Navy SEALs Boss Told: Shut the Hell Up

Retired general warns all the boasting could be dangerous
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Feb 8, 2012 2:55 AM CST
Navy Adm. Bill McRaven, commander of the US Special Operations Command, addresses the National Defense Industrial Association in Washington yesterday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – The killing of Osama bin Laden was a PR coup for the Obama administration, but one retired general is sick of hearing about it from the Navy SEALs commander. "They’ve been splashing all of this all over the media,” retired Lt. General James Vaught, 85, said at a meeting of the National Defense Industrial Association yesterday. “I flat don’t understand that. If you keep publishing how you do this, the other guy’s going to be ready for you, and he’s going to shoot down every damn helicopter and kill every one of your SEALs. Mark my words. Get the hell out of the media."

Vaught headed the failed mission to rescue the hostages in Iran in 1979. Even while decrying media coverage, he managed to tout a pet special op, though he actually wasn't on active duty at the time, reports ABC News. "When my special operators extracted Saddam Hussein from the hole, we didn’t say one damn word about it,” he recalled. “We turned him over to the local commander and told him to claim that his forces drug him out, and he did so. We faded away and kept our mouth shut." Special Operations Commander Bill McRaven responded at the same meeting that media coverage is "not something we actively pursue, but with the social media being what it is today, with the press and the 24-hour news cycle, it’s very difficult to get away from it.” Sometimes, he added, "the spotlight makes us better." (Read more Bill McRaven stories.)

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