June 12, 2007

A Hero's Tale: 'Lone Survivor'


This looks like a great read - the eyewitness, boots-on-the-ground account of a Navy SEAL who participated in Operation Redwing and was the sole survivor of SEAL Team 10's 2005 deployment to Afghanistan. The full first chapter excerpt is here. This particular passage was jumped out at me, written in August of 2003:

I guess by now the issue in the minds of the American public was, Did he have a nuclear weapon, an atom bomb? But, of course, that is not the most significant question. The one that counts is, Did he have a nuclear program?

Because that would mean he was trying to produce weapons-grade uranium-235. You get that from using a centrifuge to spin uranium-238, thus driving the heavy neutrons outward, like water off the lettuce in a salad spinner. Itís a hell of a process and takes up to seven years, at which time, if youíve had a trouble-free run, you cut off the outside edges of the uranium and there you have a large hunk of heavy-molecule uranium-235. Cut that in half and then slam the two pieces together by high explosive in a confined steel space, like a rocket or a bomb, and right there itís Hiroshima all over again.

And thatís the issue: Was Saddam spinning for uranium-235, and if so, where did he get the uranium in the first place? And where was he conducting his program? Remember, there is no other reason on this earth to want uranium-235 except to make an atom bomb.

We knew the American intelligence agencies believed he had such a program, that somewhere in this vast country ó itís bigger than Germany, nearly as big as Texas ó there were centrifuges trying to manufacture the worldís most dangerous substance.

That was all the information we had. But we knew what to look for, and we would most certainly have recognized it if we had found it. Did Saddam actually own the completed article, a finely tuned atomic bomb or missile? Probably not. No one ever thought he did. But as former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld once remarked, ďWhat do you want to do? Leave him there till he does?Ē

You may remember the CIA believed they had uncovered critical evidence from the satellite pictures of those enormous government trucks rolling along Iraqís highways: four of them, usually in convoy, and all big enough to house two centrifuges. The accepted opinion was that Saddam had a mobile spinning program which could not easily be found, and in fact could be either lost and buried in the desert or alternatively driven across the border into Syria or even Jordan.

Well, we found those trucks, hidden in the desert, parked together. But the inside of each one had been roughly gutted. There was nothing left. We saw the trucks, and in my opinion someone had removed whatever they had contained, and in a very great hurry.

I also saw the al Qaeda training camp north of Baghdad. That had been abandoned, but it was stark evidence of the strong links between the Iraqi dictator and Osama bin Ladenís would-be warriors. Traces of the campís military purpose were all around. Some of the guys who had been in Afghanistan said it was just about a direct replica of the camp the United States destroyed after 9/11.

Maybe the libs should just try calling him a delusional chickenhawk warmonger who had no idea what he saw with his own two eyes. They know, after all. And listen to what Lutrell had to say about the CODE PINK-flavored antiwar liberals in this country, who he correctly serves a fine as*whooping:


Looking back, during our long journey in the C-130 to Afghanistan, I was more acutely aware of a growing problem which faces U.S. forces on active duty in theaters of war all over the world. For me, it began in Iraq, the first murmurings from the liberal part of the U.S.A. that we were somehow in the wrong, brutal killers, bullying other countries; that we who put our lives on the line for our nation at the behest of our government should somehow be charged with murder for shooting our enemy.

Itís been an insidious progression, the criticisms of the U.S. Armed Forces from politicians and from the liberal media, which knows nothing of combat, nothing of our training, and nothing of the mortal dangers we face out there on the front line. Each of the six of us in that aircraft en route to Afghanistan had constantly in the back of our minds the ever-intrusive rules of engagement.

These are drawn up for us to follow by some politician sitting in some distant committee room in Washington, D.C. And thatís a very long way from the battlefield, where a sniperís bullet can blast your head, where the slightest mistake can cost your life, where you need to kill your enemy before he kills you.

And those ROE are very specific: we may not open fire until we are fired upon or have positively identified our enemy and have proof of his intentions. Now, thatís all very gallant. But how about a group of U.S. soldiers who have been on patrol for several days; have been fired upon; have dodged rocket-propelled grenades and homemade bombs; have sustained casualties; and who are very nearly exhausted and maybe slightly scared?

How about when a bunch of guys wearing colored towels around their heads and brandishing AK-47s come charging over the horizon straight toward you? Do you wait for them to start killing your team, or do you mow the bastards down before they get a chance to do so?

We patriotic men and women are sincerely sorry for the factions of truly braindead liberal morons, sir (too many of whom occupy positions of influence in entertainment, media and government). The sane libs may have honest disagreements, but they're drowned out by the caterwauling of the moonbat brigades. We can never repay you for dealing with what you had to deal with, both here at home and in the sandbox.

Look at what these guys endure just to get to the sandbox as a SEAL. For you and me. Click the link for BUD/S training videos.

Where do we find such men?

ht: Michelle

By Good Lt. at 11:16 PM | Comments |