This is a job for… SEAL Team Six, the closest thing to superheroes that real life offers

They’re not the Justice League of America, or even the Avengers (although the name sometimes fits). They don’t wear colorful tights. But SEAL Team Six is the closest thing we’re likely to see in real life to a band of superheroes.

First bin Laden, now this:

KHARTOUM, Sudan — American Navy Seals swooped into Somalia early on Wednesday and rescued two aid workers, an American woman and a Danish man, after a shootout with Somali gunmen who had been holding them captive in a sweltering desert hide-out for months.

Under a cloak of darkness, the Seals parachuted in, stormed the hide-out, killed nine gunmen and then whisked the aid workers into waiting helicopters, Pentagon officials said. The Seals were from the same elite Navy commando unit — Seal Team Six — that secretly entered Pakistan to kill Osama Bin Laden in May, senior American officials said, though the rescue mission in Somalia was carried out by a different assault team within the unit…

I'm pretty sure this is NOT what SEAL Team Six looks like...

They just keep doing these amazing things that no one else seems able to do anymore, outside of the IDF and Mossad, and what have they done that seemed quasi-superhuman since the raid on Entebbe?

You know what else? We don’t know their identities. They could be named Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne, for all we know.

OK, I’ll stop with the riffing on the superhero thing. But I like that we don’t know who they are. It allows us to see them as an extensions of all of us, however unheroic most of us may be.

The fact that they’re out there, doing this stuff without any personal fame, makes us think that The Onion was wrong: Steve Jobs was NOT “The Last American Who Knew What the F___ He Was Doing.”

Very good to know.

Only one dark lining in this silver cloud: Ron Paul might get the notion that with these guys active, we can just do away with the rest of our military, and still be fine. And the idea could catch on…

11 thoughts on “This is a job for… SEAL Team Six, the closest thing to superheroes that real life offers

  1. Steven Davis

    There’s no proof, nor will there ever be, that any of the members who were involved in the fight last night were also involved the Bin Laden fight. SEAL teams are not a group of 5-6 or 9 people like in the movies there may be 30 or more people in a SEAL team.

  2. Doug Ross

    Again with the Ron Paul disinformation. He has stated repeatedly that he would support covert activities to get terrorists.

    You really should try to listen to what he says instead of making broad assumptions based on your anti-libertarian bias.

  3. Jeff Morrell

    I am more concerned with why the unit involved is even mentioned. There doesn’t seem to be the concern for such things to remain classified as it was during my time in the military. The CinC on down should know better.

  4. Silence

    @ Steven – The actual size is classified, but I think it’s about 300 people in total. Of course not all of them are probably trigger-pullers, but maybe they are! The fact that they are headed by a commander (O-5) might give you an idea about the size.

  5. Silence

    Also, “Seal Team Six” doesn’t actually exist anymore. It’s possible that they are just saying “Seal Team Six” when in fact it’s a slew of special operations units….

  6. Karen McLeod

    There was an interesting question about this raid on NPR today. A listener asked if the rescue of civilian hostages was going to become a function of our special forces. And if so, is it an appropriate job for these forces. Any thoughts?

  7. Silence

    @Karen – Our special ops have been called upon for years to rescue civilian hostages. Operation Eagle Claw in 1980 comes to mind, where the “Delta Force” attempted (unsuccessfully) to rescue the American hostages from Iran. The invasion of Grenada, Operation Ivory Coast during Vietnam, and many others all involved rescue attempts as well, either of civilians or military pax.
    It’s a perfectly legit function, and has been a part of our special forces’ missions for a long time.

  8. Steven Davis

    Silence, maybe the SEAL teams combined may be around 300, but each team is far less than 300 people.

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