Did you read that the head of Britain’s special forces has been trying to stop the publication of a book by a senior BBC journalist which describes in “tactical detail” operations carried out by the SAS in Iraq from 2003 to 2009?

The major-general, who cannot be identified for security reasons, is concerned about the impact of Task Force Black on the elite regiment’s operational effectiveness because of the contents, which are understood to be based on interviews with members and former members of the SAS. Negotiations with lawyers representing the book’s author, Mark Urban, Newsnight’s diplomatic and defence editor, and the Ministry of Defence, have been going on for months, and a compromise had been reached.

I suggest that the BBC’s visceral hatred of our military – and our Special Forces in particular – drives this sort of project and even though the publication of this book may result in future deaths of OUR soldiers, I am sure Newsnight’s Urban has no such worries. 
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8 Responses to THE ENEMY WITHIN..

  1. DP111 says:

    There is the enemy within, which threatens our wounded soldiers in hospitals, demonstrates against them on the streets, and then are those who undermine them by propaganda. Both are publicly funded but one is more insidious then the other, for it pretends to be one of us.


  2. David Jones says:

    He has written some very good books – and

    Perhaps he should stick to the Napoleonic Wars.


  3. Martin says:

    The BBC betraying the armed forces, nothing new there. Remember the Falklands.


  4. Grant says:

    Of course the BBC use of the word “elite” in this context is pejorative.
    As opposed to elite BBC journalists.
    I would assume that Urban is as ignorant of military matters as all other Beeboids, therefore no-one in their right mind would rely on this book.
    However, the risk is that he identifies individuals and increases the likelihood of them being targets.
    The even bigger risk is that he identifies the wrong individuals.
    No doubt Urban will donate his royalties to a military charity.


  5. Umbongo says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that it’s a BBC journalist is seeking to reveal the tactics and thereby weaken the effectiveness of the SAS.  However, just as “guilty” are the bigmouths who spoke to him.  What were their motives? If some ex-SAS idiot spills the operational and tactical beans to a journalist, then the journalist has a story to tell.  We can’t criticise the BBC just because it is provided with a story.

    Of course, Urban – encouraged by the BBC – wishes to “out” the SAS uncaring of the consequences of such revelations (although two consequences will be fame and cash for Urban).  However, where he (and the BBC) might be criticised is that they appear more interested in undermining our forces by getting at the “truth” of SAS activities than they are, for instance, in undermining the corruption of science by revealing the “truth” or otherwise behind the AGW scam.

    In Urban’s favour, he is probably only retailing information from those in the know: I doubt he’s making it up as he goes along.  Compare that with the journalism practised by Harrabin, Black and Shukman and, while we’re about it, Peston.  Urban is not a propagandist for Saddam or jihadists; he is not suppressing (I hope) differing opinions on the effectiveness or otherwise of SAS tactics or how the SAS was used; he isn’t toeing the Labour line by demonising bankers or throwing information about deals into the public domain which, when I worked in the City, would have resulted in a prosecution.

    Again, to be fair to Urban, the military establishment is always reluctant to release any information into the public domain.  The great unwashed might discover what a load of clowns there are at the top of the MoD and in senior positions within the military itself.  If we don’t know what’s going on, at the very least we vote for our leaders in ignorance.  Mind you, I happen to know that a vote for any of the three major parties is a vote in favour of clowns in every ministry.


  6. Grant says:

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if scum like Urban were kidnapped by terrorists and not rescued by the SAS  ?


  7. woodentop says:

    Mark Urban is ex regular Army and TA and has written some great military books. I’d more likely assume that he’s overstepped the mark in the eyes of the top brass with the details of what he wants to publish rather than ascribe any sinister motive to this. I think Umbongo has it mostly nailed.


  8. rich b says:

    Mark Urban wrote a very good book about the SAS in Northern Ireland called Big Boys Rules, and was quite sympathetic towards them. However, now is not really the best time for a book on the SAS in Iraq, particularly as the techniques they used are probably still being used in Afghanistan.
    However, AARSE don’t seem too bothered.