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View Full Version : McRaven Tells Troops to Pipe Down


BMT (RIP)
08-24-2012, 07:04
"We will pursue every option available to hold members accountable, including criminal prosecution where appropriate," the four-star commander wrote, in an open, unclassified letter emailed to the active-duty special operations community Thursday, and obtained by The Associated Press.

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2012/08/24/mcraven-tells-troops-to-pipe-down.html?ESRC=eb.nl

BMT

SF_BHT
08-24-2012, 07:43
Good for him but................ He needs to do the same. He has jumped on the Political band wagon for Obama. He also needs to be APolitical.

Richard
08-24-2012, 07:57
Politicized flag officers are easy to spot - just look for the brown ring around the end of their noses.

Richard :munchin

Unapologetic Soldier
08-24-2012, 08:08
This is rather bewildering to me. First a Hollywood movie then a book and now a 60 minutes interview?!? Why are the SEALís publicizing themselves to this degree? Not to mention the other side of the spectrum where you have another retired SEAL who made the video dishonorable disclosure? The two are extremely contradicting.

Yes I understand they are retired but Iíve never seen this from any other SOF elements? As someone one said in a similar thread what happened to the quite professional mentality?

Sigaba
08-24-2012, 12:45
Why are the SEALís publicizing themselves to this degree?Because American navalism trumps the board.

As Henry Stimson reflected on the many interservice issues between the army and the navy during the Second World War and subsequent discussions of unification:. . . some of the Army-Navy troubles. . . grew mainly from the peculiar psychology of the Navy Department, which frequently seemed to retire from the realm of logic into a dim religious world in which Neptune was God, Mahan his prophet, and the United States Navy the only true church.*


______________________________________________
* Henry L. Stimson, with McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), 506.

Sarski
08-24-2012, 21:55
Because American navalism trumps the board.

As Henry Stimson reflected on the many interservice issues between the army and the navy during the Second World War and subsequent discussions of unification:


______________________________________________
* Henry L. Stimson, with McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), 506.

Umm, forgive me Mr. Sigaba, but: King Neptune, and Davey Jones and Mini The Mermaid.

The national waters of a given country off the coast are marked. Inland is determined by how far a SEAL can go, and by morning on an "easy day", that can be quite a distance. :cool:

Sarski
08-24-2012, 21:58
This is rather bewildering to me. First a Hollywood movie then a book and now a 60 minutes interview?!? Why are the SEALís publicizing themselves to this degree? Not to mention the other side of the spectrum where you have another retired SEAL who made the video dishonorable disclosure? The two are extremely contradicting.

Yes I understand they are retired but Iíve never seen this from any other SOF elements? As someone one said in a similar thread what happened to the quite professional mentality?

Because many of them are getting chewed up on inland missions in The Sandbox and other areas doing their job, and like other services, there is a need for more SOFs.

Sigaba
08-24-2012, 22:30
Umm,

Neither gijoeftcarson's question nor my reply touched upon the operational challenges SEALs face. My reply merely points out that the current controversy takes on a different light when viewed in the context of America navalism and how that collection of sensibilities has played out in matters of policy formation and public affairs.

Sarski
08-24-2012, 23:22
And that is where Davy Jones and Mini The Mermaid come in. If not about operational capacities and easy days, then what? ;) Conjecture? I garuntee operational teams have a very different outlook.

Sigaba
08-24-2012, 23:48
Entire post. What point(s) are you attempting to communicate?

Are you arguing that the operational environment explains/justifies the current trend in that sees certain elements of the SOF community publicly discussing matters that other elements of the SOF community should be kept secret?

Are you arguing that groups within the navy have not had a different take on matters of policy with other armed services, especially the army?

Are you arguing that navalists have not sought to publicize the navy's exploits in order to secure a larger role in the nation's defense?

Or are you interpreting the comments in this thread as criticisms of the operational capabilities of the SEALs, their contributions to GWOT, and their commitment to defending this nation? If so, I think you're misreading them.

Box
08-25-2012, 00:57
Hm...
Let me look at how this plays out in comparison when we consider who the "pipe down" message is geared at:

-Life as a DA force with unlimited resources, treated like a prince and glamorized in the media
-Life on a VSP, with 'figure it out on your own' resources, treated like a dirt-bag because your beard is a little too long, and subjected to the role of the emotionally deranged veteran in the media

...someone explain to me again which one lives the 'no easy day' persona? Some people really do believe their own headlines.


I can only wish upon Mr Bissonnette all of the fame and fortune he deserves.

Sarski
08-25-2012, 01:28
What point(s) are you attempting to communicate?

Are you arguing that the operational environment explains/justifies the current trend in that sees certain elements of the SOF community publicly discussing matters that other elements of the SOF community should be kept secret?
Only after the upper echelon has already gone public. Guess we have to wait for the book.

Are you arguing that groups within the navy have not had a different take on matters of policy with other armed services, especially the army?
Not at all, sir. The decisions at the JSOC level are made without, unbelievably, my input. :p

Are you arguing that navalists have not sought to publicize the navy's exploits in order to secure a larger role in the nation's defense?
How can one argue against global strike capability...within minutes?

Or are you interpreting the comments in this thread as criticisms of the operational capabilities of the SEALs, their contributions to GWOT, and their commitment to defending this nation? If so, I think you're misreading them.
No criticisim on this end, only results that are obviously not publicized, for, in contrast, to that which is made public.

Sarski
08-25-2012, 01:40
Hm...
Let me look at how this plays out in comparison when we consider who the "pipe down" message is geared at:

-Life as a DA force with unlimited resources, treated like a prince and glamorized in the media
-Life on a VSP, with 'figure it out on your own' resources, treated like a dirt-bag because your beard is a little too long, and subjected to the role of the emotionally deranged veteran in the media

...someone explain to me again which one lives the 'no easy day' persona? Some people really do believe their own headlines.


I can only wish upon Mr Bissonnette all of the fame and fortune he deserves.
And the tan, QP Billy L-bach. :D
The next quietest groups, IMHO, are "on deck."

ZonieDiver
08-25-2012, 05:57
Umm, forgive me Mr. Sigaba, but: King Neptune, and Davey Jones and Mini The Mermaid.

The national waters of a given country off the coast are marked. Inland is determined by how far a SEAL can go, and by morning on an "easy day", that can be quite a distance. :cool:

Quote:
Originally Posted by gijoeftcarson
Why are the SEALís publicizing themselves to this degree?

Because American navalism trumps the board.

As Henry Stimson reflected on the many interservice issues between the army and the navy during the Second World War and subsequent discussions of unification:


Quote:
. . . some of the Army-Navy troubles. . . grew mainly from the peculiar psychology of the Navy Department, which frequently seemed to retire from the realm of logic into a dim religious world in which Neptune was God, Mahan his prophet, and the United States Navy the only true church.*

Maybe I'm just tired from too much fun and a lack of sleep. Maybe I'm just pissed off because a friend died. Maybe I'm just tired of 'newbies' here interjecting crap that really doesn't need to be interjected, but:

WTF are you talking about? Intelligent people are having a discussion about a topic of some concern to those in the SOF community, that being people who should know better shooting their mouths off when they should STFU. This bozo, and he IS a bozo, is the latest in a string of those doing that. It just seems the most recent are all SEALs. Intelligent people, and SF prides itself on recruiting intelligent people, often expand topics with relevant information.

I felt Sigaba's post did just that. I failed to see reference to "Davey Jones" or "Mini the Mermaid" in his post. I saw a quote from a prominent figure in the history of the defense establlishment of this nation that was germane to the question posed by an SF Candidate. How this response helps clarify the SF Candidate's question also mystifies me:

Because many of them are getting chewed up on inland missions in The Sandbox and other areas doing their job, and like other services, there is a need for more SOFs.

Or this:

Only after the upper echelon has already gone public. Guess we have to wait for the book.

How does the casualty rate justify violating certain principles about keeping one's mouth shut?

How does what the "upper echelon" does justify what the "author" does, or I do, or you do?

And this one:

And the tan, QP Billy L-bach.
The next quietest groups, IMHO, are "on deck."

Well, it just reminds me of this:

http://www.*******.com/watch?v=FBPXUurumDU

SF_BHT
08-25-2012, 07:06
ZD
Thanks. I was about to do a rant about the same thing. Spot on.
Let's quit this bull shit. If you have served you know what we have been talking about. This current problem is not because of the old service compaticion to dominate the military that we had from 1900 thru WW II. We are a different military today. The SOCOM commander summed it up what needed to be done.

Basenshukai
08-25-2012, 08:14
The most secretive units are still - to me - US Army SF and the Ranger Regiment. And, it's not because we are necessarily designed that way. Rather, our guys typically talk smack, but mostly to one another. The SMUs are the worst kept secret in DoD. What needs to happen is that someone is made an example of in the most extreme legal application of UCMJ/US Law. Then, this BS wil stop, at least, at the Soldier/Sailor-level.

hooah12
08-25-2012, 09:03
Of course some SMUs are worse than others though when it comes to this kind of stuff though.

Dusty
08-25-2012, 09:09
The most secretive units are still - to me - US Army SF and the Ranger Regiment. And, it's not because we are necessarily designed that way. Rather, our guys typically talk smack, but mostly to one another. The SMUs are the worst kept secret in DoD. What needs to happen is that someone is made an example of in the most extreme legal application of UCMJ/US Law. Then, this BS wil stop, at least, at the Soldier/Sailor-level.

It always surprises me when doorkickers and their actions/training are discussed in the open. I'll never understand that. When I left, that stuff was quite naturally being held close.

Then, I was flicking through the channels, and-there's the Muse mission on national cable television. :rolleyes:

grigori
08-25-2012, 09:36
The most secretive units are still - to me - US Army SF and the Ranger Regiment. And, it's not because we are necessarily designed that way. Rather, our guys typically talk smack, but mostly to one another. The SMUs are the worst kept secret in DoD. What needs to happen is that someone is made an example of in the most extreme legal application of UCMJ/US Law. Then, this BS wil stop, at least, at the Soldier/Sailor-level.

If you do not mind me asking Sir,would you add "The Activity" to the list too??Hardly anything has ever come about it in the media.

SF_BHT
08-25-2012, 09:55
If you do not mind me asking Sir,would you add "The Activity" to the list too??Hardly anything has ever come about it in the media.

Not going to discuss any other units !!!!!!

We need to stay on topic......

grigori
08-25-2012, 09:59
Not going to discuss any other units !!!!!!

We need to stay on topic......

Will do Sir.

MtnGoat
08-25-2012, 10:47
Maybe I'm just tired from too much fun and a lack of sleep. Maybe I'm just pissed off because a friend died. Maybe I'm just tired of 'newbies' here interjecting crap that really doesn't need to be interjected, but:

WTF are you talking about? Intelligent people are having a discussion about a topic of some concern to those in the SOF community, that being people who should know better shooting their mouths off when they should STFU. This bozo, and he IS a bozo, is the latest in a string of those doing that. It just seems the most recent are all SEALs. Intelligent people, and SF prides itself on recruiting intelligent people, often expand topics with relevant information.

I felt Sigaba's post did just that. I failed to see reference to "Davey Jones" or "Mini the Mermaid" in his post. I saw a quote from a prominent figure in the history of the defense establlishment of this nation that was germane to the question posed by an SF Candidate. How this response helps clarify the SF Candidate's question also mystifies me:



Or this:



How does the casualty rate justify violating certain principles about keeping one's mouth shut?

How does what the "upper echelon" does justify what the "author" does, or I do, or you do?

And this one:



Well, it just reminds me of this:

http://www.*******.com/watch?v=FBPXUurumDU
Great frinkin post ! Spot on!

IMO it is something that the SEALS have" breed" into their ranks.

Sad thing is politicians get away with it all the time. They have the same clearances and lets say take the same polygraph test.

As the old same goes: military is a reflection of the society it's from.

Stras
08-25-2012, 11:16
Its time for the politicians to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements and then everyone can just STFU about stuff that doesn't need to be discussed in the open.

Sarski
08-25-2012, 11:33
First, let me say that I am truely sorry for the loss of your friend. :(

If I may try and answer some of your questions:

Maybe I'm just tired from too much fun and a lack of sleep. Maybe I'm just pissed off because a friend died. Maybe I'm just tired of 'newbies' here interjecting crap that really doesn't need to be interjected, but:

WTF are you talking about?...

I felt Sigaba's post did just that. I failed to see reference to "Davey Jones" or "Mini the Mermaid" in his post. I saw a quote from a prominent figure in the history of the defense establlishment of this nation that was germane to the question posed by an SF Candidate. How this response helps clarify the SF Candidate's question also mystifies me:

My reference to Davey Jones and Mini the Mermaid, included with King Neptune were intended to further illustrate the direction the Navy has gone in its "retirement from the realm of logic ." (Though it appears my own posts have done the same).



Or this:

How does the casualty rate justify violating certain principles about keeping one's mouth shut?

The SEALs haven't been quiet since the first Gulf War, maybe even before. And though casualties are part of it, I was mainly referring to those sustaining injuries that keeps them out of the action, and thus a need to recruit more individuals into SEALs.

It is instant publicity, glamour, and recruiting all tied into one, IMHO.



How does what the "upper echelon" does justify what the "author" does, or I do, or you do?

Leaders lead by example. The line has to be drawn somewhere, and in this case, there probably isn't a line at all.

And this one:
And the tan, QP Billy L-bach.
The next quietest groups, IMHO, are "on deck."

To clarify, this is in reference to SEALs eventually not being able to be as secretive, due to the massive publicity in the spot light, and the next SF groups/teams that are not concerned with this limelight will be the ones, if they aren't already, undertaking the more select missions. And in all probability we, the general public, wouldn't hear about it.

Sorry for the confusion, I sincerly hope that this explains my previous posts.

ZonieDiver
08-25-2012, 11:41
First, let me say that I am truely sorry for the loss of your friend. :(

If I may try and answer some of your questions:
<snip>
Sorry for the confusion, I sincerly hope that this explains my previous posts.

Not really... but please don't try to further elucidate... or obfuscate... what you "meant to say" with further posts.

Let's just move along in the vein of what several QPs posted right before yours.

Sarski
08-25-2012, 11:42
Not really... but please don't try to further elucidate... or obfuscate... what you "meant to say" with further posts.

Let's just move along in the vein of what several QPs posted right before yours.

Roger that, QP.

Dozer523
08-25-2012, 12:18
If I may try and answer some of your questions: Stop Posting here
Roger that, QP.Now.

cedsall
08-25-2012, 13:10
The most secretive units are still - to me - US Army SF and the Ranger Regiment. And, it's not because we are necessarily designed that way. Rather, our guys typically talk smack, but mostly to one another. The SMUs are the worst kept secret in DoD. What needs to happen is that someone is made an example of in the most extreme legal application of UCMJ/US Law. Then, this BS wil stop, at least, at the Soldier/Sailor-level.

Amen to that.

Start with the next asshat stupid enough to write a book/appear on the news/serve as "deep background" for some news report or whatever. Pull a (Bradley) Manning on them, perp walk them out on national news and put the fear of God and the Department of Defense into everyone who signs an NDA/confidentiality agreement.

As a somewhat related aside, I served with Bill Cowan, one of the folks who appeared in that OPSEC video. I found it interesting that he is telling the president to STFU.

About 15 years ago I'm watching some news program on TV (20/20 or 60 Minutes or some such) and they have some fellow on in silhouette providing "deep background" on some CT issue. During the interview, the person reaches up and strokes his beard/chin and right then I knew who it was...

So yeah, I agree that everyone needs to shut the f**k up.

SF_BHT
08-25-2012, 13:17
Its time for the politicians to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements and then everyone can just STFU about stuff that doesn't need to be discussed in the open.

They do but no one polices them.

Surgicalcric
08-25-2012, 14:09
Politicized flag officers are easy to spot - just look for the brown ring.

Richard :munchin

The fact that they make the rank of Flag officer in today's military tells me they are a politician.

Sigaba
08-25-2012, 16:30
This current problem is not because of the old service competition to dominate the military that we had from 1900 thru WW II. .

With respect, I disagree. What follows is a thumbnail of why I disagree.

Mahanian navalism is at the core of the navy's institutional identity. Public debate and a historical perspective are core components of Mahanian navalism. A.T. Mahan wrote prolifically and publicly because he genuinely believed that, as a maritime nation, the U.S. needed a strong navy. This belief rested on an understanding of history as a field of study that could produce lessons of timeless relevance. Because of Mahan's influence on the way naval history is studied and policy issues are debated, there remains in almost all recent discussions of naval affairs a historical argument. This argument is that what has worked in the past will work in the present, and the future--regardless of the foe, the geopolitical circumstances, and the nature of warfare. Additionally, this line of argument enables the discussion of naval affairs in the public eye.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the navy developed its Maritime Strategy as a plan to apply American sea power across the spectrum of conflict. While most of the focus of this plan was the Soviet Union, it also focused on terrorism and the use of SOF. Concurrently, a handful of naval historians developed a compelling argument that the navy was able (1) to prepare itself for and to fight the Pacific War and (2) to deal with the emerging challenges of the post World War II geostrategic environment was in no small part due to the influence of Mahanian theory on the navy's professional culture. This trajectory of scholarship implicitly argued that what had worked for the navy in the past would continue to work for the navy into the future.*

Recently, the navy has been rebooting many of the core arguments of the Maritime Strategy in its discussions of both the PRC's rising naval power and GWOT.** These efforts have coincided with the publication of important historical works on the navy in the years following WWII. The overall argument of these works is that the navy's successes in times of uncertainty abroad, changing conceptions of warfare, and retrenchment at home has centered around the sea service's cultural traditions -- including the emphasis on Mahanian theory.*** (This is not to say that naval historians sit around asking "WWMD?")

Consequently, when SEALs go public "to set the record straight" the issue is not just about a handful of warriors stepping outside of the accepted practices of the broader SOF community. The issue is also about a clash of cultural traditions that has been decades in the making. The Mahanian tradition trends towards a totalizing argument that emphasizes the centrality of sea power--specifically power projection--to the nation's security and an unending need to make this argument publicly: especially in times of retrenchment. In my view, the management of this tradition can be more efficacious if it is addressed in its historical context.

My $0.02

____________________________________
* References available on request.
** Evidence of this reboot can be found in issues of the Naval War College Review published between 2007 and 2008, the work of the Naval War College's Chinese Maritime Studies Institute (https://www.usnwc.edu/Research---Gaming/China-Maritime-Studies-Institute.aspx), and the navy's "request" to the Center for Naval Analyses to provide a historical overview of the navy's capstone planning (http://www.cna.org/capstone-strategies).
***In particular, Jeffrey G. Barlow, From Hot War to Cold: The U.S. Navy and National Security Affairs, 1945-1955 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009) and Hal M. Friedman, Digesting History: The U.S. Naval War College, the Lessons of World War Two, and Future Naval Warfare, 1945-1947, Naval War College Historical Monograph Series, no. 17 (Newport, RI: U.S. Naval War College Press, 2010).

Dreadnought
08-25-2012, 16:48
Read this when it was disseminated a couple days ago. For the most part, I liked it and thought it was well written. I am a strong believer in the idea that a military must needs be inherently apolitical

MTN Medic
08-25-2012, 17:15
This thread is going to go nowhere. Those in the know can't say what they want to say; those not in the know will run their ignorant suck-holes indefinitely.

Hint: The answer has nothing to do with Mahanian Navalism and everything to do with discipline and being held accountable to the oaths that one pledged upon joining the military and upon joining the SOF community.

SF_BHT
08-25-2012, 17:54
With respect, I disagree. What follows is a thumbnail of why I disagree.

Mahanian navalism is at the core of the navy's institutional identity. Public debate and a historical perspective are core components of Mahanian navalism. A.T. Mahan wrote prolifically and publicly because he genuinely believed that, as a maritime nation, the U.S. needed a strong navy. This belief rested on an understanding of history as a field of study that could produce lessons of timeless relevance. Because of Mahan's influence on the way naval history is studied and policy issues are debated, there remains in almost all recent discussions of naval affairs a historical argument. This argument is that what has worked in the past will work in the present, and the future--regardless of the foe, the geopolitical circumstances, and the nature of warfare. Additionally, this line of argument enables the discussion of naval affairs in the public eye.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the navy developed its Maritime Strategy as a plan to apply American sea power across the spectrum of conflict. While most of the focus of this plan was the Soviet Union, it also focused on terrorism and the use of SOF. Concurrently, a handful of naval historians developed a compelling argument that the navy was able (1) to prepare itself for and to fight the Pacific War and (2) to deal with the emerging challenges of the post World War II geostrategic environment was in no small part due to the influence of Mahanian theory on the navy's professional culture. This trajectory of scholarship implicitly argued that what had worked for the navy in the past would continue to work for the navy into the future.*

Recently, the navy has been rebooting many of the core arguments of the Maritime Strategy in its discussions of both the PRC's rising naval power and GWOT.** These efforts have coincided with the publication of important historical works on the navy in the years following WWII. The overall argument of these works is that the navy's successes in times of uncertainty abroad, changing conceptions of warfare, and retrenchment at home has centered around the sea service's cultural traditions -- including the emphasis on Mahanian theory.*** (This is not to say that naval historians sit around asking "WWMD?")

Consequently, when SEALs go public "to set the record straight" the issue is not just about a handful of warriors stepping outside of the accepted practices of the broader SOF community. The issue is also about a clash of cultural traditions that has been decades in the making. The Mahanian tradition trends towards a totalizing argument that emphasizes the centrality of sea power--specifically power projection--to the nation's security and an unending need to make this argument publicly: especially in times of retrenchment. In my view, the management of this tradition can be more efficacious if it is addressed in its historical context.

My $0.02

____________________________________
* References available on request.
** Evidence of this reboot can be found in issues of the Naval War College Review published between 2007 and 2008, the work of the Naval War College's Chinese Maritime Studies Institute (https://www.usnwc.edu/Research---Gaming/China-Maritime-Studies-Institute.aspx), and the navy's "request" to the Center for Naval Analyses to provide a historical overview of the navy's capstone planning (http://www.cna.org/capstone-strategies).
***In particular, Jeffrey G. Barlow, From Hot War to Cold: The U.S. Navy and National Security Affairs, 1945-1955 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009) and Hal M. Friedman, Digesting History: The U.S. Naval War College, the Lessons of World War Two, and Future Naval Warfare, 1945-1947, Naval War College Historical Monograph Series, no. 17 (Newport, RI: U.S. Naval War College Press, 2010).

You know if you had served and been part of the military community, sweat and endured the pain that comes with having the responsibility to protect the America that you raised your had to defend instead of just reading what civilian and military write about lofty ideas you would understand what the McRaven and this OP was trying to convey. Until you have walked a mile in my boots please do not lecture me as to Mahanian Navalism.

People took oath's and have a responsibility to honor that oath weather on active duty or not. Some young pup that did not retire and saw an opportunity to make a buck is who he is saying to zip it up. He is just repeating what many of us already know and do not have to tell anyone. He has dishonored the SEALS, his team mates and the military and SOF community with his book, interviews that are upcoming and a video game. This string of events shows that he is in it for the money not to set the record straight.

I have served in Joint assignments shoulder to shoulder with my Brothers in all services in the SOF and conventional forces and no matter how much we rib the others we are a family of professional military with the same goal to protect our country and way of life so POS citizens can exercise their constitutional rights even when we do not agree with them. (flag burning, Academics pontificating, Code Pink, etc. etc...) Yest the Political thinking Officers at high levels in our think tanks and military academic schools write lofty papers but when it all comes down t what we are in uniform for it is the defense of your and all Americans rights.

MTN Medic
This thread is going to go nowhere. Those in the know can't say what they want to say; those not in the know will run their ignorant suck-holes indefinitely.

Hint: The answer has nothing to do with Mahanian Navalism and everything to do with discipline and being held accountable to the oaths that one pledged upon joining the military and upon joining the SOF community.

I agree completely on all points.

SF_BHT
08-25-2012, 18:11
Here is what we all knew would happen when this former SEAL decided to break the trust. I feel sorry for his family and his FORMER Friends that have now been put in danger not by politicians but by his violation of our oath and trust. I figured that the MS and Politicians would have outed the people at DEV group and other SOF on the mission not one of our own. I guarantee he is going to feel very lonely since none of his brothers in arms will now have anything to do with him. Bet he will be hunkering down and hiding. He probably still does not know what he has done....... Just my 2 cents..... (mine come from walking the walk)

PS: Finally a reporter got it right Ex-Navy SEAL. Bet they revoke his trident at a minimum.

Ex-Navy SEAL behind bin Laden book faces threats, investigation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The former U.S. Navy SEAL who authored a soon-to-be-published book about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden is now facing threats against his life in addition to possible criminal prosecution.

An official al Qaeda website on Friday posted a photograph and the name of the former Navy commando responsible for the book, calling him "the dog who murdered the martyr Sheikh Osama bin Laden."

The head of U.S. Special Operations Command told current and former troops that the military would take legal action against anyone found to have exposed sensitive information that could cause harm to fellow forces.

"We will pursue every option available to hold members accountable, including criminal prosecution where appropriate," Admiral Bill McRaven wrote in an open, unclassified letter emailed to the active-duty special operations community, and obtained by Reuters on Friday.

"As current or former members of our special operations community, authors have a moral obligation, and a legal duty, to submit their works for pre-publication security review," the admiral wrote.

Fox News made public on Thursday what it said was the real name of the former SEAL who, with a journalist co-author, wrote "No Easy Day," using the pseudonym Mark Owen. The book is due to be released next month on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

By early on Friday, the man's name, photograph and age had been posted on the "the Al-Fidaa Islamic Network" online forum, one of two websites officially endorsed by al Qaeda, according to Evan Kohlmann, founder of the New York-based security firm Flashpoint Global Partners.

It was followed by comments that called for the man's death, including one response that said, "O' Allah, kill every one of them," and another that said, "O' Allah, make an example of him for the whole world and give him dark days ahead."

The Navy SEAL was also identified by other U.S. media. Reuters has confirmed his name but is not publishing it, given concerns about his safety.

U.S. military officials have said the former Navy SEAL could face investigation because he failed to clear the book with the Defense Department before publication, even if it does not disclose specific classified details.

'DISTINCT LINE'

McRaven's letter said books and films about special operations teams could be useful educational tools, and the military would work with potential authors, but current and former service members would be held accountable if they endangered the safety of U.S. forces.

He said there was "a distinct line between recounting a story for the purposes of education or entertainment and telling a story that exposes sensitive activities just to garner greater readership and personal profit."

Kohlmann said the former Navy SEAL could now be in physical danger from al Qaeda sympathizers seeking revenge for bin Laden's death, or hoping to gain prestige for themselves.

"They have a photo of the individual, they have his name, his age," Kohlmann said. "I wish that all this was bluster, but there are a lot of would-be jihadists out there, including some in North America. This is the ideal opportunity for those kind of people."

The book's publisher, Dutton, said the author was "one of the first men through the door on the third floor of the terrorist leader's hideout and was present at his death."

It is not known whether "No Easy Day" contains details of commando operations that the U.S. government considers secret, but U.S. government officials said the account had not been submitted for a required pre-publication review.

"Even if there is nothing classified disclosed, it should have been reviewed, and it was not," said one official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

On Wednesday, the publisher said the book had been vetted "for tactical, technical, and procedural information as well as information that could be considered classified by compilation" by a former "special operations attorney."

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber security expert, said al Qaeda officials were adept at using the Internet for recruitment, training and other searches, and he fully expected them to target the former Navy SEAL now that his identity had been disclosed.

"He's going to become the poster child for recruitment and assassination," Carr said, noting that the case underscored the need for anyone in a high-risk profession to take great precautions with any information available on the Internet.

Carr said the man's relatives and former Navy SEAL colleagues could also be in danger if they could be traced through the Internet

http://news.yahoo.com/ex-navy-seal-behind-bin-laden-book-faces-013612266.html