Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot 2: Bravo Sierra

Just in time for Veteran's Day, the Pentagon decided to make a big stink about the advice DEVGRU operators gave to the development nerds over at Electronic Arts. All the losers are characteristically making hay out of any perception that Obama might treat America's super commandos with anything but deference and prostration - no danger there - while anyone with a clue about the world is rightly confused.

Two years ago, when EA put out its last Medal of Honor game, they also produced a series of "Tier 1 Interviews." A marketing ploy disguised as reverent peaks into the lives and psychologies of the sort of guys doing the most high priority wet ops. The game met with a mediocre response but not for lack of DOD support. Truth is - and its an easy truth to learn - the US military loves attention on its super secret units. Because that attention is always reflexively deferential.

So what upset them this time? Nearest I could find was the SEALs involved showed the dev team how old-school operators prefer to reload and how to build a bomb. I'm skeptical on the bomb thing, mostly because you can find the same damn instructions all over the internet - with a handy FBI tracking cookie for your computer, ya yutz. But that wouldn't be so much a national security issue as a, "What the fuck are you doing!?" slap-upside-the-head issue.

But reloading? Seriously? You have to understand, American gun culture - which overlaps with American military culture - is full of all this fetishism for particular movements, particular calibers, particular anythings that are simple and boring but tarted up with an unwarranted mystique.

So what I want to know is why the Pentagon even commented on this in the first place? These units occupy a privileged position in the military and part of that privilege is having their screw ups carefully scrubbed from public record. Otherwise the rate of alcoholism and domestic violence around Fort Bragg would be common knowledge.

The nearest I can guess is that after that crappy movie earlier this year and a DEVGRU vet publishing a book on the bin Laden job, the brass might be getting antsy that some of this mystique might slip. Or there's something even uglier and more political driving them. 'Cause whatever their reasons, the generals and admirals who are leading this very public spanking never have the interests of America at heart.

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