Monday, August 01, 2011

One Night In Pakistan

We've dealt with the abstract far too much lately. The New Yorker's Nicholas Schmidle's riveting account of the events of the night we eliminated Bin Laden should snap us back to reality:
During the next four minutes, the interior of the Black Hawks rustled alive with the metallic cough of rounds being chambered. Mark, a master chief petty officer and the ranking noncommissioned officer on the operation, crouched on one knee beside the open door of the lead helicopter. He and the eleven other SEALs on “helo one,” who were wearing gloves and had on night-vision goggles, were preparing to fast-rope into bin Laden’s yard. They waited for the crew chief to give the signal to throw the rope. But, as the pilot passed over the compound, pulled into a high hover, and began lowering the aircraft, he felt the Black Hawk getting away from him. He sensed that they were going to crash.
Find half hour to quietly read the entire piece.

1 comment:

Garrett said...

I liked this piece, though later reports seem to indicate that Schmidle himself had no primary sources for the minute-by-minute account. Still, he painted a great picture for the armchair SEALs at home.

The most troublesome aspect of the debrief was the post-killshot utterance "For God and country." Feels a little too Allahu-Akbarish for me.

Meanwhile, back at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Joe Biden fingers his rosary..."