After Bin Laden was killed, Robert Gates was insistent that nothing be revealed about the unit that accomplished the deed. But one man could not keep his mouth shut: Joe Biden, who credited the SEALs in a speech:
Let me briefly acknowledge tonight’s distinguished honorees. Admiral James Stavridis is a, is the real deal. He can tell you more about and understands the incredible, the phenomenal, the just almost unbelievable capacity of his Navy SEALs and what they did last Sunday.
Further irresponsible leaks from the Obama administration revealed the unit involved, causing the unit members to fear for their safety and that of their families:
The Department of Defense is looking into ways to “pump up the security” for the team of Navy SEALs who helped kill Osama bin Laden after the commandos expressed concern for their safety and the safety of their families, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday.
Gates made the comment in response to a question at a town hall meeting at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. A Marine asked what measures were being taken to protect “the identities and the lives” of the SEALs involved in the takedown of bin Laden in Pakistan a week ago, as well as other troops deployed in the region, from the threat of retaliation.
“We are very concerned about the security of our families – of your families and our troops, and also these elite units that are engaged in things like that. And without getting into any details … I would tell you that when I met with the team last Thursday, they expressed a concern about that, and particularly with respect to their families,” Gates told the audience.
“Frankly, a week ago Sunday, in the Situation Room, we all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden. That all fell apart on Monday, the next day.”
Gates specifically talked about the fear of potential retaliation:
Gates acknowledged the threat of retaliation against Team 6 and troops deployed in the region.
“There is an awareness that the threat of retaliation is increased because of the attacks – because of the action against bin Laden,” he said.
Today, that retaliation may have come to pass, as a Taliban RPG killed at least 20 members of Team 6, in “the single deadliest incident for U.S. soldiers by far” in the Afghanistan war. The members apparently were not part of the group involved in the raid, we are told (why are we told this? Won’t it keep the jihadis hunting?), and there is no way to know whether this was an orchestrated ambush targeting Team 6. But it is an important reminder why it’s not just comedy relief to have cynical glory-seekers and complete buffoons at the highest levels of government.
UPDATE: To elaborate on the “orchestrated ambush” theory, DRJ suggests a possibility in comments:
I don’t know any facts, obviously. Maybe this was a horrible coincidence or an accident. But here’s another possibility: Someone provided false intel that a high-value target would be in a specific location. The goal was to lure a special ops team into the area — the kind of team that went after Bin Laden. In other words, maybe this was an ambush. If so, then it’s reminiscent of Carter in Iran.
Seems possible to me.