Saturday, December 17, 2011

Book Review - Seal Target Geronimo by Chuck Pfarrer

Book: Seal Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama Bin Laden by Chuck Pfarrer. (Amazon link).

Overview: This book purports to be about the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden. However, there is considerable debate on whether Pfarrer fabricated the facts in the book.

Impression: The book falls into roughly three sections: SEAL training and history of SEAL Team 6; background on Islamic terrorism; and the planning and execution of the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden. For anyone that has read other books about the SEALs, the training and background section is old news. The background on Islamic terrorism had a lot of anti-Israeli bias, but was interesting. The preparation and mission to kill Bin Laden was actually well written and a good read. Unfortunately, there is substantial controversy as to the truth of the book. (Read the "one star" reviews at Amazon; also, read this article at the American Thinker). The American Thinker article concludes:
Because so much of this information is classified, Pfarrer's narrative cannot be fully proven or disproven. There are those in the military who feel that too much information has already been given out, jeopardizing the SEALs and their families, while others have commented that this book is a fabrication. In defending himself, Pfarrer noted that "no one had refuted individual points of my story, yet they have called the book a fabrication. I know everything about this operation, good and bad. I stand by what I wrote." He made good points regarding some of his arguments, while there is skepticism about other arguments. American Thinker feels that the truth lies somewhere in between.
Notable Points: The single most notable thing in the book was the claim that chemical weapon attacks (including nerve gas attacks) had been made against coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a theme that Pfarrer has written about before. (See article here). I tried to find some news reports to confirm the specific sarin gas attack mentioned in his book and article, but was unable to do so. I did come across this article about the possible use of nerve gas on female school students in Afghanistan.

Update: Pfarrer's article cited this article from Fox News, which I was able to pull up.

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