A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sometimes, Who Dares, Loses: the SAS Gets Caught

Just over a week ago I did a "Who Dares, Wins" post about the British SAS' successful extraction of oil workers from Libya. Lest I be accused of enabling SAS mythology, I should note the massive screwup they've apparently delivered the British government this time round. What's fair is fair, and when you roll the dice, sometimes you lose. And unlike Mission Impossible, the Director can't always disclaim all knowledge of your operation.

Admittedly, the operatives involved fell into the hands of friendlies, instead of the bad guys, so they're already on their way home on a Royal Navy ship instead of being Qadhafi's prize trophy hostages, but they still screwed up. Here's a rather detailed account of the mission that seems pretty credible. A Guardian account here. And, for more fun, the always entertaining Daily Mail has its account, the web version interspersed with many totally irrelevant photographs, but what the heck.

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