Streamlight Weapon Lights

Dishonorable Disclosures

Definitely worth a look. I too have been more than a little unimpressed when I see information i still treat as classified show up on the lips of Joe Sixpack. Unfortunately, while OPSEC violations (and the far more dangerous disclosure of classified info) are inexcusable at all levels, if only it were as easy as just pointing the finger at politicians. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies. I’ve gotta say that I’m a follower of the old adage, “People who live in glass houses…” A swift kick in the ass to some of our own who have talked out of school would be appropriate as well. If these guys had done that rather than making a half hour political ad I might have been more impressed.

29 Responses to “Dishonorable Disclosures”

  1. Caleb says:

    Along your lines of criticism, one could fault almost all whistleblowers throughout history for not calling out EVERYONE guilty of the same offense. It’s about focus and relevancy. Every time some joe tells his buddy jim’s wife on facebook that jim got shot before the brass does it gets blared all over the army times, etc etc. Those organizations can’t (or won’t) criticize the prez for opsec violations. Someone needs to do it, and I commend these guys for it.

  2. Fred says:

    Thank God it ain’t happening over here in Canada. There’s already enough on the Internet about it.

  3. Bryan says:

    Outstanding! The Obama administration has leaked like a spaghetti strainer from day 1! They have put the intel ofc’s and operators in jeopardy to gain public favor. Enough is enough. Its hard to swift kick a Secretary or his staff!

  4. Tomaso says:

    Thank you for posting this……

  5. John Denny says:

    You can call this a political ad if you want, but this administration needed to be publicly called out on the carpet. This needs to be brought to the attention of the American people, because the majority don’t understand what OpSec is, much less why it’s important. Most don’t know why it is wrong to use information like this for political gain, no matter who is doing it.

    • SSD says:

      I didn’t call it a political ad, you did. But you’re right, it is. And it’s too bad. It would have been much more effective had it not been a vessel to raise money. The people it needs to influence will just be turned off because of its political use.

      • John Denny says:

        I respectfully disagree. I think it will be effective if they can get more people to see it, other than those already in the choir.

        (And… did you write the last sentence of your original entry?)

        • SSD says:

          Wow, I did. I actually added it after I had originally written it and taken a look at their fundraising website and gone beyond just the video. Thanks for calling me out.

          In the end, things like this are produced to influence voters. The problem is that the ones that need influencing aren’t the ones you produce this for. While its a great video for the folks who already want Obama out of office, it’s not going to influence folks who support the current administration. To do that you’ve to to be a bit more slick. Asking for political donations isn’t going to do it. It has to be grass roots all around. This isn’t. The spin doctors will call it out as a modern attempt at swift boating. The issue is valid but can be batted away too easily since it was attached to a political agenda.

          Btw, I was an Intel officer when I was in and I’ve never heard that much pandering to the importance of intel by operations personnel in my life. It was like I had taken a step ino bizarro world.

          • John Denny says:

            You make a very good point there, but let’s not forget that the swiftboat issue was effective to a certain extent with a fair number of the undecided.

            I know my opinion of this is very much influenced by my being an original member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, but I do think it to be a worthy effort, no matter political motivations.

            There is already a website up that calls the OPSEC video the worst attempt at swiftboating, so we’ll just have to wait and see if it really can be batted aside. I still think it will stick with those who can weigh the info versus the spin.

            I can see your point about the pandering too. I wasn’t within the SF world, I only dropped them off from time to time, and I seem to remember the Intel guys being the butt of alot of jokes.

  6. Paralus says:

    Where was the outrage, the video and the nifty website last year when it was first announced in 2011?
    Why did they wait until an election year?
    Where did they get funding for this ad?
    Why do they need money?

    This is less about fixing leaks and more about political payback.

    Their convenient outrage is about as genuine as a three dollar bill.

    • Buckaroomedic says:

      Concur 100%

    • KLiP says:

      I do recall a lot of “WTF” last year amidst all the celebrations. When the NY Times published a detailed article on the mission I believe John Bolton or Oliver North or one or both of those guys (both Fox News contributors so yes, this was my flavor of kool-aid) criticized the amount of minutia released following that raid.

      While I agree that this video is hugely political, I think it’s come out now as a result of increased stakes. This coming election is going to be one of the most, for lack of a better word, exciting elections in US history – I’m not surprised that the “outrage” is suddenly getting a second wind and a new voice.

      • SSD says:

        I for one am not excited about this election at all. It is SSD’s official position that both tickets suck. With these two choices it’s worse or worse, Neither has a plan to make anything better and we feel that either way we, as a Nation are going to lose.

    • majrod says:

      Paralus – Funny, talk about convenient timing where were you when the latest two stories (stuxnet, drone kills) got released so close to the election yet are old events? Double standard?

    • Paralus says:

      And this is classic:,0,2590161.story

      …..Scott Taylor, chairman of OPSEC, is a former Navy SEAL. An unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia in 2010, he sat down with NBC News last summer for a documentary titled ‘Secrets of Seal Team Six.’ The film said the military had urged former SEALs not to talk……Rustmann and two other key members of the group, all self-described Republicans, have a history of talking openly to the media about national security, a review of articles and transcripts shows.

      Rustmann appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity and Colmes” in 2005 to discuss Valerie Plame Wilson, a covert CIA operations officer who was outed in July 2003 by members of the George W. Bush administration. A federal jury convicted I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who was chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, of four felony counts for his role in the crime.

      Rustmann, who had supervised Plame during her early years at the CIA, argued on Fox that disclosing Plame’s name was not a significant breach of national security. He discussed details of her training, her career and her cover.

      “It isn’t a big deal,” he said about the illegal disclosure of the covert officer’s name. “It was a light, nonofficial cover.”

      Hello Pot? This is Kettle. You’re Black.

      • Ash says:

        THANK YOU!!! It’s funny how we all do the same things, but only get mad when the “other team” is the one doing it. Seriously, until we stop being so caught up with our side being right, we won’t see that we’re allowing those we agree with to get a pass for the same BS we’re judging others for. If I recall correctly, speaking ill of (or disagreeing with) the Commander-In-Chief during wartime is a HUGE no-no…. As long as it’s the C-I-C that YOU voted for. Otherwise, criticize away!

        Once we stop seeing things through the lens of politics, we’ll actually be able to get some things done, IMHO.

        • Strike-Hold says:

          AMEN – you guys NAILED IT. And thank you SSD. I also think that this election sucks and neither one of the candidates for the Oval Office has the guts for the job.

  7. mj stoffa says:

    where were you when bush the younger lied about WMD in iraq and then short changed the war effort in afghanistan – hypocrisy

  8. Scott says:

    This is a clear-cut anti-Obama advertisement. OpSec is paramount and leaks put our operatives in harm’s way. Those leaks are mainly used for political gain by some group. There will always be someone who “speaks on a condition of anonymity” for their own personal/professional agenda.

    Integrity has been lost at all levels. The person who leaks the intel, the news outlet that reports it and the society that craves it.

    Let us not forget that the misuse of intel/bad intel/false intel is responsible for the loss of over 4,400 American men and women and over 31,000 wounded (DoD statistics for Operation Iraqi Freedom as of August 16, 2012).

  9. SnappedMyWife'sParrot'sNeck says:

    I don’t like Obama as much as the next guy, but Ben Smith’s accusations against the President are pretty much debunked by snopes here.

    • Paralus says:

      I get that trading in on Special Op’s reputation for political gain is not cool.

      What does it say, though, when these operators and spooks are trading in on their own reputations for political purposes to tear down a politician for doing the same? It’s like they are insinuating themselves as self-selected representatives of the Special Ops/Intel community.

      ‘Take it from me, a Navy SEAL, that I don’t like candidate X trying to score political points by associating himself with Navy SEALs like me’

  10. SnappedMyWife'sParrot'sNeck says:

    It has been my experience that when someone cashes in on anything of value, even a Special Warfare insignia, they are doing it for the money and the possibility of more money.

    When a politician acts like a politician I don’t bat an eye. When a former Navy SEAL acts like a politician then I have to turn my head. Especially when he does it poorly. Look up Ben Smith on Fox News, within a week of the Osama bin Laden raid he was on the TV giving interviews and answering questions about the raid. The way he spoke you’d think he pulled the trigger himself.

    I fully support Obama getting thrown out of the White House this upcoming election, but we as a people are more than able to do so legitimately and without bias or question. Ben Smith represents the section of the party willing to lie and use dirty tricks to do the same.

    But isn’t that what the Democratic party does? Lie and use dirty tricks? Yes, of course… but they aren’t Navy SEALs. I expect more from Navy SEALs.

  11. Zulu6 says:

    So lets see… the word “Swiftboat” no longer means Honored Veterans of the small high speed riverine craft in Vietnam … no, the members of the Swiftboat Veterns for “Truth” decided that they would trash their own military service to get at John Kerry. Now Swiftboat means to lie in a political attack ad using the military. If I was one of them I would be sick to my stomach for what they did.

    Now I am afraid that this guy and his group is maybe trying too hard to add “Trident” to “Swift Boat” – SSD posted an article about the 15th issue of Ethos, the NSW Magazine on SEAL Capt Bob Schoultz. He wrote about ex-warriors using the Trident for their own purposes and trashing all SEALs in the process.
    Capt. Bob wrote there must be a standard for team guys to come public without stepping on the trident for person or political purposes:

    “1. Is it fair and honest, and does it constructively contribute to the public understanding of NSW? Or does it primarily promote self-interest or a personal agenda?
    2. Is the warrior exhibiting ‘a strong dose of humility,’ to include respect toward those with whom he might disagree?
    3. Does the perspective or story serve the interests of those still in the arena, or does it make their lives and work more difficult, more complicated, or even more dangerous?
    ‘Quiet professionals’ in Naval Special Warfare need not always be ‘quiet’ – there are times when it is important and appropriate to tell our story. I don’t believe that the real issue is being ‘quiet,’ but rather having the maturity to be humble and the good judgment to be discrete. Anyone “going public” should be careful of their motives, not hurt those
    still in the arena, and avoid publicly airing personal agendas. When in doubt, former warriors are welladvised to review what they plan to share with a leader still serving, to get a perspective on how the active-duty community will react and whether their intentions meet the above criteria.

    How each of us presents ourselves to the public reflects our personal and professional honor, and reflects on all of us. None of us wants to be ‘voted off the island’ for an emotional or ill-considered sharing of privileged information that comes from being a trusted member of our exclusive ‘tribe.”

    Listen to the man. Thats old school teams talking there. When the Swiftboaters went after Kerry’s Bronze Star I called it “Vet vs Vet” Warfare. SOCOM came out and personally slashed the book on Operation Geronimo and McRaven praised the President for letting the teams do what they wanted. Like Obama or not … he gave the order to kill not capture, changed the plan from bombs to boots on ground and NEVER used the word “I” in his speech on killing OBL. I just watched it. The Republican White House had no problem blowing an entire CIA program and getting the VPs Chief of staff sent to Prison but killing OBL is now bad???!! Keep politics out of Special Ops.