Doc Shoe here to weigh in on this. I just want you to think about the very serious danger this poor bastard finds himself in:
Mark Owen (not his real name) was one of the Navy SEALS involved in the raid that killed Osama Bin Ladin. He’s since written a firsthand account of that raid, and to avoid becoming the target of terrorist assholes sympathetic to Al Qaeda, he published the book under the pseudonym of Mark Owen.
(Incidentally, that’s the handle I’ll use for him throughout this discussion. It’s a moot point by now—Mr. Owen’s real identity is available to anyone with a working internet connection—but as a matter of principle I refuse to mention his real name, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone other than Fox News.)
Now, many Americans have their concerns about that raid. Personally, I think it was a perfect example of what we should have been doing in the Bush years: Instead of invading Iraq and Afghanistan, occupying other people’s homes, losing thousands of our own brave soldiers and writing off the deaths of millions of innocent civilians as “collateral damage,” we should have been using our Special Forces to hunt down the bastards responsible for 9/11, if only to make an example of that sick fuck Osama Bin Ladin. That’s how I feel, but I suppose that reasonable people can disagree on this. But whatever your feelings on that matter, I hope that at the very least we can agree that soldiers like Mark Owen—the soldiers ordered to kill Osama Bin Ladin—have a right to expect that their fellow Americans will respect their privacy, to prevent them from becoming targets of Al Qaeda and sympathetic terrorist organizations. That’s just common sense, right?
Then Fox News dropped the ball and published Mark Owen’s real name.
Jesus fucking Christ, really?
Mark Owen is already receiving death threats. He’s now become a target of the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations. It’s very possible, perhaps even likely, they’ll try to kill him. Failing that, maybe they’ll just go after his friends and family. He and his loved ones may have to enter some kind of witness protection program—which entails leaving people you care about, your hometown, uprooting and trying to build a life for yourself all over again. Sounds like a painful process, doesn’t it?
But any other course of action could lead to what I consider the absolutely worst-case scenario: Terrorists might kidnap him, might take him alive—and interrogate him to find out who else was involved in that raid. If that happens, dozens, perhaps hundreds of soldiers will have to run for their lives.
By publishing this one Navy SEAL’s true identity, Fox News has not only ruined his life, but potentially the lives of many more soldiers—soldiers from our most elite and effective anti-terrorist unit, SEAL Team Six. And we need those men. Do you understand what I’m getting at? Fox News just created a significant threat to our national security.
So what’s their excuse?
FOX released a statement saying, in part, “Once you write a book, anonymously or not, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Jesus fucking Christ. You’d think the guys who killed Osama Bin Ladin for us would get a little more respect than that. You’d think our national security would be a higher priority than that. If nothing else, you’d think that plain old common decency towards your fellow man would urge Fox News to respect Mark Owen’s privacy.
And it’s so painfully ironic that it was Fox News who fucked this up. The same hardcore NeoCons who cheered on even George Bush’s worst excesses in the War On Terror have now screwed the pooch in the worst possible way.
Our constitution defines treason as giving “aid and comfort” to our nation’s enemies. That’s a pretty apt description for what Fox News has just done. And it’s not the first time they’ve aided our enemies. Remember when Fox sent Geraldo Rivera to Iraq with the 101st Airborne, and Rivera thought it would be a bright idea to announce their secret position on television, and then discuss an upcoming mission? Live, on Fox fucking News, for the whole world—including the Bad Guys—to hear? That was waaaay back in 2003. Fox News had nine years to learn something from that gaffe, but apparently the only lesson they learned is this: “We have to pretend that we care about national security when there’s a Republican in the White House. But as soon as a Democrat becomes Commander-In-Chief, fuck it, we’ll just disclose whatever we feel like.”
Memo to FOX News: Fuck you. But as angry as I am right now, I can’t help but appreciate the delicious irony: After years of pointing your finger at anyone who disagrees with your NeoCon agenda and claiming they “hate America,” after years of throwing around that word “treason” as casually as you’d toss a frisbee, you’ve now exposed yourselves as actual traitors. This is what actual treason looks like.
And don’t think we’ll forget this anytime soon.
PS: For you Republicans reading this, would it help you to understand what FOX has done if I referred to it as “legitimate treason”?
Remember when Geraldo drew his location in the sand while embedded with a military unit and disclosed where they were going? And then he got kicked out of Iraq?
Yeah, this is much, much worse.