According to colleagues back home, our Fox News team here in Afghanistan has missed all the excitement. They note that since we left the USA last month, Washington has been the scene of the largest peaceful protest in history against a sitting government. We didn't get to see a bold congressman rise during a televised joint session of Congress to accuse the president of the United States of prevaricating. We were unable to witness the outing of White House "green jobs czar" Van Jones or the sudden demise of a corrupt, scandal-ridden, "anti-poverty" organization called ACORN. And because we don't have television or radio or newspapers out here, we also missed Vice President Joe Biden's blitz on Baghdad. All pretty exciting stuff. But I wouldn't trade a single day with the raiders with whom we have been keeping company for any of that.
The "raiders" are an extraordinary cross section of talent, tenacity, experience and courage. In their ranks are U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agents, intelligence specialists, linguists, U.S. and coalition special operators, pilots and air crewmen from the Department of Defense and the State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, contract weapons and tactics experts and some very dedicated, brave and resourceful Afghan police officers. In the past few months, these raiders have become the nemesis of the Taliban, and they have done it all beneath the radar of the mainstream media.
Our Fox News team has spent nearly a month embedded with them on operations that span the length and breadth of this harsh land. By agreement, we do not photograph or videotape most of their faces or identify them by anything but their first names. In our broadcasts, we are not allowed to specify who is or who is not part of a particular military unit. On many of their operations, they use non-U.S. aircraft and rarely employ American military vehicles. Yet thanks to the DEA's unique ability to collect accurate "full-spectrum intelligence," validated by human sources, and exploit that information with rapid, direct action, the raiders' effectiveness in taking on the Taliban is unparalleled. One of the missions we accompanied this week provides a dramatic example.
We launched well before dawn on three Russian Mi-17 helicopters, a surreal experience for me. I had trained for years in the Marines on how to shoot these down. Now I was riding in one, armed with a camera and covering other young men fighting a different enemy.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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