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.
“That’s what I heard.”
“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.”
“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.
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.