Oh, yeah! Here we go. I’ve been waiting for this.
The New Yorker finally published a semi-in-depth look at the Seal Team 6 Bin Laden raid (DEVGRU’s Operation Neptune’s Spear):
On March 29th, McRaven brought the plan to Obama. The President’s military advisers were divided. Some supported a raid, some an airstrike, and others wanted to hold off until the intelligence improved. Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense, was one of the most outspoken opponents of a helicopter assault. Gates reminded his colleagues that he had been in the Situation Room of the Carter White House when military officials presented Eagle Claw—the 1980 Delta Force operation that aimed at rescuing American hostages in Tehran but resulted in a disastrous collision in the Iranian desert, killing eight American soldiers. “They said that was a pretty good idea, too,” Gates warned. He and General James Cartwright, the vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs, favored an airstrike by B-2 Spirit bombers. That option would avoid the risk of having American boots on the ground in Pakistan. But the Air Force then calculated that a payload of thirty-two smart bombs, each weighing two thousand pounds, would be required to penetrate thirty feet below ground, insuring that any bunkers would collapse. “That much ordnance going off would be the equivalent of an earthquake,” Cartwright told me. The prospect of flattening a Pakistani city made Obama pause. He shelved the B-2 option and directed McRaven to start rehearsing the raid.
Then just this past weekend:
31 Americans Killed as Taliban Shoot Down a Copter
August 6, 2011
The Chinook makes an appearance at the end of this video:
Schmidle, the New Yorker writer, added this yesterday:
And then, this just in, Pepe Escobar:
A close comparison between the Abbottabad and Wardak operations may raise a forest of eyebrows – apart from puncturing the myth of Navy SEALs as invincible, larger-than-life hunter-killers. In Abbottabad, as version after version of the raid was being fed to the media, it was finally established that a stealth helicopter simply “crashed”. No one knows if this was a pilot error or the helicopter was shot at.
The fact is the “crash” left an intact tail section of the stealth helicopter inside the compound – that tail section that left the Pentagon freaking out it would be “sold” to the Chinese by the Pakistanis. It’s quite a stretch to believe this crash generated no casualties – according to the Pentagon/White House spin.
And because the Bin Laden raid narrative was redacted over and over again, febrile minds are already linking these casualties to the Wardak death toll – implying the SEALs who actually died in the Abbottabad crash have now died “again” in Wardak. It doesn’t help that the initial versions of the Wardak hit (later corrected or redacted) identified the SEALs as the same ones who took part in the “kill Osama” raid.
And then this from one of the comments on the Danger Room blog post on chopper taketown:
The russians have since recovered Osama bin Laden’s body from the seafloor using an ROV. The russian nuclear hunter-killer sub that shadowed the US NAVY battle group recorded that event on sonar, when the late UBL was tossed overboard from the CVN’s deck. So the russians had the exact coordinates to begin with and now they have the sheik’s slightly decomposed body put on ice in the Kremlin basement. They will hand it over to saudi extremists for proper islamic burial, if the arabs effectively intervene to help stop the chechen islam extremists’ long-running and bloody insurgency in southern Russia.
The USA was a fool to drop the UBL corpse into the sea and the russian navy personnel are now overjoyed to have recovered that body, everybody speaks about that with pride. Russians feel tit-for-tat has now been achieved versus the USA. They were always ashamed to learn the US Navy and the CIA grave-robbed and desecrated the wreck of a 1970s sunken soviet submarine near Hawaii (the Operation Jennifer Azorean) and wanted at least poetic revenge for the disturned corpses of their comrades. This time russians robbed the american’s big trophy from the seafloor and so the match has been equalized!
Who do we believe? What should we believe? Ooooh….the Drama. This is better than the premier pf Jersey Shore goes to Italy.