Honor and Betrayal is the detailed account of the Navy SEALs who captured the al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmad Hashim Abd al-Isawi, the “Butcher of Fallujah". Al-Isawi was the mastermind behind the 2004 murder and mutilation of four Blackwater American security contractors whose bodies were dragged through the streets and ultimately hung from a bridge.
It is shameful what these brave SEALs were put through.
... Within hours of his capture, al-Isawi, with his lip bleeding, claimed he had been beaten in his holding cell. Three Navy SEALs—members of the same team that had just captured the notorious terrorist—were charged with prisoner abuse, dereliction of duty, and lying. On the word of a terrorist!
The three Navy SEALs were placed under house arrest and forbidden contact with their comrades. Despite enormous pressure from their commanders to sign confessions to “lesser charges,” the three resolute and fearless SEALs each demanded a court-martial. They were determined to prove their innocence. (more)
The author, Patrick Robinson (with cooperation of former Navy SEALs Matthew McCabe and Jonathan Keefe) provides the reader with history and insight into what it takes to become a Navy SEAL, the rules of engagement, the region where the SEALs were operating, and the depth of hurt and anger experienced by the SEALs.
Except for the vast oil deposits, much is unchanged since biblical times. Tribal laws have survived down the centuries. You can sense it, feel it, this inner soul of martyrdom, where the residents will go to war -- a real, hot, shooting war, red in tooth and claw -- over a difference of religious opinion. And not even much of a difference.
There is a brutality here, where one group of Muslims will think nothing of blowing up an entire marketplace, killing, maiming, and blasting women and children, because the shopping group believed in some variation of the Koran.
And although US troops tried to bring sanity to Iraq, nothing really worked. They are who they are: a couple of paces in front of the ancient Bedoin tribes, but not much more. And now Matt and Jon were in the heart of the War on Terror on the edge of the Syrian Desert, ready to play their part in hunting down the commanders of this weird and secretive killing society, al-Qaeda in Iraq. (page 68,69)
Also shameful is how political correctness played a part in the treatment of the SEALs.
There's nothing quite like those two words: "prisoner abuse." And the military, though to a far, far lesser degree than other huge organizations, is not averse to locating of a couple of decoys in order to divert blame from principal executives. (page 118)
Useful idiots (my words) and those who want to blame someone else for their failures also played a part in this horrific drama.
There was now no doubt in his mind: Westinson had concocted this whole bizarre story and, for some reason, was sticking to it. And Matt was within a whisker of being charged with a military crime that would surely end his career as a Navy SEAL. If found guilty, he might be incarcerated in prison. (page 129)
... some people thought President Obama was somewhat obsessed with detainees' rights. (page 171)
Buy this book, read how the SEALs ultimately decided that they needed lawyers and how the legal proceedings progressed step-by-step. Read how certain people in the United States stepped up when the SEALs needed them and how the American people supported them in every way possible, including financially.
Honor and Betrayal will make a great Christmas gift for anyone in your family.
Patrick Robinson is also the co-author with Marcus Luttrell of the number one New York Times bestseller Lone Survivor.
The movie Lone Survivor, based on the book of the same name, opens in theaters Jaunary 10, 2014. (IMBD: Based on the failed June 28, 2005 mission "Operation Red Wings". Four members of SEAL Team 10 were tasked with the mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shahd.) Movie trailer here. I highly recommend the book and the movie.