Harry goes to war

posted at 2:09 pm on February 28, 2008 by Allahpundit

A “world exclusive” that was actually leaked two months ago and then dutifully suppressed by the British media. How badly have they wanted to write about this? Count the number of articles on the Telegraph website that have appeared in just the past few hours. Drudge is patting himself on the back but I’m curious what our readers think about the ethics. The story itself is genuinely awesome — he’s seen action, called in airstrikes, done patrols (“I’m still a little bit conscious (not to) show my face too much, in and around the area”), and got the word about his deployment from grandma herself — but the brass is none too happy that his cover’s been blown. British chief of staff Gen. Dannatt:

“Now that the story is in the public domain, the Chief of Defense Staff and I will take advice from the operational commanders about whether his deployment can continue,” the statement added. “I now appeal to the media to restrain from attempting to report Prince Harry’s every move and return to our understanding.”…

“I am very disappointed that foreign Web sites have decided to run this story without consulting us.

“This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the U.K. print and broadcast media, along with a small number of overseas, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations.

“Exemplary” and a “credit to the nation,” Dannatt calls him — and he’s now a major security risk. Exit question: Would you have run the scoop? Information wants to be free, but what information wants and what information gets are two different things (usually) when it comes to troop movements. Supplemental exit question: Did Drudge really break the embargo or did someone politely invite him to do so? There’s been a lot of pressure on the Europeans lately to ramp up their NATO commitment in Afghanistan; showing off a royal (and a son of Diana, no less) walking the beat and kicking jihadi ass is a nifty way to boost morale and emphasize that commitment.

Update: Bad Drudge, says the boss.

Update: Sweet. Click the image to watch.


Breaking on Hot Air



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Dumb move by Matt Drudge.

Sensationalism doesn’t win over ethics.

desertdweller on February 28, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Yeah, really.

Drudge is a douche bag for terrorists. What part of we – America, Britain, France, Canada, Australia and the rest of the lot are in this together in Afghanistan?

What part of our bravest and most able are over there to protect us and our rights?!?

What part of this is a moral & just war between tolitarians (Taliban) and (mostly) libertarians (US)?!? A war that started in 1993 with the first bombing of the World Trade Center and accelerated after the murder of 2,997 people on 9/11, 52 people on 7/7 and 32 people on 4/16?!?

Frankly, we Yanks take our coalitions for granted. Try telling that to some of these guys. Or Prince Harry.

Oh and Drudge, thanks so much you dishonorable (expletive). You have no honor whatsoever. Unlike you, I have secrets that happened to get into my hands by loose lips and if made public could prompt terrorists to kill thousands of my fellow citizens – and I’m taking them to my grave. You and your fellow leakers are just as patriotic as Huffington Post & Daily Kos commentators – you just want freedom to play with with none of the responsibility.

As I am want to believe, liberty is a codeword for responsibility. Get with the program!

G*d Bless America and her Allies!

HotAirJosef on February 28, 2008 at 4:01 PM

The news was leaked by Australian woman’s gossip magazine (which milks the Royals for all its worth) New Idea and also Germany’s trash tabloid Bild. Drudge’s exclusive was not exclusive not that it excuses any of them. Still, Harry may have been just a couple of weeks off ending his 3 month tour.

saint on February 28, 2008 at 4:01 PM

So the terrorists will start gunning extra hard for British units? That just equals more dead Islamists. He isn’t a diplomat or a celebrity visiting the area, he’s a soldier.

Every soldier over there is a bullet magnet. I don’t think the story should have been run, but I don’t think it puts him in that much more danger.

reaganaut on February 28, 2008 at 4:05 PM

Good on ya Harry…

Bad on ya Drudge… this was a move worthy of the New York Times… and thats about as nasty as I can get…

Romeo13 on February 28, 2008 at 4:06 PM

First NYT and now Drudge. Thankfully HotAir is a much better source of headlines now than drudge. I won’t miss him.

pedestrian on February 28, 2008 at 4:06 PM

The reason the British press have all this footage is the MoD agreed to give them access to Harry as long as they held out publishing till either a. he returned home, or b. the foreign media got the story out

passingtramp on February 28, 2008 at 4:17 PM

Good for Harry. I am not going to jump on the bet up Drudge bandwagon however in light of all of the stories that have run in our newspapers disclosing intelligence operations that have hampered our war on the jihadists. I haven’t read the story in fairness, but I know they gave the province he is in but if they didn’t go beyond that, while it raises security issues, I don’t think it is anything that isn’t manageable.
I know liberals who for so long advocated drafting the Bush twins cannot be upset by this news can they? They now have what they want, a high profile person in a combat zone, as if Duncan Hunters’ son wasn’t good enough to profile. Don’t forget he is running for the House in CA.
I am more proud of Harry for pushing for this assignment and not letting public opinion stop him. He now has a much better idea of the enemy and the threat we face then any other politician does. While he is not in a position of power yet one day he will be and I wonder what his opinion of London mayor Ken Livingston is?

Just A Grunt on February 28, 2008 at 4:18 PM

It’ll probably do wonders for recruitment – “join the Army, be dashing and brave like Prince Harry!”. His dad was in the Navy, but that seems very distant and old-fashioned and square nowadays. And redudant. In my town the Army recruitment office is next to the local Tesco, so you can buy food and then go and join the army.

Apeking on February 28, 2008 at 4:39 PM

freevillage, in British culture the upper classes have been expected to go to war, and historically have been killerd or wounded in higher percentage than the general population.

There is a long tradition of the Royals serving in wartime. It comes with the job.

First off, I don’t quite understand any argument that involves a reference to tradition. It’s been a tradition in the US to have racial discrimination. I’m not equating the two. Just making a point. Traditional clothing makes sense to me since it’s with obvious qualifiers not a moral matter. Traditional killing of members of certain families at a higher rate? I could live without this tradition. Thank you.

Secondly, kings fought in wars they initiated. They also owned the country for all practical purposes. So it was more like they fought their wars and their country had to as well, than the other way around.

Thirdly, the expression “it comes with the job” kind of loses its meaning once the choice is removed, as it is when you’re born into a job.

freevillage on February 28, 2008 at 4:42 PM

Although all this “royalty” nonsense is, of course, pathologically stupid, it’s clear that this Harry person is considered a celebrity of some sort.

There is only ONE reason for any celebrity to be on the front lines. And this is it.

Did Drudge release this story a tiny bit earlier than might have been perfectly optimal? That’s possible; but it doesn’t really matter very much, and we’ll almost certainly never know for sure. (Although leaking the story to a “maverick” US reporter clearly makes a lot more sense than releasing it officially or through a British news source.)

Right now, there is every reason to believe that Drudge did yet another perfectly good job. Although, sadly, it’s saying very little, Matt Drudge remains a rare credit to his profession.

logis on February 28, 2008 at 4:43 PM

Evidently Drudge didn’t break the story. It happened across the pond.

shibumiglass on February 28, 2008 at 4:44 PM

Good for Harry. He clearly didn’t have to do this on the account he’s rich and royalty. I don’t know why Drudge found it necessary to expose this story to the world because it clearly puts Harry’s life in danger.

SoulGlo on February 28, 2008 at 4:44 PM

Exit question answer: no. While the story might boost sagging morale on the homefront, it doesn’t help the young lad, there can be little question that it increases the risk to his entire team, a greater sin in my opinion.

Harry has shown determination and courage, two qualities in short supply in far too many places in our very comfortable Western digs.

To all men and women in harm’s way in this faceoff with Islamic Imperialism, God bless you all and keep you safe. I regret that your task is necessary, but am thankful for your performance of it.

shaken on February 28, 2008 at 4:46 PM

I’m pretty sure the Guhrkas with him don’t mind guarding him in the slightest. Sometimes I wish the USA had royals, if only to give us all some sort of unity. Prince Harry’s sacrifice (yes, it is a sacrifice) in going to war in Afghanistan is in the finest tradition of the British monarchy. God save the prince!

Viscount_Bolingbroke on February 28, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Information wants to be free

Stop it, AP. Information doesn’t “want” anything, nor does it have a favorite color or a preferred vacation spot.

Stating that either information, music, movies, etc “want to be free” has become a hackneyed slogan to justify leaks and copyright violations….

I wonder if this was leaked to on purpose so that the MoD can justify rotating him out early.

As for Prince Harry… Good job. He trained with his unit, and he deployed with his unit. I can’t ask any more of a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine.

darkpixel on February 28, 2008 at 5:10 PM

Young Harry has the blood of Sir Winston Churchill coursing through his veins…my question is, why is anyone surprised he is ready for battle?

ocbrat on February 28, 2008 at 5:12 PM

there’s only one way this gets viewed on the streets of London…”America betrayed us today”….and after they (not all but most) have stood by us.

that said, i wouldn’t give Drudge too much credit. This is not an exclusive and Harry and his commanders should be prepared for any contingency – it is, after all, a war.

pecan pie on February 28, 2008 at 5:26 PM

Prince Harry on discussing his impending deployment with Queen Elizabeth:

“She’s a very good person to talk to about it, her knowledge of the army is amazing for a grandmother – I suppose it’s slightly her job.”

What delicious British understatement!

Also, he was given word of his deployment by the Queen. He may be a prince but she’s still the reigning monarch.

rokemronnie on February 28, 2008 at 5:29 PM

I am proud of prince Harry, I respect him for doing the job(a very ugly job) that needs to be done. As a prince he is in extra danger. It would be a giant political gain if he was killed.

Again the media aids and abets the enemy!!!!!! I am sick of this, time to hold the media responsable for their reprehensable actions!

allrsn on February 28, 2008 at 5:31 PM

I’m glad this young man got the chance to do what he wanted….I just wish Drudge had managed to keep his big yap shut until Harry’s deployment was nearly over. A headline…and breaking a story is nice and all, but there should be other concerns.

DngrMse on February 28, 2008 at 5:34 PM

Nah, I wouldn’t have run it; scoop be damned.

Midas on February 28, 2008 at 5:45 PM

Young Harry has the blood of Sir Winston Churchill coursing through his veins

That will come as a shock to both his mother and father. Kinda belittles the Windsor’s attention to duty that came long before Harry was even a twinkle in Charles’ eye.

Krydor on February 28, 2008 at 6:08 PM

Young Harry has the blood of Sir Winston Churchill coursing through his veins

That will come as a shock to both his mother and father. Kinda belittles the Windsor’s attention to duty that came long before Harry was even a twinkle in Charles’ eye.

Krydor on February 28, 2008 at 6:08 PM

Also, some one should ask Val Kilmer about Prince William.

– The Cat

MirCat on February 28, 2008 at 6:14 PM

Press and Drudge are scum… to put this Officer and his brave soldiers lifes in danger for a headline. Shame. I will no longer browse the drudgereport.

I applaud harry for stepping up.

BadBrad on February 28, 2008 at 7:25 PM

Prince Harry is a brave man, like other brave men. The press should have waited until his deployment was finished.

p40tiger on February 28, 2008 at 7:33 PM

Drudge just painted a big bullseye on Harry’s face.

aengus on February 28, 2008 at 7:34 PM

It is ridiculous that Harry is expected to behave like an average Joe. The British should decide whether they are a monarchy or not. If they are, treat Harry like a royalty that he is. If not, abolish it and don’t put the kid into this horrible position of being a bullet magnet.

freevillage on February 28, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Its a tradition. IIRC, Prince Andrew flew a helicopter in the Falklands War. Almost the entire British upper class were slaughtered in WWI which is why men as old as Baldwin, Chamberlain and Churchill were in office decades later.

aengus on February 28, 2008 at 7:36 PM

No, I wouldn’t have. I’ve waited ’til he came home, then written about it.

Bob's Kid on February 28, 2008 at 7:36 PM

Too bad the Brits seem to be turning tail on their freedom.

It’s truly heartbreaking.

Still it’s good to know that if they ever awaken, in a flash of King Lear-like sanity (reminiscent of the final moments of The Bride on the River Kwai), they’ll have plenty of brave, battle-hardened troops to fight.

aengus on February 28, 2008 at 7:57 PM

freevillage on February 28, 2008 at 4:42 PM

I understand where you’re coming from but describing a tradition in the terms of a trend (crime data etc.) is wrong-headed.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a monarchist. When writing to Buckingham Palace I address my correspondence to “Madam” or “Mrs. Windsor”. I’m a republican.

But there’s a reason why English Lords and Princes are expected to fight. Their ancestors gained their privileged status as leaders winning battles (in 1066 or 1129 or whatever it was). They uphold and legitimise their status by fighting and leading troops into battle to this day, the Royal family included.

aengus on February 28, 2008 at 8:26 PM

It’s bad that this was leaked putting Prince Harry in even more danger than he already does. But it does make me proud of Britain as an ally.

p0s3r on February 28, 2008 at 8:35 PM

I never thought the British Royalty was relevant. Maybe I was wrong.

reddog on February 28, 2008 at 8:57 PM

No. There should be a compelling public interest rationale for ignoring the personal and national security risks of breaking the media embargo.

Me and and MM agree on something. Miracles never cease. :-D

WayWard Fundamentalist Christian on February 28, 2008 at 9:15 PM

Drudge is a douche bag



WayWard Fundamentalist Christian on February 28, 2008 at 9:16 PM

Drudge: a puerile preening poppinjay.

Loose lips sink ships.

Drudge’s miscarries risk Harry’s.

profitsbeard on February 28, 2008 at 9:38 PM

Too bad more of our more “prominent” families in the U.S. don’t feel the sense of duty that the Royal family does.

Hog Wild on February 28, 2008 at 9:39 PM

May God bless and protect Prince Harry and his entire regiment.

Matt Drudge should be ashamed of himself.

Jodella on February 28, 2008 at 10:29 PM

Holy smokes that Harry is gorgeous, isn’t he? Uniformed soldiers are sexy and filthy hippies are not. Good on Harry, to serve his country. God Bless him.

bonnie_ on February 28, 2008 at 10:59 PM

Drudge was wrong for reporting this…

Prince Harry is doing exactly what he set out to do, and as a veteran, I cannot fault him for his desire to serve his country one iota.

Gothguy on February 28, 2008 at 11:19 PM

God bless Prince Harry! I am very impressed with his espirit de corps and determination.
I wonder what Mark Steyn will have to say about this? I think he’ll be surprised and pleased.

joewm315 on February 29, 2008 at 12:25 AM

They really should be calling him Prince Hal now, considering both his past and his future.

Tzetzes on February 29, 2008 at 12:36 AM

Thank you Prince Harry!
So very proud of you and your service.

Drudge – you idiot. That story is worth endangering, not just the Prince, but the entire unit. Disgusting.

Flag Gazer on February 29, 2008 at 1:00 AM

They really should be calling him Prince Hal now, considering both his past and his future.

Tzetzes on February 29, 2008 at 12:36 AM


baldilocks on February 29, 2008 at 1:46 AM

Drudge has the right to break the story. Harry wants to fight let him fight. He is a soldier after all and its not like he is going to be king.

jdun on February 29, 2008 at 1:47 AM

I look at it this way.

Harry and Drudge are both doing their jobs.

It’s that simple.

This couldn’t be more boring.

Semper Fi

winemkr on February 29, 2008 at 2:43 AM

Not cool by Drudge.

Doing their job?

What if a leftist blog had published this? The screeching would be incredibly loud.

Again – not cool.

A Axe on February 29, 2008 at 5:10 AM

Everyone who knew about this had wisely embargoed the information, but thanks to Drudge’s selfish,immature rush-to-publish the Army are having to withdraw Harry. Drudge had endangered his life and the lives of those in his unit.

Drudge – the Taliban thanks you for your help. Asshole.

uptight on February 29, 2008 at 6:46 AM

If I knew Drudge’s home address and the combination to his locks – would I be morally right and “doing my duty” if I published this info on the Net?


I’d be a selfish idiot who put another human’s safety and security in danger.

Just as Drudge is an idiot who put another human’s safety and security in danger.

uptight on February 29, 2008 at 6:52 AM


jimbo2008 on February 29, 2008 at 8:10 AM

Congratulations Harry. I know it had to be killing him when his unit went to Iraq and he had to stay home — no serviceman likes to be left behind when his unit is deployed.

Looks like Army life agrees with him too.

srhoades on February 29, 2008 at 9:01 AM

2 months in, and he gets to call airstrikes, damme! In 12 months there I only got to talk to the aviators once – and that was to ask the #$%& attack helicopters to stop hovering over me when I was trying to talk with some locals :) Maybe while I am here in Iraq I’ll get to call some TAC…

I would not have broken the story – it did more harm than any good. Wait 30 days and the whole thing would have come out. But Drudge isn’t a patient man I guess – he got where he is by finding something out and posting quickly…I would have hoped for better judgment.

major john on February 29, 2008 at 9:27 AM

I have no reason to believe this wasn’t intentionally leaked.

David in ATL on February 29, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Way to go HARRY!!

The military can use all the positive press it can get.
With newspapers and the basic drive by media refusing to
acknowledge the success of the surge and give the coalition
credit for freeing 50 million people from some of the worst terrorist regimes known to man,Hollywood portraying our military as rapist,murders,and idiots fulfilling the imperialist Bush’s dream for world dominance. It is important to see a member of the royal family want to stand up for Freedom and fight against the jihadist threat.

Blows away the liberal talking point that only stupid,desperate people join the military because they are
tricked by recruiters and have no other options.


Baxter Greene on February 29, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Thank you for your service and leadership major john.

Baxter Greene on February 29, 2008 at 9:53 AM

Turn out the lights …

corona on February 29, 2008 at 10:25 AM

Drudge should have been ethical enough to keep it to himself. Not just for Harry but for all the people in his squadron. However, if it hadn’t been Drudge, it would have been someone else. That still doesn’t EXCUSE it in my book though. One wonders if Drudge really understands the grim possibilities of the war.

jeanie on February 29, 2008 at 10:32 AM

I normally don’t have much use for a “royal” but here’s one who puts his money where his mouth is. My hats off to him.

TooTall on February 29, 2008 at 10:37 AM

AP I need to weigh in on this. When I saw this yesterday on Drudge it really pissed me off. Where does MSM come off with there HIGH an’ MIGHTY publics right to know BS??? Drudge is now at the bottom of the barrel along with such great literary company as NYT, WAPO, and LA Times. He has some rebuilding to do with me. To put this young man and all his comrades in danger over a scoop is beyond the pale. How about a nice leg up for our RELIGION of PEACE brothers. You have now picked their next target. Congrats on the SCOOP!!!!

pueblo1032 on February 29, 2008 at 10:47 AM

I question the timing, given recent news that the UK infantry is consistently failing to hit recruitment targets and the never ending litany of stories about how woefully under-equipped the entire UK armed forces are.

In short – I think this was deliberately leaked to bolster morale / support for action in Afghanistan. Giving this faux-scoop to an American blogger seems like a transparent diversionary tactic too.

Ares on February 29, 2008 at 10:55 AM

Drudge, you suck.

Sir Andrew on February 29, 2008 at 6:39 PM

This poor kid. Did he ask to be born in a fish bowl? No. Did he ask to have his every move and misdeed spashed across the print media of his country and beyond? No. Has he done the best with what freedoms he’s allowed? Seems to me he has. He just had three blessed months of near anonymity (although it appears a film crew followed his every move despite not being able to immediatly report on it). Was his tour of duty up and the timing was right to leak the info? I don’t know. But if it wasn’t, then Drudge should be ashamed. No scoop is worth risking the lives of this brave young man and his comrades.

winewife on March 1, 2008 at 1:18 AM