In 2014 I wrote a novel called Direct Action about rogue SEAL Team Six operators. The plot of the novel was a work of fiction, but within it I laid out a number of themes, anecdotes, and bits of information which were truthful. Most of my novels are written to be fun reads for a audience that appreciates military fiction, and hopefully educates a little bit along the way. Direct Action was different in that I wrote that particular book in order to speak to the choir.
It had been my hope that people within the Special Operations command structure would take notice, and realize that some things were leaking out even if it was disguised inside a work of fiction. With luck, maybe someone would have taken action and begun to clean things up before the situation got even further out of hand. In retrospect, I was naive. These commands had already taken numerous steps to systematically cover up war crimes committed by SEAL Team Six.
I suppose it was inevitable. The truth behind the matter has begun to emerge. Over the last two years the New York Times published a few pieces eluding to a dark under current within the unit. Yesterday, The Intercept published a story titled “The Crimes of SEAL Team Six” which gives a clear picture of how Dev Group operators carried hatchets onto objectives, disfigured the dead, recorded “bleed out” films, engaged in the practice of splitting skulls open, and much more.
I wish these things were merely a work of creative fiction, but no such luck. What more motivation the Department of Defense needs to begin reforming this unit I cannot begin to fathom. There are still darker secrets that have yet to be revealed in the media and it would be far better to take action now rather than drag this scandal out over the next decade as major media outlets publish story after story.