December 21st, 2009
10:26 AM ET
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. cdino

    Im not going to say I HAVE or haven't been to that AO, that bein said, the reporters material is viewed by the marine corps and passed on to the government for review..nothing threatening is being released here. Please don't question why this is public news, question why lindsey Lohan is news.

    November 23, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. D-Day

    I was in this area prior to the Marines arrival. This is just another example of why the press shouldn't be out with the troops. Spreading bad intel. but showing where the soldiers are set up inside. Makes the Taliban mortors more accuate. The TB used to live there so they can tell by looking at the pictures where to target. If you haven't been to Southern Afghanistan, then you shouldn't open your mouth about how things are there.

    January 5, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Amy

    I'm pretty sure if the marines let journalists working for CNN go over there then it's not that big of a "privacy violation" for them. I'm sure the Taliban know what's there and what's not. My boyfriends at the castle and it's no big deal, really. I don't think CNN is That stupid, I'm actually thankfull they're reporting there so I know what it's like where my boyfriend is staying.

    January 3, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dr. Don Persons

    To Big Daddy Rat
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. In a peaceful society "the troops are in the barracks." In war zones, the troops are to be alert and proactive. It's a very hard job to sustain that level of alertness. Cav Trooper, above, may have more experience about this situation. I'd like to hear more.

    One observation: in Iraq, it seems, where there are denser urban environments than in Afghanistan, keeping the troops off the street allowed armed groups to roam the street and produce armaments in homes, at times by taking over a person's home by force. This is one reason why staying in large bases and central points hasn't brought peace. The tactics of international terrorists or home-grown thugs or civilians trying to defend themselves are all muddled up in this one and proved to be an effective deterrent to American and Iraqi government forces arrays.

    December 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Big Daddy Rat

    Some of you people seem very naive to me.I cannot believe that the U.S.Government or the U.S.Military or even the editors at CNN would allow sensative material to be so callously displayed.
    Try to remember that the Afghans have been in a state of perpetual guerilla war for some 30 odd years and against both super powers.They have gotten very good at small unit, small arms hit and run tactics,and for all our technology we do not seem to be able to find or root them out.
    If we are to succeed in our goals we must convince the Afghans that we are sincere by providing them a safe environment to conduct buisness to farm legitimate crops and an outlet for profitable sale as a means of deminishing the power of the warlords (who in some casses are also the tribal chief) hopefully making him more willing to co-operate.
    Therefore rather than expose our Troops to their ambushes and boobytraps in a historically vain effort,why not move into the fort,clearly it dominates the surrounding countryside and could provide a measure of safety to the local farmers and villagers and could be handed off to Afghan forces at some later date also guerrilla tactics do not generally work well against an alerted strongpoint capable of calling in massive airpower.
    Since forts dominate a given area then clearly more Afghan and coalition forts, properly placed, might drive them out of the productive and economically valuable areas creating the necessary stability for peace to take hold, perhaps then we can leave and the Afghani's can go about the buisness of determining there own future.
    Our "enemy's" are fanatics with an idea and a tactic.
    Terrorism is an age old tactic used to propogate there ideals,while you can't kill an idea it can become very unpopular, the terrorism will abate when there underlying message is no longer popular.

    December 24, 2009 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. ElRey

    All the heros pretending concern about what's going on over there need to pipe down and/or enlist.

    December 24, 2009 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. Double0dgit IQ's, anyone?

    All of you idiots who think secret military information is available to you on CNN! You crack me up.

    What makes you think you're not getting the pre-approved, military-censored version?

    This is why Sarah Palin can pass as a politician in modern America–and you'll probably vote for her when she next runs.

    December 24, 2009 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. Relax Francis

    I don't think the US Army is particulary worried about what this reporter published. The sky won't fall and you can take off your tin foil hats.

    December 24, 2009 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jesteford

    I think it's pretty ignorant to assume that this report wasn't edited severly with full concern over OPSEC. If anything, it is giving false information to undermine enemy intel.

    December 24, 2009 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pepper1776

    RD4326: So sorry, the UK created an unofficial border seperating Afghanistan from British India in 1893, sorry I was off by less than 10 years.

    December 24, 2009 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  11. FTM

    Exactly what folks have come to expect from the communist news network. "Hey man, this is cool."

    December 23, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. todd

    please do your homework before spouting off on your opinion. The sphynix did not lose it' nose to war. It is a myth that Napoleons soldiers blasted its face with canon fire.
    But it is amazing how many people believe that theory in one version or another.
    Napoleon is innocent he was actually an avid Egyptophile so I am sure he would not have been impressed with his troops using the Sphinx at target practise.
    The Sphinx actually lost a considerable amount of its features in 1378CE when a local Sufi Sheik thought the Sphinx to be idolatrous and attempted to blow it up with explosives.
    His name was Sayim al- Dahr whose was called by the locals contemporary to his time as the Perpetual Faster.
    Local legend tells that the Sphinx took revenge on him by creating a sand storm that lasted three days and nearly destroyed the local village where he lived.
    I am not sure whether that is true,but it sounds like good poetic justice anyway.
    It is however the actual way the face of the Sphinx came to have its face so disfigured.
    But he did not realise that it was only the head that was visible above the sand as the Sphinx has spent most of its life buried in the sand.
    It was only at the beginning of the last century that the sand was finally cleared away once and for all, allowing the Sphinx to be seen in its entirety for the first time since the days of dynastic Egypt.

    December 23, 2009 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. AirForceBrat

    I wouldn't worry about her giving out information; I'm pretty sure that those reporters (especially the ones who are "embedded") have their reports vetted by the military before they are sent off to Hotlanta.

    December 23, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. David

    Are you all so foolish to think that this report was not cleared by the military? You don't think the reporter just walked up, was allowed in, and started asking questions of the soldiers in the story. It obviously was not a high risk target or is well protected.

    December 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ken

    What a bunch of armchair intelligence experts....Will some of you gimme a break?? Don't you think the military ok'd this report before it was aired?? If the military isn't concerned about whats being reported why the heck are you??

    December 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Teufelhunden

    Well,,, I am really torn with this one. I am concerned as well about the press being involved and reporting during combat actions or stations of troops,, Heck had them around in the first Gulf. Though think about it, if, just if the enemy decides to infiltrate or go mess with them, if I were there, I would say bring it on, then squeeze the trigger, at least it is a waiting game, not a finding game.

    Also, I agree that war is just that, war… and only combatants should be in it, therefore, no politicians, (we clean up the stuff they create) and no, I don’t want my mom, sister, grandmother seeing what I had to do, that is why you don’t see pictures of the mountains of bodies in front of the WWI trenches after they were chewed up by machineguns… Semper Fi!!

    December 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Dave in Florida

    Boy, I hope the enemy doesn't bring in the horns of Jericho?

    December 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  18. David in Greensboro, NC

    I personally feel journalist have NO place in a war. The military has their own people to cover the war if they want, and can just send a feed to the AP. I am ex-military and worked in Intellingence and although the press has no access to "top-secret" information, there is a little thing called EEFI's (Essential Elements of Friendly Information) that the enemy can piece together to figure out our plans. The press has NO place in a war.

    December 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Mike Mavrogeorge

    There needs to be more information security and media escorts. This reporter just broadcast to the Taliban that there were only 100 U.S. marines at that remote post in Helmand province. It will be interesting to see how long before the post is attacked in force.

    December 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Scott

    Right on whocares! Most of these morons are just looking for something in the "Liberal News Media" to carp about.

    December 23, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  21. SJB

    For those of you who think the reporter 'gave away' sensitive information–you are naive and clueless about Pentagon policy. NO WAY would that report have been filed or even completed without full cooperation from the DOD and Pentagon. They control every bit of information–they leak, and they also have PR reps and other Media consultants just like any other business. So, please next time you want to run your mouth–get your information and facts straight.

    December 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  22. someone else

    The Taliban can more relevant information from all the US Army Predator drones flying above with out encryption then from this video.

    December 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  23. whocares

    You people need to relax. I am certain there was no classified information revealed in this report. If troop levels at that location are sensitive information, I am sure the military would not allow the information to be disclosed.

    Contrary to what most of you may think, the military pretty much stays on top of classified information. I am sure the reporter was briefed on the situation, and what information was sensitive and what was ok to report. I am sure if the military thought it was necessary, they reviewed and edited the video for content.

    If this video compromized the security of our forces, we only have the military to blame as this report was obviously authorized by them. Quit blaming CNN for what YOU feel is a release of sensitive information. Blame your military, they let it happen.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  24. Al

    Mmmmm, the only way that this reporter was allowed to do this report, was permission from the Military. Therefore, whatever she saw or reported on, would be controlled by the military. Furthermore, do you really think that the Taliban does not already know that US troops are putting up their feet here?? Give me a break people. I think we would all be surprised what the Taliban already knows about US military and their installations, for we are in their backyard.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  25. Sylvia

    I'm always amazed at how much we tell the whole world exactly what we want to do and how we're planning it. Is this strategy? I miss the days when reporting was actually telling us a story, teaching us something, educating us. Now it's all about telling the whole world what we plan to do or sticking our noses into someone else's business.

    December 23, 2009 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  26. Andy

    It would have been interesting to have heard the history of the castle such as the Afghan Ruler who built it and the years it was operational and any historical conflicts it may have been used in. Also, I highly doubt she revealed any information to the Taliban that they already may not have known, the castle would have occupational capacity for modern military purposes that would be pretty obvious from the size. Also, the castle is surrounded by open fields. I don't think the Taliban would be capable of launching an attack on a US held castle surrounded by open fields. They are mountain men.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  27. Kevin

    I think that it is rather stupid, and irresponsible for CNN to be so crass as to disclose the location of men and women on the front lines who are trying to protect us. I think responsible reporting, and not caring as much about ratings should be CNN's goal.

    December 23, 2009 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  28. chere

    Do you people really think anything was compromised?
    Thats just briliant beings that they are in the poppy capital of thw world.
    Believe me the taliban, the insurgets, all of afghanisan and all officials
    on both sides of the fence know exactly who is located where around their
    "gold" so to speak.
    Plus did you ever stop to think maybe someone in high places intentionally
    wanted this aired?

    December 22, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Sam

    If it was such a big deal like many of you make it out to be don't you think the military would have prevented this reporter from reporting from this outpost? Apparently there isn't much of a threat in the area........

    December 22, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Jim

    Its one thing to know what they know but its another thing to actually broadcast it internationally. With the broadcasting going on, they dont need to conduct any intel, just watch CNN all day long.

    December 22, 2009 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Meg

    You guys are silly. You are arguring about what is older? Hello! How many people can say that they have been in or around something that is a part of an ancient civilizataion whether its Iraq or Afghansitan? Count yourselves as part of the lucky few who even get to see this area. At least those soldiers are using a building that is already there instead of building some american monstrosity of a building. And Mr. "This isnt a casle, its a small fort..." Who are you to judge another culture and what they consider castles or great fortifications? Alexander the Great built "castles" in Afghansitan (and yes, I have been there and seen them) do you consider that some small feat of engineering? or are you going to have a piss contest on Iraq's behalf as to who has the biggest baddest fortifications? Have some respect for both places. Or maybe Iraq is the only other country you have visited?

    December 22, 2009 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Cav Trooper

    Wow, that was so uninteresting. I spent a year in Tal'Afar in northern Iraq, where we stayed in an old Ottoman castle from the 8th century. The whole "castle" from this story would fit in one corner of the one we stayed in. This isn't a castle, it's a small fort or outpost. I think the reporter needs to get out more; is this her first story in the field?

    December 22, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  33. RD4326

    A previous message posted by Pepper1776 stated "Afghanistan was part of British India until the early 20th Centery?" Is this person serious! I think that this person needs to go back and study Central Aisian history, particularly the era of the Great Game and the Afghan-British wars.

    December 22, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Don Persons

    I appreciate how many here are against publicizing this footage. The possibility that this castle becomes targeted is real.

    At the same time, I believe the real war is over information. And Americans skeptical about this war (I have my doubts) I think are in part willing to do what it takes to stabilize the situation and protect the people of Afghanistan while they get back up to reorganize their lives. We are willing to be friends with the Afghan people over the long haul (not just this war). And we cannot realistically hope that the Afghan government will be just, but only that the people could have the power to shape their government over time.

    This footage for me is personally very helpful to see what we are invested in. I hope some measure of peace can result in Afghanistan and I hope alternatives to the poppy fields she described can be found. I believe this will require immediate economic development there to replace the upcoming planting/harvest cyle. What are innovative alternatives for use of this land that would employ the people and raise their quality of life? Could this land support tree farming? Or use of grasses to create fiberboard? What health and educational challenges are there for which primary health care and education could be mobilized? So many questions raised by this video.

    Dr. Don Persons

    December 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Garth

    Tahoma1, maybe we should just give the Taliban a guided tour so that next time when they want to sneak a suicide bomber in there, they know right where to go.

    December 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Patricia, Kingston, TN

    Post some real footage, like the Vietnam War, so people can see what they are really supporting or not. A picture of an ancient castle paints a pretty romantic picture of war. Let's see more of the real thing.

    December 22, 2009 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  37. E Montez

    Take a moment to think before you post a comment, this is an outpost in the middle of nowhere, where are you need is a pair of eyes to count the number of troops and equipment. There was nothing wrong with this report, nothing was disclosed that the enemy did not already know, since from the looks of the equipment and tents that have been set up, the troops have been there awhile. This is speaking from experience of 20 years serving,

    December 22, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Tahoma1

    Don’t you think that the Taliban are watching that fort 24×7? And know exactly what the troop strength is ? What do you think the troops and equipment just magically appeared one day? CNN isn’t reporting on anything the Talban doesn’t already know (and the US Army knows that and that is why the reporter was allow to do the story). I’m thankful that you red blooded idiots aren’t in change anything other than your ignorance. Afghanistan isn’t the Band of Brothers or a stupid Tom Clancy novel it’s the real deal. How the heck does anybody think we’re going turn that place around we don’t speak the language understand local culture or comprehend the complex relationship between the war lords and Taliban. Maybe that’s why we’ve been going no-where in Afghanistan for eight long years, same garbage as Viet Nam.

    December 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Mark Smith

    Like the Taliban can't hang out and count the number of troops? I also think they would have a pretty good idea how far it is to the next nearest base without having to depend on CNN for a clue.
    I spent 20 months with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam, and believe me, the enemy was perfectly capable all by himeself of figuring out where we were and what we were up to.
    Come on, people, get real.

    December 22, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  40. john a

    I thought that her report was fine. She didn't disclose any critical information. Do you folks think that the afghanis cannot count? That they cannot see what the troops are doing?

    December 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Carole Clarke

    As an Army Brat I'm leery of reporters scoping out forward military bases and yes, she should have kept her mouth shut about the number of our forces present, No need to give any data to the enemy. That looks more like an old caravanserai than some castle. Those poppy fields should be replanted with some other crop that could feed the population without contributing to the drug probelm. Yet the problem is ours not theirs, we are the consumers of those drugs, not them. They just pander to us and supply us with heroin. I get angry thinking about the troops maimed and killed over there and the useless druggies back here.

    December 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  42. DT

    This really get's me angry. Not only did she disclose troop levels, but she also mentioned how far from another base it is and with her little "tour," she gave up where certain structures are located and how well they are fortified. GREAT JOB ON THE OPSEC! Let's just hope that the bad guys are watching Fox News and missed this report (like the rest of the US)

    December 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Pepper1776

    It is obvious that the people of CNN have no historical knoledge. A 400 year old castle is not ancient, just old. Afghanistan was part of British held India until the early 20th century, so who is this unamed "father of Afghanistan" whose home was a military fortification.

    December 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  44. M Jimenez

    One can only hope this report has been allowed as part of a disinformation campaign. However, based on the reporter and her command of the English language, (wow, this is cool, I mean...) I doubt it.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  45. Kevin

    Apparently OPSEC means nothing to those who speak to CNN, and CNN is full of America-hating liberals who would like nothing better than for our country to be taken over by terrorists, because we would then be "enlightened."

    December 22, 2009 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  46. M Brown

    Why even think of printing this stuff. Afghanistan is a war zone. Sure its probably not news to the taliban but now that CNN does a dimwitted story on it, it becomes more of a target.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  47. R Fredericks

    I have to agree. All the enemy has to do is watch CNN news to get the total scoop on our militaries moves. We talk too much.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  48. Bill

    Who cares about this report other than the terrorists. This is typical stupid "Tell the Terrorists" CNN reporting.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  49. zivis

    I understand the practicality of using ancient fortifications for military purposes, but every time I see it it makes me a little sad. This is how the temple to Athena on the acropolis was so demolished, the sphinx lost its nose and so on. In the 3 min report she said she was both under risk of mortar fire and the building was home to the father of Afganistan. I feel the same way when I hear of ancient mosques and churches being used as shelter for one side or the other. I would realy like this history to be around when our violent tantrums are over.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  50. johnd

    Is that what passes for a castle in Afghanistan? The army should just build it's own castle. Probably take them a couple of weeks and would be done correctly.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  51. l saville

    With friends like that reporter, who needs enemies?

    December 22, 2009 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  52. R Simpson

    I think it is inappropriate for a reporter to broadcast the number of forces in a remote location such as this.

    December 22, 2009 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |