The Biden administration gave CBS access to our military personnel and a critical command center. The 60 Minutes segment airing Sunday night released secret defense strategies that helped save the lives of our troops under President Trump in 2020. This secret is now in the wind making it nearly impossible to be useful again.
In early January of 2020, Iran was readying missiles and targeting a U.S air base in Iraq. This was Iran’s response to the killing of terrorist Qasem Soleimani six days earlier. However, the U.S. military was monitoring Iran’s purchase of commercially available satellite images. Shortly after Iran’s last image upload for the day, Marine General Frank McKenzie ordered the evacuation of troops from the Al-Assad air base. Helicopters, drones, other aircraft and assets were also moved. Iran was not aware they were targeting what had become essentially an empty base.
David Martin (60 Minutes): The Iranians monitored Al Asad by purchasing photos taken by commercial satellites. Gen. McKenzie waited until after Iran had downloaded its last picture for the day. So the last time the Iranians took a look with their commercially acquired spy photos, what would they have seen?
Gen. Frank McKenzie: They would have seen airplanes on the ground and people working…expected to destroy a number of U.S. aircraft and to kill a number of U.S. service members.
The intelligence from image purchases gave our military a few hours to evacuate the 1,500 U.S. and 70 Norwegian troops. Most were either flown out of the base or sheltering in bunkers by 11:00PM the night of January 7th, 2020. The volley of missiles began just after 1:30AM. No one was killed by the attack. Like most stories from 60 Minutes their tone attacks President Trump. In this example they quote a soldier who said “we got lucky”. The Trump administration kept our military movements and strategies secret, including this one.
However, the Biden administration seems willing to show the hand of our military, just like Obama. Among other things, General McKenzie volunteers info about image purchases to 60 Minutes. His info certainly had to be cleared for release. Detailed video is shown inside of the Central Command of U.S. forces for the Middle East. For no apparent reason, CBS discloses the location is in Tampa. The numerous interviews with military personnel describing our actions that day will also be useful to U.S. adversaries.
CBS shows all types of communications gear, including nearly 30 phones at CENTCOM. Some are marked with paper labels and notes. The “VADM Mallory” desk plate indicates devices with direct communications to Vice Adm. James Malloy. He is not part of this 60 Minutes story so why show that? The exact make and model of these various IP phones can now be identified, including their type of firmware, making it easier to target that communications from Tampa. Although many computers shown are on screensaver, they show desktop icons, paper tags, and notes attached to their side panels. This includes key workstation names like CAG, J3, and CESL
In one 3 second clip, the dial pad of a CENTCOM phone is also shown. It displays several contact numbers (539-xxxx) and direct dial labels for the Secretary of Defense, the XO, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, and so on. These are digital labels stored in a database that could be traced. They are not paper overlays. It’s astonishing that a Commander in Chief or staff would allow images like this to be made public. CBS likely has hours of raw footage in Hi-Def – and all of it should be deleted immediately. They could have done an identical story without any of these images. So, who’s side are they on?