2021 Man of the Year: Task Force 9

Delta Force soldiers in Iraq / Getty Images
• December 31, 2021 12:00 pm


When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve its jihadist enemies in a rain of JDAMs and hellfire missiles, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that the special operators responsible for that victory of American arms be celebrated for their heroic if imperfect work in defense of freedom and civilization.

Unfortunately for the men of Task Force 9, a mix of Delta Force commandos and soldiers from the 5th Special Forces Group who oversaw the final assault against the Islamic State's once-sprawling caliphate, it was the New York Times that first told their tale—and the Times reserves its decent respect only for America's enemies.

In a tedious series that resulted from a years-long investigation by a former Al Jazeera reporter, the Times recounts in excruciating detail what any sentient person already knew to be the case: Women and children will die alongside those who make war against the United States. The Times reveals no deliberate targeting of civilians, just the regrettable but inevitable toll that war takes on the innocent and guilty alike.

That this war would have been unnecessary if not for the precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq ordered by then-president Obama and egged on by the Times is nowhere noted in the reporting. "The human toll of America's air wars" is not comparable, for example, to the human toll of American acquiescence to the rise of a ragtag army of Islamist thugs.

But outside the Times newsroom and the faculty lounge at the Columbia School of Journalism, the American people sleep peacefully in their beds at night because the men of Task Force 9 stand ready to do violence on America's behalf. For that readiness to kill, and to die, to preserve our freedom—even when that freedom is abused to malign their hard-fought victory over the worst scum on earth—we salute the brave men of Task Force 9. You all have earned the gratitude and admiration of your countrymen and the title of Washington Free Beacon Men of the Year.

Published under: Man of the Year