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Benghazi: The Definitive Report
Benghazi: The Definitive Report

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Bengazi matters to America, February 11, 2013
Thank God for this form of media. Thirty years ago this perspective on the terrorist attack on Benghazi never would have been heard. The big three networks(back then)and the major newspapers would not have published it. Once the media crafts a narrative like the one they crafted for the Benghazi attack they are loath to retract it. If it wasn't for this report the American people would be left thinking that this act of war on the United States was just a big misunderstanding over a video some crank made about Islam and that American prestige and influence in the region was on the rise. This report puts to the lie this media narrative which uncritically repeated whatever the administration told them. And in doing so cheated the American people of the facts and set the goal of transparent, accountable government back a generation. This report is the new iteration of journalism in this country. Told by those who not only went to the trouble the to uncover and source the facts but as military professionals had the training and knowledge that enabled them to understand how those facts fit into the larger story. If you do not buy and read this report you could not even pretend to understand what really happened there.

The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen
The Red Circle: My Life in the Navy SEAL Sniper Corps and How I Trained America's Deadliest Marksmen
by John David Mann
Edition: Hardcover
102 used & new from $2.70

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Red Circle. On Target, April 27, 2012
To me a memoir is successful if the reader closes the book with the feeling that they have insight into the character and nature of the person righting the book. Too often memoirs are elaborate self justifications written by people with something to prove to others. The Red Circle delivers on the first count and surprisingly makes no attempt to justify anything to anyone. Brandon Webb makes no bones about who he is and how he got there and in being so brutally honest in the telling of that story, Webb pays a real compliment to his audience. The challenge in telling a story about Navy SEALs and Special Operations is that so much of it is secret that most writers are left with stories that are thin on operational details, leaving the reader no better informed than if he just read a newspaper account. Webb manages this task by writing as a witness to the operations in question and rather than dwell on the minute details brings the reader into the bigger picture of the operation. His account of tunnel ratting in Afghanistan is riveting to read. The way political considerations back home can effect the mission of what amounts to a mixed platoon of SEALs and Marines on a simple rec mission in the field is angering and amazing to read at the same time. Webb is at his best when he describes the smells, sounds and emotions of close quarters battle in the War on Terror.
In The Red Circle the reader is not going to be sold a rah-rah tribute full of glowing praise for the mythic status of the Navy SEALs and other SpecOps types. Webb doesn't pull a single punch, if he's going to say that a particular SEAL is a turd and can't pull his weight he going to call him out by name. Harsh as it may seem, it serves to humanize these people. We find that these extraordinary men who serve in the Navy SEALs are even more impressive by the fact that they are not supermen but very mortal and subject to the same failings as the rest of us. They drink, they fight, their families break up, they back-stab each other, they compete constantly for status and reputation within the teams. They forgive honest error and even human failings but are brutally intolerant of incompetence or indecisiveness. Webb is to be commended for treating his readers like adults who can accept the multi-faceted personalities of his fellow SEALs as they go about their bloody business.

Webb's story of the Navy SEAL Sniper program is equally instructive. The reader comes away with the sense that the SEAL Sniper is someone who has taken the science of ballistics and turned it into an art form of movement breathing and Jedi like concentration and focus. A concentration and focus that all comes down to the tiny image seen in the rifle scope's Red Circle. A place where matters of life and death are decided by just a few pound of trigger pressure. In a real sense that may be the whole point of Webb's book. This is how SEALs live their lives, just a few pounds of trigger pressure away from life and death at any moment.

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