Soldiers from Bravo Company 1-505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82d Airborne Division raid a suspected terrorist’s home on Oct. 25, 2003, in Fallujah, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Lee Davis) (Not Released)
On Saturday, Special Operations troopers from Delta Force stormed the hideout of titular ISIS chieftain Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. In the ensuing fight, a whimpering, cowering al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest–as the President said, dying like a dog rather than going out fighting–killing himself and perhaps two of his spawn. When all was said and done, the troopers executed a withdrawal with a treasure trove of documents and electronic devices and at least two detainees. The only American casualty was a Belgian Malinois who had chased al-Baghdadi into a tunnel; the dog, Conan, was lightly wounded.
AMERICAN HERO! pic.twitter.com/XCCa2sGfsZ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2019
(For more on the press losing its sh** over this tweet, read Kira Davis’s The Daily Wire’s Response To DogGate Journalists Is Absolutely Priceless.)
Sunday morning, President Trump held a press conference about the raid
And the media went into overdrive to paint al-Baghdadi in the best popular light and Trump in the worst.
One of the worst was a Politico article by a guy named Wesley Morgan titled How Trump gabbed too much about the ISIS raid. In it, Morgan calls upon what can only be called rented experts to claim that Trump divulged all kinds of sensitive detail of the mission that would put US lives at risk on future raids. Some parts were obvious at the time, but in the week since the raid, it has become very obvious that the “experts” could barely distinguish their gluteus maximus from a hot rock. I posted on the subject in POLITICO Claims Without Evidence That President Trump Endangered US Troops In His Al-Baghdadi News Conference.
Let’s look at a few items.
Trump also described the layout of the compound. “The tunnels were dead end for the most part,” he recounted. “There was one we think that wasn’t but we had that covered too,” he said, seemingly suggesting the U.S. mapped the tunnel network ahead of time.
“That’s a bit sensitive,” said a former special operations commander who also asked that he not be identified. “The enemy knows to some degree that we have technology that can detect that. But they don’t know how it’s done or how good we are at, and we don’t want them to.”
“This is something the president should not have said about the target development,” added Eric Robinson, a former Army officer who held positions in intelligence and special operations forces until last year. “It’s reckless. But it’s not as bad as hanging the satellite image of the Iranian space launch site two months ago. That was bad.”
Many of us thought at the time regarding the description of the tunnels, the fact that one of them may or may not have been finished, indicated HUMINT rather than technical intelligence. Guess what.
U.S. commandos zeroed in on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s final hideout with the help of an extraordinarily well-placed informant, an Islamic State operative who facilitated the terrorist leader’s movements around Syria and even helped oversee construction work on his Syrian safe house, according to U.S. and Middle East-based officials knowledgeable about the operation.
The mole’s detailed knowledge of Baghdadi’s whereabouts as well as the room-by-room layout of his sanctuary proved to be critical in the Oct. 26 raid that ended with the death of the world’s most-wanted terrorist, the officials said.
They also made claims about revealing the number of troops involved (which President Trump did not do) and this:
“Aircraft counts and means of conducting a breach are [tactics, techniques and procedures] that special operations forces have developed and learned the hard way,” said Robinson. “That wasn’t helpful to talk about.”
“The enemy sees the scene after, they’re on the ground, they see the breaching holes in building — but come on, let them figure it out on their own, don’t tell them,” one of the former special operations commanders remarked.
Before departing, the American commandos gathered intelligence, Trump said, noting some of the seized files included information on “ISIS’ origins, future plans, things that we very much want.”
It’s well known that U.S. troops are trained to gather whatever new information they can from such operations; a treasure trove of intelligence was pilfered from the bin Laden raid, much of it declassified in the decade since.
“But they don’t need to know what we took out of there,” said the former special operations commander.
Today CENTCOM briefed reporters on the al-Baghdadi raid:
The briefer is CENTCOM commander, USMC General Frank McKenzie. The briefing and the video shows just how overblown and hysterical the reactions of the NeverTrumpers who are trading on their alleged relevant military service simply to carry out political hits on the President were.
In the briefing, McKenzie confirms that the site was exploited and a large amount of information carried off. From the video you can tell that the assault force was part of a single Delta Force troops. From this one can infer, that if President Trump as correct about eight helicopters, that the mix was a single MH-47 to take in the exploitation team and bring out wounded and captives, and seven MH-6 to carry the assault troop. Though the video is cut before the breaching of the wall, you can see the breach team moving at the right and a two-man security team breaking off to the left.
What does this all tell you? That Politico simply perpetrated a fraud on its readers (let’s be serious, though, if you rely on Politico for news you deserve whatever misfortune befalls you) to try to reinforce the narrative that President Trump is careless with classified information. A real news gathering organization that had created and distributed such a mass of falsehoods would apologize and retract the story. Will Politico even acknowledge that it was deceived by its “experts” and credulously passed that disinformation along as fact? No. Way. Possible.