NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

December 18, 2012

Clamoring for glory in secret operation

Success, it has been said, has a thousand fathers, while failure is an orphan.

And so it is with the special military mission earlier this year that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Many have claimed credit. No doubt some of them deserve it, while for others this is an opportunity for self aggrandizement.

The movie “Zero Dark Thirty,” which will be released in a few weeks, puts its own mark on the operation, and suggests that a covert CIA operative, a woman still employed by the CIA in undercover work, should be given much of the credit for planning that operation.

Many in the CIA do not like that kind of publicity. Supposedly, the CIA employee has been passed over for a promotion because of her access to moviemakers and the stories she has provided for background information to support the film. She, in turn, seems to be rather angry, though still unidentified publicly.

Hollywood has a flimsy record when it comes to presenting historical fact. Facts are rarely so neat and complete as a movie plot, yet too often — as was the case with the recent film “Argo” — heavily sugared truths are accepted by the audience as plain oatmeal fact.

Whether the “Zero Dark Thirty” rendition of events is true, no one can say. A veil of secrecy hangs over this operation, and probably will for decades to come. If the truth of exactly what happened ever comes out, it will likely be when many of the participants are old and gray.

Such is the nature of military operations. Don’t forget the concerns expressed this past fall over a book published by a former Navy SEAL who allegedly participated in the planning and execution of that operation. At one point, there were threats to prosecute that man for leaking classified information in his book.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Toddler climbs into vending machine Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America Applicants Vying for 'World's Toughest Job' Get Heartwarming Surprise Awkward: Crist catches Lt. Gov. insulting him on camera NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse US Airways Tweets Graphic Photo of Nude Woman Behind the scenes of the Marathon anniversary photo shoot American Airlines Responds After Girl Tweets Alleged Terror Threat 'Joke' Charlie White's "Dancing" Mistake Olympic Great & Baltimore Native Michael Phelps Ends Retirement; Eyes Rio 2014 NFL Draft: Potential Booms And Busts William and Kate Squash Baby No. 2 Rumors With a Wine-Tasting Trip Who Showed Up at Coachella?
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans