Navy Seals: A battle for the conscience
Active duty Navy SEALS at February premiere of "Act of Valor"
September 6th, 2012
12:01 AM ET

Navy Seals: A battle for the conscience

By Barbara Starr

(CNN) - Deep inside the military's special operations forces there is a crisis of conscience unfolding. The publication of "No Easy Day," a former Navy SEAL's account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, is forcing many to rethink a fundamental point of military honor. How much should America's commandos talk about what they do?

It's a debate that goes beyond disclosure of classified information, which is a crime. The discussion now centers on honor, ethics and cultural values inside the ranks.

"This is a battle for the conscience of the SEALs," a recently retired senior SEAL told me.

He served for decades in operational positions in the force, and has never told me any of the details of his missions. For years he did what every SEAL has done: Go on raids, find targets and, if necessary, kill them. It's what the nation asks of them.

Buzz ramps up over SEAL's bin Laden book

The question now: Is the SEAL community taking that Tom Clancy superman image and turning it into celebrity? "Was No Easy Day" indeed that last straw?

"It's a generational thing that is happening to some extent," the retired SEAL said. Some younger SEALs who have grown up in the age of the Internet and instant online communications simply feel it's their right to talk about their work, as long as they can claim it's not classified, he said.

This senior SEAL said he and his peers grew up in a generation where "we don't talk about what we do," and he feels it should be kept that way.

In fact, the chief Navy SEAL wrote a scathing e-mail to his 2,500 troops, which began with the fundamental SEAL ethos.

"We do NOT advertise the nature of our work, NOR do we seek recognition for our actions," said Rear Adm. Sean Pybus.

Pybus told the men he is "disappointed, embarrassed and concerned" that troops are now openly speaking and writing about what they do.

"Most of us have always thought that the privilege of working with some of our nation's toughest warriors on challenging missions would be enough to be proud of, with no further compensation or celebrity required.

"Today, we find former SEALs headlining positions in a presidential campaign; hawking details about a mission against Enemy Number 1; and generally selling other aspects of NSW training and operations."

Pybus continued: "For an Elite Force that should be humble and disciplined for life, we are certainly not appearing to be so. We owe our chain of command much better than this."

Every SEAL, indeed everyone in U.S. military special operations units, knows exactly what Pybus is saying. He's warning that fundamental trust is at risk. And the risk is on many levels, from the campfire to the Oval Office.

Matt Bissonnette wrote in his book about casual chatter among SEALs, which he portrayed as less than supportive of President Obama. An Army special operations guy who read that passage was shocked.

"That's just 'team talk' around the fire," he said.

Does anybody expect that to show up in a book? The men on these small covert units literally place their lives in the hands of each other. They trust that they'll keep each others' confidence. And confidence must be unshakeable at the highest levels.

Bergen: Sense and nonsense about Obama and Osama

Pybus' reference to a chain of command is read by some to mean only one thing: the president of the United States. A president has to fundamentally believe when he sends SEALs on a secret mission to kill the world's top terrorist that those in the rank and file aren't going to start talking.

Of course, there has been plenty of chatter about Obama administration officials themselves talking too much about the raid. Now there has been outright admission classified information was exposed.

Pentagon spokesman George Little acknowledged classified information about the raid did get out in the hours and days after bin Laden was killed.

"We were all deeply concerned, not just in this building, but elsewhere in the administration, about the disclosure of highly classified information that made its way out the door," he said. "I don't know precisely who did it, but it shouldn't have happened. And many of us tried to keep some of those sensitive details, particularly those involving sources and methods, from making their way to press reports."

Little was the CIA spokesman at the time of the raid.

But many believe there is a difference between Pentagon officials disseminating information and rank and file members of the military sharing it. If service members want to write a book, the material has to be reviewed before publication. If a service member believes he or she needs to bring wrongdoing to light, there are procedures within the military for whistle-blowing. Bissonnette did not follow the rules, the Pentagon said.

In fact, in the book's introduction, Bissonnette justifies his book, writing "It is time to set the record straight" and, "This book will finally give credit to those who earned it." It's odd phrasing, because so many, including Pybus and Adm. William McRaven, the head of all 65,000 special operations forces across the military, think the SEALs have received plenty of credit around the world for killing bin Laden.

Pentagon: SEAL's book has classified info, didn't follow protocol

Both admirals are agonizing over the emergence of SEALs as celebrities as well as political operatives.

McRaven is aiming squarely at a group of former SEALs actively opposing President Barack Obama. The admiral is referring to the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, which has sponsored a Web video featuring former special forces officers accusing the president of taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden and allowing classified information about the raid to become public.

While McRaven said former SEALs have the right to express their opinions, he wants any link to the active duty force to be kept out of it. "By attaching a special operations moniker or a unit or service name to a political agenda, those individuals have now violated the most basic of our military principles," McRaven said in his e-mail message to the troops.

McRaven and Pybus know their worries are raising eyebrows. That's because the Pentagon itself has encouraged worldwide commercial interest in SEAL lore. In one case, top Pentagon and CIA officials offered their support for the upcoming "Zero Dark Thirty," a movie that Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow is making about the bin Laden raid.

Some in Congress have complained that the Pentagon and CIA should not have offered the filmmaker background briefings.

Active duty Navy SEALs also were given permission to perform in the Hollywood thriller "Act of Valor."

Also, Pentagon sources told CNN, SEALs are also working on two other Hollywood movies.

The recently retired senior SEAL summed up the problem for his brothers in arms since the Bin Laden raid: "We swallowed the golden egg. But now we can't get rid of it."

Read excerpts from "No Easy Day"

soundoff (1,097 Responses)
  1. In home personal training

    I agree with the senior seals are right. These younger Seals should keep there mouths shut.No need for a book if you pay these guys the right
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    April 8, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Reply
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  7. Don Canard

    it's natural to put the SOF community into the limelight. They're the best, they set the standard for all kind of stuff. They are downright exciting. In turn, it's natural for them to enjoy that limelight, they bust their *55es, get really good at some really hard stuff and bring home the bacon for the USA (or save it). Like many people who are excellent, many of them probably wouldn't be that way if they didn't have a reasonably healthy ego (justified pride in capabilities and accomplishments). Which culturally they usually suppress, but here's an opportunity to let it out a little.

    Problem is, both these natural reactions (can) produce bad results. A force that needs to come and go and it's like they were never there, needs to not be in the public eye. so maybe the military's PR people need to up their game, take SOF back less public, and sell them on mystery and rumor rather than letting Johnny Pimples think he's got all access via his Xbox. (And no, I don't care if this particular incident happened without authorization. The government sets the tone for how these units are presented (or not) to the public. They can set a different tone.)

    November 9, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • james w blair

      it is better to remain silent and thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt

      November 10, 2012 at 10:54 am | Reply
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    September 10, 2012 at 6:51 am | Reply
    • jay

      Either a 't/r/o/l/l or worse. Precisely why this book should have been vetted!

      September 11, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
  14. Scott H.

    Not like the military would lie to us. Anyone remember Pat Tillman??

    Most SEAL's are fed up with Obama. Only the retired ones dare say anything, because a soldier was booted for bad mouthing the idiot in chief.

    Anyone remember when he brought charges against three of them for "Ruffing up" a terrorist? Just the fact that they are trying so hard to discredit him makes me want to buy the book, must be some really good stuff in it!

    September 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Reply
    • leo

      I don't know why you think your current president is an idiot? At least he knows how to talk properly and conduct himself unlike your previous president. As for how to treat terrorists yes they are guilty but beating them only lowers us to their standards. The only thing that will come out of this is that there could be problems for future missions because let's face it..it was not to embarass the military or President Obama but to make a buck. This SEAL member should be tried and convicted under the military rule that forbids him to discuss operations....it's called protecting national security!!!

      September 7, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Reply
      • marine

        the president knows how to "talk roperly"–sure-that's the objection–with "trying the navy seal as to "protecting national security"–he only wants to "make a buck"–1–anyone can "talk the talk"-properly–can they "walk the walk"?–2-"protecting national security"?–who-to this moment- as to leaks within the political establishment–has been tried for not "protecting "national security"?–3-"make a buck"–maybe you're unaware as to how many members of Congress-and the President himself–that have made "a buck"–google how many are now millionaires-and were not-before they were elected–he is no more eligible to be held accountable for his violation of "national security"-than the "political establishment"–unless you're one who believes that men in uniform should be held accountable-while men in "suits and ties"-are not to be–as with most-it appears your concentration is centered on the individual problem-not the overall problem–im sure this seal knows how many states there are in the usa-since the president does not–i-and i only speak for myself–i also consider him an "idiot"–as to proper language-maybe you should edit the dictionary–the word is in there-of course it probably would not be gracious to use it when having tea..apparently there are people whom believe in "do as i say"–and not "do as i do"–it's called "equal justice under the law"–politicians put there pants on no different than i do–address the problem–as a whole,,

        September 8, 2012 at 4:37 am |
      • PaxHominibus

        I agree with you! Why did the retired SEAL pick on other Seals?

        It was OBAMA who blabbed that it was SEAL 6 on the Bin Laden raid

        And it was OBAMA who gave Hollywood the details of the raid to make an Obama propaganda film!!!

        If the Commander-in-Chief can do it..................eh? Obama - leading by example - NOT! Hypocrites.

        September 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  15. Bruce Berry

    "TREASON"

    September 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • Eagle Two

      Bruce, what abot the Director of the NSA who violated security by mentioning Steal Team 6 and a mission. That is TS/SAR. Go after him. He placed all of this in public domain. Not the Seals

      September 12, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  16. Gerry

    Solid "Trigger and mouth discipline" go hand in hand. Once is either one is lost..... there is bound to be unintended casualties.

    God bless those Americans willing to sacrifice so that others may sleep well at night.

    September 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  17. mstandupish

    Rear Admiral Pybus is right. The SEALs who are using their service to advance their own political or personal agenda are a disgrace. And some of them, like the swift boat birther SEALs Larry Bailey and Benjamin Smith of the OPSEC swiftboat group, are just downright crazy and more than a little bit scary. http://www.whoisformernavysealbenjaminsmith.com I thank them for their service, but just because they were a SEALs once upon a time does not mean they automatically have honor, integrity, or credibility.

    September 7, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  18. NoN

    Looks like no one is buying into the honor and integrity mantra of the most corrupt department in the government. It was only a matter of time until that scam collapsed. The entire concept of service is obsolete in modern American society, just look at the kind of people in leadership positions. Then putting this so-called raid in perspective, a heavily armed company sized air-assault on a small compound 'defended' by children, wives, and in-laws with handguns, is hardly the stuff legends are made of, kind of a big joke really.

    September 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  19. LDDirect

    Let's face it the guy had a big mouth and should be punished as those including the Obama Administration. I will say I was in the navy once upon a time and a secret was a secret in those days....this guy along with the Obama Chronies should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

    September 7, 2012 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • rod

      what do obama has to do with people not keeping there mouth closed please dang blaming he for what the seals think they did with out him remember seals if he didnt tell you to move u would be at home doing nothing

      September 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  20. Joe

    All ops done with approval of our congress and commanders and in the name of what is right and just (like going after terrorists...) SHOULD BE CLASSIFIED.

    September 7, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
    • rick1948

      Congress is not the Commander In Chief of the military for a very good reason. If you had to get a popular vote on every operations, nothing would get done because Congress is incapable of doing anything in less than a month, if they do it at all. And, military operations cannot become hostage to partisan politics – remember how much the Congress has done in the last two years just due to one party being more interested in an election than what is right. You want that to happen to military operations too??

      September 7, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
      • polonelmeagrejr

        Rick – Yeah, great. WHty don't we just put every important decision on the internet for a quick thumbs up or down. e.g. North Korea- 1 for bomb 2 dor diplomacy 3.) investigate members of the congress for North KOrean sympathies and or/ ancestry. I am glad we have a President of intelligence, restraint, action (where indicated) and compasssion. Not a rube who will be tricked by a single provocative action.

        April 9, 2013 at 7:03 am |
    • Juliette

      God bless our brave Navy SEALs – everyone else shut-up and grow some balls...!

      September 7, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
      • Kjohnson

        I guess we are fortunate Juliette that you are not a Navy seal. As your irrational decision to make such a nonsensical comment would be indicative of your propensity for being irrational and thoughtless. Not what is needed in a Navy seal were it you nor the seal this whole debate is centered around.

        September 7, 2012 at 10:51 am |
      • rick1948

        Ignore him Juliette. You are correct. These people who decided not to give up their careers at the drive-up window to serve their country don't have a clue what they are talking about and their opinions are meaningless.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:14 am |
      • Kjohnson

        Wow! I have awaken the ignorant giant. First off, being that I have quite a successful white collar job I will dispense with addressing your pathetic attempt to demean the working class. Furthermore, having served my country faithfully for over ten years and within the intelligence community, I take comfort in knowing that I can and do speak with greater authority on this matter than either you will ever be able to. You may return to your normal programming, "Stupid is as you are". Cheers.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:25 am |
      • rick1948

        Civilians – sit around on their behinds while others keep them safe.

        September 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  21. Joe

    At last the question of honor comes up. I respect many, but when that movie Act of Valor came out and the interviews and the book... I said to only a few so as to not be misunderstood and labled unpatriotic "what happend to honor" Generation thing I guess. Though the new generation is very good and should be proud, they strive to become somethign like a Seal because its what they see Charlie Sheen in the movie and its cool. You get the chicks... The utmost honor is you be the best, and go home at the end of the day not needing to talk or tell the story. As they said in the article, its what they do. Everyone likes to be recognized for jobs well done and being good at what you do, but by the very nature of the work, some jobs we need to sacrifice that recognition and know that at least there is a clsoe knit family in the groups that know and recognize. To NOT seek the glory of the big screen or talk show circuit is the most honorable you can be. My hates off to all in all walks of life that do their jobs each day, and my special thanks to those that must do it in secret. People know these groups exist and are grateful for them. Don't seek attention, esp in covert ops even if retired I would not want to broadcast anything if at least for my own safety into this global world. Your need not recogntion from books or movies, already appreciated and a one of the valued assets in the US.

    September 7, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
  22. puddintane

    Honor and stuff is so mercurial in the US... When Bill Clinton was caught cheating on Hillary his fans shrieked it was a private matter, to leave them alone, not a leadership issue, etc. and his lying to the public downplayed as a minor thingy. "He had no other choice"
    That shows up a lot here – we all have virtually no choice but to lie, commit violence, insult, threaten every day, especially when it comes to protecting celebrities or trying to share their thunder.

    September 7, 2012 at 9:24 am | Reply
    • Kjohnson

      A man lying about an affair hardly compares to the actions of this Navy seal. Navy seals like all members of the US Navy are held to higher standard than civilians and are expected to not only uphold by exemplify the Navy's core values as well as their solemn oaths to their professions. Do not try to mix military professions with that of everyday citizens nor government officials. The seal in question should be reprimanded severely for his actions so as to set the tone going forward that what he has done has never been deemed acceptable and never will be. Military service is not just a job, its a way of life that demands that service to country always comes before self and if he was true to what was believed to be his calling then, it would still hold true that a service member can leave the service but the service never leaves them.

      September 7, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
      • A veteran

        Kjohnson – why don't you point out specifically what this SEAL did for which he needs to be reprimanded? You can't because you haven't read the book. I've read his book and hundreds of other memoirs or accounts of battle and war as written by those that were involved (including presidential memoirs), and this book falls right in line. He doesn't mention names, locations, special tactics, special weaponry, super secret gadgets etc. In fact, I learned more about the raid from the White House/Pentagon releases (leaks) than what is in this book. In fact, this book is almost virtually in line with the final version from the White House. What differs? The death and transport of Bin Laden.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:15 am |
      • Jason

        A veteran – Let me explain it to you and hopefully you will understand where this SEAL went wrong. Given the nature of special ops missions, all special ops troops come into contact with the results of intelligence work done at the SCI-level. As such, these folks sign a non-disclosure agreement regarding intelligence and other classified data. If you go online and read the non-disclosure agreement (DD Form 1847) in detail:

        http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/dd_1847_1.pdf

        You can see that it clearly states that anytime anyone who signs that agreement decides to publish anything related to their work with this type of classified information, is required to have it reviewed by the DoD (Paragraph 4). Having a private third party review any potential publication doesn't count and is irrelevant. Whether or not there is classified information in the book is actually not necessary to get this individual into trouble legally. This individual decided to ignore the process that he signed a legal contract to follow, and should be held accountable for the consequences laid out in the non-disclosure agreement.

        September 7, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Broadcasting

      What Clinton did was stupid. He put himself in a position to be blackmailed. What Bissonnette did was stupid. Two stupids do not offset each other.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  23. JMO

    Ex Navy Seals writing books exposing all of our classified information.....help us!!!!!!

    September 7, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
  24. mary

    I fully understand the need for Not revealing details when teams have to do tasks that could be compromised ,
    And too early of a public reveal afterwards could endanger family and other team members . . .
    However at some point , those of us that are grateful for their sacrifices would like to recognize them and have some form of tribute .

    Sadly , there are those that just want gory details for entertainment ( grew up & maybe still live on war video games ) so command needs to find a way that the teams can be honored withOut compromising the missions and withOut feeding the mental gamers .

    But until they figure it out , we should let the teams know we are grateful for their very hard work & sacrifices .

    k

    September 7, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
  25. JON MICHAEL

    "CAMPFIRE TALK" should remain just that. One warrior should not presume to speak for anyone but himself. HOWEVER, regarding the account how that one particular evening unfolded; if the POTUS presumes to lie about with impunity, that SEAL has EVERY right to set the record straight. Keeping silent has everything to do with maintaining honor, but nothing to do with becoming a willing accomplice in a lie at the highest echelons.

    September 7, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply
  26. Edward C.

    "We do NOT advertise the nature of our work, NOR do we seek recognition for our actions," said Rear Adm. Sean Pybus."

    Correct! The pansy suits sitting comfortably in an air-conditioned room take credit for it!

    September 7, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
    • Broadcasting

      Yes, they take credit for it and they also take responsibility for it......do you understand the difference?

      September 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  27. oldbones24

    I am so ashamed of this Seal. I grew up in the Marines my dad was a lifer. He held his WW2 and Korean war secrets to the day he died. Trust me I tried to pull them out of him and he avoided the subject to the end. Where have our Honorable soldiers gone? If you can't live by the rules don't join.

    September 7, 2012 at 8:01 am | Reply
    • A veteran

      Oldbones – my father too was WWII Marine Vet who would not tell his stories. As he told me, it wasn't so much that they were secret, but they were so devestating to recall. It is not dishonorable to write a memoir, nor is it dishonorable to give you opinion of politicians. One of the most famous Marines, and 31st Commandant of the USMC – Viktor Krulak wrote the book First to Fight. In this book he describes the history of the Marine Corps, including battles and first hand accounts – but he also writes in great detail about the struggles he had with politicians and the President regarding the Corps and doesn't hold anything back. If you're going to call this SEAL dishonorable based on what an article says withouth reading the book – go ahead and call GEN Krulak dishonorable as well.

      September 7, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
      • Kjohnson

        Sir, you are comparing apples and oranges when trying to compare the actions of these two men. I would never call Gen Krulak's conduct nor his service anything other than honorable and deserving of every ounce o appreciation a grateful nation should render him. My thanks to your father for his service as well.

        September 7, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  28. Jorge

    The concept of tight lips is not exclusive to the military, there is an ancient Persian saying "You are slave to what you say, master to what you keep." Throughout the ages the wise have understood this; the very word "secretary" revolves around this concept, it means an official trustee to privy information. Even the Bible extolls the virtue of being a private, discreet person on important matters. Humanity is exquisitely predatory, and your secrets are the first things that others will use against you.

    September 7, 2012 at 7:39 am | Reply
  29. michaelfury

    http://pulverizedtonearpower.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/pulverized-to-near-power/

    September 7, 2012 at 7:38 am | Reply
  30. Rudy the Brave

    My cousin served for 6 years and then got out, or retired as they say in the military. He found out that with an honorable discharge he could go to the Veteran's Administration and be classififed as "disabled." So, this is what he did. Next, when he wasn't training for marathons, he set up a small business that listed what he did in the military as what his business does. Then, he started applying for government contracts and was given many opportunities because he is a disabled veteran. When he told the story this summer at our family reunion everyone laughed when he said that he makes more than ten times what he could have made in uniform and he never has to leave home. He was jumping up and down and saying that he never felt better in his life. There are many smart people that volunteer to serve and then see the business side of defense is much more lucrative. I'll laugh if the seal author follows up with a NO EASY DAY snowglobe, key chains, pen and pencil set, velcro-adjustable ballcap, and 5 day seminar with hands-on, tactical instruction. If people would pay in advance to read the story, think of how much they will pay to actually talk to the man and leave with a No EASY DAY screensaver and special music CD.

    September 7, 2012 at 7:35 am | Reply
  31. BigAl

    you keep your mouth shut...PERIOD.

    September 7, 2012 at 7:30 am | Reply
  32. Mike

    Having read many of the comments in this thread, I have only one question. Were LSD and other mind-altering drugs legalized and nobody told me? I have never read so much gibberish in my life. For every one intelligent, cogent thought, there are 50 that are just raving mad.

    September 7, 2012 at 7:17 am | Reply
  33. rick1948

    As someone with 27 years in the military – 14 in the SOF, I can tell you there is one thing that no one should need an NDA to tell them. You NEVER talk about anything you did – EVER. Why? Because your former comrades are still out there, trying to do a tough job without getting their butts shot off and you don't know where they are or what they are doing today. The enemy is not stupid. They take a piece of information that you thought was "unclassified" or "unimportant" and couple it with other tidbits of information that other people thought were unclassified or unimportant to reveal a classified operation or capability. This is not some "freedom of information" or "we have the right to know" freekin game for civilians to play. People can get killed.

    September 7, 2012 at 7:05 am | Reply
    • Andre

      You hit it right on the head. More than anything you make sure you take care of those that served with you. The author of "No Easy day" sold out his unit and the entire SEAL family.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:11 am | Reply
    • mark

      This book righter is a punk .He is just after the money .

      September 7, 2012 at 7:59 am | Reply
  34. A REALIST

    So why did the SEALS cooperate (and act in) "Act of Valor?"

    If the Brass in the SEALS is so concerned about publicity, why cooperate and basically make the movie?

    September 7, 2012 at 7:01 am | Reply
    • Eddie V

      Act of Valor started out as a recruiting tool for the Navy SEALs. The Brass allowed the SEALs to participate in the movie and had final say what made it into movie.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:14 am | Reply
  35. Vincent

    Has anyone ever heard much information about the Special Air Service (SAS) or Special Boat Service (SBS), the special forces of the British (or even Australian and New Zealand) armed forces ? Or the Canadian Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) ?
    Probably not?
    GOOD! Because those guys do their job without the fanfare.

    The administration leakng details is bad enough. But for the troops themselves to be doing it is borderline treason! Not only are they selling-out their units and comrades for publicity and money, but also for politics! The armed forces are supposed to be neutral, and follow the legitimate orders of their commander-in-chief, whoever they may be and whatever his policies.
    These SEALs are ruining the reputation of the many before them who fought so hard.

    September 7, 2012 at 7:00 am | Reply
  36. A REALIST

    If Obama can try to capitalize off the bin Laden raid, why shouldn't everyone else?

    The President set the standard....the SEALS are following his lead.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:58 am | Reply
  37. fiftyfive55

    someone beart someone to the punch and somebody else is upset,oh well

    September 7, 2012 at 6:51 am | Reply
  38. bob

    i am a veteran saw a lot of things the goverment asked its military to do some good some bad . bottom line is war is war it is not pretty or allways right. we as military people fight for the people of the US not who is running our goverment. we talk about dem and rep.dem want and are on there way to trying to make us dependent on the goverment if you don't understand what i just said then you probly think its allright for the goverment to give you money food tell you what to drink how you should pray what schools and what subjects your kids will do ect ect . most of the wars we have fought in was to keep the US from becoming what i just wrote about as to the seal writtng about what happen . it happen its war and the reason the military does not tell you all the facks is the adverage person will never be able to understan it . i see many comments in here and relize 60% of them are from people who have never served or refuse to join the service. but want to run there mouth about someting they know nothing about.

    September 7, 2012 at 6:39 am | Reply
    • sweetgeorgiabrown

      I never served but still feel like running my mouth. Like you, you can't type or spell but you still choose to post incoherent arguments on this site. Thankfully the military never needed you to correctly use the english language.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:46 am | Reply
      • marine

        now be sweet georgia–his education-or wht he was taught to write or sell-this country's systemof teaching consistently shows us neat the bottom-on science-math-and literally every other subject–then again-the president said there were 57 states–nothing like a "role model"..

        September 7, 2012 at 6:52 am |
    • marine

      great comment, bob-we fight for the people of this country-not for who is running it–too many narcissists-that's why there is a political arena–most-and all we can do is vote–most are running around with a lunchbox-one sandwich empty..

      September 7, 2012 at 6:47 am | Reply
      • fiftyfive55

        man your confused or brainwashed here.show me someone who believes what you said about fighting for the people and not the government.we the people didnt want to be in the mideast to begin with,it was always big business interests over there,and profits,not the concerns of the people.

        September 7, 2012 at 6:58 am |
      • marine

        im not confused-never said i was in the middle east–your premise as to that –no basis–the overall thought presented was that the individual-in uniform-is fighting-regardless of the political interests-for you and others to voice your beliefs or non- beliefs-which you have-maybe a little more wisdom-or open-mindednes is warranted–then again-maybe not–as to brainwahing–you're probably one who doesn't even know what the word means-and a little behind the times–it's referred to as "behavior modification"–and if i am confused or brainwashed-don't believe you have the mentality to modify it--take another shower-and relieve your anxiety–it'll get better...

        September 7, 2012 at 7:12 am |
      • fiftyfive55

        wow,You like to insult people who dont agree with you,instead of a discussion,you insult.You are the one who needs a shower and a bit more knowledge of the American people.

        September 7, 2012 at 7:51 am |
      • marine

        you are the one who"insulted a person who doesn't asgree with you"-if you consider it a "discussion" to indicate that i am "concused" or "brainwashed"–well-my take on that is it is indicative of an "insult"–so if my response was "insulting"–it was meant to be–a disagreement is just that–a derogatory assertion as to one's character is another–if that's beyond your perception–suggestion-speak to an objective friend–my comments are my perceptions-so are yours-when my state of mind is brought to the table-you-by far-are not my physician-mental health advocate-or psychiatrist–if you're in the medical field-indicate such–i am therefore completely open to your assessment of character flaws–if not–you've made an improper assessment–i take lightly to any attempt to intimidate-to reinforce your view–all you have to do is state it–it's really an easy thing to do..

        September 7, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • fiftyfive55

      You do sound kind of opinionated here,and confused. You were in the military why ?the mideast is not a war for the American people,it is a war for oil and business profits.Dont you tell us that you went there for us when 99% of Americans dont even believe in the mideast or a cure for their wars.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:55 am | Reply
  39. sweetgeorgiabrown

    I do not believe that the SEALs ever found or killed UBL. He was killed years ago in bomb strikes but we needed a "hero" story like Pat Tillman. We need to get the basic, low-end Marines in there to do the trick. They're not smart or good but they'll take care of things....and then pee on the dead bodies. Who's with me???

    September 7, 2012 at 6:18 am | Reply
    • marine

      could be georgia–possibility exists-he;s alive -and driving a cab in chicago..

      September 7, 2012 at 6:22 am | Reply
      • sweetgeorgiabrown

        Maybe you're right marine, I think he might have given me a lift one evening...I guess I should have considered leaving a bigger tip.

        September 7, 2012 at 6:27 am |
    • grogg

      the world is flat also

      September 7, 2012 at 8:26 am | Reply
  40. mike friedman

    freedom of the press applies to the milatary as well

    September 7, 2012 at 6:05 am | Reply
    • 98G

      Spoken like a true Chicken Hawk. No it does not.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:26 am | Reply
    • oldbones24

      no it does not.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:04 am | Reply
    • oldbones24

      and it could be called Treason.

      September 7, 2012 at 8:05 am | Reply
  41. marine

    interesting comments-just logged in yesterday–as to discussing his writing of the book-as to the commander-in-chief–as to sensitive info being divulged–my perception-and like everyone who has commented-their perception–leadership–if it lacks at the bottom–it started at the top–giving an order is giving an order-implementation is the result-obma did not implement-he simply gave an order- as to what is owed to a commander in chief–i owe nothing to a commander in chief-once i am out-period-my six year obligation ended in 1972-sensitive info being divulged?-done everyday by all aspects of the cia-dia-dept of defense–and the white house-and the president–they warrant-apparently-no retribution-they lead–or do they?-as to the comments on color–and politics–i am neither democrat-republican-tea party-or else-i cast my vote on character-and leadership results-and in rvn-69-70-i had a position of leadership-when wrong-it happens-i accepted the error-leadership has never been-it was "his" fault-if you can't correct it-obtain someone who can–delegating authority is what it's about-this country appears to love delegating authority-problem–when those you-and im speaking as to leadership-when those you delegate-fail-you replace–if not-your lack of leadership does not obtain the dersired result-those below that standard that standard-are not leaders–rationalization is great-that's why there's politicians–cia been screwing up–no replacement-fbi been screwing up-no replacement-nor-from the top-no acknowledgement–wake up–or make a career and stay in–my concern is simple-we love our veterans??–well-who has been leading thw way for their needs now they're out-900,000 claims siting on desks–commander-in-chief?-va leader?-and this has been ongoing-party affililiation-irrelevant–could care less about the seal compromised or not–it's being done now-that-is dishonoring the military also–and it has nothing to do with any claim i have–just my perception–leadership–have a good day-unless you have other plans..

    September 7, 2012 at 6:03 am | Reply
    • Jesse

      That is one loooooooong sentence.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:16 am | Reply
    • sweetgeorgiabrown

      I'm sorry that you never received an education.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:19 am | Reply
  42. James Johnson

    If they went there with orders to simply destroy the largest library of information, they are and were taught to be simply stupid........ Sidewalk Justice is easy, to win the War and not just one little skirmish for publicity is mature planning with integrity........ Our Country has again shown the ridiculousness of its training, similar to the Water-boarding situation......And then attempting to use the media to inflate and approve their incomplete training......... Why do you think their is no transparency at the CIA or Blackwater........,

    September 7, 2012 at 4:01 am | Reply
  43. Xira Arien

    I'd say it's just a symptom of our celebrity obsessed culture.

    There's no place for humbleness in Amerika anymore.

    September 7, 2012 at 3:32 am | Reply
    • sweetgeorgiabrown

      I humbly beg to differ with you and humbly submit that you Sir are a buffoon.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:29 am | Reply
  44. Brian Smith

    I have no problem with this. He wrote the truth. It had to be done. Anything still 'classified' is probably not going to matter – like those embassy cables.

    September 7, 2012 at 2:52 am | Reply
    • sweetgeorgiabrown

      Absolutely correct! It defintely had to be done, cause everyone knows that Brian Smith need to know all the details of a raid on Bin Laden! It must be busy for you when all the US Govt agencies brief you on all their missions. It must really take valuable video game time away from you.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:32 am | Reply
  45. dopydem

    Delta's are written about (mostly hear say) but you NEVER see a Delta or most Special Ops shooting their mouth off in a book. There is a saying in SpecOps, You don't have to wonder who is the SEAL in the room, he will tell you over and over.

    September 7, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • sweetgeorgiabrown

      If delta and special ops are so good, why weren't they chosen for the UBL raid?

      September 7, 2012 at 6:22 am | Reply
      • Airborne Hawkeye

        Probably because JSOC is commanded by a SEAL, a lot of times it comes down to which branch has the command, or it could have been they were the available asset. SOF Det-D, SF direct action teams, SEALS, all have the capability to perform these missions.

        September 7, 2012 at 8:30 am |
      • Broadcasting

        You don't want to waste them or SAD/SAG operatives on taking out someone who had been pretty much neutralized. Killing Bin Laden was more symbolic than useful.

        September 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  46. Richard Larson

    I own, and have read most of the SEAL authored books extant. Given that, I was aware that bin Laden had been killed, and had seen the Official video of the action, I was shocked at the great number of significant similarities in what I had seen, and what I had read in Tom Clancy's "Locked On"! My initial reaction was, "How did he get that kind of detail? Next was, "Did he have an inside person who gave him first shot on details?" I was confident that Clancy wasn't spolling any beans. He has too much at risk to do that, and he knows better. Later there was a spate of "I was there" type books apparently written by newly retired SEALS and possibly Active Duty personnel. On my opinion, these guys were out of line. It was apparent to me that some books had been vetted because you could see the redactions. They were in such a hurry to publish that they didn't even bother to rewrite. Others were never vetted at all. I personally know a couple former SEALS. Even though they have been retired for 20 years, or more, they will not even discuss unidentified ops. For me, there is nothing to it. If you are a SEAL, Delta Force, Force Recon, or Army Rangers, you just do not talk, suppose, or write. There are former SEALS who have written, and done very well by it, but they never stepped over the line. In that group you will find Marcinko, Chalker, Couch, and a couple others.

    September 7, 2012 at 1:37 am | Reply
    • sweetgeorgiabrown

      You're trying very hard to appear smart in your post but really you are a cross dresser.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:23 am | Reply
  47. bill

    No video or pics, it never happened. My President is a liar and thinks US citizens can be held with no charges and infinite duration. 61 Senators think that is just swell. We have a dictator in office right here. Are you taking the shot? Or, maybe you only "protect us" from the third world nobodies that state proudly, as a goal, ruining the US economy.
    Mission accomplished. Not us. Them. Crying about a fictional book should be a military priority with our country on the brink of civil war. I'll be in my bunker watching the wheels fall off in HD. November aught to be interesting. Maybe more so than 9/11.

    September 7, 2012 at 1:25 am | Reply
    • Mike

      You're really far out there. Maybe you should seek help.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:43 am | Reply
    • retired2001

      You likely should be expecting a visit from CIA or Secret Service. Is this a direct or indirect threat. Unfortunately since all this terrorism began (preceding 9-1-1) the military has sabotaged Democrats in office. Little following of protocol as far as chain of command is concerned. Yes, loose lips sink ships and too many of you are unprofessional and have no ethics. My husband participated in a highly classified operation back in the 1950s during atomic testing. There were sworn to a vow of silence, the penalty for violation was treason, which is death. That didn't even involve such things as killing public enemy #1 and then this individual has released way too much information within less than 2 years after it occurred. It's all about who gets their first to make the dollars – GREED! That's what too many Republicans stand for these days. Finally the operation my husband was involved in was mostly declassified but they were exposed to life-threatening radiation and were sworn to not even tell medical professionals who might treat their ailments and many of them died from their exposure. I have no respect for the newer generation who think they are the only ones who count and they have "made it all by themselves", no help from those who have gone before. I hope the government strips him of all the money and I sincerely hope that his fellow SEALS and/or their families do not find their lives at risk by foreign terrorists who wish to avenge Bin Laden's death. This is immaturity at its highest. He may be retired, but that does not releave him from his vows of silence/secrecy, etc. It is people like this "hero?" who put others' lives at risk for their own personal recognition.

      September 7, 2012 at 2:45 am | Reply
      • retired2001

        P.S. We did not learn that the mission had been mostly declassified until 2010 (54 years after event), although the declassification took place in the 1990s, but no particiipants were notified and many more died before it was learned they could talk to their doctors about their exposures.

        September 7, 2012 at 2:52 am |
      • Xira Arien

        It's fairly obvious from your remarks here that you like to accuse anyone who disagrees with you of being a terrorist.

        September 7, 2012 at 3:57 am |
    • Airborne Hawkeye

      Are you off your meds?

      September 7, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply
  48. Hwy9

    As a vet, I'm steamed about this guy and his lack of professionalism. He makes me sick. Everybody enlists knowing the job, knnowing the pay grade, and knowing what's expected of them. It doesn't matter who's the Commander in Chief – you can hate him, the old man, and every drill sargeant in boot camp, but you do the freaking job because THAT'S what you signed up for – no more, no less. You get picked to be a seal – good on ya, by the way, because few are chosen – but do the job and keep your yap shut. This guy's a traitor, and should be treated as such.

    September 7, 2012 at 1:11 am | Reply
    • blueeyes

      A better term would be the guy is a murderer.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:31 am | Reply
      • Thomas Haymore

        Big man, speaking from anonymity, eh? I challenge you to go to any town hall meeting and say that. Hey, blueeyes, guess what? The vast majority of the world disagrees with you. The work of our special forces is important and repected. The only people I know that make comments like yours are sympathizers and apologists for terrorists. Guess what most people think of your type.

        September 7, 2012 at 2:54 am |
      • blueeyes

        Thomas Haymore i got news for you, it is evident that you don't read post on the internet, you're wrong the majority of the world don't support your actions. Go ahead and google it.

        September 7, 2012 at 3:48 am |
      • sweetgeorgiabrown

        Great argument blueeyes! Strong support to your claim by citing the internet! Everyone knows that if you find it on the net it is FACT.

        September 7, 2012 at 6:38 am |
  49. Robin Masters

    It is interesting that besides the Roger Dalton book and one other, you never hear nor see anything from the Delta Force Operators about their exploits. I wonder why that is?

    September 7, 2012 at 12:57 am | Reply
    • mike

      Really? Ever heard of the book "Blackhawk Down" or "Killing Pablo"?

      September 7, 2012 at 1:07 am | Reply
      • john

        Both of those accounts are told from the ranger point of view, so cops and delta and ftg never publish books about what they do

        September 7, 2012 at 3:19 am |
      • Robin Masters

        Mike, sorry, the authors name is Dalton Fury – not his real name – He wrote Kill Bin Laden – the story about Tora Bora. He has written some other novels. As far as I am aware, he is the only ex-DF operator who has written anything, and from what I've gathered he was person-no-Grata around his ex-compatriots

        September 7, 2012 at 3:36 am |
    • Wheeeeee!!!!

      They have been others written also. With in the dark Ops side the SEALs used to smirk about the fact that they hadn't had anyone write or speak out...ooopsss....not so much any more.

      September 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  50. Tanner

    Crazy glory hungry squids!!!! Thank goodness we have Delta, our Special Forces teams, and the Ranger Regiment.....Quiet professionals always....!!

    September 7, 2012 at 12:48 am | Reply
  51. girlvet

    As a veteran, I am digusted with this book. It makes all veterans look bad. Obviously this guy values money and publicity for himself over loyalty. He is shameful

    September 7, 2012 at 12:25 am | Reply
    • Wheeeeee!!!!

      yes...every single vet now looks bad because of this book....i am going down to picket the local VFW tomorrow.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:29 am | Reply
    • sweetgeorgiabrown

      Don't worry girlvet. Nobody will think less of you, there is no connection between spec ops and important missions and whatever joke missions they ask girls to do.

      September 7, 2012 at 6:40 am | Reply
    • sweetgeorgiabrown

      I'm guessing cooking and cleaning the barracks before the fighters get home...

      September 7, 2012 at 6:42 am | Reply
  52. Blueeyes

    Looking at the picture i noticed all of them have blue eyes with the exception of 2, seems like blue eyes people sure love killing people. No wonder the highest level of blue eyes and green eyes are behind bars and filling almost 90% of prisons for murder and other atrocities.

    September 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Reply
    • Wheeeeee!!!!

      All you peoples with out blue eyes run for your lives!!!!!!

      September 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Reply
    • Zaperdon

      You are so wrong and sound so immature.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply
    • Praise Odin

      Descendants of Viking warriors. The blue eyes are due to these fighting men's ancestry of northern Europe.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
    • infonomics

      You missed the lecture on David Hume, didn't you ? BTW, all the guys are right-handed too, which obviously means that left-hand seals are tall.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:51 am | Reply
      • blueeyes

        No i didn't, David Hume was a philosopher and an atheist in which led him to speculations only, Your argument was weak.

        September 7, 2012 at 1:29 am |
    • maryam

      Almost 50% are black or hispanic. 35% are white(which would include some brown eyes too). It doesnt matter. There are good and bad from all countries , color and cultures. And all of them went after him for murdering thousands of people, and so? I would much rather see them target the offenders than take a chance that you could involve innocent people.I guess you just told on yourself whom you support.

      September 7, 2012 at 3:31 am | Reply
      • blueeyes

        Maryam, i support no one, but i also don't believe in destroying a whole town just to get one house down, the same goes for killing millions of innocent people just get a handful of them. I don't support any form of violence. there are other ways to solve a problem.

        September 7, 2012 at 4:04 am |
      • Wheeeeee!!!!

        Blueeyes is so open minded that he stands for nothing but sits to pee with the best of them..Wheeeeeeeeee!!

        September 7, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  53. AFO-WolfPack

    Sometimes i wonder........

    September 6, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  54. dd

    Clearly, the problem is the Commander-in-Chief. Obama exposed the Seals! He didn't understand the cod. He doesn't understand much of anything. This fiasco is all on Obama and his leaks!

    September 6, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Reply
    • TXRed

      President Obama is at fault for some ex Navy SEAL spewing what he knows to everyone? I think not. President Obama did not expose anyone. Yes, leaks happened, but nowhere is it said that it was President Obama. Or have you been watching Faux News too much? Our military is supposed to keep quiet about special operations, they are trained that speaking about their operations is a violation of the same "code" you speak of. Yet you seem to think it's ok for this retired Navy SEAL to speak out? Rubbish. President Obama gave the command...which is only right since he is Commander-in-Chief, he also praised the Navy SEAL Team 6 for following through with their mission. This ex SEAL needs to go back and reexamine what his oath means, because apparently, it's not worth anything.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Reply
      • Wheeeeee!!!!

        Faux news...hahahaha....that is awesome!!...oh gosh...faux news...you know they are all racist also....and Nazis!!!!

        September 7, 2012 at 12:25 am |
      • Broadcasting

        Bissonnette says the White House put out lies. Lies are NOT leaks.

        September 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • docdeb

      Dope. He gave them vredit same as Bush did after successes in Iraq. This book is a GOP tool job.

      September 7, 2012 at 12:58 am | Reply
  55. Wheeeeee!!!!

    Why would anyone be surprised that someone is taking advantage of their past experiences to earn income? Former Former Admirals and Generals all work for large corporations earning large incomes. Former Presidents travel the world earning fabulous incomes trading off of their past relationships. The REAL issue here is that someone has embarrassed the current administration. Accordingly the current administration has put pressure on the current military leadership who in turn is hand wringing and moaning. There are many, many examples of former Special Operations folks writing and talking about their experiences in order to earn fame and fortune.

    September 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Reply
  56. SECO

    Do you recall hearing, "loose lips sink ships"? Where's your OPSEC? You took the oath to honor, defend and protect. Now get with the program and honor what you learned, not to advertise what you do. Shut up or get out!

    September 6, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Reply
    • Wheeeeee!!!!

      He did get out. And then wrote a book.

      September 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Reply
  57. Jay

    Give them all a bomb last one standing WINS!

    September 6, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Reply
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