Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mark Owens Interview

In the episode shown to the class of "60 Minutes" with Mark Owens' interview was, to say the least, mind blowing. Even though it happened about a year ago, I was unaware that there had been an interview with anyone of the special forces team that killed Osama Bin Laden. The fact that there has been a book written about it was just icing on the cake.

This brings up an interesting argument over what information should be available to report and what should be kept "Top Secret" as the government classifies it. The man interviewed was a former member of Seal Team 6 before leaving the special forces group. He was sworn, by the government and the navy seals, to never talk about what happened during his missions or any of the on goings of the Navy itself. Where the line becomes shady is when it becomes a matter of if the public "needs" to know. Sometimes, secrets of the government should be known as public information. This, I believe, is one of those times. The public needs to know the story of how the man that is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans.

I think, that even though he acted against his signed contract and went against the will of the government, that nothing is wrong with what he shared during the interview. He didn't give away any national secrets, everyone involved in the mission is either dead (the enemy) or remaining silent, and no noticeable threat to national security has arisen even a year later. This, coupled with the fact the "60 Minutes" did virtually everything in their power to hide his identity - giving him an alias, a full makeup disguise, altering his voice, etc. - makes it hard for the government to have a case against him. I'm sure they could find out fairly easily who actually wrote the book or gave the interview (the man's name has since been released onto the internet) but that could endanger him, his family, and potentially the rest of the unit.

How humble he was that he was in the unit that killed arguably the most hated man on the planet also made it clear that he wasn't trying to break rules or undermine the authority of those above him, but simply educate the masses as much as he could about the events of that historical day.

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