RTFU

Dishonorable Disclosure

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Updated: August 17, 2012

By Mr. Twisted

 

For those who have not read about this story in the news already, a brief rundown:

Dishonorable Disclosure is a short, made-for-internet movie produced by a group of intelligence and special operations veterans who are vocally opposing the Obama White House’s releasing of information for what appears to be purely political reasons. It is their view that the information being released is causing serious breaches of national security and putting our best and bravest in even more harm than they already face.

After a brief intro paying tribute to fallen service members, the movie quickly delves into the topic of intelligence – why it is important in warfare, how it is used, and how important it is keep under wraps. This is done so by interviews with retired members of the special operations and intelligence community – one of which remains hidden in shadows and has his voice manipulated.

Then comes the crux of the whole project – namely, that the current White House administration has leaked far too much information about covert operations and has, because of this, put current operations and operators in even more danger than they were already in. Several experts weigh in on how certain operational security – specifically that of the raid on Usama bin Laden’s compound – has been compromised for nothing more than political gain. They state plainly that this information was immediately available in the aftermath of the operation for all to see and hear, thus calling into question our Commander in Chief’s ability to properly guard our nation’s most important secrets.

These men raise an especially interesting question regarding the bin Laden raid. Namely, why did we not wait a few weeks to release the details of this operation so that our operators in the HUMINT community could properly exploit the information gleamed from the UBL compound? In having this story go public so fast, any potential targets who would have had any contact with UBL would, if they had any sense at all, become ghosts and get off the grid as quickly as possible.

Furthermore, as one of the retired CIA officers tells us, recruiting reliable and valuable human intelligence sources is not the easiest of tasks; and it becomes increasingly harder if they feel a lack of any kind of protection from the country they are passing information to. So protection of these sources becomes extremely crucial, but is difficult to accomplish when powers at the top are revealing any and all details they can about any given mission simply for political currency. Possible sources become much less willing if they see the United States as being unable to protect them, should they give up critical intelligence.

The most notable moment of the clip comes when the viewer is told about how, just a few short days after the raid on UBL’s compound, Hollywood elites were brought into the White House for the purpose of receiving a detailed brief of the mission, apparently for the purpose of making a movie of the event. This would be laughable if it were not so demonstrably serious.

After discussing a few more cases of the divulging of national security information, the movie comes to a close with a few of the men openly calling on President Obama to stop doing what he’s doing and keep up with OPSEC. Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely (Ret) goes so far as to say “With all due respect, Mr. President, we need you to shut your mouth…”

All of this raises some interesting questions, no doubt. How far can a President go in terms of releasing information regarding national security? What is the real risk? Is it only for his political gain? How much can our enemies find out about our TTP’s by watching ABC News?

I am curious to hear the thoughts of the Rhino Den/Ranger Up community. Please share your thoughts; and if you haven’t see the video, you can right here.

 

 

 

Comments

comments

15 Comments

  1. Aaron

    August 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Sadly, or more appropriatelyonly two conclusions can be drawn from all of this. One, the POTUS does not fully grasp the implications of his media attention whoris,political currency greedyness ways. Or, the POTUS simply does not care about the ramifications his actions have on the troops. Alarmingly, the assumption you can take away from both is that We the Troops are there for him, not him being there for us.

  2. Antonio Aguilar

    August 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    It was a great video, with good points; and what is sad is that there is a politician on the other side as well who has openly supported PFC Bradley Manning who leaked far more information than President Obama did.

  3. Gilasgil

    August 17, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    It took us ten years to find and kill OBL. OBL had ties to the Taliban, Al Queda and a host of pseudo radical Islamicist organizations throughout the world. In that one raid we captured all the intel we would need to capture every single operative of senior rank and within a few weeks we could have dealt a death blow to Al Queda. Instead those individuals were given notice by BHO that he killed their boss. Like so many rats they disappeared into the tall grass and plotted in a hundred small ways to seek revenge. That revenge has been taken on every soldier that died in the field in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past year. It will probably take us another ten years to come as close to eliminating the Al Queda threat as we were the moment we had that intel.

    There is a damn good reason why communications between soldiers and their families restrict revealing where they are and what they are doing…. the President just violated everyone of those guidelines and regulations and there was no one smart enough on his staff to censor his comments or delay the transmission. After waiting ten years…two weeks to get the rest of the leadership and exploit the intel would have been no problem…we as citizens would have been just as happy…and BHO could have added even more laurels to his brow by noting the additonal deaths or capture of the other operatives, but he is so blinded by political ambition that he ignored the risk to those still serving and allowed the intel to go to waste that took ten long years to obtain.

    Soldiers rely to the death on the guy next to them, and the guy behind them, that they will not falter, that they will stand their ground and protect me as I protect them…

    But when the man behind you suddenly yells “were over here” and shoots up a flare to spotlight your own position…the enemy is suddenly among you…

    How can any soldier trust a commander at any level who willingly divulges troop strength, tactics and equipment to the enemy. That gives out the names of units, reveals their targets and sources for his own gain.

    In our entire history no senior officer except one has ever given aid to the enemy and been called traitor and before now no sitting president has so willfully given away secrets that risk the lives of those of us serving in the field. I am ashamed at what lives have been lost because of this travesty….and agonize at the untold others that might not need die in the future had we been able to act on the intelligence we obtained.

  4. Bill Hart

    August 18, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Phenomenal film. Exceptionally well done. When it forst hit my radar – Wed 8/15 and there were 200,000 views or so. As I write this on 8/18 there are 1.4M views. The virality is awesome.

    These actions are detestable; brag about the SEALs in particular, while simultaneously putting them and the intelligence community at risk.

    WWII featured popular phrases such as “Loose Lips Sink Ships” and “Silence Means Security”. POTUS apparently thinks these operations are fair game for essentially an NFL slo mo replay for political gain. Detestable.

    BTW: posted the vid on my site and the first comment I got was “Interesting, and one of the founders is a birther. Go figure.”

    Honestly. Mind-boggling.

  5. Mike Desmond

    August 19, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Being a soldier I understand the need for OPSEC, but does the other 99.55% ? In an era when information is so readily available perhaps most people think they are entitled.

    The entire nation was effected by 9/11, maybe the President felt we all needed to know. So we could all take a collective deep breath, high five the person to our right and say, “Finally. Bin Laden got what he deserved.” I am glad he told us as quickly as he did. If he had waited weeks, it would have been less believable and all the conspiracy theorists would have had a field day with that.

    Just my two cents. Take it for what it’s worth.

  6. Sully

    August 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    I totally agree with the video. This administration seems to only be concerned with re-election. They need to stop leaking vital information that puts our operators at risk; for the amount those men sacrifice for our country the politicians who run our country owe it to them to provide them with as many advantages as they can, not give the enemy vital information on national TV.

  7. Jinger

    August 19, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I’ll pose a question to you, do you think that this release of information has any correlation to the increase in combat deaths during the Obama years? At this time the numbers read 2:1 (Obama:Bush) in deaths in Afghanistan alone.

    2001-2008 KIA in Afghanistan = 630 (George W Bush)
    2009-2012 KIA in Afghanistan = 1467 (Barack H Obama)
    (figures pulled from http://icasualties.org/oef/ )

    I don’t see how the figures CAN NOT be connected to this administrations blatant disregard for OPSEC. How is this not giving AID to the enemy? How is he not held accountable? How can the POTUS place restrictions on an investigation (Fast & Furious) and yet fails to restrict his own mouth?

    The past 4 years has nearly broken my spirit as an American and as a Soldier. I am sick of feeling like a political pawn.

    I want a President who is for AMERICA not for the Oval Office and notoriety.

  8. Chris

    August 20, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Not taking sides, but why didn’t they mention the leaking of CIA Operations Officer Valerie Plame, or what about the movie Act of Valor? The movie makers claimed they were using active duty Navy Seals using the tactics they’re taught, doesn’t that jeopardize security? At one point one of the former officers interviewed for the film charges that the Obama administration “divulged to the world we are using drone technology.” The fact that the United States uses drones in Pakistan is one of the world’s worst kept secrets.There remains much that is unknown about the still-classified intelligence surrounding the bin Laden raid, including:
    — How did the CIA find the real name of bin Laden’s courier who was the key to finding him?
    — How was the courier’s cell phone first tracked down?
    — How was he tracked to bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad?
    — How did the CIA establish a safe house in Abbottabad? And who staffed it?
    None of this information has been leaked, and it remains classified for good reason as it gets into the CIA’s “sources and methods.”

    • Mr. Twisted

      August 20, 2012 at 11:15 am

      Chris,

      To address your first two points:

      1) Valerie Plame was not an active Operations Officer at the time of her name being “leaked,” nor had she been for several years. This means that it was technically (and by “technically” I do in fact mean the actual law regarding clandestine operations) not a leak at all.

      2) While Act of Valor did use active SOCOM personnel, they were not leaking information about current, ongoing operations. I think that is the crux of the video in question — did they White House leak info about actual live operations?

      I do understand what you’re getting at — fair is fair, and I don’t think anyone here will pull punches because one administration has an “R” for their political party affiliation. I know I won’t.

    • SSG Erick Becker

      August 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Chris,
      You are absolutely correct to make the Valerie Plame connection. These attacks upon the president are politically motivated and while undoubtedly mistakes have been made by the current administration, how soon we forget the mistakes of our former administration. Its all about crooked politics.

  9. Rotti

    August 20, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Anyone catch the latest Obama press conf.?
    Apparently, active steps towards American armed conflict with Assad’s regime has been in the works for sometime now.
    Think every swingin’ Richard across the globe was supposed to know that before the troops found out?
    Love the vid, and reposting from the DD-OPSEC page frequently, but I have my reservations as to how effective it will actually be.

  10. Robin

    August 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

    From my understanding, the Pakistanis were going to break this story much sooner than the White House wanted to. It was under pressure from that government (a place we actually had no right to go into) that made the White House reveal what had happened so quickly. I watched this video and find that it is completely biased against the President. They would have had more credibility with me had they just said that they were campaigning for Romney and the Republican ticket. Then it wouldn’t seem like they were using something that could be a legitimate concern and twisting it to fit their agenda.

    • Mr. Twisted

      August 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      Saying Pakistan is “a place we actually had no right to go into” is more than a little misleading. What “right” are you speaking of, and what criteria would dictate that right being justified or not?

      Videos such as this need to be addressed on their merits — not on the basis of which side of the political aisle either the viewer or the makers fall on. In other words, were the claims valid? If not, why not?

  11. Nik Corvus

    August 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    While trading human lives for political gain is nothing new, I’ve never seen it so blatantly done.

    I absolutely understand getting the word out about UbL’s death. I wouldn’t have done it quite so quickly, but after the immediate actionable intelligence work had been done on the materials confiscated during the raid, I would have announced his death and said “More details will be presented in the coming weeks, but for now I can announce UbL has been killed in a compound in Pakistan.” Maybe if Obama was in his second term, that’s how it would have been handled.

    My god, how many lives has and will this cost us. Not just in immediate terms, but because of intel we won’t get from vulnerable sources? There will be lives lost because of future actions we won’t know to take or avoid. I can’t help but think our reputation in the intelligence community has been shattered because of these leaks.

    How many lives has Obama traded for votes? Sadly, we’ll never have an answer to that question.

  12. Maggoty

    September 8, 2012 at 12:06 am

    The video is so much political hogwash in an election season. Now that you know what I think of it let me tell you why.

    A. A helicopter covered in hitherto secret stealth tech crashed in a very public way that night. The Pakistani press was taking pictures literally hours after the op was done. Deniability was gone, blown, out the fucking door. Manning up and admitting we tok out our number one target was the least we could do to justify an armed incursion into Pakistan’s soveriegn territory. If we made the revelation quietly to them they would broadcast it before we did. That would be about the only shitstorm worse then the other two options. We could have made cartoonishly horrible denials and adversely impacted our Afghan supply lines and other strategic goals, again. (Keep in mind we have a habit of painting huge fucking signs on our equipment, they knew it was us.) Or we could come out publicly and play it off like we’re badasses, which we are.

    So yeah. The republicans would have run this smear ad no matter which choice the president made. The only difference would be the angle they chose. Is he too wimpy to admit it? Is he a troop hater giving pakistan reason to indirectly kill american troops? Maybe he’s just not that good at foreign affairs… This is realy just a confirmation of your political bias.

    2. The Doctor was not given up by a US source. He was found out by the Pakistanis when they did an internal investigation to find out who was working with a foreign intelligence agency. I don’t know about you but I was told to never ever do that.

    3. As someone else said the Drones have been a hilariously bad secret. They’re on T-shirts for fucks sake. I don’t think the “revelation” that we’re using drones is really going to hurt anyone that hasn’t already been hurt by it.

    Do you guys see where I’m going with this? It’s great that we’re all fired up to protect guys downrange, but make sure someone isn’t taking crass advantage of you. It’s election season, use that salt you earned.

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