boys save the day by catching a murdering fiend, we move to protect the murderer. Abed, by the way, led the mob that murdered and burned the bodies of four US Blackwater employees, dragged them through the streets, then hung them from a bridge in Fallujah.
Shame on whoever thought this should be prosecuted. SHAME ON YOU.