The Curious Case of Eric Haney and “Inside Delta Force”

Let me take a stab at Inside Delta Force, or rather the USASOC reaction to it.  I think I read this book right before I joined the Army in 2002 and like a lot of people was pretty shocked by it.  Years go by, I’m in Afghanistan with Ranger battalion.  We crossed paths with an OGA dude out there (never mind exactly where) in the hinterlands.  He was someone who served in the same unit as Haney during the same time period.  His opinion was that the book was accurate aside from some of the stuff Haney wrote about Central America.  I don’t know which parts in particular I’m afraid.

A few more years go by, I think it starts around 2006 or 2007 when I start hearing the rumor that Eric Haney was a total shitbag.  By now four or five years have passed, a lot of people in the SOF community had read the book or at least heard of it.  I started to hear this rumor more and more while I was in Special Forces.  Eric Haney was a shitbag.


“Says who?”

“That’s what I heard.”

“From who?”

“That is what everyone is saying.”

“What was it that made him a shitbag?”

“I don’t know, but everyone is saying he is a shitbag.”


Later I would hear just slightly more in regards to this RUMINT.


“Everyone who worked with Haney hated him.”

“Like who?”


“Says who?”

“That’s what people are saying”


Delta is a unit that fires people like it is going out of style so how the hell Haney could exist and be promoted through the ranks of this unit if everyone hated him is beyond me.  Why would they promote him and select him for extremely sensitive missions if he was a shitbag and everyone hated him?  I’ve since heard this rumor again and again in the SOF community, and even from guys in the regular Infantry and Marines.  The narrative is always like what I paraphrase above.  No details, no serious information what-so-ever.

I’ve verified much of what Haney said in his book, as much as I could cross reference and research at least, including what he wrote about in Central America.  Why in the world would Haney lie about killing a Green Beret in Honduras that he had attended Delta selection with?  The basic story checks out as near as I can tell.

Buy it at

I think the rumor that Haney was a shitbag got put out by Delta or JSOC or both in order to discourage anyone from taking Haney’s book seriously and also to discourage others from writing their memoirs.  Inside Delta Force reflects extremely poorly on the United States Government up to and including what would be the ultimate betrayal, abandoning American POW’s in South East Asia.  I’ve also double checked this through other sources and there was a massive training exercise in the Pacific to mobilize assets under official cover for this operation before it got aborted.  This story questions the moral authority of the government and will make any soldier who thinks it over seriously question his service at a minimum.  While Haney speaks highly of the Army and of Delta, I think there is an assumption that there may be guilt by association with the CIA and that this information still reflects badly on Delta and SOF in general.  I think this is why certain RUMINT was distributed amongst the ranks about Haney and his books.

I have never seen any serious rebuttal of anything Haney wrote.  If one exists I would love to read it, please direct me towards this type of information.  I have also not seen or heard any serious or credible information regarding Haney’s alleged weak character.  If anyone has actual specific details I would like to hear them.  If anyone has just the five W’s on this information I will begin to take it much more seriously.

My opinion is that Haney didn’t get thrown under the bus because he made things up, lied, or exaggerated but that he was ostracized from the Special Operations community because he told way to much of the truth than some people are comfortable with.



Filed under News, Special Forces, Writing

63 responses to “The Curious Case of Eric Haney and “Inside Delta Force”

  1. Mike

    Can you please expound on your following statement “Inside Delta Force reflects extremely poorly on the United States Government up to and including what would be the ultimate betrayal, abandoning American POW’s in South East Asia”… What other examples can you give from the book that make our government look bad ?

    • I think abandoning American POW’s is bad enough but Haney also writes about the CIA deliberately sabotaging Army operations and playing other spy vs. spy games. He is overall very positive about Delta and the Army as I remember, but he had nothing good to say about the CIA.

  2. Ziv

    Jack, I’ve read your take on the book both here and at brandon’s article in SOFREP – and here’s a valid question: on wikipedia’s article about haney, it’s clearly stated that “three of his former Delta colleagues accused him of embellishing his accomplishments within the unit and fabricating several of the events depicted”. it also states that “Keekee Sáenz”‘s death incident in Honduras was a “complete fabrication”. Do you believe these accusations are all a part of the general discouragement approach within delta?

    BTW, i for once can definitely believe that when the lines between pure military ops to political and state issues fade – a place where delta and CIA sometimes stand – a case like “Sáenz”‘s death is very likely.

    • From what I’ve been able to gather we know that David Arturo Baez Cruz, (Keekee Saenz in the book) did in fact die fighting alongside guerrilla fighters in Honduras. He was a naturalized American citizen who served in US Special Forces. The gist of the story checks out but as for an account of how he died, we only have Haney’s side of the story and he has been sticking to his guns about it. It has been a while since I researched this matter but I found this page that looks to have some good source citations to follow up on: I think Haney also did an interview with Charlie Rose if I remember right that touches on this topic.

      If former team mates of Haney’s want to accuse him of embellishing the facts, than I am open to that information but I have seen nothing but non-specific claims. Which parts did he embellish? Which parts are lies? What is the real story? No one has been able to provide even cursory answers to what I think are very valid questions. If Haney’s former team mates begin to flesh out these details than the information becomes much more credible to me. I don’t know what motivations may lay behind them, but who else really knows what happened out in the jungle that day? Which other Delta operators were out there on this mission that can confirm or deny this story?

      • Jared T

        I worked at JSOC From 1989 to 2009 carried a CWO1 rating, and some people hate Haney more than if he embellished or lied. They hate him for exposing a hidden unit. Unlike the Seals no president wanted their Delta unit exposed. everything i have read and heard this guy is 100% right with maybe a little embellishing. Good Luck finding anyone from the 1977-1979 unit days most are dead or not talking. I have been in one 200 planned missions from Seals to Delta to every bit of the SpecOp community and my book would be me jailed for life. Good Luck

    • SSG(Ret.) Richard(Rick) Long

      Mr Haney I’m pretty sure I know your brother pretty well as I served under and was trained by him. One of if not the most honorable men I have ever had the honor to meet and serve under and yes I hole heartedly agree with what you said about the deep state living cock suckers! CSM Eric Haney to this day remains one of the most influential role models in my almost 21 year career. Thank you for your service brother!

    • SSG(Ret.) US Army Richard Long

      Yeah all deep state lies… I served with him!

  3. In reference to Haney I have no first hand experience but he and I share an agent in NYC. The agent who is about a stand up guy that you will ever meet thinks Haney is one of the greatest guys he has ever rep’ed. I have heard allot of stories about him and his dealings with Hollywood and all of them are good. He puts up with no bullshit and if he says he is going to do something he does it. I am sure that he has his distracters (everyone does) but for a long time now I have been hearing Haney stories and not one of them has been negative. Finally, I think here is the gist of the issue. Haney figured out how to cash in on his experience and profession. This will always bring out the haters. I don’t care who you are once people get the idea that you are more wealthy, better looking, more successful, the shit starts. Whether you are Brad Pitt or Eric Haney it does not matter. The haters will always hate and you will always have a segment that is out to make you like a shitbag.

    • I’ve actually heard from the Hollywood crowd that Haney is a pain in the ass to work with! Not so much in a bad way, but that he is a perfectionist and as you say, doesn’t tolerate a lot of bullshit. Of course this is second hand information just like the rumors I heard when I was in Army Special Operations. Now, I heard A LOT of bad things about Haney when I was in the Army but as I mention above, no one could tell you anything specific or solid. It was just rumors about his character and nothing more.

    • A. Sue Fowler

      As 2nd of three generation military family I applaud your real world comment. War is about defeating enemies, finishing the job and governing the conquered as THEY rebuild. We need units commanded by the Haney’s and Beckwith’s and Marcinko’s. And we need them NOW.

  4. Shep

    I was told this in 2003 from a SF captain when he returned from Afghanistan. He had CAG guys attached to them and they saw him reading the book. Told him that Haney wrote the book due to money issues from poor investments. Nothing about him being a dirtbag but it was all about the money because he was broke.

    • I have no idea. Whether or not he wrote the book for fame and fortune is a reasonable question but I see it as superficial compared to the issue of whether or not the content is accurate.

  5. Murphy,

    I concur with your assessment completely. Seems the typical gov’t response of trashing a source since it’s actually valid. You make a solid argument against all the hearsay, too; if Haney truly was despised by his community, how’d he manage to successfully rise through the ranks? It disgusts me when a good man is character assassinated like this just to save face. Thanks for the post!

    • I’ve been spreading this article around and I’m hearing back my own murmurs from “the community”. It seems that they don’t have any problem with Haney personally but many feel that he should not have written the book or that he should have left a few details out. That’s a far, far cry from the openly hostile things I was hearing about him when I was in the Army. The former operators sound very reasonable but the policy is still in place apparently…if you write a book you are no longer welcome at the compound. I guess that’s the nature of organizations like this. When I told a buddy that I was leaving Ranger battalion to go to Special Forces he told me to be prepared to be ostracized and not take it personally because as an organization the Ranger Regiment doesn’t want people leaving and wants to retain people. To that end, they feel like they have to belittle you, even if you’ve got a Distinguished Service Cross (which I certainly don’t but that was the example he gave) on your uniform. I suppose the same principle applies here.

      Although, I should note that the Regiment did not ostracize or belittle me when I went to SF. They were very professional about it.

  6. Boflys

    Great topic. I was enthralled as a young infantryman with his book. A few years ago I was doing some “civilian” work in Afghan. My room mate was a CAG guy in the mid ’80s. The book came up over beers, he said exactly what you did, the book broke the rules. Rule one of fight club is nobody talks about fight club.

    • Interesting. It does sound as if I am on the right track. For the record, I have a huge amount of respect for this unit. I think that should go without saying though.

  7. John

    Jack – looks like a follow-up on SOFREP may be in order now…

  8. Sam

    You’re partially on the right track. Unit folks were mad about the book, but Haney was roundly disliked before then. Both of the rumors you heard were true – he wasn’t wanted in the unit, and the book just exacerbated things. He didn’t “rise through the ranks” in the Unit. He came in very senior. He also left fairly early for folks in that unit. Most stayed for 12 + years. He left way sooner, precisely because he made SGM, and the unit told him “We don’t have a SGM position for you”. Rest assured, if they loved him, he would have stayed. I haven’t talked to anyone who had the time of day for him. Before the book, he tried to commercialize the unit in various ways I’m not going to post here, forcing the unit to go to extraordinary lengths to keep him from producing t-shirts and coffee mugs. As for the book itself, not only was Central America BS, but the entire Beirut section is fantasy as well. There were no snipers smoking bad guys during that time. Sounds great, but it’s not true. Anyway, I really hesitated to post this, and I’m not going to go any further to prove my “creds”, which, of course, makes me part of the conspiracy I suppose. In the end, JSOC doesn’t have the cohesion to propagate a smear campaign. Eric isn’t smeared by the command. He’s wearing what he earned. You only hear rumors precisely because nobody is going to become Eric Haney by refuting him. They all value their reputations just fine as they are.

    • Thanks Sam, I appreciate your point of view on this. That would truly be a travesty if Haney straight up fabricated the actions he writes of in Lebanon and Honduras. The implications are staggering when you consider that Haney did confirm in the press that he shot and killed David Arturo Baez Cruz. That strikes me as something that crosses some lines, not just into Walter Mitty territory but that David’s family would have some words if what he wrote was anything less than accurate. These actions could also be confirmed or denied by fellow Delta operators not to mention DOD and perhaps CIA officials.

      I have heard that Haney tried to copyright Delta Force’s insignia the same way Disney attempted to copyright that of SEAL Team Six after the UBL raid. Disney should be ashamed and so should Haney if that accusation is correct. That would be like me claiming the 75th Ranger Regiment scroll or the Special Forces insignia as my intellectual property. Completely unacceptable.

      That said, I still find the situation curious. It seems that Haney was a good guy and some former Operators would sagely nod their heads when questioned as to the contents of the book not long after it was published. Then around 2006 or 2007 there was a drastic turn. The Army is fond of the saying, “perception is reality” but I never cared for it. My perception could be wrong but so could the rumors that spread like wildfire in the Special Forces community that were never backed up by facts. I understand that Haney came to Delta as a Platoon Sergeant from the 75th and so he got promoted twice in Delta, that second promotion forcing him out by lack of available duty position. I know every unit has it’s share of problem children, Marshall Brown for instance is a disgrace on the reputation of what I feel is the most professional unit in the US Military, but eight years in Delta seems like a long time for someone who was disliked.

      I will keep my ears and eyes open. Additionally, I will be doing some further research on David Arturo Baez Cruz as everything that happened down in Central America during the 1980’s has been a personal interest to me. I know certain active duty soldiers and even former operators who hold or have held sensitive positions are very reluctant to identify themselves publically. Your comments sound genuine and sincere, so thank you Sam.

    • Frank Haney

      First you had to be an E5 just to get to SF, Second he was a standout Ranger before SF. Than he was an E6 when selected for the “New” Unit. E-6 to E-9 is the most difficult rung progression in the enlisted ranks. Do you have some sour grapes Sam?

  9. bushcraftercz

    Hi from Kabul…
    I know sh.t about Mr. Haney, so I just add that book was interesting read for me, true or not. Take care!

  10. Maybe I am too old school. I have avoided reading this book out of respect for Delta and I don’t believe in kiss and tell tactics. However, I am intrigued by your commentary and agree with a few of your theories; thus I now want to read this book from a political perspective. Great commentary!

  11. Jack,

    Maybe the question should be asked “what separates Haney from Vickers, Howe, etc, etc?” I personally think that “Black Hawk Down” revealed more about Delta then “Inside Delta Force.” Howe features prominently, and from a close friend who attended his shooting school down in Texas, much of his “fame” is based upon this.

    By the same author, Mark Bowden, “Killing Pablo” gives more insight into Delta operations outside of conflict zones, and in South America specifically. “Guest of the Ayatollah” does as well, but to a lesser extent, and back in the Middle East. Vickers is all over TV, the internet, speaking circuit and every other venue he can find, extolling his time in Delta and using it as a launching pad for everything else. I am sure there others, but they are the first ones that came to mind when I spent a couple minutes thinking about this.

    Is it because Haney critized the United States Government? Bowden is critical the overall plan and assets in BHD, but he’s an outsider. I can see why you want to punish those who “break ranks” and speak, but you recruit a unit of warrior-thinkers, you have to anticipate that. What about Dalton Fury, or at least the officer who writes by that name.

    If it is true that Haney is PNG from the unit and such, then we should ask why. And if it is only because of criticism, then it raises other issues about the unit and its people. Kids are screaming, so this train of thought is going off the rails…

  12. Lowell Haney

    I’ve found the initial blog interesting and a few of the comments fascinating. Because I’m Eric’s younger brother.

    Hey there!

    I’m Lowell, you can find my name in the very back page of the book. Which surprised the hell out of me.

    I served in the US Army also, but not in any interesting jobs. First Cav, ADA, then some stuff at White Sands for a few years. His time obviously overlapped mine by years on either side.

    Went down to Panama about six months after the little kerfluffle there. He was the CSM of the 193rd at the time. I was pondering getting married and wanted a place to think about that. So I stayed with him for a bit. We went fishing out on the black waters of the Pacific.

    So anyway, most of the questions and controversies I can’t help you with. Because he never spoke of his job while he was doing it.

    When he was working with Selection and Training shortly before I ETS’d, he did call me up and offer me (very elliptically, as I had never heard of Delta as a unit nor did he mention that name) a slot at selection. I asked a few pointed questions. What he was describing sounded like Snake Eater bullshit, and I ain’t that. I thought a moment and asked exactly what physical condition I needed to be in to have a chance. After listening to the reply I believe my response at the time was “Fuck that noise”.

    So anyway, y’all have a good time thrashing the man. I’ll just keep having lunch with him a couple of Saturdays a month, we’ll drink beer, eat burgers, and not bother at all with what is said on the internet.

    Y’all have a good ‘un!

    Lowell Haney

    • Hi Lowell, it is good to hear from you. I have no interest in trashing your brother and would love to have a beer and a burger with the two of you some time. My only interest is in discovering the truth of the matter. That’s my only agenda here and I was very annoyed by the hearsay and innuendo I had heard about your brother because it was always fourth hand unsubstantiated rumors and nothing more. That’s why I wrote this blog post.

      • Frank Haney

        Murph………..I have heard trash talk about all the names that get in news and media concerning Elite US Forces members………including yours. Go to Eric and talk with him yourself.

      • Talk to him about what exactly? I’d be happy to speak with him if he is interested. My post was in his defense so I don’t really know what to tell you.

      • Frank Haney

        Murph… said that you were looking for the truth. Lowell said come on down (to Georgia) and talk. My suggestion is just that. If there are any questions why not go directly to the source?
        Do you have Facebook, Eric has a page, you could send him a private message through FB, I’ll bet he would even give you a number or give you a call.

    • larry finch

      Thank you Lowell! I was blessedto meet him a few years ago. Me and another colleague who were both former military found out where he lived and dropped inat his house. He was very polite and treated us very well considering we had dropped in unannounced. The way I see it there’s always going to be someone that hates you for their own reasons and my response to screw them! Live your life on your terms and be at peace with yourself. It was quite an honor to meet him. We brought his Christmas tree in the house and spent about an hour or so talking with him after that time at some point he is put up a fence and gate which I completely understand. When you see him please thank him again for his kindness. Everyone doesn’t fall for the rumint.
      Respectfully, Larry Finch

    • Zach

      On pg 14 Haney describes how he saluted a Sergeant major. Is that a ranger thing or what?

  13. Lowell Haney


    Come on and have a beer with us!

    I never thought you were interested in thrashing Eric, hope I didn’t give you that impression. I suffer the affliction of expecting people to read what is between the lines.

    I was able to read the book as Eric was writing it. As I had been in a position at White Sands subject to heavy security demands, and then much later finding out what Eric had actually been doing, I posed the question to him, “Is this kosher”? “Can you relate this in this detail?”

    He explained that because of the nature of the book it would be looked over by ‘others’ before publication. Then he asked me a very simple question.

    “Do you think I’d write anything that would put soldiers at risk today?”

    I will add this. In the draft there were some things I found hugely amusing. They didn’t survive the editing process. I have no idea why. They certainly didn’t divulge anything sensitive and embarrassed no one.


    ETA: Jack, if you feel the need, I’m at 706-7664243 I’ll do what I can to alleviate any fears you have that I’m an imposter.

    • Thank you Lowell. I know there is a bunch of other “stuff” about the unit that Eric did not write because they were sensitive or would embarrass his former unit. I will have to drop you a line!

    • Walker

      Hello Mr. Haney, I know this blog is an older one and that the chances of you still monitoring these comments are slim/none, but I must ask… Could I be granted the opportunity to talk to you and/or Eric? I would be content with even a few emails. I must say his book impacted me immensely, and has sparked much of my interest in military history (and bullet ballistics) especially that pertaining to the Unit. I thank you and your brother for your service to our country. Even if this message never finds you, Thank You.

      Contact info:

  14. Lowell Haney

    Thank you Jack.

    I really don’t know why I responded here, I usually don’t. Slow day I suppose.

    But I do understand your questions about sources you spoke of above. Those same things about other subjects while I was active troubled me also.

    Gave me the feeling someone was trying to control the narrative when it seemed to serve no purpose. That is one type of oddity that will garner my attention. I want to know why.


  15. Tony Mann

    Paul C pretty much naied it, envy. I’ve know Eric since 1974. I’m retired Army and have his cell phone #. Eric is Eric no BS attached. Any story teller streatches the story just a little, the core of the story will check out. Eric opened doors that were fore to CLOSED.

  16. Dwinn

    I am a first cousin of Eric and Lowell Haney. Eric is about 8 years older than Lowell and I, so there is much I didn’t know, or hear. I can understand why some in his unit trashed him, jealous people do that, and often will badmouth their supervisor. And I understand that they didn’t want their “cover blown”. (Civilian speak) But like Lowell stated, Eric asks if one would believe he would endanger the current unit.
    Eric is an honorable and caring man. He and his wife are active in their small town.
    I often didn’t know where he was when I was younger, I recall hearing daily about the hostage situation in Tehran, not knowing that Eric was later a part of the rescue attempt. It was much later that Eric’s father (my paternal uncle) informed my parents of his involvement. Eric’s family was justifiably proud of him, as were we.
    Eric, his parents and siblings have an excellent reputation in our community and church. I recall being impressed by him when he visited our family anytime he was in Georgia. A few years ago, when my Dad could still drive, Eric saw my parents in a parking lot, he loaded their purchases for them
    And he was there for Dad’s funeral Jan. 2014.
    We are all proud of and appreciate Eric’s service to our country.

  17. Frank Haney

    I served in the US Army at the same time as Eric, I never heard bad things from anyone in the service at the time. Not from the Rangers, Not from the SF guys. Not from the guys in my unit. In the contact that I have had with Eric I have found him friendly, personable and creditable. 1stSFODD is the best of the best, the top 1 percent of the top soldiers in the US Army. You don’t get there by being a douchebag. You don’t get there without being someone in command seeing the talent and dedication that is required to perform at the level of the elite.
    I suggest that if any of you have questions about who Eric is, you go to the source. Eric himself. He’s not hard to get ahold of.

    • Mike Cash

      I had the privilege of working for a friend and fellow squadron mate of SMAJ. Haney. He had nothing but great things to say about him, so I highly doubt that he was ever a dirt bag or png. Other former unit members have written similar things and are they considered dirt bags? Probably not.

  18. Dianna Edwards

    Dear Jack,

    I deeply respect and appreciate your research into this subject to this degree. You’ve set a high standard for any reporter–much less a novelist and soldier. And as the Sergeant Major’s wife, I’ve felt the lone voice in the wilderness on these issues for years. In the next few days, I’ll add a few facts and answers to some of the questions your readers have raised here. It never would have taken much for the SF community to answer the questions themselves. But they didn’t; chose to drink the kool-aid for a long time. Eric was the first NonCom to write a memoir. That’s pretty much the answer right there. Such things had been the province of officers prior to his book. Everything in it is accurate. And much of it has been printed in other places. Just not as well. The Baez story, for instance, was cast as fiction and used by one of the very men who called it a lie in Eric’s book. That was Mr. Bucky Burruss. The protagonist soldier in his story was a tall blonde southerner. I’ll have to look it up…but I think the Baez character might even have been named Baez. Sheesh. And as you might have said, the Baez family confirmed on their end most of the details they could match up with Eric’s story. I honestly have never seen such petulant old men. That logo thing was nonsense as well. More on that later. Bedtime. But on bended knee, you have my thanks. My gratitude. Please let me know how I can honor you.

  19. Stephen

    Any update to this, ma’am?

  20. Amazona

    I have a pretty good BS detector and as I listened to the book on Audio Books I was very aware of how honest it sounded. There were a lot of times when it would have been easy to brag but he didn’t.

    One thing that jumped out at me, that I mentioned to friends who are retired military officers, was his candor about Charlie Beckwith. I had a friend who loathed Beckwith so I was really interested to see what Haney thought of him, and I appreciated that he discussed Beckwith’s reputation and history instead of whitewashing it. He was able to acknowledge Beckwith’s faults and still talk about his love and respect for the man, and I found that admirable.

    As for talking out of turn about Delta Force, if the book had come out years earlier that might have been an issue. But by the time it came out, Delta Force was no longer a deep dark secret. I really appreciated the history of the unit, how it was conceived and born and how it developed. That kind of background was fascinating.

    As for second-guessing his reason for writing the book, who cares if he made money on it? It is a great book and I hope he did. But my sense was that this experience was such a huge and meaningful part of his life that he wanted to share it, as much as could be shared, so others would appreciate the skills and sacrifices of those who served in the unit.

    • Biff

      Colonel Beckwith was in S. Korea in an officers club in the early 1980’s. Colonel Beckwith was drunk and being very belligerent to a Ranger officer. The Ranger officer warned him to leave him alone. Beckwith did not and was then knocked out cold by the Ranger officer. Beckwiths lacky had to carry him out of the club.

  21. Edward

    I had the opportunity to serve with CSM Haney in the 193rd in Panama. He was one of the best non commissioned officers I have ever served with.

  22. onepercent

    I’m sure you’ve done your research on this, but this is worth a read from the BTDT folks.

    • Richard

      This is this kind of crap Jack was talking about.. From your link. “It would seem I was right about eric haney, he was just a Ranger and not Special Forces qualified and not a member of Special Forces.”

      Eric Haney never made the claim that he was SF qualified. In fact he made it clear in his book that he went from the Ranger Bn to Delta selection, and then served in Delta before going back to the regular Army. This is nothing but “Rumint” and mob mentality.

  23. Dianna Edwards

    Onepercent: That’s an old story and the Baez incident aspect of it has long been proven true. Miami Herald interviewed the surviving family and their details match Haney’s account. So does a book with declassified (in 1983) information on contras/Sandinistas called “Operation Condor: Covert Wars in Latin America.” Horrible reading, by the way. CIA in it up to their necks. Created and published the torture manuals for the Contras. Publicly Regan was saying “We’re out.” but covertly, was sending soldiers in just as Eric said. Bucky Burruss also wrote a 1990 book called “Mission for Delta” with the same Baez plot he accused Haney of fabricating and denied took place: A 1983 CIA-sanctioned covert op into Honduras taking out an American Green Beret turned defector. The mission was led by a tall, blond, Delta team leader:) The book didn’t do well. Burruss can’t write. Logan Fitch sold his story of the Iran Mission to Penthouse in 84. He said some rough things about Beckwith you sure won’t find in Inside Delta Force. Word was, that article broke Charlie’s heart. Fitch helped saved Eric’s life at Desert One. But got piqued with Eric over The Great Nose Punch Debate. Somehow Fitch got a bloody nose that night. Eric reported it one way, Mark Bowden another. Fitch didn’t mention it at all in Penthouse:) Such an odd thing. Haney’s military career is filled with exceptional performance. He was “Infantryman of the Year” prior to trying out for the Rangers. Winning that honor was how he got orders cut to try out for Rangers — via General Patton III. So he makes Rangers and is then asked to attend selection. Joe Stringham (Rangers) told all his men who had been asked that if they failed, they would not be allowed back into the Rangers. this wasn’t legal — but Stringham said it. 1400 men tried out for Delta over the next two years. 100 made it. Eric Haney served 8 years in Delta and attended (via mail and then school) the Sgts. Major Academy. And was selected for Command. To be the Command Sergeant Major in Panama. During Just Cause. To hear these men talk — years ago — this lifetime soldier of outstanding merit — suddenly became substandard after he wrote Inside Delta Force. Nonsense. And last, he has never claimed to be Special Forces qualified. And guess I would know. I’m his wife.

    • Dianna Edwards Haney

      Jack — never sent you my email for direct commo. Delighted to do it and will send phone number so we can talk.

      MRs. Eric Haney

    • larry finch

      Ma’am… I don’t know if you remember few years ago maybe 4 or 5 I had the privilege of stopping by your home and meeting mr. Haney. We brought your Christmas tree into the house and and he spent about an hour with me and my colleague he was so polite it was an honor of my lifetime to be able to meet him! Nevermind the naysayers someone is always going to hate. Please relate to Eric once again my gratitude and spending a little bit of time with me
      Larry Finch

  24. Jim

    Check out Stan Goff too, he Has been unfairly characterised as a shitbag by many in the special ops community, I think because of a dislike for his politics, and willingness to speak his truth. I met this man briefly when I was in reception at Fort Benning in 88, (he was coming back to the Army after a break in service) and I can tell you he was no shitbag.

  25. Leroy

    First of all, as much as I am possible to do so (based upon MY own research and readings – and talking to SpecOps personnel that I personally know; more so of the Navy / Marines orientation as I am a marine veteran from the late 1960s/early 70s – but then obtained some exceptional training during 17 years in SWAT with training mainly former but a coule of active instructors to include active Army SF by way of a federal Metro Urban CBQ program in the early 1990s , Navy SEALs by way of SOS Temps, British SAS by way of H&K, FBI National HRU, Dept Energy NEST, as well as several outstanding metro SWAT tgraining programs around the country – many staffed with former SpecOps instructors)… and I agree with Jack Murphy’s position 100% to that extent researched.

    Lots of rumors, hearsay, “he said she said”, etcetera.

    No REAL specifics on the Big Five Ws.

    Just to interject a common thread in this type of bashing (from a “Professional Soldiers” forum):

  26. Daniel Vidican

    Spoken like a true Soldier. Everyone in the Army knows about the “they” thing. I personally hate the rumor Mill and it’s always”they said” or “they did it”, without anyone being responsible. Respect sir

  27. Ryan

    Reading Colonel Beckwirth,s book right now and I found “The Guts to Try” next to read. I think Hainey was as honest as he could be and Beckwith,s book back up Iran so why would he lie? He clearly had personal feelings about going and getting POWS out and felt strongly about it. The man served his country and at the highest level.

  28. B. Mark

    There are many things of Inside Delta Force that make me ask questions. Such as what was the South American country they were planning to invade to protect an American corporation? And toward the end of his time in Delta he said he had been injured on a mission (not training exercise) with the SAS. What was that circa 1986?

    As far as Haney’s writing, he does not write about 1970-1978 which I would expect involved time in Vietnam. So you get he felt strongly about the potential rescue mission of POW’s.

  29. Madeline

    I’m inspired by the good values and courage of the characters in The Unit and by CSM Haney. Unforgettable. Makes a huge difference in my life.

  30. Lamont Cranston

    The United States mined Nicaraguas habor. This act, which is an act of war, and the aid to Contra butchers saw the United States become the only country to ever be convicted for terrorism in 1987 in the International Court of Justice. It was also simultaneously aiding the military dictatorships of El Salvador and Guatemala fight counter insurgencies against their own populations. In El Salvador deathsquads raped and murdered American nuns and the Reagan administration tried to blame the women for what happened to them, they were just a drop in the ocean for the systematic targeting of the Church going all the way up to assassinating the Archbishop Oscar Romero and the violence perpetrated by the government like the Atlatl Battalion that massacred the village of El Mozote just two days after returning home from “counter insurgency” training at the School of the Americas at Ft Benning, an act the government covered up and denounced the journalists who reported it. In Guatemala the systematic targeting of the indigenous population reached the level of ethnic cleansing.
    And then there is the drug connection, evidence strongly points to known drug smugglers working in the Contra resupply operation with planes delivering arms returning to the USA and landing at USAF bases loaded with coke. This and the illegal war were intentionally avoided by the Iran Contra hearings.

  31. Richard

    I’m a little late to this discussion, but I just ran across it and wanted to offer my thoughts and opinion.. I do not know Eric Haney, nor have I ever met him. He could be a saint, or he could be an asshole – I just don’t know. Furthermore I am not SOF, but just a regular Army vet. And during the time when Haney’s book came out I posted on the old forums on military dot com – and that, in my personal opinion is where the drama started.
    There were several very long discussions there started by someone with a book of his own, who was running for a political office, and he was very vocal in slamming Haney. Thing is though, some of the accusations against him simply were not true at all. Like “He’s giving away all of Delta’s secrets!” Yeah, like what..? That the selection course is hard, and they land nav a lot? I would have kinda figured that out even if I hadn’t read it in a book – and I didn’t come away from the book with any newfound knowledge of Delta at all.

    But then, the weirdest accusation of all came out, and it was “I have it on good authority from someone across the fence that Haney was never the CSM of Delta!”

    Yeah, well no shit… I don’t know anybody “across the fence” but I’ve got the book in front of me where he says in plain English on page xxx that he went back to the regular Army after getting promoted to E9.. (?)

    And of coursed mixed into the outrage was the constant “He’s using his book to capitalize on his service!” Yeah, and..? Are we seriously going to pretend like he’s the only one to have ever done that? GTFO.

    But of course mob mentality took over, and the accusations and rumors spread – which resulted in what you described.. “I heard from somebody, who knows somebody, who knows a dude who served with Haney.” That sort of thing.

    Now, the timing of this all also seemed to be around the same time that “The Unit” appeared on TV, which Haney was a producer of. And it is my personal belief that Haney was in fact making money, and that maybe some people were envious. I could certainly be wrong, but on the other hand I have never seen military veterans turn against one of their own like that – especially over some of the reasons given. The whole thing was fucking weird, and very sad in my opinion.

    Fast forward a couple of years, and “Dalton Fury” received some of the same internet backlash over his book – including being doxxed with his real name and Ranger School class number.. “I know a dude, who knows somebody, who knows a dude who served with him who said…”

    • Dianna Edwards


      I am Eric Haney’s wife. Thank you for this reply and sourcing the facts that you did. You are right on in your observations. Eric’s book, published in 2002, came years after books from Delta Founder Charlie Beckwith, who detailed selection and training deeply. Logan Fitch has written a Desert One article for Penthouse that hit hard on Beckwith’s missteps —which was very painful to him. Bucky Burrus has several books of fiction, one of which directly parallels a story Eric used —yet Burrus went public and via email using terms like ‘liar, phony, traitor” over that very story. My point. It’s partly the caste system. Officers published and that was ok. Officers made fortunes servicing Delta. Eric was an enlisted man. An articulate, honorable enlisted man. I was stunned to see men i thought so highly of encourage death threats, publish our address, write of planning to ‘swift boat Eric Haney as they had done John Kerry.’ And yes, Dalton Fury got a dose of that too. All Eric ever said was that he respected his comrades but stood by his book. I don’t have to be that high minded. I don’t respect the men who attacked and I have real issues with others that were threatened into silence.

      • SSGRet.) Richard(Rick) Long

        Mrs Haney I belive I meet you when I was Stationed In Panama under your husband…. again one of if not the most honorable men I have ever met and was a great honor to have served under him and be trained by him…. please give one of my greatest role models in my almost 21 year career…. thank you from the bottom of my heart CSM Haney I will always consider you my mentor and BROTHER! Please give him my new emai…., thank you

  32. Lowell

    Richard tickles me. Someone who actually employs reason. Seems to be mostly lacking on the faceless internet where this blog resides.

    Diana is my sister in law, Eric is my brother.

    So, I have some idea of who speaks truth and who is full of shit. Sort of fun at this point. Me and Eric’s military careers overlapped. He did twenty plus, I did six. Nope, during his Delta days, even when I spent a week at his place on Ft. Bragg on the runup to Desert One, I had no idea what he was doing. I was there with a leg in a cast from the First Cav at Ft Hood. They gave me leave and I asked my brother could I hang out with him while I was down. I heard the hesitation in his voice on the phone. Have no doubt his OK got gone over very shortly by his higher. I got to go anyway.

    My brother has always been just a bit bigger than life to me. I turned sixty this year. That part hasn’t changed a damn bit. Figure I know this man better than every swinging dick made any ignorant comment, disparaging remark, or just plain stupid remark.

    For the ignorant verbose, you have my contempt. For the stupid, you have my pity. For those that know better, you have my emnity.

    Lowell Haney
    Sgt, seperated, US Army.

    • SSG(Ret.) Richard(Rick) Long

      Mr Haney I’m pretty sure I know your brother pretty well as I served under and was trained by him. One of if not the most honorable men I have ever had the honor to meet and serve under and yes I hole heartedly agree with what you said about the deep state living cock suckers! CSM Eric Haney to this day remains one of the most influential role models in my almost 21 year career. Thank you for your service brother!

  33. SSG(RET.) Richard J. Long

    I personally served Under CSM Eric Haney I Panama just before Just cause. That man is NONE of what those deep state pricks have rumored about him…. one of if not the most honorable men I have ever had the pleasure of meeting…. by the way he was promoted to CSM at Bragg while in Delta which is why he pcs’ed to Panama if I remember correctly late 87 I was stationed there in in Jan 87 assigned to C Co 1/187th Infantry later became C Co 5/87 as an 11C mortar man and after he arrived he started up a Night marksmanship training class the evolved into brigade level sniper course trained by CSM Haney. He personally selected myself because at the time I was a shooter then captain of the battalion rifle team when we used to have such competitions…. so I belive you are 1000% correct that it’s all deep state lies! And like you stated below he as well as myself hate the CIA! FUCKING DEEP STATE COCK SUCKERS!

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