Disney Trademarks “Seal Team 6″
2011 05 16

By Alex Weprin | MediaBistro.com

In a perfect example of a big media company looking to capitalize on current events, The Walt Disney Company has trademarked “Seal Team 6,” which also happens to be the name of the elite special forces team that killed Osama Bin Laden.

The trademark applications came on May 3rd, two days after the operation that killed Bin Laden… and two days after “Seal Team 6″ was included in thousands of news articles and TV programs focusing on the operation.

Disney’s trademark applications for “Seal Team 6″ cover clothing, footwear, headwear, toys, games and “entertainment and education services,” among other things.

You can read the actual applications here, here and here.

Of course, for all we know Disney has been working on an animated feature about a team of anthropomorphic seals in search of adventure, but given the timing of the application that seems… unlikely.

Article from: mediabistro.com





The torture and the glory: secrets of the navy Seals
By Kevin Bloom | TheDailyMaverick.co.za

The truth of Seal Team Six reads like a made-for-Hollywood movie, with brutal training regimens, night-time raids and impossible missions driving the action-thriller narrative. What Hollywood doesn’t say about the soldiers who killed Osama bin Laden, though, is that the torture they’ve administered is probably a lot more brutal than the torture they’ve undergone.

The word for them is “secret”. Which you’d never have guessed on Friday, 6 May, when Google had 74,822 related items linked to the news search term “SEAL Team Six”. Still, you’re really not supposed to know about these guys. That’s because the elite unit that killed Osama bin Laden belongs to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a collection of classified task forces that reports directly to the US president and whose existence the military routinely denies. As Marc Ambinder, a White House correspondent for the National Journal and contributing editor to The Atlantic, noted on Monday, 2 May – you only hear about JSOC “when something goes bad” or “when something really big happens”. For instance, in the latter case, when the leader of the world’s most notorious terrorist organisation is assassinated. Then, you’ll read under the byline of journalists like Ambinder about MH-60 helicopters flying low towards Abbottabad, about the commandos on board braced and ready for action, about the navigators using “highly classified hyperspectral imagers,” and about the double tap (“boom boom”) to the left side of the target’s face as the SEAL Team lands and instantly overruns the garrisoned compound outside Islamabad.

Of course, as Ambinder also noted, there are some things about the operation that will always remain classified. “How did the helos elude the Pakistani air defense network?” he asked. “Did they spoof transponder codes? Were they painted and tricked out with Pakistan Air Force equipment? If so – and we may never know – two other JSOC units, the Technical Application Programs Office and the Aviation Technology Evaluation Group, were responsible. These truly are the silent squirrels – never getting public credit and not caring one whit. Since 9/11, the JSOC units and their task forces have become the US government’s most effective and lethal weapon against terrorists and their networks, drawing plenty of unwanted, and occasionally unflattering, attention to themselves in the process.”

Unflattering, though, is something of an understatement. The famed and celebrated general Stanley McChrystal, former commander of JSOC, got big kudos for the killing of Abu Massab al-Zarqawi (the militant Jordanian Islamist with a penchant for videotaped beheadings) in 2006, but his involvement in acts of systematic and sustained torture wasn’t quite as well publicised. At Camp Nama in Baghdad, when McChrystal ran the operation, the JSOC had a unit called Task Force 6-26, which had as its sole purpose the daily brutalisation of suspected terrorists and insurgents. The activities at Camp Nama continued long after the Abu Ghraib scandal, and many detainees were killed by the elite US soldiers who manned the task force. According to a report published in Counterpunch in 2010, placards were hung in the camp with the words “No Blood, No Foul,” a reference to the torturers’ proficiency in administering pain without spilling blood – and thus without subjecting themselves to potential punishment from the higher-ups.

Also in 2010, Scott Horton published a lengthy expose in Harpers magazine about three alleged suicides at Guantanamo, and especially about a mysterious section of the compound called “Camp No” – as in, if anyone was asked whether it existed, the answer would be, “No, it doesn’t.” The common consensus was that the camp was run by JSOC, and that acts of unspeakable and mysterious torture happened down there.

[...]

The Camp No story, unproven though it may be, casts the darkest pall over the clandestine activities of JSOC. Horton, writing in Harper’s, suggested that George W. Bush’s defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld wanted to transform JSOC into “a Pentagon version of the CIA,” and that under his direction it “began to take on many tasks traditionally handled by the CIA, including the housing and interrogation of prisoners at black sites around the world.” Camp No was reportedly one such site, and according to the Harper’s article, the three men who “officially” committed suicide in their cells at Guantanamo did no such thing – they were killed, most likely by JSOC operatives, because they were about to prove their innocence.

“Meanwhile,” wrote Stan Goff in Counterpunch, “JSOC flourishes, cloaked in secrecy with just the mystique peeking out. But there was no leaping over tall buildings in a single bound, no warrior-poets protecting us from the manifold dangers lurking outside our borders. There’s just garden variety machismo, men who beat, torture, and kill unarmed detainees... men who have learned to relish violence, because it raises their esteem in the eyes of other men the terrible escalations of probative masculinity that continue to underwrite the wars of capital and nationalism like no other phenomenon.”


Read the full article at: thedailymaverick.co.za





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