Code Over Country: The Tragedy and Corruption of SEAL Team Six

Hachette Audio. Feb. 2022. 12:10 hrs. ISBN 9781549135859. $25.98. MILITARY HISTORY
The very mention of SEAL Team Six brings to mind the image of an elite group of heroes that represent the very best of America and the American military. The stories and movies of the 2011 elimination of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden are legendary. The scores of leadership books by former SEALs are often best sellers, and members are much sought after and highly compensated speakers and consultants. Yet, there is a flip side to their sacrifice that Cole (an investigative journalist who has worked for The Intercept, ABC, and NBC) provides to listeners, one where a very small number of SEALs took advantage of their culture and situation. They became morally decayed and, in some well-documented cases, even criminals. From the SEALs start well before the Vietnam War through the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Cole explores and documents this lawlessness, ranging from rape and corruption through embezzlement, including an entire chapter on the Rogue Warrior himself – Richard Marcinko. The writing is crisp and paints a compelling picture of a few bad apples, but Cole largely celebrates the overwhelming majority of SEALs. Braden Wright’s narration matches Cole’s clear take and pulls listeners through the whole investigation.
VERDICT Recommended; a timely exposé.
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