In Their Own Words

“…My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own…”

From The Navy SEAL Creed

26 Responses to “In Their Own Words”

  1. TM says:

    I take it the part in bold is a shot at “Mark Owen”?

    I’m curious why “Dalton Fury” was able to write a book about the exact same topic without catching shit for it? I also don’t remember Fox News ever outing him…

    • SSD says:

      I’m kind of curious. What moral relativism affliction caused you to try and confuse the issue at hand by bringing up a former member of the Army? The article is about the SEAL creed. It’s about what those men aspire to, how they conduct themselves. Those are their words, not mine. It’s a promise they make to themselves, one another, and the Nation. So why do you want to look for loopholes so that one of those men doesn’t have to live up to this pledge? Why do you want it to be ok for him to quit?

      I posted this so that folks could see things from a different perspective. The vast majority of the SEALs that I know embody that creed in all that they do. It’s what makes them so successful. I have seen a lot of stuff all over the Internet that shows me that folks don’t live by any code. They think its ok for people to act any old way and make excuses for it. I know that this doesn’t ring true for most of my readers but not everyone is familiar with the community the men like Mark Owen spring from. I thought it was important for my readers to understand what they expect from one another.

  2. chris says:

    Actually, I saw a re-run of the “Dalton Fury” bit on 60 Minutes and googled it when I got home. Found a forum that was scathing of Fury, for having written a book, and even published his real name (claiming that it was out there. I got the impression that Fury had responded to some of the posts as well). From what I recall, it was a forum that purported to have a lot of SF/SOF types on it. They talked about NDAs, author who wrote ‘Inside Delta Force’ and so forth.


  3. JustSayin says: is not a major media outlet though.

    I read ‘No Easy Day’ today, and while there are a few things in it TTP wise that probably would be best left out, nothing in it was all that new or mid blowing.

    Is main reason it is controversial because it is not 20 years down the road like the Vietnam generation’s books? Or because there is an election coming up and some people want nothing more than to forget who was at the top of the food chain at the time of the operation? Is it because of the author’s Command, even though the book doesn’t contain anything that you can’t learn by going on wikipedia?

    What about Chris Kyle or Marcus Luttrell or James Watson or Darryl Young or Dick Marcinko or any of the 20 other SEALS who have written books about their careers? But did it under their true names and put their picture on the cover.

    • SSD says:

      For me, this is about three letters and what they stand for. NDA. It’s an agreement that those who held positions of trust with the US Government have made. It’s about standing by your word and doing what you agreed to. That agreement says that manuscripts will be presented for review. The fact that this didn’t happen properly is what motivates me. I wish he had followed the rules. They’re there to protect a capability.

      I want to read the book, but not at the expense of national security. It doesn’t matter what you can read on the Internet. When someone verifies information it’s as damaging as if they had released it themselves.

      Finally, I think it was imperative that if he was going to do it that Mark Owen publish under a pseudonym. I guess even I am foolish enough to have believed that his identity would have been protected. His real name has been revealed and now he’s in real danger. What’s worse is that the publisher insisted that they had given false names to the other men mentioned in the book. If Mark Owen’s identity didn’t even last 24 hours, what makes anyone believe those other men have any chance of privacy?

  4. Zulu6 says:

    NDAs aside, I suspect that someone(s) is getting booted off the island soon enough. The Teams are most likely going the route of the SAS/SBS … mention your service publically and be banned for life from all future events at the Regiment. Why put in 20 years, open your mouth, endanger your family and self banish from the Brotherhood forever afterwards? Thats what happened to ex-SAS-er Andy McNabb. Now its straightup Dick Marchenko-Auto Self-Destruct syndrome.

  5. DG says:

    If the President and officers did not tell lies about what happened there would be no market for a whistle-blowing book. Note loyalty to Country in the above. I take it your country stands for honesty and freedom? And by using a pseudonym he is hardly seeking recognition for himself. Frankly I think some of the higher-ups get what they deserve, and they take it out by dumping on others like Bradley Manning who expose the truth. International special forces would be safer if they had not taught guerilla warfare techniques to Muslims in Afghanistan and Bosnia. Sadly civilians and ordinary soldiers are also paying the price for these covert actions.

    • SSD says:

      There is so much wrong in your post I don’t know where to begin. How did our Government lie? They acknowledged the death of bin Lasen at the hands of SEALs.

      Bradley Manning is a traitor. It’s that simple. He betrayed his country. I quite frankly can’t place Mark Owen and Bradley Manning in the same league. Mark has got something totally different going on but I’m not at the point of calling him a traitor.

      Mark Owen used a pseudonym to try and protect his identity. It didn’t work.

      So, it’s our fault that Muslim Fundamentalists attack the West? That’s like blaming a woman for being raped or a banker for being robbed.

      • Nick says:

        I think the lie he insinuated could be in regards to the current administration’s over hyping of their influence and giving the actual go ahead/etc.

        • SSD says:

          I hate to burst everyone’s bubble here but the decision to launch a mission of this level lies with one man, the President. In this case, he just happened to be a Democrat. Over the years, plenty of Presidents have made decisions at this level and in the end, they bear the burden of success or failure.

          Look to two other Dems for examples of both, Truman for the nuking of Japan and Carter for Operation Eagle Claw.

          Anyone who doesn’t understand how missions like this are conceived, planned, approved and executed can’t make a rational comment on what happened. It would be like trying to critique a football game without knowing the rules.

          • majrod says:

            Truman is a good example Carter isn’t. Eagle Claw was just the cherry on top of 444 days of Iranian humiliation.. I was about to go to college at the time. Carter had a LOT bigger problems than Eagle Claw.

          • SSD says:

            Carter, to his credit, stood up in front of America and took the fall for the raid’s failure. He didn’t throw the military under the bus. He had served and understood at least that.

            Sure, Carter had myriad issues going on, but his behavior surrounding that issue is a great example of taking responsibility for failure.

          • majrod says:

            Can’t argue with that. Carter DID NOT pass the buck.

  6. Secret Squirrel says:

    As a secret squirrel I have signed more NDA’s than I care to remember. And not once have I ever spoke about anything classified outside of the appropriate environment. That is what signing the NDA is about and violating it is supposed to come with serious consequences. But it is not the consequences that keep me from going back on my word, it is not the danger that I might be placing other human beings in (whether they are other soldiers or local national’s), it is not the OPSEC reg’s or my Chain of Command, it isn’t even my patriotism. It is something much more on the base level of being a human being, it is that I gave my word. Many people these day’s have forgotten what that means. They justify going back on their word, on the oaths they have taken, with reasons like, “the administration is lying”. That tells me two things; one, that their reasons are political, and two, that they have fallen to the level of the very people they claim to be outing. Whether or not the administration was telling the truth is almost irrelevant because at the end of the day only the members of Mark Owen’s team know the truth. For Mark Owen to write this book basically goes against everything he was supposed to stand for as not only a SEAL, but as a soldier. As soldier’s we accomplish missions, we execute orders. Ours is not the business of politics. What happened to the days when soldier’s (NCO’s AND Officers) did not OPENLY question or disrespect the Chain of Command? Society has become so narcissistic and so concerned with fifteen minutes of fame but as the warrior class we are supposed to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

    A few side notes;
    – one of the biggest no-go’s is that the book was not cleared through the proper channels which in itself is a violation of orders
    – Bradley Manning is a traitor
    – too many people out there result to fuzzy logic, i.e. its our fault we were attacked because we trained the Afghans during the cold war. anyone remember 9/11? most of the people who were involved were Saudi.
    – the fuzzy logic is a result of our knee-jerk emotional response. I too love the men and women I serve with like my own brothers and sisters. I would defend them until my last breath but we must hold each other accountable when we are wrong.

  7. Strike-Hold says:

    I think Secret Squirrel just had the last word on this topic. Well said, and well done SIR. Two thumbs up, and big heaping dish of RESPECT.

  8. majrod says:

    I’m for crushing EVERYBODY//ANYBODY who violates OPSEC. If Matt Owen is found guilty, crush him but he’s an Indian in the NUMEROUS OPSEC violations we’ve seen in the last year or so and yet when anyone tries to hold the HIGHEST ranking to the same standard folks whine about partisanship.

    BS and if you condemn “No Easy Day” but give a pass to the Stuxnet story, drone strike process story,revealing an AQ double agent (2nd underwear bomber) and spiking the ball on the Bin Laden hit (at least FOUR separate leaks!) you’re part of the problem.

    • Zulu6 says:

      I am a Secret Squirrel too but Owen’s book is NOT like Valerie Plame where a VP Chief of Staff was ordered by the President Bush and VP Cheney and Karl Rove to deliberately out an active covert agent to Judy Miller at the NY Times and burn 100 other agents and their front company because she learned the truth about no WMDs in Iraq. That Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby is now a convicted felon. How about the House Intel chairman (Republican) telling the world after 9/11 that we had OBL’s mobile phone tapped for years – that source ended within 24 hours of his bragging! The news media devotes HUGE resources to hear who is talking and write it down. Some things you cannot contain. Stuxnet came out from foreign nations’ public computer analyses of the virus which was found on other computers around the world … for two years before the NYT story. It was confirmed by Israel first as their baby and then someone in the Congress , not the White House, appears to have confirmed it was a joint venture. Two the CIA double agent story in Yemen came from the Saudis and CIA people not the White House.

      I DO NOT want to know about what Mark Owen says about the raid. I don’t want to know the operational details. I don’t want to see the secret helicopter. I am not read into the program and have no need to know these details. They should be kept secret because they may be needed tomorrow for the next big push for Zawahiri or other bad guys. I just wanted to know it was done right and it was. Owen is going to have to deal with McRaven and Olsen now direspecting his big mouth just as much as he enjoyed their glowing respect when he finished the mission.

      Now props to the President for his part which was the biggest of all. President Obama ordered this mission in the name of 300 million people, knowing the risks to the men and our future reputation. He did so because SOC assured him we could and he trusted their expertise and skill. Remember President Roosevelt didn’t fight on D-Day, but he ordered it, not Eisenhower, Ike and the Chain of Command executed his order.

      As SSD says the President ALONE gave the go ahead for Abbottabad. he ordered the mission be done with men and guns and that OBL be killed, not captured. He knew the risks and took the burden of the potential for disaster. Now you are dissing him because the POTUS had the balls to call it and fufilled his duty to announce that the man whom killed 3,000 US citizens in the single greatest surprise attack on American sil was finally shot dead by a SEAL? OK, so he didn’t fly onto an aircraft carrier and announce Mission Accomplished but his coming on TV in the White House was not spiking the ball -its frickin’ Justice he has an obligation to explain to the world a monentous and historic event. I wanted to hear someone official tell me OBL was dead from the moment the deed was done but no one need to violate an NDA to tell the big story -thats just History.

      • majrod says:

        What does V Pflame have to do with the currrent leaks? I could contest your narrative simply by stating Armitage admitted to leaking but was never charged and Libby was never charged with leaking so yeah let’s quit grasping for straws?

        You need to read the Stuxnet story in the NYT. There’s a lot more intel given away like the code name, the Pres decision to launch the first ever hardware attack with software, how penetrated Iranian nuke sites were to include plans of Natanz and what the Iranians did after their centrifuges blew up. It’s also one thing for newspapers to speculate vs. the NYT confirming. You know this if you’re an intel guy.

        Then there’s the drone story and the double agent that was revealed let alone the TTP of Neptune Spear, stealth drones used for recon/radar mapping and admissions by prominient Democrats (e.g. Feinstein and Kerry) that the leaks were harmful and coming from the white house.

        Like I said, part of the problem…

        • SSD says:

          There have been loads of leaks during this administration. However, the Plame leak was by far the most egregious in modern times. If we want to look at politically motivated leaks as a whole and not “theirs and ours” then we have to condemn them all.

          I personally don’t expect proper behavior from politicians. Sad, but true. They “lie” to get elected by making empty promises and flip flopping on issues. Whats worse, few have served in the military. I do, however expect more from the members of our military. Particularly our Intelligence Community and Special Operations Forces who deal with intel and operations classified material on a daily basis. They know what is classified and understand that disclosure to unauthorized persons can place our men and women at risk. Not just military personnel but our citizens as well.

  9. Big G says:

    He stepped in it. I am sorry for him. Senior NCO’s can sometimes make big mistakes and recover from them, learn from them, and be better than they were before. I’m certain if he had it to do over again, he’d make a different choice. Unfortunately, this one you can’t get back.

    The ethics, choices, and personal judgment in this case provide an excellent case study for the kids in the pipeline. There is much to take away from this. It is a mighty expensive lesson, leaders shouldn’t waste this education.

    If one feels compelled to write a book of the exploits; ask your peers, ask your leaders, consult counsel. The price for spilling the beans isn’t just paid by the big mouth. The family, the teammates, those who supported the operation, those people in the years to come. There are second and third order effects that the big mouth has no way of knowing.

    Even if a President told lies and there was a case to be made, there are procedures for that.

  10. Mitchell says:

    1. As stated by others, there is a chain of command by which decisions are made

    2. Part of the power of the spec ops community is the secrecy of their operations (this book will be acquired and it’s content disseminated by our enemies)

    3. There are people, organizations, countries in this world who wish us and our country great harm (plus they cooperate with each other). Add to this we have porous / poorly protected borders and who knows how many threats already within our borders and you don’t think this man has made he and his family a target

  11. Fudman says:

    Bravo. It is reassuring to see balanced objective analysis from the likes of SSD and others on this particular topic. I often wonder about the objectivity and impartiality of the editors on a website devoted to matters like SSD. By taking your position, you risk alientating a portion of your readership. I think that takes guts and I respect you for it.

    It is difficult to seperate the politics and emotion associated with this topic from the facts. Irrespective of what is in the book, MO was required to submit the manuscript for DOD review prior to publication. He did not. And he should/will be held accountable. However, Mark is a bona fide hero. But he made a mistake (as we all have at one point or another). The government is now in the difficult position of finding an appropriate punishment that will deter others from violating their NDAs without excessively punishing a true hero. That will not be easy.

    Lastly, comparing this situation to any other (WH leakers, Plame, Manning, etc.) is simply apples and oranges. Those who reveal secrets for purely political reasons should be shot.

    • SSD says:

      You bring a very good point which I have made in comments. Mark Owen is a hero. There is no question of that. It’s unfortunate that this has unfolded the way it has.