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Thread: Prince Harry's cover in Afghanistan blown by Drudge Report

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    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    Exclamation Prince Harry's cover in Afghanistan blown by Drudge Report

    Source: The Independent (UK)

    An American website, the Drudge Report, broke a news blackout yesterday by revealing that Prince Harry has been serving in Afghanistan for more than two months.

    To the fury of the Ministry of Defence and condemnation from the head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, the website announced a "world exclusive" and proclaimed: "They're calling him 'Harry the Hero!".

    The article brought to an end an agreement with the media that the Prince's deployment to Helmand be kept quiet in the interests of his safety and that of the soldiers with him.

    ... "I am very disappointed that foreign websites have decided to run this story without consulting us. This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the UK print and broadcast media, along with a small number of overseas outlets, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations," General Dannatt said.
    Prince's cover in Afghanistan blown by Drudge Report - Home News, UK - Independent.co.uk

    Uh-oh. What do you fellow Brits think about this? Personally I'm pissed that an asshole like Drudge (he's a neo-con) would put a patriot like Harry (a royal who actually is doing something for his country) in danger.

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    Silver Member jlo25's Avatar
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    I agree it is totally out of order

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    A*O
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    Actually, this story was blown by an Aussie gossip mag, New Idea, a few weeks ago. They didn't realise there was an embargo and nobody picked up on it until now. I can't see what the fuss is about. He's in the army doing what soldiers do in a place that's the arse end of nowhere. It's nice to see him doing something 'productive' instead of falling down drunk outside London nightclubs with his slapper girlfriend.
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    Default Military chiefs pull Prince Harry out of Afghanistan after his cover is blown

    • 'This gives me my best chance to be normal'
    • 'William wrote to tell me our mother would be proud'
    • 'I would never be a bullet magnet'
    • Muslim groups warn that Harry will be target

    • British press praised for keeping Harry's deployment secret


    The MoD has decided to pull Prince Harry out of Afghanistan after details of his secret deployment were broadcast around the world.

    Military chiefs were today making final preparations to remove the prince from the front line and fly him back to Britain.
    He is expected back home by the end of the weekend after the logistics of transporting him out of the warzone are hammered out.
    The move follows fears that Harry could become a target for Taliban fighters in the region now the news blackout on his deployment has been broken.
    A formal announcement on the decision is expected before noon. Scroll down for more ...

    Harry had sworn to quit the Army if he was not sent to fight




    In an interview just last week, Harry conceded that on his return to the UK, he could be a "top target" for homegrown jihadists sympathetic to the Taliban.
    "Once this ... comes out, every single person that supports them will be trying to slot me," he said.

    Harry's planned tour in Iraq was cancelled last year after news of his planned deployment was leaked.
    When the news broke, an Iraqi rebel leader at the time threatened to capture the young prince and cut off his ears.

    Last night, the MoD confirmed that the 23-year-old Household Cavalry officer has spent the past ten weeks secretly serving in war-ravaged Helmand Province and was there over Christmas.
    He dropped his first bombs on New Year's Eve.
    The Prince dismissed fears that he will be a "bullet magnet", swore he does not miss "anything", said he believed his mother was proud of him - and made no reference to girlfriend Chelsy Davy.
    Squaddies logging on to the Army's rumour website today congratulated the Prince on his tour of duty.
    "Fair play to Harry for doing his duty along with the rest of us, good to see," said one.
    Another spoke of their pride at seeing a member of the Royal family fighting alongside ordinary soldiers. Scroll down for more ...

    Prince Harry sits with Lance Cpl of Horse Chris 'Dougie' Douglass atop a Spartan armoured vehicle in the Helmand province, Southern Afghanistan.



    "Well done to Prince Harry for fighting to get out there, well done to all those who made it possible for him to go with his lads and good luck to each and every one of you out on deployment to the 'hot' places - come back safe."
    This morning, senior Army officer Brigadier Patrick Marriott said it would be a disappointment "from a military perspective" if Prince Harry has to be pulled out.
    He told GMTV: "He's a very good officer, and if he has to be extracted, that is a disappointment, from a military perspective."

    He added: "He's done extremely well, he's a competent operator in his own trade, and he's also a fine leader, you could see that on the television last night."
    There were fears among Muslim groups that Prince Harry's role in Afghanistan could put him and other British soldiers at risk of attack or kidnap.
    Inayat Bunglawala, from the Muslim Council of Britain, said that if Harry remains in Afghanistan his life could be in danger.
    "If he is still there I am sure many Afghans opposed to the British presence in Afghanistan will see him as a high-value target," he said.
    Brig Marriott said this morning that what happened next would be part of a "well worked-out plan".
    "It's always been considered it could break, and it will be the CDS's [chief of defence staff] call on it." Scroll down for more ...

    Harry said his deployment meant all his wishes had come true

    Read more...

    He said that from the outset that security was a very important factor, but Prince Harry was treated as a normal officer.
    "That's what he wanted, and that's exactly what has happened throughout."
    Despite being third in line to the throne, the prince was allowed to operate within sight of enemy positions, calling in air strikes and carrying out aerial surveillance of Taliban trenches and bunker systems.
    He said he believed his mother Diana was looking down on him with pride - and hoped the British public would greet news of his deployment with "So what?".


    And he called for commentators who branded him a "coward" for not going to Iraq to "eat their words".
    "I wouldn't expect the British public to make much of it," he said.
    Harry with his mother Princess Diana. Harry's brother William wrote while he was on the front line to tell him: 'Our mother would be proud'


    "I think they would just turn round and go, 'Yep, good on him, good on the people who got him out there, he's a soldier, so what', that sort of thing.
    "'So what if he goes out there, my husband went out there, he died,' would be the general opinion, hopefully so."
    Harry, 23, who was just 12 when his mother was killed in a car crash in Paris in August 1997, said he believed she was looking down on him, "having a giggle" when things went wrong.

    He told how, while he was in Helmand, his brother Prince William wrote to tell him their mother would be proud - but said he does not have time to feel sorry for himself as he is too busy watching out for those around him.

    "I suppose it's just the way it is, there are other people out here who've lost one of their parents, I'm sure it's the same for them," he said.

    "If you ... think about stuff like that then you're only going to feel sorry for yourself - just get on with the job, have a laugh with the blokes, if you want to feel sorry for yourself do it when you get back."
    Scroll down for more...




    Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Prince Harry has been an "exemplary" soldier, adding: "The whole of Britain will be proud of the outstanding service he is giving."
    Conservative leader David Cameron said: "Like all the troops currently fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, Harry has been incredibly brave. He has pursued his desire to get on the frontline and serve his country with huge determination and courage.
    "I applaud the British press for not breaking the story and risking his life and others around him."
    The Prince's deployment had been cloaked in secrecy under a news blackout deal agreed across the UK media to prevent details reaching the Taliban and endangering Harry and his comrades.
    But the arrangement broke down last night after the news was leaked out on the US website the Drudge Report.
    Australian magazine New Idea and German newspaper Bild also both broke the embargo on the news.
    As part of the deal a group of journalists had visited the prince in Helmand on condition that details would only be publicised once he was safely back in the UK.
    The deal was arranged after Harry's planned tour to Iraq last year had to be cancelled because of a security risk sparked by publicity.
    He later swore he would quit the Army if he was not allowed to fight.
    As the Prince flew out to Afghanistan in December he brushed off fears he would become a "bullet magnet", saying: "I just want to do my bit." Scroll down for more ...

    Harry's first bomb: Directing operations: Prince Harry talks to aircraft control from JTAC Hill close to Base Dwyer ...

    ... and two US F15 jets discharge separate 500lb charges onto a Taliban bunker system after being given clearance by the Prince - known to pilots only as call sign Widow Six Seven

    • See video of Harry directing his first bomb drop here



    "I would never put someone else's life in danger when they have to sit next to the bullet magnet," he said in an interview at Clarence House before he flew out to the war-torn country in December.
    "But if I'm wanted, if I'm needed, then I will serve my country as I signed up to do.
    "I don't think it's putting anybody at risk at all ... if I can get out there without anyone actually making it public - which is basically what's happening at the moment with the deal that's being made with numerous papers - things are looking up."
    The party-loving Prince, who is operating under the call sign Widow Six Seven, also joked about the fact there would be no nightclubs in Afghanistan.
    Speaking before his departure he admitted the disappointment of being told last year he could not go to Iraq for security reasons made him wish he was not a prince.
    "I wish that quite a lot actually," he said. Scroll down for more ...

    A well-armed Harry speaks to ITV in Afghanistan


    The Prince has said fighting in the war gives him his 'best chance to be normal'



    • See video of Harry in the tank and giving an interview here




    "William and I have said numerous times that there's a lot of opportunities that we miss out on - as well as we also got a lot of chances - for who we are.

    "But at the beginning of this year (2007), it was very hard and I did think, 'well, clearly one of the main reasons that I'm not likely to be going was the fact of who I am'.
    "So yes, I did think at that time that I wished I wasn't, but at the same time I'm very grateful for the job that I've got and the way that things are."
    He said he was pinning his hopes on a taste of normality away from the royal life he has known since birth.
    "I think dressed in the same uniform as numerous other people, thousands of other people in Afghanistan will give me one of the best chances to be just a normal person: with a helmet on, with a shemagh (scarf) with goggles on, whatever," he said.
    "As far as anybody else is concerned they will just treat me as just a normal officer out there, hopefully.
    "That will be massively important for me, it could be a turning point."
    He initially flew out in December to work on the ground at a remote British desert outpost in the south of Helmand province close to the Pakistan border.
    But within days of his arrival at Forward Operating Base Dwyer he was ordered forward to the semi-deserted town of Garmsmir, on the southernmost front line, to serve alongside a detachment of Gurkha troops.
    The base sits just over 500 metres from the Taliban trenches across First World War-style no-man's-land and comes under attack from rockets, RPGs, mortars and machine gun rounds an average of five times a day.
    The move allowed Harry to go further forward than he ever imagined and take part in foot patrols through the town centre as well as operating from JTAC Hill, a frontline observation position overlooking no-man's-land within sight of the Taliban.
    "All my wishes have come true," he said, speaking in his austere bed-space at Forward Operating Base Dehli (known as Fob Delhi) – a one-time Taliban madrassa, or religious school, now a British base, in Garmsir. Scroll down for more ...

    The Prince walks past an Afghan on a donkey while on patrol in the Helmand province

    The Prince takes aim with his SA-80 rifle in Afghanistan


    • See video of Harry firing his machine gun here

    He has since left Garmsir to work in another part of Helmand Province, details of which can not be reported for security reasons.
    There is no immediate steer from the Ministry of Defence on the future of his deployment.
    Earlier this week a Royal Marine became the 89th British fatality in Afghanistan - the third killed there this year, and the second in one week.
    The marine was trying to disrupt Taliban fighters in the southern province of Helmand when he was caught in a bomb blast.
    The deaths followed a week of bomb explosions in southern Afghanistan, where the death toll from two days of suicide attacks rose to more than 140.
    Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt, who is head of the British Army, said he was disappointed the news had leaked.
    In a statement, he said: "I am very disappointed that foreign websites have decided to run this story without consulting us.
    "This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the UK print and broadcast media, along with a small number of overseas outlets, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations. Scroll down for more ...



    "After a lengthy period of discussion between the MoD and the editors of regional, national and international media, the editors took the commendable attitude to restrain their coverage.
    "I would like to thank them for that and I do appreciate that once the story was in the public domain, they had no choice but to follow suit.
    "What the last two months have shown is that it is perfectly possible for Prince Harry to be employed just the same as other Army officers of his rank and experience.
    "His conduct on operations in Afghanistan has been exemplary.
    "He has been fully involved in operations and has run the same risks as everyone else in his battlegroup.
    "In common with all of his generation in the Army today, he is a credit to the nation.

    "In deciding to deploy him to Afghanistan, it was my judgment that with an understanding with the media not to broadcast his whereabouts, the risk in doing was manageable.
    "Now that the story is in the public domain, the Chief of Defence Staff and I will take advice from the operational commanders about whether his deployment can continue. Scroll down for more ...

    Prince Harry on patrol through the deserted town of Garmisir close to FOB Delhi (forward operating base), where he was posted in Helmand province Southern Afghanistan

    Prince Harry, pictured here in Afghanistan, has been serving in the war-torn country for ten weeks, the MoD confirmed today

    • See video of Harry on patrol here



    "I now appeal to the media to restrain from attempting to report Prince Harry's every move and return to our understanding."
    The Prince - a "Cornet" or Second Lieutenant in the Blues and Royals – was told last May that he could not serve as a tank troop commander in Iraq for security reasons.
    The deployment had been publicly announced and received widespread publicity.
    But it had to be cancelled at short notice after specific intelligence was picked up that his presence would lead to a surge in the number of attacks on British troops in Basra.
    Although Harry considered leaving the army he stayed on with the prospect of a new role in Afghanistan.
    He retrained as a JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) away from the public eye during summer 2007.

    The role put him at the heart of the fight against the Taliban, working long hours and constantly in demand. Scroll down for more ...

    Prince Harry eats a meal under the turret of his Spartan armoured vehicle


    Harry's girlfriend Chelsy Davy spent Christmas in Kenya, where she was stranded for several days by riots during the African nation's post-election crisis. Harry did not mention his girlfriend during interviews


    From a fortified operations room at the base he was able to track enemy movements, watching live footage dubbed "Taliban TV" or "Kill TV" beamed from allied planes to a laptop screen in front of him.
    His job brought him into daily contact over the radio with British, American, French and Dutch pilots.
    But none knew he was a member of the Royal Family as he was operating under his call sign "Widow Six Seven".
    The job was vitally important in saving the lives of coalition troops under fire from the Taliban.
    He also had the responsibility of preventing friendly fire deaths, setting co-ordinates for bomb drops and protecting aircraft from flying mortars and artillery.
    He dropped his first bombs on New Year's Eve, targeting three 500lb detonations on a network of Taliban bunkers via two US F15 jets.
    The prince said his grandmother the Queen was the one who told him he would be sent to the front line. She was a strong supporter of his desire to serve on the front line despite his position, he said. He said the monarch had been "relieved" when it was agreed he would finally be able to do the job he had trained to do.

    Military chiefs pull Prince Harry out of Afghanistan after his cover is blown | the Daily Mail

  5. #5
    Gold Member deckchick's Avatar
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    Good for him, if only the American elite would send their sons and daughters to war instead of other people kids.

    Tthat totally sucks that the news couldn't keep their mouths shut.
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    Gold Member deckchick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Actually, this story was blown by an Aussie gossip mag, New Idea, a few weeks ago. They didn't realise there was an embargo and nobody picked up on it until now. I can't see what the fuss is about. He's in the army doing what soldiers do in a place that's the arse end of nowhere. It's nice to see him doing something 'productive' instead of falling down drunk outside London nightclubs with his slapper girlfriend.
    What the "fuss" is about, is now he will have to be pulled out. He will be the #1 target of every insurgent in the country. I'm amazed that you can't see the problem.

    I wish the American politicians had the moral fortitude to send their sons and daughters to the war they voted for instead of sending everyone else's kids.
    Vegetarian - Old Indian word for "Bad Hunter"

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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Good on ya, Harry! Way to stand by what you believe. You truly are a Prince.

    deckchick, there are quite a few members of Congress who's sons and daughters are in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our state AG has a daughter who is a Lt. Col. in the Marines in Iraq.

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    Gold Member deckchick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkdgirl View Post
    Good on ya, Harry! Way to stand by what you believe. You truly are a Prince.

    deckchick, there are quite a few members of Congress who's sons and daughters are in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our state AG has a daughter who is a Lt. Col. in the Marines in Iraq.
    That is excellent tk, I know that a lot of them do have kids in the conflicts, but way too many of them don't. The fact that your "Commander in Chief" had his Daddy pull strings to get him in the National Guard then blow that off bugs me to no end.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Bad of them. Really-they had no right.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I hate the blabbermouths who ruined this. Harry was having the time of his life-living his dream. He deserved more that 10 weeks. He said it was the most "normal" he'd ever get to be in his life. I hope they get a ringer to make public appearences at a distance & let him sneak back in!
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  11. #11
    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deckchick View Post
    What the "fuss" is about, is now he will have to be pulled out. He will be the #1 target of every insurgent in the country. I'm amazed that you can't see the problem.

    I wish the American politicians had the moral fortitude to send their sons and daughters to the war they voted for instead of sending everyone else's kids.
    I read Harry is leaving Afghanistan as we speak. Bet he's pissed!

  12. #12
    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deckchick View Post
    That is excellent tk, I know that a lot of them do have kids in the conflicts, but way too many of them don't. The fact that your "Commander in Chief" had his Daddy pull strings to get him in the National Guard then blow that off bugs me to no end.
    Be fair. Clinton also avoided military service by going to school overseas... AND protesting the war while over there. Nor have either of the current Democrat front runners had any military experience. For the record, its a 'nice to have' but isn't necessary to be considered 'worthy' of the Presidency.

    As for GWB, I have seen and read enough proof to know those accusations are false. In fact, as a member of the Texas National Guard, he DID want to go Vietnam and requested to do so. But the plane he was certified to fly, the F-102s, were not used for Vietnam, and we slowly being phased out.

    I have a first hand account of the whole thing if you're interest.

    Other than that, service in the US military is voluntary. I will add that I admire Israel for requiring military service.

    McJag-

    It is a shame. Harry has wanted this forever. It was his dream to serve (and to be normal). I bet he is crushed and pissed at the same time.

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    Elite Member Rondette's Avatar
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    I think it was obviously the wrong thing to do. I can't believe that ozzie magazine didn't think for a moment before publishing this fact.

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    Elite Member tkdgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rondette View Post
    I think it was obviously the wrong thing to do. I can't believe that ozzie magazine didn't think for a moment before publishing this fact.
    100% agree.

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkdgirl View Post
    I read Harry is leaving Afghanistan as we speak. Bet he's pissed!
    He's probably annoyed, but he had to anticipate this. The fact that the 3rd in line to the British throne was fighting on the front lines, and it was kept secret at all - much less 2 months - is astounding.
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