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Posted: 11/30/2001 8:32:22 AM EDT
The Washington Times Published 11/30/2001 The first combat death House Editorial www.washtimes.com Johnny Michael Spann, a covert operations officer, died Sunday serving his country in Afghanistan. The 32-year-old father left behind an infant son, two young daughters and his wife in Manassas. The loss of the committed CIA officer was the first combat death in Afghanistan. Mr. Spann was killed during an uprising by hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners in a fortress near Mazar-e-Sharif where he was gathering intelligence on the Taliban. The uprising was not quelled until Wednesday, when Northern Alliance forces and U.S. jets destroyed the compound. The CIA confirmed Mr. Spann was stomped to death in the riots, the New York Post reported. The fact that Mr. Spann, an intelligence officer, was the first combat casualty, gives a face and credence to the United States' less publicized mission to Afghanistan — one in which the CIA has a vital role in providing weapons, money and intelligence to opponents of the Taliban and al Qaeda. CIA Director George Tenet has called on CIA personnel to "continue the mission that Mike Spann held sacred." Indeed, it was a mission for which Mr. Spann had prepared since high school, when he told family and friends he wanted to be in the CIA or FBI. After serving in the Marine Corps from 1991 to 1999, he joined the CIA as an officer in Langley's Special Activities Division. When he decided to make the switch, he told his father he wanted to make the world a better place, "to do the things no one else wants to do." He was given that opportunity in Afghanistan, where he served as a paramilitary trooper and was one of only two CIA operatives inside the compound when he died. The only son of Johnny and Gail Spann, he was known for his patriotism, courage and humility. "His brand of leadership was founded not on words, but on deeds — deeds performed in conditions of hazard and hardship," Mr. Tenet said. "Mike fell bringing freedom to a distant people while defending freedom for all of us here at home. Mike Spann was an American hero, a man who showed passion for his country and his agency through his selfless courage." For those he has left behind, Mr. Spann helped make the world a better place. He achieved his goal of doing those brave deeds that most Americans would dare not do and given his compatriots a vision to continue that work.
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 9:37:46 AM EDT
WTF is a guy with three young childen doing running around in Afghanistan with the CIA? I wonder if his wife thinks that he "left the world a better place"?
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 10:16:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Norm_G: WTF is a guy with three young childen doing running around in Afghanistan with the CIA? I wonder if his wife thinks that he "left the world a better place"?
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He was doing his duty, and as he's been in the military or the CIA since he was a teen, I imagine his wife knew the risks when she married him.
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 10:20:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Norm_G: WTF is a guy with three young childen doing running around in Afghanistan with the CIA? I wonder if his wife thinks that he "left the world a better place"?
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Ever see the Patriot? "wars are not fought only by childless men"
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 10:38:23 AM EDT
The first combat death in Somalia was also a "civilian DOD employee", a spook. The US is increasing relying on civialian consultants. In my experiance they are unprofessional and more of a danger to US troops than an asset.
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 10:44:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan: The first combat death in Somalia was also a "civilian DOD employee", a spook. The US is increasing relying on civialian consultants. In my experiance they are unprofessional and more of a danger to US troops than an asset.
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Many of them are former operators themselves. -SARguy
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 11:10:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 11:24:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AR15fan: .....In my experiance they are unprofessional and more of a danger to US troops than an asset.
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WTF Tom Clancy, based on what?
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 12:43:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/30/2001 1:22:26 PM EDT by AR15fan]
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
Originally Posted By AR15fan: .....In my experiance they are unprofessional and more of a danger to US troops than an asset.
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WTF Tom Clancy, based on what?
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My own personal experiances with them. Just one of many examples.... On Dec 11, 1992 My squad took a "DOD civilian employee" to meet a local Somali clan elder. as we neared the location of the meet we were ambushed by RPG's and small arms fire. As we attempted to drive through the ambush our "passenger" climbed through the gun turrent, making it impossible for my gunner to lay down effective supressive fire, and started screaming "their with me.. their with me" in english! We got back to the Airport and the spook told us The Somali clan that had just ambushed us were allegedly the "good guys" and that is who he had negotiated the meet with. My platoon commander told him off when he asked us to take him back out. He ended up using taxpayer money to buy himself a land rover and a Somali driver. I can cite several more specific incidences of the spooks making the ground troops job harder if anyone is interested... Edited cause I spell bad
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 12:56:25 PM EDT
What in the hell is the CIA chief thinking? He was a spook. There should be no confirmation of who he was or whether he died at all. Not only do they report he was as pook but tells people where he lived and about his family. The reason the CIA failed to stop the 9/11 attacks was because of this unprofessionalism. The real pros havent handled the CIA and FBI since the Reagan years. Fuckin Clinton gutted these agencies.
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 1:31:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/30/2001 1:59:25 PM EDT
"Air15fan" lots of story's about incompetent CIA people. I have no doubt yours is true. However, this guy was an ex-Marine and almost certainly worked with a small integrated services group while active. These people are operators - experienced operators. The CIA has been in the Afghan for more than a year and I expect this guy was one of those as he spoke the language. This guy gave "all" and is a hero in my book.
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