Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Loose Lips Sink Ships, Bin Laden's Death and Mistakes Currently Being Made By Well Intentioned Americans

[Insert News Organization] has been able to get our hands on an email sent out by [Insert High Ranking Government Official's name] from the [Insert Government Agency] where it says [Insert congrats and then inadvertently reveals a small amount of sensitive information (usually towards the end of the email)].

Living in middle America I SHOULD NOT KNOW the following: 

  • The critical piece of intelligence was developed out of the Asia (not the middle east) region.
  • Intelligence was largely based on one of Bin Laden's couriers, the intelligence was based on a telephone conversation. (Bin Laden used couriers because Time Magazine released (before 9/11) that US intelligence agencies were able to intercept his satellite phone conversations.) Like a movie film,  on the ground agents, satellites, and drones physically watched and tracked the courier.  This was not the only courier or individual associated with this terrorist organization under extremely close watch by the intelligence organizations. There were many people tracked and monitored VERY closely for extended periods of time.
  • The raid was a largely conducted by a group within the Navy Seals known as U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six, an elite team of military personnel trained to conduct the most top secret operations involving combat, anti-terrorism and dangerous rescues. This group is part of another group called the Naval Special Warfare Development Group or DevGru for short. The DevGru unit is part of the Joint Special Operations Command.  They train year round and are never technically deployed to specific regions, they are mission centric. The budget for this group is worth every penny and you'd need one hundred billion plus pennies.
  • The compound where the raid occurred was replicated and the Seal Team trained the raid extensively.  This was one of many compounds intelligence divisions had identified as a hot targets, and these other compounds also were replicated and used for training. These were not Hollywood like replicas.
  • We confirmed a higher level of activity within this compound with the use of drones, this led credibility to what was developed out of intelligence divisions.
  • Intelligence divisions have a complete mappings of the middle eastern region from satellites and a large group of analysts who track changes (construction and activity (even counting vehicles on sites)).  When items become flagged drones are used to get a fuller picture  (because satellites only do fly overs of the region at certain times (several times during the day) during the day).
These things are all things that came to light through rudimentary statement analysis of these emails written and sent the morning after the mission.  The government employees that provided the emails to news agencies did not release them with malicious intent, and in fact, I believe they did it to showcase the kudos their division is receiving from their own leadership- it was a way to celebrate the victory. The individuals did not realize or understand how the release of some of this information actually helps our enemies.

More of my thoughts:
  • This was not the first raid where we hoped to confront Bin Laden.  You only have to look at past raids where top Al Qaeda leadership were killed or captured.
  • Bin Laden would not have been taken alive, and in fact instructed his bodyguards to not allow him to be taken alive. It would not further his cause. This was a mandate of all top leaders in the Al Qaeda organization.
  • Military and intelligence knew the above, and had planned for his burial at sea.
  • Al Qaeda has also planned for the day he would die.  Timing plays a big part of their retaliation.  We must remember Al Qaeda, is and will continue to be patient, the time between attacks are measured in years, not months.  Their terrorist attacks are long term missions that last years  between the final planning stage and the actual attack.  With the date of his death, it has set in motion at least one mission.  
  • We have more to be worried about the lone terrorist in the short term.
  • There will be a video or audio released  from Bin Laden that was made in the event of his death.  I would not expect this to occur in the near future.  The timing will be critical to future intelligence gathering.  
  • Lastly, a Navy Seal can hold their breath and swim under water 300 yards- That is three football fields, minus the end zones.  They are always training and always on the go, they have a saying that goes something like this, "The more you sweat in peacetime, the less you bleed in war."  They are the best of the best, and stronger and more dedicated then our worst enemies.