It’s not often that we pen a sentence like the headline (Pen? -Ed. Well, what are we going to say? “not often that we WordPress a sentence?” Get real! OK, go with “pen.” -Ed.). But we have to do just that in response to a decision by the producers and staff of CBS’s 60 minutes.
When word of the book was announced last week, a few news organizations discovered Mark Owen’s real name and published it. As a result, he’s a marked man — in hiding — probably for the rest of his life. We will not reveal his true name.
We’re sure we don’t love you guys any more than we did last week, and we’re sure your regard for us hasn’t changed either. But that was the right decision. Thank you, CBS News, for acting like responsible adults.
By the way, CBS didn’t mention them by name, but the news agencies that fell all over themselves to out the guy were Fox News (!) and the Associated Press, or as we’ve called it since Bilal Hussein days, the Associated (with terrorists) Press. (And this outing has had predictable consequences: various luminaries in the underworld of Islam have called for the SEAL author’s beheading). You might want to think about their demonstrated ethics when any of these news agencies come calling. (Don’t just no-comment them, though: send them on wild-goose chases with fanciful but plausible lies).
You might ask, why bother to keep a secret now, when the cat has been debagged on cable and wire already? This is why: the threat to “Mark Owen” is not just, and not principally, highly organized Al-Qaeda cels that will conduct thorough IPB and systematic net searches to learn facts about him. (Newsmen trying to do that, by the way, have descended on a completely unrelated family that have had the ill luck to buy a house where “Owen’s” family formerly dwelt. Oddly enough, the intrepid journalists didn’t write about that one, our frogman friend Brandon Webb over at Sofrep did — normally we’d link to the exact post, but, the name thing, you know?). The threat is primarily the single, radicalized, disorganized Moslem who seeks to advance himself in that faith by whacking somebody. This is the rationalization mechanism that leads to the attacks called “sudden jihad syndrome” (or “workplace violence” if you’re a DHS official failing to understand Nidal Hasan).
Along with Hasan’s murder spree, this same thought pattern led to a grenade attack by a traitorous Moslem soldier, Hassan Akbar, in Iraq in 2003 and the NC-Chapel Hill vehicular assault on March 3, 2006, This is, in fact, the rationalization mechanism behind some of the green–on-blue murders that have so dominated the news from Afghanistan lately.
The Sudden Jihad Syndrome terrorist is a disorganized and opportunistic attacker. Accordingly, mentioning the name of the SEAL author does increase his exposure to exactly the threat most likely to have an opportunistic shot at him.
That may not be why CBS didn’t mention his name, but it’s a why we don’t. And you shouldn’t, either.