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RetPara

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Former Delta officer’s book to shed light on Tora Bora

By Sean D. Naylor - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Feb 1, 2008 5:34:38 EST

The Delta Force officer who commanded U.S. ground forces hunting Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora in late 2001 will publish a book in October that he promises will explain how the al-Qaida leader managed to slip through the grasp of the United States.

But the author’s plans have put him on a collision course with U.S. Special Operations Command, which he says is threatening to take him to court for revealing classified information.

The author, who spoke on the condition his identity not be revealed, wrote the book under the pseudonym Dalton Fury. At the time of the hunt for bin Laden in the mountainous region of Tora Bora in eastern Afghanistan, Fury was a major commanding a Delta Force troop, and was placed in charge of an additional Delta troop (for a total of about 40 Delta operators) plus assorted other special operations elements at Tora Bora.

It is now generally accepted that bin Laden was present at Tora Bora after fleeing Jalalabad ahead of the allied advance that toppled the Taliban government, but escaped the assault on his mountain stronghold, despite a massive bombing campaign and attacks from allied Afghan militias and U.S. and British special operators. The failure to capture or kill bin Laden at Tora Bora later became a focus for critics of the Bush administration’s handling of the war against al-Qaida.

Fury, who had prior enlisted service as an infantryman, retired in 2005 as a major and decided to write a book about Tora Bora, motivated by a desire to honor the troops who served with him there “and to tell the truth.”

“There have been so many Democratic jabs about it being done with proxy forces, with just maybe U.S. forces advising,” Fury said. “No one has ever really talked about [how] it was the U.S. Delta Force and the SBS [the British Special Boat Service] that were actually in the mountains when the Afghans were leaving every night … So you left Americans behind the lines by themselves.”

Fury said he told his troops when they left Tora Bora, “this is going to become a big deal in the future.”

“Of course everybody looked at me like, ‘No it’s not,’” he recalled. “We all assumed at the time that bin Laden would be caught in a week, a month, a year, and [Tora Bora] would be a minor footnote. But it’s become [so symbolic] of major strategic failure… that I thought the operational positives and the tactical success that we had needed to be told … to the public.”

Fury said the book will also explain how bin Laden managed to escape.

“From my perspective as the ground force commander and what I’ve learned since then, I think we have a pretty good handle on the steps, the missteps, the decisions made and the actual actions that were taken that led him to get out of there,” he said.

The book, which Fury has already written, is tentatively titled Kill bin Laden and will be published by St. Martin’s Press.

But Fury’s plans to publish the book have drawn the ire of Delta’s two higher headquarters – Joint Special Operations Command, which runs the United States’ most secret special operations missions, and U.S. Special Operations Command.

Fury said that, as required by the agreement he signed when he left the unit and retired, he sent Delta a copy of his manuscript for security review.

“They came up with a list of redactions of items they thought ought to be taken out,” he said. “I told them I would honor every one of those. However, they were never ever given to me.”

Delta’s higher headquarters apparently intervened, according to Fury. “It’s not Delta’s fault,” he said. “It’s their higher command – JSOC and SOCOM have the say. And they … collectively decided not to provide me with any detailed redactions after a year of trying through my attorney.”

“All I got back was responses [reminding me of] my commitment to the classified information agreement that I signed … [and] basically threatening to possibly take me to court over this.”

Fury said that after SOCOM “stifled it,” he sent the manuscript to the Defense Department’s Office of Security Review.

“OSR failed to respond in any timely manner at all, after numerous requests from my attorney.

“The comment that SOCOM made was that the sensitive information was so thoroughly woven into the manuscript that any attempt at detailed redaction would be literally impossible. They chose not to do it.”

“We did receive a manuscript from [the author] for security review,” said SOCOM spokesman Army Col. Hans Bush. “The manuscript did not pass security review because it was found to contain classified information. We notified [the author] through his lawyer last fall. To date this remains unresolved. “We are still willing to work with the author in the even he resubmits a manuscript that does not contain classified information.”

Fury chose to write under a pseudonym in part to guard his family’s security, and in part to pre-empt any criticism from within the special operations community that he was engaged in self-promotion.

“In that environment, any self-promotion from unit time is frowned on by everybody,” he said. “And I’m not writing this for my personal glory. The vehicle is kind of about my personal experience, but to fill the book I had to have some of that in there because there wasn’t enough about just the battle. But it was important to me that my buddies don’t see this as ‘the [Dalton Fury] show.’”

Fury is also keen to demonstrate that he’s not cashing in on his time at the unit. His small advance from the publisher barely covers his legal fees, he said.

After getting no response from Delta to his offer to donate his proceeds from the book to the unit’s fund for survivors of fallen unit members, Fury arranged to give the bulk of any further money he makes from the book to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides scholarship grants to the children of special operators who were killed in the line of duty.

He said his efforts have not gone unnoticed by the rank and file in Delta (the full name of which is 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta). While there are some in the unit who have expressed disagreement with decision to publish the book, many others have come out in favor, according to Fury.

“There are numerous people that are completely against it, whether they were my best friend or not, they’re against it, and I respect that, but there’s an awful lot of folks that I hear from all the time, whether it’s through a buddy, a covert e-mail, or whatever about them being 100 percent supportive behind it.” he said.

“Now, the guys that are out who were at Tora Bora, to a man, have been 100 percent supportive.”

The author, who now works as a security consultant, has also established a Web site to promote the book: www.daltonfury.com. The home page features a photograph of a Delta operator at Tora Bora.
 

pardus

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I want to hear about the story (how true that is or whether its indeed true or not) that the SBS were right up Bin Ladens ass and were told to stop and allow US forces to take over and get him therefore allowing him to get away.
 
8

8'Duece

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Another Eric Haney ?? When are rites to the movie being sold ??

The fact that he's willing to give the money to the SOWF may save him from the embarrassment that Eric Haney has recieved.

I'll probably read it non the less.
 

Crusader74

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I want to hear about the story (how true that is or whether its indeed true or not) that the SBS were right up Bin Ladens ass and were told to stop and allow US forces to take over and get him therefore allowing him to get away.


Pretty Sad if in fact that is True.. I don't think the Guys would have minded if The US SOF guys got Credit even if he was caught by the SBS.
 

AWP

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Interesting. I'll get a copy if it ever sees the light of day.
 

Titus Pullo

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Another Eric Haney ?? When are rites to the movie being sold ??

The fact that he's willing to give the money to the SOWF may save him from the embarrassment that Eric Haney has recieved.

I'll probably read it non the less.

I read Haney's piece of crap but this one sounds more self effacing, instead of being about his experiences it sounds more like it is about the units experiences as he tells the story. Since has volunteered to donate the proceeds it certainly does not sound like he is in it for the personal glory or the money but rather to make sure that all the warriors who were there, especially the D-Boys, are not left holding the short end of the stick for failing to capture Osama.
 

Swill

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I'm confused about why he's writing this book. I haven't walked in the man's shoes, but I can't see how this is ok. He's writing the book because he is...

motivated by a desire to honor the troops who served with him there “and to tell the truth.

This implies that they were dishonored publicly... which they weren't. I don't know what happened on the ground, but neither does anyone else whose opinion of those events doesn't matter. So why go public? I'm just not getting it. I can certainly empathize with a man going to great lengths to protect his brothers. But what's to protect as far as the public is concerned? There ain't exactly a public confidence problem with his old unit. As a crusty old SOB said to me once, "This don't jive."

Besides, isn't part of being a member of a unit that doesn't officially exist mean that you forego setting the public record straight?

No one has ever really talked about [how] it was the U.S. Delta Force and the SBS [the British Special Boat Service] that were actually in the mountains...

Isn't that the point?

Getting a pen name, making a point of telling everyone about your terribly expensive legal fees, and donating the bulk of future money (whatever that means) to SOWF screams one thing: "I know what I'm doing is wrong, but I don't want you guys to think bad of me."

I'm not going to buy the book.
 

0699

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I can't speak for the author, but I've found the easiest way to deal with classified stuff is to not talk about it.

If you don't talk about it, you can't inadvertantly reveal it. It's called OPSEC...
 

SpitfireV

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If it's strictly about the battle, what's OPSEC? Take out any references to specialised equipment or specific intelligence and you've got your typical book about a battle in a war.

He does say he had to fill in space, but just make the book shorter if that's the case.

If the book is about a fuck up that let OBL get away, then the story needs to be told if not only for history's sake. Just because it could cause embarrassement to the higher ups especially doesn't mean it should be censored.
 

SpitfireV

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You can write about a battle without going too indepth into those things.

IMO, the story needs to be told. Not really the tactical "the second man of squad four took cover behind rock number 567 on the map provided" type narrative but really the overall "squad four moved around the hill" type narrative.
 

Crusader74

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Shadowspear Members are Banned from Reading it!! lol
 

Swill

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You can write about a battle without going too indepth into those things.

IMO, the story needs to be told. Not really the tactical "the second man of squad four took cover behind rock number 567 on the map provided" type narrative but really the overall "squad four moved around the hill" type narrative.

First, I want Hajj knowing nothing 'bout how we fight. NOTHING. A lot can be inferred from a "clean" narrative. Kinda hard to prevent that, especially with the amount of media coverage there is today, but why serve it to them on a platter? Particularly when it comes to those guys.

Second, why does the tactical narrative "need to be told" to the public? Is there a lessons-learned value in it that can be useful to future military leaders? Sure. But why introduce it into pop culture? No one is alleging that anything illegal or immoral was done. There's no great injustice or evil deed that needs to be righted. So, again, why the need for Joe Q public to get a taste? The answer is obvious.

Lastly, wanna take a guess at how many military operations take place the details of which will NEVER see the light of day? There's no need for that info to be public, just as there's no need for this one to be. Remember, we aren't talking about the 82nd or the 101st.
 

car

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Shadowspear Members are Banned from Reading it!! lol

LOL! Back when I was a PFC a book came out called "The Puzzle Place." It was hyped as the inside book about NSA - No Such Agency. Well, the agency immediatey sent a classified message to all associated commands/units/activities stating that the book had been published, what it was about, and that anyone in the SIGINT community was to, if asked, neither confirm nor deny any knowledge of the National Security Agency. No shit! This was in '82, I think.

Of course we all went and bought the book. It was shit. Mostly about the physical layout of the building, a roster of past directors and deputies, mudane shit. The only interesting part was about how the agency was stood up under authorities of the National Security Act of 1947, and some the "crazy ideas/stupid" shit the agency did in the early days. Like building a huge dish antenna in West Virginia, in a natural basin, that could collect RF signals from Earth that were reflected off the moon. :doh:

The actual goodness that came out of that silliness was the establishment of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV. http://www.gb.nrao.edu/

It's actually about a 1/2 hr drive from my place at Snowshoe. ;)
 
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