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Author Topic: The SEALs' Successful Mission  (Read 37032 times)
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« on: January 26, 2012, 12:29:47 AM »

All,

While I congratulate the SEALs on their successful rescue mission; I will pose a few questions that really need to be looked at.  First, the mission's success proves again without restrictive rules of engagement and excessively political operational decisions what US combat troops can do.

Now for the questions:

1.  Why was the timing tied to the State of the Union Address.  This could have been done at some earlier date or some later date; but the President and his men decided to do it tied to the SOTUA.  IT drove off any real coverage of the Republican response.  If Bush had done something like that he would have been condemned by the Liberals and Left for trying to obscure their message.

2.  Why were these two people in particular chose out of the over 150 prisoners?  Perhaps because the woman was sick; but interestingly, these were too left wing activists opposed to landmines and over there working on that project.  So in taking a strong action, the President apparently was a humanitarian and the people saved were acceptable to the left.  The question next is what happens to the other prisoners as a result of this raid?

3.  Does this help him get reelected?  We have to wait and see.

Art
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 01:20:25 AM »

From US 'Osama bin Laden' team rescue aid workers in daring Somalia raid - World news, News - Belfasttelegraph.co.uk

US 'Osama bin Laden' team rescue aid workers in daring Somalia raid
 
By Daniel Howden
Thursday, 26 January 2012
 
As Barack Obama walked out to deliver his State of the Union address on Tuesday night he stopped to congratulate his Defence Secretary on a "good job tonight".

Unknown to his audience, just hours earlier the commando unit that killed Osama bin Laden last year had carried out another daring raid, this time in Somalia.
 
When the address got under way in Washington, US Navy Seals were flying through the darkness of the early hours in the Horn of Africa, along with two aid workers rescued from a gang of Somali kidnappers, nine of whom were killed in the operation.
 
Even though Mr Obama didn't mention the mission, which was still under way, he did pay warm tribute to the team that killed al-Qa'ida's leader. By yesterday morning, the choreography was striking. In his speech to Congress, Mr Obama said one of his "proudest possessions" was the flag the US commando team, Seal Team 6, had taken with them on the Bin Laden mission.
 
Hours later, a statement on the Somalia raid said: "As Commander-in-Chief, I could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission."
 
An American aid worker, Jessica Buchanan, 32, and her Danish colleague Poul Hagen Thisted, 60, who were captured while working on a demining project in central Somalia three months ago, were yesterday "on their way to be reunited with their families", according to their employers, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).
 
The rescue marked an increased willingness by the US to send troops into Somalia, a lawless and dangerous country that, after 21 years without a central government, is beset by pirate gangs, rival clan militias and a powerful Islamist insurgency. US engagement with Somalia is haunted by the deaths of 19 troops in a botched mission in Mogadishu in 1993, immortalised in the film Black Hawk Down. But more recently the Pentagon has been willing to use Special Forces for assassination missions and drone strikes against suspected terrorists in the country.

Witnesses in Galkayo, a town near where the kidnappers were believed to be, reported seeing helicopters after 2am yesterday and gunfire was heard a bit later.
 
US officials said that Seal Team 6 – the same unit used in the Bin Laden raid in Pakistan last May but not necessarily the same commandos – parachuted to a site about a mile from where the aid workers were being held and approached on foot.

The raiders found the gang asleep after an evening of chewing the narcotic khat, a Somali man named Bile Hussein, who knew the gang but was not there at the time, told the Associated Press. He said three Somalis had been taken by the US rescue team. By dawn, the bodies of another nine gang members had been brought to Galkayo and some reports suggested as many as six gang members had been captured.

There have been kidnappings in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya after hijackings at sea were made more difficult by the presence of foreign navies off the coast. The DRC pair – among the very few Western aid workers prepared to work inside Somalia – were seized by two trucks of gunmen in October. The Copenhagen-based group had tried without success to negotiate their release with the help of Somali elders in the area.
 
Al-Shabaab, the Islamist militia that controls parts of Somalia, has been blamed for some of the kidnappings, but the group has denied involvement.

The waiting game: Somalia's remaining hostages
 
Judith Tebbutt

Somali pirates are believed to have kidnapped 56-year-old British tourist Judith Tebbutt from a remote beach resort near Lamu in Kenya in September last year. Her husband was shot dead in the attack. Her whereabouts remain unknown.

Michael Scott Moore

Freelance writer and dual US-German citizen Michael Scott Moore was kidnapped on 21 January this year by armed militia in central Somalia.

Blanca Thiebaut and Montserrat Serra

The Médecins Sans Frontières aid workers were abducted from Dadaab refugee camp near the Kenya-Somalia border in October 2011. They remain in central Somalia.
 
Denis Allex and Marc Aubrière

The French security advisers were kidnapped in Mogadishu in July 2009. Mr Aubrière escaped but al-Shabaab released a video of Mr Allex in June 2010, and made political demands in exchange for his release.

Filipino crews

It is estimated that more than 470 Filipino commercial sailors were kidnapped by Somali pirates between 2006 and 2011. As of January 2011, at least 74 Filipinos were being held aboard six ships.
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 09:01:49 AM »

From Somalia SEAL Rescue: American's Kidnapping Kept Quiet - ABC News

Somalia SEAL Rescue: American's Kidnapping Kept Quiet

By KEVIN DOLAK and SHARDE MILLER
Jan. 26, 2011

A friend of an aid worker rescued by Navy SEALs in Somalia said that it was important to keep the woman's three-month captivity quiet so her captors would not ask for more money and put her at further risk.

Jessica Buchanan, 32, and 60-year-old Dutch colleague Poul Hagen Thisted were rescued early Wednesday by SEAL Team 6 -- the same group involved in the mission to kill Osama bin Laden last spring -- in a daring mission at a remote encampment deep in northern Somalia.

Christina Scolforo, a close friend of Buchanan, says that her abduction was intentionally kept from the media.

"We didn't want them to get media hype that would cause them to think that she was worth more, and they would want more of a ransom, and then it would prolong the time that she was captive, so a lot of it was hush," Scolforo said.

Bachanan's immediate family is now meeting with her at a U.S. military base in Sicily, Italy, members of the woman's extended family told ABC News.

"She says she feels safe for the first time in 93 days. The men that risked their lives … I just can't say enough so I really, really appreciate it," Dave Buchanan, Jessica's uncle said.

Slideshow: Somalia Hostages Freed in Daring Navy SEAL Rescue

Buchanan and Thisted, who worked with the Danish Refugee Council's Danish Demining Group, were abducted Oct. 25, 2011 by a group of Somali bandits and held for ransom.

"We are very grateful that Jessica has been rescued," Buchanan's family said in a statement Wednesday. "This has been just an unbelievable answer to prayers and we are so grateful for the work of the president, the Navy SEALs and the State Department and we knew that God would set our sister free."

At approximately 1:40 a.m. Wednesday local time -- 5:40 p.m. Tuesday eastern time -- SEAL Team 6 was aboard a specially equipped C-130 moving rapidly toward the target -- a remote encampment deep in northern Somalia.

One by one the SEALs hurled themselves out of the plane at high altitude, parachuting silently to within a few miles of the hideout, then hiking to the enemy grounds, which were pitch black, with armed pirates everywhere.

Within minutes of arriving at the encampment gunfire erupted from the kidnappers, but the SEALs quickly killed all nine of the heavily armed kidnappers. By approximately 2:30 a.m. local time the hostages -- now in U.S. hands -- were moved on board black hawk helicopters and headed for Djibouti.

In a statement released by the White House, President Obama said he had authorized a rescue mission Monday.

"Thanks to the extraordinary courage and capabilities of our Special Operations Forces, yesterday Jessica Buchanan was rescued and she is on her way home. As commander-in-chief, I could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission, and the dedicated professionals who supported their efforts," Obama said in the statement.

The president said he spoke with Buchanan's father Monday night, "and told him that all Americans have Jessica in our thoughts and prayers, and give thanks that she will soon be reunited with her family.

In Somalia Buchanan served as a regional education adviser at the Danish Demining Group, a division of the Danish Refugee Council, according to her LinkedIn profile.

"She loves kids and she loves to help people and that's the reason she was over there. Just to help," Dave Buchanan said.

Over the three months of her captivity, concern grew about Buchanan's deteriorating health, which was described as possibly "life-threatening" and a "window of opportunity for mission success" presented itself, according to Pentagon spokesperson George Little.

ABC News' Martha Raddatz, Alyssa Newcomb, Dana Hughes and Luis Martinez contributed to this report.
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 10:02:13 PM »

Kevin,

What do you think about the questions that I raised?

Art
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 11:34:20 PM »

Kevin,

What do you think about the questions that I raised?

Art

Not sure, the timing could simply be lack of intelligence until that point.

As for rescuing 150 prisoners, you would need to drop a battalion of Marines instead of a SEAL team to do that.
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2012, 12:08:02 AM »

Kevin,

The timing for the SOTU was too perfect for me; as was the choice of who to save.  I agree a more meaningful actions would have taken too many troops; I just worry that what I feel was a political action could have on the conditions for other prisoners.  I suspect that I distrust Obama more than you do, I know is Illinois roots (Blago was one of his early supporters).

Art
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2012, 11:57:12 PM »

I don't fully Obama either, but then again I didn't trust Bush fully either.  LOL.
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2012, 12:08:47 PM »

Kevin,

The difference would be that the media and print media would be full of accusations about it.  Obama gets praise.

Art
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