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if you'd read No Easy Day

I've already read it, thanks. How do you think I picked up the part about the glow sticks?

Gosh, Goofy, you mean the SEALs always used the same color to mark the same meaning?

There is no "color." If you read the book you understand that the glow is only visible through the special lenses the SEALSs use. So to the uninformed they would just look like detritus and waste. Now they know what they're for. Even better, they can acquire them and mark areas as "cleared" when they haven't actually been cleared. Nice job.

This is basic stuff.

Yes it is. I could have pointed out other things, but chose not to. Why do you think "Mark" didn't want the book vetted? Because the Pentagon would have excised more of it, that's why.

BTW, contrary to your review, the first half of the book his largely his personal history. Except for the "pirates of the Arabian sea" rescue, it's pretty mundane stuff. Some scene setting is inevitable, even necessary, but the Bin Laden raid doesn't even begin until almost precisely 50% of the way through the book.

you'd know the author gave credit to the President and went out of his way several times to say the operation was the result of years of work so if you want to blame someone, blame Bush

There was much moaning about "Washington" and how long it takes to make a decision. (I wouldn't disagree, on a raid of international dimension such as this, it's probably good to be 1) sure and 2) reflective.) It's also inevitable when there are so many different agencies and interests involved, from CIA to State to Military to Special Ops and more. (Also worth noting that the CIA woman said 100%, but nobody else did. Overall CIA assessment was 60-80%, the Red Team which came in and did a last minute "objective" evaluation put it at 40%. Not incredibly confidence inspiring, I would say.)

There were several direct swipes at Obama, which I don't care about one way or the other; he's entitled to his opinion. But you could hardly characterize this as "giving credit" or being positive in any way.

For the record, there were three options: 1) include Pakistan, 2) smoking hole in the ground via precision bombing or cruise missiles, 3) human insertion raid. By far the most dangerous, both to personnel and to international diplomacy was option 3, and that's what was chosen. I don't fault a few extra days time in considering the option.

Had the raid gone awry, or worse, if Osama wasn't there, we would have seriously damaged any relationship with Pakistan which, for better or worse (mostly worse) we need for staging, air rights, transit rights and other things Afghanistan related. And if the raid was unsuccessful altogether, what is the likelihood of another, by any President in the sovereign borders of Pakistan? Close to zero, I suspect.

I also note that "Mark" didn't mention that the original plan drawn up by the Pentagon had only two helos involved, and that Obama, himself, told them to put two more in "for backup." (Actually as a "fight your way back out" option.) As it turned out, they were needed to get the mission accomplished, as it went overlong and fuel was low (not to mention the one helo which remained in the compound.)

Yes, it was the result of "years of work." The CIA woman was on it for 5 years, which predates Obama, certainly. That said, Panetta is very clear that Obama told him it was the #1 priority, and that significant resources were added at the beginning of the 2008 administration. Did it make a difference? We'll never know. We do know what the final result was, though, don't we?

Good book. Not incredibly well written, but good enough for the purpose. I will be curious to see how the Kathryn Bigelow movie treats all of this. It's due out post-election, and it's a bit late to be reshooting if some of the details are ridiculously wrong (like making lots of noise going up the stairwells, where the first chopper landed, or the discrepancies between the official Pentagon version of who got shot where versus what this book says.)
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