The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill
Osama Bin Laden
St. Martin's Press
November 8, 2011 / ISBN: 978-1250006356
Military/History/Espionage & Intelligence
by Dennis Collins
This story begins with the Navy SEALs; their history and their
standards. The author, a former SEALtakes the reader through the
training regimen showing just how grueling it can be. The physical
and psychological stamina required to become a Navy SEAL are nothing
short of superhuman. Once a SEAL makes the grade he can be regarded
as one of the most effective military weapons in the world. He is
trained to operate under any imaginable conditions and how to use
any and all tools at his disposal. They claim that there is no place
on earth where you can hide from a Navy SEAL.
Then the author shifts his focus to Osama Bin Laden, the men who
shaped him, and the evolution of his cause. Bin Laden was not raised
to be an extremist. He was the son of riches, and growing up he
enjoyed all of the pleasures that unlimited money could bring, jetting
around the world and living like a billionaire playboy. But as he
grew and attended college, he began to study Islam under the tutelage
of a radical teacher. He fell farther and farther into the hate-filled
cult. He eventually joined the cause -- fighting the Russians in
Afghanistan. In the beginning he wasn't a very good soldier and
continually embarrassed himself in combat. Eventually, though he
won a significant battle and gained the respect of his peers. But
it was mainly his money that sustained him and gave him stature.
When U.S. intelligence finally pinpointed Bin Laden's whereabouts,
the task of smoking him out fell to SEAL Team Six. They were prepared.
Now the center of attention moves to the actual raid and the strategy
that was required to sneak into "friendly" Pakistan without
their knowledge and take down the number one terrorist in the world.
The author describes the raid in vivid detail and rapid-fire dialogue.
It's an extremely exciting story and told with military precision.
This book, however, is harshly criticized by the Pentagon and the
White House. That shouldn't surprise anyone, given the sensitive
nature of the operation. The author is somewhat critical of the
political intervention. He claims to be speaking on behalf of the
SEALs who aren't permitted to second-guess their superiors. I'm
sure that the government has some valid points and concerns, but
I doubt that the entire truth will be known until 50 years from
now when the papers are declassified. But for now, it's the best
story we've got and it's a really good one.