Skip to comments.'No Easy Day': six top revelations from book on the bin Laden mission
Posted on 09/05/2012 1:24:31 PM PDT by gandalftb
The Navy SEAL Team 6 operators hand-picked to raid Osama bin Ladens 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 Ladens compound, and decide whether to go ahead with it.
2. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wanted to bomb bin Ladens compound.
Gates argued that an air strike would be less of an invasion of Pakistans 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 ...
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.
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.
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.
“Abbottabad”? Is there a Costelloabad? “I’ve bin abad boy!”
What an awful pun......
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.
What's a QRF?
Quick Reaction Force, I think ... an emergency response unit.
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.
“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, youre at the mercy of Pakistani first responders for kill-confirmation, and theres 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.
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.
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.
FORSE huh AAA?
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..
Hmm...of course we knew that but commander zero won't admit it.
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.
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.
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....