Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

'No Easy Day': six top revelations from book on the bin Laden mission
The Christian Science Monitor ^ | 5 September 2012 | staff

Posted on 09/05/2012 1:24:31 PM PDT by gandalftb

The Navy SEAL Team 6 operators hand-picked to raid Osama bin Laden’s compound in 2011 had some unwelcome surprises waiting for them as they hit the ground, according to Matt Bissonnette (pen name Mark Owen) in his controversial book “No Easy Day,” released Tuesday.

Here are the top six revelations from his new memoir.

1. VIPs gathered for a dress rehearsal two weeks before the mission.

At a massive hangar at a base training center, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, and Adm. William McRaven, now commander of Special Operations Command, wanted to evaluate the plan to raid bin Laden’s compound, and decide whether to go ahead with it.

2. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wanted to bomb bin Laden’s compound.

Gates argued that an air strike would be less of an invasion of Pakistan’s sovereignty, according to Bissonnette.

3. Women were pivotal to the bin Laden mission.

The SEAL team was given the green light by a CIA analyst with the pseudonym “Jen” who was “the main force” behind tracking bin Laden to Abbottabad.

4. The SEALs enjoyed practical jokes, even as they were preparing for missions.

5. SEAL equipment ranges from drug-store staples to custom-built hybrid weapons.

6. A near crash-landing almost ended the mission before it began.

(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: binladen; pakistan; seal
The book came out on Kindle yesterday without redactions of any kind.

This was a CIA Black Op, not DOD. Since CIA has no legal standing over operators while in Pakistan, there are legal impairments for any actions by DOD or Justice Dept taken against Bissonnette. Bissonnette was rogue in Pakistan and his lawyers would know that.

I have a copy of the book that's coming out next Tuesday. Chapter 15, titled "Third Deck, and Chapter 16, titled "Geronimo" cover the raid.

A close friend and operator is reading the book now and so far sees many revelations of a confidential nature.

Bissonnette outs "Jen" the CIA operator, but "Jen" was already outed by Dr. Afridi, as being his handler. Interesting that Bissonnette didn't know of her larger role, but knew Gates wanted to bomb the compound.

So far we are seeing a lot of discussion about SSE (Sensitive Site Exploition) that could degrade future ops.

For the first time, the presence of a QRF (Quick Reaction Force) is revealed and the bird they were in.

That intel is classified because the loiter time of the QRF determines the SSE time on the ground. The fuel usage of the bird was discussed as it was a long flight in. An enemy could use that to figure out the loiter time on target of a potential raid and how much concealment would be needed to degrade SSE.

Bissonnette is clearly an operator in the know. Interesting he does not discuss the ROE (Rules of Engagement) that would have determined what degrading conventions to use on civilians. When UBL was down, weapons away, did the ROE allow the double-tap? Or did they just execute him? One thing odd: Bissonnette says that one of the women in the room fell back on the bed clutching her calf. She had been shot in the right calf and he didn't know that? More later as we get farther in to the book.

Anyone that wants a pdf of Chapters 15 & 16, let me know.

1 posted on 09/05/2012 1:24:38 PM PDT by gandalftb
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Nachum; Cindy; G8 Diplomat; AdmSmith; Dog; nuconvert; Straight Vermonter; dervish; ...

ping


2 posted on 09/05/2012 1:27:48 PM PDT by gandalftb (The art of diplomacy says "nice doggie", until you find a bigger rock.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb

Interesting. Despite the clear breach of OpSec, I’m interested to read this. I’m always torn between wanting to know this stuff, and knowing I shouldn’t know this stiff.

Not sure the chopper crash is much of a revelation. There were pictures of the downed chopper.

The dry run isn’t all that surprising. I’d be surprised if there hadn’t been.

The involvement of the CIA chick actually reminds me of The Unit ... they had a girl that was a handler in the later seasons. I think women agents and handlers are more involved in these kind of operations than most would know.

I disagree with Gates ... I think the surgical operation was better than an airstrike. With boots on the ground, you can block the exits and confirm the kill. With airstrikes, you’re at the mercy of Pakistani first responders for kill-confirmation, and there’s a reasonable chance of him escaping by the skin-of-his-teeth when bombing starts. He had a tendency to do that. Both are clearly a breach of Pakistani sovereign territory, so you might as well do things right.

SnakeDoc


3 posted on 09/05/2012 1:34:28 PM PDT by SnakeDoctor ("I've shot people I like more for less." -- Raylan Givens, Justified)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb

It does not add to the story for Bissonnette to discuss the naming conventions of the room layout in the compound and the search protocols. So why do it?

This book makes it much easier for an enemy to write an SSE manual.


4 posted on 09/05/2012 1:35:52 PM PDT by gandalftb (The art of diplomacy says "nice doggie", until you find a bigger rock.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb

“Abbottabad”? Is there a Costelloabad? “I’ve bin abad boy!”
What an awful pun......


5 posted on 09/05/2012 1:42:10 PM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb
"So far we are seeing a lot of discussion about SSE (Sensitive Site Exploitation) that could degrade future ops."

That does concern me.

"Loose lips sink ships".

I will read it if I can get a copy before it gets pulled, if it gets pulled.

6 posted on 09/05/2012 1:45:44 PM PDT by hummingbird (I CAN CU2!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SnakeDoctor
"I’m always torn between wanting to know this stuff, and knowing I shouldn’t know this stiff."

Me, too.

7 posted on 09/05/2012 1:49:01 PM PDT by hummingbird (I CAN CU2!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb
That intel is classified because the loiter time of the QRF determines the SSE time on the ground.

What's a QRF?

8 posted on 09/05/2012 1:51:13 PM PDT by GOPJ (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading - T. Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOPJ

Quick Reaction Force, I think ... an emergency response unit.

SnakeDoc


9 posted on 09/05/2012 2:06:32 PM PDT by SnakeDoctor ("I've shot people I like more for less." -- Raylan Givens, Justified)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: GOPJ

Quick Reaction Force is force in waiting, the cavalry.

The problem I’m now having is that the book discusses some operational details that I can’t explain the damage caused without revealing deeper and more sensitive knowledge.

Yes, this book won’t tell the ordinary reader very much. But those in the know could learn from the book and some of them are enemies.


10 posted on 09/05/2012 2:06:40 PM PDT by gandalftb (The art of diplomacy says "nice doggie", until you find a bigger rock.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: SnakeDoctor

“I disagree with Gates ... I think the surgical operation was better than an airstrike. With boots on the ground, you can block the exits and confirm the kill. With airstrikes, you’re at the mercy of Pakistani first responders for kill-confirmation, and there’s a reasonable chance of him escaping by the skin-of-his-teeth”

ditto to that

Gates was 1/2 a politician and only 1/2 a Defense Secretary.

We don’t get the best arguments from Defense when they try to speak on behave of other parties with an interest in a decision.


11 posted on 09/05/2012 2:12:39 PM PDT by Wuli
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb

The original plan was to say a DRONE STRIKE had obliterated the compound (that would put the Pakiz in a less delicate position) but that went out the window after the chopper crash.


12 posted on 09/05/2012 2:17:24 PM PDT by gaijin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOPJ
What's a QRF?

Quick Reaction Forse.

Certain ops (especially those with indetermined or unknowable go-times) may require shooters to be ready to roll at a moments notice.

13 posted on 09/05/2012 2:21:40 PM PDT by AAABEST (Et lux in tenebris lucet: et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: AAABEST

FORSE huh AAA?


14 posted on 09/05/2012 2:23:08 PM PDT by AAABEST (Et lux in tenebris lucet: et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: AAABEST

In this raid the QRF was an overwatch force hovering above the target.

By discussing it and their reaction times, the descent rate of the bird could be figured out and that is classified.

Where the book doesn’t tell secrets directly, the secrets can be inferred indirectly. In either case the enemy finds out what we’re doing and future missions can be compromised..


15 posted on 09/05/2012 2:42:53 PM PDT by gandalftb (The art of diplomacy says "nice doggie", until you find a bigger rock.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb
“This was her baby,” Bissonnette writes. “Jen and her team spent five years tracking [bin Laden] to get us to where we are now. We were just there to finish the job."

Hmm...of course we knew that but commander zero won't admit it.

16 posted on 09/05/2012 3:01:15 PM PDT by Eagles6
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; ColdOne; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Thanks gandalftb.


17 posted on 09/05/2012 3:03:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: gandalftb
4) The SEALs enjoyed practical jokes, even as they were preparing for missions.

Have any of you ever know a group of guys who didn't enjoy practical jokes, especially when under pressure?

3) It's the CIA. "Jen" is probably a guy. "Chuck" is the chick.

5) Staples to custom weapons? Of course. Improvise when needed.

18 posted on 09/05/2012 3:06:45 PM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

To All:

I’ve received a lot of requests for the pdf of Chapters 15 & 16.

I need your email address and will send the pdf to the next batch of receivers as a blind cc so your email address will be kept private.

It’s a big file, 2.3 mb, check your spam folder if you don’t see it today.


19 posted on 09/05/2012 3:57:27 PM PDT by gandalftb (The art of diplomacy says "nice doggie", until you find a bigger rock.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb
(several draft paragraphs redacted)
As you have stated, Bissonnette had lawyers of his own, prior to publishing this book. Spurious reports suggest he also vetted various aspects for potential noncompliance with current DOD classification issues, via unusual, but most probably legal means.
The UCMJ still has legal precedence over the DNC platform.

I wonder if he, his lawyers, and/or his editors had acquired a rough draft of the “made for Obama movie script”?

That would certainly add an interesting legal twist, and fully explain the book meeting target publication date....

20 posted on 09/05/2012 4:54:11 PM PDT by sarasmom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sarasmom

You make good points.

On that line, suppose Bissonnette shows up as the technical advisor on that movie?

Bissonnette retired out on 20 April 2012, certainly the book was finished and at the publisher before then with all kinds of unauthorized workers looking the book over while he was still under contract and subject to the UCMJ.


21 posted on 09/05/2012 5:17:58 PM PDT by gandalftb (The art of diplomacy says "nice doggie", until you find a bigger rock.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb
Not necessarily.

I read books. It's my primary entertainment source.
I purchase my books, sometimes hardbacks, but mostly I restrain myself and wait for the secondary release of the paperback editions, or buy them at used bookstores.

Electronic books have turned the publishing industry on its head.
Read any of the “current events” type books, and you will notice all the Microsoft Word spellcheck problems.

OTOH, most authors outline to published book timeline, has been shortened to mere days, not the previous many months.

Obviously it takes a lot longer for reliable peer reviewed reference level manuals of serious and weighty topics.

This is just a first person account of a historically notable event. As I understand the outline (I have not yet read the book) it includes some color background to set the stage for readers unfamiliar with a little known lifestyle.

BTW, I am supposedly subject to the UCMJ for 25 years after my death, as far as publishing my own memoirs goes.
Carter wiped that kind of secrecy away, so I don't need Federal oversight before I openly talk about certain mission plans I wrote, but that were never activated.
I don't and wont. But that is not the same thing as this instance.
The Feds already declassified this mission to the public.

22 posted on 09/05/2012 6:11:45 PM PDT by sarasmom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb

I ordered this book from Amazon last week. It was sent yesterday and is at the post office right now for me to pick up. We don’t have mail delivery so we get packages over the counter at the post office. I’ll be picking it up in the morning. I’m looking forward to reading it.


23 posted on 09/05/2012 8:12:26 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Had enough of the freaks running the show yet?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb

Great thread. It shows why it is important to sneak peek into the truth beyond politics.

Obama has a dismal record when one asks about factual things.


24 posted on 09/05/2012 8:22:58 PM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascism article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Candor7

Look i read the book last night on kindle & have no clue of what the big deal about secret revelations are. Any idiot can look on the internet or in some military book & use math to figure out how much fuel & how far our copters can go. The real crime is how O shot off his mouth about the op along w/ the restt of his cronies in DC. Also, some fool revealed the auhor’s real name! This guy should be shot. Look, these cia kguys are not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. We lived in communist bulgaria from 1987-90 & taught at the embassy school in sofia. Once, they wanted to secretly meet w/ some big shot dissident. Problem was that he was deported 2 weeks before the meeting. How did they find out about this? I had article on desk from a US paper my parents sent to us. It talked about how said dissident was now in SF. The cia guy was picking up his kids after school & saw the article. He couldn’t believe it & asked if he could have it. Now, besides missing 911 & the end of communism, there is your typical cia guy...


25 posted on 09/05/2012 11:50:32 PM PDT by KhanKrum (That's pretty bold talk for a one eyed fat man. Fill your hand you son of a b...h!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb
1 posted on Wed Sep 05 2012 15:24:38 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by gandalftb: “Bissonnette is clearly an operator in the know.”

Thank you for this evaluation. Lots of people claim to know things they don't, or shade the truth just enough to profit handsomely.

Granted, with a major subject like this, the author would probably get “outed” for exaggerated claims not only because of the high-profile nature of the subject but also because lots of people have a strong motive to do so. My guess is efforts will be made to discredit him no matter what the facts may be, and the discrediting attempts will themselves have to be reviewed for factuality and for motive.

Far too often, however, claims don't get challenged and wrong information or self-aggrandizing half-truths become “received truth” with real heroes staying quiet while others get credit they do not deserve.

I'm assuming the author deliberately decided not to get this book cleared in advance because he suspected (or perhaps knew with certainty) that it would never see the light of day if he followed proper procedures to get advance clearance.

I would not want to be in the author's shoes right now, but then again, guys who volunteer for his kind of job aren't adverse to risk-taking. This guy proved he had "balls" long before he wrote this book.

26 posted on 09/06/2012 2:35:54 AM PDT by darrellmaurina
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KhanKrum

Only pResident Obama can break security protocols, and the law. No one else is allowed. The peons who do the heroic tasks, they are to just shut up or else die from being tortured by these liberal fascists, Obama and his supporters?

Obama is a usurper who should be impeached , tried and imprisoned.


27 posted on 09/06/2012 4:29:11 AM PDT by Candor7 (Obama fascism article: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/05/barack_obama_the_quintessentia_1.html)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: AAABEST
Quick Reaction Forse. Certain ops (especially those with indetermined or unknowable go-times) may require shooters to be ready to roll at a moments notice.

I like that - has the feel of a well oiled machine...

28 posted on 09/06/2012 7:49:34 AM PDT by GOPJ (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading - T. Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb
I can’t explain the damage caused without revealing deeper and more sensitive knowledge. Yes, this book won’t tell the ordinary reader very much. But those in the know could learn from the book and some of them are enemies.

I'm sorry this is happening - our guys need every advantage to do their job ( admittedly dangerous work under the best of conditions...) Allowing the enemy in on tactics undermines safety. I don't need to know specifics - thanks for explaining.

29 posted on 09/06/2012 7:59:19 AM PDT by GOPJ (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading - T. Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: SnakeDoctor

Thanks Doc...


30 posted on 09/06/2012 7:59:54 AM PDT by GOPJ (Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading - T. Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: darrellmaurina

Does anybody know if he purposely put in false-flag details that would make our enemies THINK they know our operations, when they don’t? That’s a rhetorical question because if he did, it would be stupid of somebody to out the false-flag mission. Who knows but what he actually HELPED operational security in a very sneaky way.


31 posted on 09/07/2012 12:52:24 PM PDT by butterdezillion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: butterdezillion; gandalftb
31 posted on Fri Sep 07 2012 14:52:24 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by butterdezillion: “Does anybody know if he purposely put in false-flag details that would make our enemies THINK they know our operations, when they don’t? That’s a rhetorical question because if he did, it would be stupid of somebody to out the false-flag mission. Who knows but what he actually HELPED operational security in a very sneaky way.”

Good question, but I don't have the knowledge to give any kind of informed answer. Gandalftb may have a better answer.

Considering where I live and work, I can think of perhaps a half-dozen people I know well who might actually be able to say something intelligent, but they're all intelligent enough to know better than to talk to pesky reporters about such things.

Anyone in the media who covers the military knows that some questions are best left unasked. Osama bin Laden stuff is far above my pay grade, much better people than me are focusing on that, and I stick to things where I can actually make a difference and which others aren't looking into.

32 posted on 09/08/2012 6:17:53 AM PDT by darrellmaurina
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: darrellmaurina; butterdezillion

Good question.

The book is written in a very chatty style, not what I would expect from a military author. Clearly it seems to be the co-author’s work from conversations with Bissonnette.

Generally, there are no direct admissions of a confidential nature. However, someone in the know could infer operationally sensitive tactics that could help an enemy harden a future target.

Some of the described operational tactics make no sense such as having the QRF on the ground somewhere. That makes no sense, a QRF (Quick Reaction Force)...has to be quick...and that means loitering overhead.

This goes to my complaint about fuel and range-payload extension of force tactics that are classified.

Now that the book is open source, bin Laden’s tactics can be discussed. UBL chose to locate in Abbottabad, thinking that being next to the Paki West Point would prevent a raid by us. Ok, good thought, but a consequence was that UBL and his guards heard so many Paki helos going over that they became desensitized and ignored them.

That writing would help a future enemy hide better, but a thinking enemy should know that already. Where UBL erred was going so far underground that he no longer kept a very professional security force.

I don’t think the co-author was clever enough or in the know to leave false-flags, he wrote what he was told.


33 posted on 09/08/2012 9:39:51 AM PDT by gandalftb (The art of diplomacy says "nice doggie", until you find a bigger rock.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb
According to the founder of SEAL Team Six, Richard Marchinko, the bin laden raid was carried out by some former SEALS attached to Task Force 20. It is a black ops unit with full legal U.S. authority to travel and enter any foreign country under Title 10 of the U.S. criminal code.
34 posted on 09/10/2012 3:48:24 PM PDT by mulder1 ("The past is prologue.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb
Task Force 20 is an elite and shadowy multi-service Special Forces unit reportedly composed of Marine Force Recon, Navy Seals, Army Delta Force and Rangers, and Air Force Special Operations personnel.
35 posted on 09/10/2012 4:13:39 PM PDT by mulder1 ("The past is prologue.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mulder1

Marchinko is a self promoting has-been that has been sitting on the sidelines since 9/11. He writes fiction from the outside looking in and has no credibility with the spec ops community.

Let Marchinko name the last reunion he was ever invited to or even crashed.


36 posted on 09/11/2012 8:11:04 AM PDT by gandalftb (The art of diplomacy says "nice doggie", until you find a bigger rock.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: gandalftb

Just a quick note to say that I really appreciate your analysis.

There are some things that those of us on the outside cannot and should not know.


37 posted on 09/15/2012 12:57:52 PM PDT by darrellmaurina
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson