But behind all this, the circus is
a massive machine whose very life
depends on discipline and motion and speed.
A mechanized army on wheels,
that rolls over any obstacle in its path,
that meets calamity again and again,
but always comes up smiling
--The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Look at that! That is a complete fucking fraud,
and it looks a hundred percent real.
It's the best work I've ever done in my life,
because it's so honest
--Wag the Dog (1997)
Come to your house,
no he doesn't stay long
Look around the room,
you see your father will be gone
--Death Don't Have No Mercy,
Rev. Gary Davis
From a Special Operations perspective, the Osama bin Laden raid as presented by the Obama administration has some gaping holes. As Seymour Hersh said in a recent interview:
They're going in [ST6] just repelling down was the plan. You know, a perfect target for anybody with a BB gun. And they're going to go in like that without any air cover. (OBL) is going to hide out in a compound at Abbottabad, sort of a resort town, and a resort town 48 miles or so outside of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, within a mile or two of Pakistan's West Point where they train young officers, the army does, and a couple of miles from a regimental headquarters full of army troops. He's going to hide out there? I mean, As I wrote in the article, it's a Lewis Carroll story. It just doesn't sustain any credibility if you look at it objectively.
All Special Operations leave a paper trail, even though an event may be highly classified. Special Ops does not have any secret methods of mission preparation; they are all based upon logic and similar to those used in any combat unit. Troop-leading procedures and staff planning remain the same.
-- Was Tac Air protection planned for all phases of the operation?
-- Was aerial rocket artillery pre-planned to seal off all avenues of approach and the objective?
-- Were medical assets on standby to receive the mission wounded?
-- Were intelligence assets designated to receive the Enemy Prisoners of War (EPW)?
-- Were the local U.S. Embassies alerted to the action?
-- Were "spares" designated for any helo losses at the objective?
--Was there a command and control element designated in the pre-mission planning which would be airborne during the operation?
--Were Air Forces assets on standby to deliver OBL to United States jurisdiction, should he be captured?
Actions at the Objective:
-- Were avenues of approach blocked?
-- Was there any near or far security element?
-- Were demo teams designated to destroy U.S. property left behind? Did the Operations Order designate this?
-- What was the medevac standard operating procedure for friendly casualties? Were hospitals on alert in Afghanistan?
-- What actions were anticipated Should Pakistani forces compromise the mission?
-- Were air cover assets on station?
-- Were Army Special Operations aviation assets covering the actions at the objective?
-- If the objective was too strong to be breached what actions were expected from the assault team?
Actions upon leaving the objective:
-- Were any assets designated to destroy any enemy forces reinforcing the objective?
-- Was there a designated temporary assembly area protected by friendly fires should the assault be repulsed?
These are all elements that a leader should address before, during and after the operational phases are actually conducted. An investigator should ask if these were present in the mission preparation and examination of the OPORD is vital in determining these points.
As example, the downed helo would not be destroyed until after the team was airborne and exfiltrating. No Special Operator would blow anything up until the assigned mission was completed. The mission is the highest priority.
The helo would be rigged and set to blow upon team exfiltration. Anything else would be calling additional local attention to the operation (though the sounds of gunfire and helo rotors bellowing into the night were all indications that the mission was operational, anyway.)
The team's actions indicate that this was a pre-determined cake-walk, and a real investigation would reveal this fact. Seymour Hersh's investigative piece begins the questioning, but it seems the media outlets are more interested in toeing the Obama administration's party line of denial, rather than doing their job as our watchdogs.