New York Times Upset SEAL Team 6 Used Too Often To Kill Terrorists

The New York Times had a loooong article (about the size of one of George R.R. Martin's smaller books) describing one of our premier special forces teams, SEALTeam 6 (the one who took out Bin Laden, incidently), portraying it as overused and out of control.

They have plotted deadly missions from secret bases in the badlands of Somalia. In Afghanistan, they have engaged in combat so intimate that they have emerged soaked in blood that was not their own. On clandestine raids in the dead of the night, their weapons of choice have ranged from customized carbines to primeval tomahawks.


The group was sent to Afghanistan to hunt Qaeda leaders, but instead spent years conducting close-in battle against mid- to low-level Taliban and other enemy fighters. Team 6 members, one former operator said, served as “utility infielders with guns.”

The Times is concerned that Team 6 killed lots and lots of ordinary Taliban. This bothers me too (ha ha!)

Former Senator Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat and a member of the SEALs during the Vietnam War, cautioned that Team 6 and other Special Operations forces had been overused. “They have become sort of a 1-800 number anytime somebody wants something done,” he said.

SEAL Team 6 is like 1-800 flowers, except instead of delivering flowers, they deliver death! (But probably, like the flowers, in smaller amounts than you see in the online photos.) Wouldn't it be incredible if they had a 1-800 phone line, and you could call them and order Taliban or Al Qaeda eliminated? So Kerrey, who was the head of the far-left New School, is whining that this wonderful killing machine was used too much against our enemies. How terrible!

The SEALs’ armorers customized a new German-made rifle and equipped nearly every weapon with suppressors, which reduce gunshot sounds and muzzle flashes. Infrared lasers enabling the SEALs to shoot more accurately at night became standard issue, as did thermal optics to detect body heat. The SEALs were equipped with a new generation of grenade — a thermobaric model that is particularly effective in making buildings collapse

(I have no commentary on the above, I'm just quoting it because it's incredibly cool!)

The Times also wrote at great length of complaints about civilian deaths supposedly caused by SEAL Team 6. I would think, however, that some level of civilian deaths in general is unavoidable. The enemy doesn't act like an army, with discrete encampments, but instead purposefully blends into the population to use them as human shields. If Team 6 parachutes in at night into a compound with a mix of terrorists and civilians, and a commando sees someone moving in the shadows, he only has a split second to figure out what to do, and if he makes a mistake, he, and his teammates, are dead. We shouldn't be so quick to second guess them, as the combat decisions they make are even more difficult and split second than in "regular" combat.

I honestly don't know if Team 6 could do its operations safely with fewer civilian casualties, and I don't think anyone reading this inflammatory Times article could know either. But I find the focus of the Times most curious. The Times seems remarkably uninterested in overreach at the EPA, or at the NSA, or at the IRS, or with half a dozen other government agencies. It is only concerned with overreach in the military, specifically the military unit responsible for many of our biggest successes. Their motives are questionable.

SEAL Team 6 should have oversight to prevent abuses, if there are abuses, but I also think the same applies to other agencies in government, and we know that that's not happening. In terms of priorities, I think more of us are concerned about what our government is doing to us rather than what it is doing to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.


This article was produced by, the conservative news site.