Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:20 PM
Just finished Seal Target Geronimo. If you haven't bought it, save yourself the dough and get it from the library. It's chaotic, fragmented and poorly written. To begin with, only a third of the book deals with the Bin Laden raid; first come several chapters of the obligatory chest-pounding and self-congratulation that seem to be part of the SEAL uniform (read this and you form the idea that SEALs have won every war since the Revolutionary War by themselves) and then there is an interminable chapter on the Maersk Alalbama, which can be summarized in a few words: There was a lot of waiting nd then finally they shot the guys. It's mind-numbingly repetitive; fingers on the triggers, fingers off; oh why the wait? fingers on the triggers, fingers off; but something might go wrong... fingers on the --you get the idea.
Along the way, he ravages every agency in the government except for the Seals --the Army, the CIA, the FBI --they're all fools and only the SEALs can be trusted. Finally, after breaking his arm patting himself on the back, he gets to the raid itself, but can't keep a coherent narrative thread going, switching randomly between past, present and future, offering dime-store psychological analysis of Bin Laden and a couple of other senior Al Qaeda leaders, touching briefly on planning to dart breathtakingly into the raid only to revert back to the political situation before 9/11...
Couple of points of interest: He presents the case that Bin Laden was betrayed by his #2, Zawihiri, who persistently and deliberately used a courier known to be compromised to contact his chief --Bin Laden NEVER used electronic means of commumication, neither cell phone or e-mail-- and who, even though a qualified doctor and a graduate of one of the better med schools in the mideast, failed to diagnose Bin Laden with the easily-identifiable Addison's Disease. He also believes that Zawihiri may have been implicated in the betrayal and capture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, because of jealously and a fear that Khalid was supplanting him as Bin Laden's #2.
The second point is that, according to him, it is well-known that the WMDs that supposedly didn't exist in Iraq were dispersed and made their way into Al Qaeda's hands, and particularly into Zawahiri's control; he has used them to launch several attacks against coalition forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but that the administration (for poltiical reasons) and the media (because they've had so much invested in the idea that there were no WMDs) are not reporting these attacks.
Provocative statements, but they'd carry more weight with me if he weren't so obviously partisan --not politically; he damns Repub and Dems alike-- in his advocacy of the SEAL missions.
Interesting, but a very ponderous, badly-written book.