I wish the President had made this statement himself, but in any case it’s not a place to play politics:

“The president does not at all regret ordering this mission to try to rescue Mr. Somers,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday, adding that it was “apparent” the captors planned to execute the freelance photojournalist within hours.

Somers, 33, was held for a year by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula before the U.S. military attempted to rescue him almost two weeks ago, only to find he was not at the targeted location.

The militants then released a video threatening to kill Somers in three days if their demands were not met, setting the stage for a second commando raid.

In that operation, Somers’ captors were somehow alerted to the approaching military team — possibly by a barking dog — and shot him and South African hostage Pierre Korkie, whose release was reportedly imminent. Six militants were also killed in the ensuing firefight.


Anything — and I mean any weird little thing — can make a rescue mission go Tango Uniform. In this case, it seems to have been a barking dog. I’m sorry the hostages were killed, I’m glad all of our operators made it home, and despite the failure I’m glad the President gave the Go order on this one.

Always keep in mind that there’s a reason the second word in SNAFU is “normal.”


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