Tag Archives: Dev Group

Why the Obama Administration Won’t Release Pictures of Bin Laden

There are a lot of puzzled expressions on people’s faces when it comes to the subject of the late Osama Bin Laden and why the White House has not authorized the release of any pictures of his body.  Photographs and video were released of Saddam Hussein’s hanging as well as post-mortem pictures of his criminal sons, Uday and Qusay after Delta Force took them out.  Why not release a few pictures of public enemy #1 to prove that he is dead and show the world what happens when you take on the US of A?

Matt Bissonnette, one of the SEAL Team Six operators on the raid partially outs the reason in his book “No Easy Day.”  The book reads, “In his death throes, he was still twitching and convulsing. Another assaulter and I trained our lasers on his chest and fired several rounds. The bullets tore into him, slamming his body into the floor until he was motionless” (No Easy Day, Chapter 15).

But this is perhaps the most measured and polite description that one could give of how operator after operator took turns dumping magazines worth of ammunition into Bin Laden’s body.  When all was said and done, he had at least a hundred bullets in him by the most conservative estimate.

But was it illegal?  Under the Laws of Land Warfare, a soldier is fully authorized to put a few insurance rounds into his target after he goes down.  Provided the enemy is not surrendering, it is morally, legally, and ethically appropriate to shoot the body a few times to ensure that he is really dead and no longer a threat.  However, what happened on the Bin Laden raid is beyond excessive.  The level of excess shown was not about making sure that Bin Laden was no longer a threat.  The excess was pure self indulgence.

You may not care if Bin Laden got some extra holes punched in him, few of us do, but what should concern you is a trend within a certain special operations unit to engage in this type of self indulgent, and ultimately criminal behavior.  Gone unchecked, these actions get worse over time.  And they have.

The real issue is not that Bin Laden was turned into Swiss cheese but rather that this type of behavior has become a Standard Operating Procedure in this unit.

Now you know the real reason why the Obama administration has not released pictures of Osama Bin Laden’s corpse.  To do so would show the world a body filled with a ridiculous number of gunshot wounds.  The picture itself would cause an international scandal and investigations would be conducted which would uncover certain activities which took place on the OBL objective as well as other operations, activities which many will do anything to keep buried.

And now you also know why the administration would pretend to dispose of Bin Laden’s body at sea.

Of course, these attitudes and behaviors do not come out of nowhere.  Endless back to back deployments, PTSD, broken families, and war itself all plays into it.  There is also another reason, one that the military has papered over and that I only dare to write about as fiction for reasons which will become apparent.

I stress that the below account is a work of fiction which only represents actual events.  Names and specifics are completely altered.

Excerpted from Direct Action:

Afghanistan, 2005:

Navy Chief David McAtee was alive when the jihadists moved in. They were Chechens. Foreign fighters who had over run the hide site he had occupied. With three teammates, he had tried to escape and evade down the side of the mountain. There were simply too many of them for him and his recon team to successfully break contact and escape.

Chief McAtee was alive when the enemy started picking over his body, beginning to strip him of his weapons and equipment to divide amongst themselves. Shot through one lung, both legs, and through his cheek, he was in no condition to defend himself. His arm was limp; he couldn’t even feel any sensation in it as one of the Chechens undid the clasp on his wrist watch and then let his arm flop to the ground.

Chief McAtee was alive when the Chechens cut the gear off his body and yanked away his M4 rifle off by its sling. He struggled to breath. His three comrades were dead, that much he knew for sure. He had watched them die one by one. Now, he knew that they were better off.

Chief McAtee was alive when the knives came out and they began the cutting.

* * *

Wind howled down the side of the mountain. Snow-streaked crags of rock poked up from beneath the white ground, forcing the team to negotiate their way around them. The windswept mountain was an even bigger obstacle than the enemy, the terrain slowing them as they moved uphill through knee-deep snow.

Master Chief Bill Geddes saw the world through a green-tinted lens. The PVS-14 Night Optical Device limited both his depth perception and his field of vision but he was walking point and needed to be able to see the enemy before they saw him. Although the wind was blowing snow drifts off the side of the mountain, the night was clear with a full moon hanging over their heads. The added illumination would make it easier for the Master Chief to spot the enemy, but it would also make it easier for the enemy to see his team.

For what seemed like the hundredth time, he wiped snow off the lens of his NODs so that he could see.

The word to describe their current mission was anger. As members of Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team Six, they had been assigned to lay up in a hide site over a valley and watch for suspected enemy activity. Intelligence indicated that large numbers of foreign fighters were moving from Pakistan to Afghanistan through the valley, and the brass up at the Joint Operations Center in Bagram wanted a heads-up as to what was coming their way.

A second reconnaissance team, led by Chief McAtee, had occupied another overwatch position where they had a vantage point over a section of the road running through the valley that Bill’s team couldn’t cover. Four hours ago, McAtee’s hide site had been compromised. From what they could gather from the radio transmissions, the team had been on the run ever since. Two hours ago, they had lost radio contact with McAtee’s team altogether. Bagram couldn’t get them on comms and neither could Bill.

A Troops in Contact call had been sent over the net, but higher said it was a no-go. There was a storm moving in and they could not risk flying in close air support or the SEAL platoon that had been standing by as a Quick Reaction Force. Last month a CH-47 filled with Rangers had been shot out of the sky by the Taliban. It had turned into a big fiasco on the news networks back home and now the commanders were risk adverse about sending in helicopters on another rescue mission.

They could write off a small four-man recce team, but another downed CH-47 could cost some Colonel his star.

Pissed. That was another adjective that described how he felt, Bill thought to himself.

Since the cavalry wasn’t coming and they had no overhead surveillance, Bill decided to take the initiative. His four man recce team abandoned their hide side and began trudging through the snow towards the last known location of McAtee’s team.

Bill and his men had hardly slept since occupying the hide site several days prior. Now they were dehydrated from snaking their way up the side of the mountain. Most of them were big guys, weight lifters with a lot of upper body strength. Now they were paying the price as those large muscles required a lot of oxygen during exertion, oxygen that wasn’t available at high altitudes. They were exhausted, but Bill knew that as SEALs, there was no way they would turn around, no way they would quit, not without bringing their comrades home with them.

His legs dragging trails behind him, Bill was perhaps the most tired of all as he was up front breaking through the thick snow and making their route selection. Time seemed to standstill in the night, their faces having gone numb from the cold wind, their heads beginning to hang as sleep deprivation set in. Maybe it was another forty five minutes, maybe an hour and a half. During the after action review, Bill was unable to recall with any clarity when he saw the four silhouettes in the night.

The Master Chief could see them clearly through his PVS-14s from several hundred meters out. They wore thick jackets and Afghan pakol caps on their heads. The four of them had AK-47 rifles slung over their backs as they squatted, huddled around something. There was no camp fire. Adjusting the focus on his night-vision monocle, Bill could see their long ratty beards blowing in the wind.

The firefight was nothing spectacular. The SEAL Team Six operator had his men get on line and they opened fire as one, cutting down the four enemy fighters in half a second. No fancy tactics were going to be applied with the men exhausted and in such difficult terrain, and none were needed. Their M4 rifles cracked through the night. Two of the jihadists dropped like marionettes that had their strings suddenly cut. Another was struck in the shoulder, then tried to get back up and run until Bill emptied the rest of his magazine into the jihadist’s back. The last fell face-first into the snow. At first he tried to push himself back up, then thought better of it, laid back down, and promptly died.

Bill dropped his expended magazine, inserted a full one, and dropped the bolt on his M4 to chamber the first round. The other three SEALs on his team did the same.

Moving forward, the mountain planed out into a small ledge. As they grew closer, the SEALs put a few insurance shots into the Chechens just to make sure they were well and truly dead. Closing on the bodies, the SEALs were able to see what the enemy had been crouching around. Bill slung his rifle and ran to the prostrate form. Laying face down, the snow around Chief McAtee had been stained a dark shade of crimson.

The seam down the back of McAtee’s fatigues had been sliced open with a knife. His ass was bloody where the enemy had been sodomizing him. Bill took a knee and rolled his friend over on to his back. Reilly, the team medic, dropped his aid bag and began digging through its contents.

As Bill rolled McAtee onto his back, his blood ran colder than the wind blasting down the side of the mountain. McAtee convulsed in his arms, in a deep state of shock. He was not conscious but still technically alive. When Bill cradled his friend in his arms, the SEAL’s head hinged backwards with a jagged second mouth opening at the neck. McAtee was shaking in his arms.

Reilly crouched over him with bandages, but there was nothing he could do. He was a Special Operations trained medic, but felt utterly useless as his comrade’s condition was beyond anything he could begin to treat in an emergency room much less on the side of a mountain during a blizzard. They could hear McAtee gurgling as he struggled to breath.

Finally, the ravaged SEAL convulsed for the last time and lay dead in Bill’s arms. The four SEALs stared at the ground in shock. Each of them was a veteran of countless battles. Ship seizures in the Persian Gulf, covert operations in Somalia, targeted killings in Colombia, and direct action raids in Afghanistan, but none of them had ever experienced anything like this. This was different. This was crossing a line from which they could not return.

Bill laid McAtee down in the snow. Digging into his kit he found a space blanket that he used to cover the remains with. He then began camouflaging the body under snow with the other SEALs joining in. Reilly got out his GPS and wrote down a ten-digit grid location, marking where the body was cached. A snow storm was quickly blowing in from the west.

Getting to his feet, Bill slung his rifle in front of him and looked up the side of the mountain. They had three more SEALs to recover. They were up there, somewhere. With the Chechens.

Bill looked over his shoulder at his recce team. His gaze cut right through them.

“From this day forward,” he shouted over the wind. “It is an eye for an eye.”

The SEALs nodded.

“Every single day. For McAtee and the rest.”

Master Chief Bill Geddes ground his teeth and stepped off in search of the others.

“Its blood for blood,” he yelled up the mountain at anyone who would listen.

Three SEALs followed close behind their team leader, walking in the footprints he made in the snow.

Soon, the four operators disappeared into the snow storm.

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Casting Direct Action

Deckard

guy-pearce

Guy Pearce still takes the top spot as the best actor to portray Deckard.  He’s not the standard issue tough guy or ex-special-something-or-other dude you see in most action films.  Deckard is a smart ass dude sticking it to jive ass mofo’s all over the place.  Take a back seat Channing Tatum, I’ll use you as a henchmen in book #13.

Bill

dwayne-johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a terrific actor with a huge personality.  In Direct Action, Bill is described as a “human wrecking ball” so the actor that plays him can’t be some sally.  The Rock has the personality and the physique but my only hold up is that I wonder if he can play a truly evil character.  Because he plays the hero and since he seems like such a nice guy in real life, I wonder if he could pull it off.  If I were casting, I’d definitely let him take a shot at the role though.

Rick

bradleycooper

Rick is the team’s pretty boy, pompous ass, and self indulgent prick.  Sorry Bradley Cooper, this has you written all over it.  Pretty boy.

Zach

EXPENDABLES 2

Zach is actually described as looking like Waffen SS trooper but I think Paul Adkins has the street cred to pull it off.  He’s a real life fighter and martial artist so I think he’d work quite well.

Paul

BenFoster

Paul is another Liquid Sky mercenary, pals with Rick and Zach, who sports a nice Taliban beard.  I think Ben Foster can play a different type of character, more of an introvert which would work well in contrast to Adkins, the Rock, and Cooper.

Ramon

Mark-DacascosRamon is Liquid Sky’s only member who hails from Army Special Forces.  He is a Filipino-American who served in 1st Special Forces Group.  Mark Dacascos fits the bill and he is also a martial artist.  Plus him up with some karambit training and he would be good to go.

Nadeesha

freida-pintoNadeesha is actually from Sri Lanka as opposed to India which is where the actress Freida Pinto is from.  I pictured Liquid Sky’s sole female operative is being darker skinned but I think the talented Ms. Pinto could play the role of the femme fatale.

The Operator

shadowThe Operator.  Your worst nightmare.  The final member of Liquid Sky.  Can’t even remotely think of someone in show business who could play this guy.

DirectActionPreviewshot

“Gonna lay it out there… I love Jack Murphy’s work. It’s gritty, it’s fast paced, it’s got more bang than a breaching charge and it’s balls to the wall from cover to cover. Murphy’s latest, Direct Action, is all of this with a very healthy slab of contemporary world events thrown in for good measure. Yeah sure it’s a little controversial in parts but hey, it’s fiction, so it’s not necessary real…or is it? It’s the blending of fact and fiction that makes this book such a great read. If you’re interested in the murky world of SOF and the even darker world of contracting then this is the book for you. Another great read by Murphy that comes highly recommended.” -Jack Silkstone

Get Direct Action for your Kindle or in paperback!

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DIRECT ACTION: Chapter Seven

Nikita(Work in progress from Marc Lee!)

Chapter Seven:

Zach was mixing the jungle juice.

“Don’t look at it,” Paul explained as Zach upended a handle of vodka into the pot. “If you don’t look at it then it is okay, it can’t get you drunk!”

Once he drained it, Zach dropped the glass bottle in the trash and began stirring his concoction of hard liqueur and juice. They were in Bill’s place for the team party. Mandatory fun in Deckard’s eyes, but the alcohol would be flowing and would help him get a bead on the other guys. He stood off to the side drinking the local brew, Phoenix beer.

Bill had to take a call outside. Of course Deckard wanted to eavesdrop, but he had to play it cool. Rick showed up with a fresh batch of hair gel in to keep his hair slicked back. Ramon walked in a few minutes later. No sign of Nadeesha.

“Drink this Deckard,” Zach said handing him a mug of the jungle juice. He was about six foot two with sandy blonde hair. Deckard took the drink.

“Thanks dude.”

Zach could have been a stand in for a kid in a Abercrombie ad or the Hitler Youth. Paul had been right he realized as he took a sip. If you didn’t know there was alcohol in the drink you’d never know what it was.

“Nice shirt,” Zach commented. “Fucking Henderson was all into that Malibu Barbie shit.”

“So you were in Army Special Operations?” Rick started in. “What’s up with that?”

“I got around,” Deckard answered.

“My thing with the Army is that all you guys know that BUD/S is the graduate level program and everything else you guys have going is just vanilla.”

“You guys were with Dev?”

“Yeah, in the same Squadron together.”

“TACDEVRON-what?”

“Fuck do you care?”

Deckard decided to back off. Rick suddenly got defensive when he asked which Squadron he had been in. But he had confirmed that they were in SEAL Team Six, also known as Dev Group depending on which way the wind was blowing that day. Meanwhile, Bill walked back inside and picked up a pool cue. He had a couple billiard tables in the living area. Must be a hobby.

“I don’t think you’ve got what it takes to be on this team. I don’t care who you were back in the Army.”

It was Deckard’s post-Army career where things got really froggy but he didn’t feel the need to mention that. Bill had before and knew bits and pieces. Nobody knew the full story of what really happened out there. Not even Deckard if he was to be honest with himself.

“Give me some work. Anybody can put bullets in a muldoon jumping over the wall on the black side of an objective.”

“You might get your wish sooner than you think.”

“Have to ask you.”

“Another question…”

“A woman on the team.”

“Not my decision.”

“Wouldn’t you love to splat a map of Hawaii on her forehead,” Zach yelled from the other side of the room. Paul spun up the stereo system.

“Look,” Rick said. “Its not for any lack of trying.”

Bill was racking the billiard balls and was about the break.

“I would do things to her that I wouldn’t do to farm animals,” Paul confirmed.

“She’s a bitch,” Rick continued. “A woman has no business on this team other than getting passed around the team room.”

“You think she likes to scissor with girls?” Deckard said playing along. “Lez it out and shit?”

“Who the fuck knows? Maybe uncle bad touch fingered her no-no place and now she’s got some kind of fucking complex.” Rick rolled his eyes. “She just does intel shit for us, can go places and suck dicks that we can’t. Bill recruited her and ordered us to leave her the fuck alone so it is what it is.”

“I understand. I was just wondering. We didn’t have them anyplace that I worked in the Army.”

“What?” Zach said. “Split tailed females?”

“Yeah, except when they got passed around our team houses.”

Zach, Rick, and Paul laughed this time.

“Yeah, well,” Zach said. “You would have better luck getting inside Margaret Thatcher’s pussy. If you want to fuck Nadeesha you better slip her a Roofie-Colada.”

“If this jungle juice doesn’t do me in first.”

“Man up,” Rick sneered. “PT tomorrow unless you’re too pussy.”

“I am what I eat.”

“What the fuck ever.”

Rick was a hard sell. Didn’t like Deckard because he wasn’t from the right tribe. Ramon was on the other side of the room having a drink and messing the tv.

“You from the PI?” Deckard asked as he approached.

“Born and bred,” Ramon answered in a matter of fact manner. Deckard was hoping he had built a little rapport with with him up on the ridge line.

“You were there in 2006?”

“Why?”

“Because that is when JSOC was doing the killing.”

“You got it all wrong man, I was a Warrant Officer in 1st Group. You?”

“The Legion.”

Ramon laughed as he flicked channels until he found a soccer game on the satellite tv. “Yeah, I was an intel guy for the CIF.”

“How did you get tied in with these frogmen then?”

“Bill brought me on for a specific mission in a country where I had a lot of local experience and connections. I helped stand up Group 14 after I left the CIF. Ever been to Cambodia?”

“Yeah.”

“When you were with GB? The Agency funded all that.”

“No. It was a commercial endeavor.”

“If you say so. I don’t know what to make of you man. No offense but people say some weird things about you.”

“Some of them are probably even true.”

That was when the door opened and Nadeesha walked in like she owned the joint. She had changed into a spaghetti string top and a pair of jeans that clung to her body in all the right places. Deckard found it impossible to avert his gaze as her hips gently swayed. She blew all of them off and walked straight over to Bill.

Over by the billiard tables she started talking to Bill, her hands flying through the air.

“That girl is something else,” Ramon said as he sunk into the couch. “Maybe you should ask her about the PI. She was part of an intel cell for JSOC. Or so I’m told. What do I know? I was just a Wobbly One straight out of the WOC.”

Deckard noticed Bill nod his head towards him. Whatever he was talking about with Nadeesha involved him somehow. She didn’t look happy. She had both palms up in the air and was having words with Bill. Despite the hardass SEAL persona that he ruled over Liquid Sky with, Bill seemed to take Nadeesha in stride. He never lost his cool with her and Deckard noted it. Bill was a thinker, he could think several steps ahead. He knew how to manage personalities and play the long game. He was a step above Rick and the others. That was probably why he was in charge.

“It took you guys a while to get into the fight didn’t it?” Deckard asked Ramon while pretending his didn’t notice the conversation about him.

“Yeah, it did. We finally got the CIF in country and doing some good work. We had some other teams up north in Kurdistan too.”

He kept things going until he heard Bill call out for him.

“Get over here Deckard!”

Setting down his drink, Deckard walked over to the pair.

“You’re going to Dubai,” Bill told him.

“I don’t fucking need him there,” Nadeesha cursed. “He will just get in the way.”

“We are being hunted. We got hit hard in Pakistan. I’m not letting you go alone.”

“This is my op.”

“And it is my decision.”

Nadeesha brushed her long dark hair over her shoulder as she shook her head and then crossed her arms under her breasts.

“When can he be ready?” Nadeesha said looking at Bill.

“I’m ready now,” Deckard interjected.

“Good,” Bill responded. “This is Nadeesha’s op. She leads, you follow. Got it?”

“Got it.”

“Not this guy,” Nadeesha pleaded. “Why not Ramon?”

“I need him for mission prep in the PI. Only he can do that job. All of my boys are assaulters, they are no good for Dubai and you know that as well as I do.”

The female intelligence operative sighed. Deckard again wondered what her story was.

“I have several other identity packages for Deckard that Sarah sent us from DC. That is good enough to get both of you to Germany. I will make a call tonight and have her overnight a new package for the two of you with the same surname to pick up once you arrive in Berlin. Your cover will be husband and wife. Its only for twenty four hours and should hold up fine.”

“What do you need me to do?” Deckard asked.

“Watch my ass,” Nadeesha explained.

Deckard’s eyebrows shot up.

“Oh?”

Nadeesha simply turned and stormed out of the house. She was pissed at being forced to drag Deckard into an operation that she was going to run as a singleton.

“I just want a overwatch element in case she gets into trouble,” Bill said. “On our last mission before we picked you up in Afghanistan we got some unexpected resistance. That is how we lost Henderson. Whoever they were, they were good. I’m just sending you as a precaution. She should be able to handle the operational aspects of the mission on her own. You are just there to get her out of trouble if shit really hits the fan.”

“I’ll be there.”

“Finish your drink and then get to bed. Meet Nadeesha here at seven in the morning and I’ll have flight confirmations for you to Germany and than on to Dubai.”

“See you then.”

Finishing his drink and bullshitting with Zach for a few more minutes, he realized that he would have no opportunity to break away and get a message out to Pat and Aghassi, not without breaking his cover and sneaking out in the middle of the night. It was doable but if he got caught then his infiltration would be compromised, he’d be killed or on the run and be no closer to understanding who the powerbrokers behind Liquid Sky were.

Shit.

He was heading back into the fray.

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